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Photography by Georgia Love for Herb

learn | 04.22.2022

Does CBD Oil Have Side Effects?

Most cannabis enthusiasts know CBD is relatively benign. But are there CBD oil side effects? Here’s our full explainer.

CBD oil is all the rage these days and for good reason! CBD oil is known for its calming and anti-inflammatory effects, but some people worry about possible side effects. So, does CBD oil have any side effects?

Is CBD Oil Safe?

Let’s take a closer look!

The short answer is that CBD oil is considered safe, the most common side effect of CBD oil is drowsiness. But there are a few things to keep in mind. First, it’s important to start with a low dose and increase gradually as needed to avoid any side effects. Second, be sure to purchase your CBD from a reputable source such as Cannabis Life.

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Photo by Cannabis Life

Cannabis Life’s 1:1 Delta-8/CBD Oil – 1000mg is not only perfectly priced, but it is also a great option if you’re looking for a product with high-quality CBD. Where Cannabis Life takes things up a notch is with their CBD Delta-8 oils that create a peaceful experience you’ll want to revisit often.

Their oils are made with a special base of five ingredients that are designed for better absorption and user experience. Their proprietary terpene blend delivers a sweet berry flavor that will definitely contribute to the “entourage effect.” Better yet, you can rest in knowing that every batch is lab-tested to ensure quality.

You can find their products here

CBD Oil Side Effects

Although CBD doesn’t produce a high like THC, it affects the body’s endocannabinoid system and modulates the speed of certain neurotransmitters. That’s what makes it so beneficial for conditions like anxiety, insomnia, epilepsy, ADHD, and chronic pain.

A 2017 scientific review looked at CBD’s safety and side effects and found the most commonly reported CBD oil side effects were:

  • Tiredness
  • Diarrhea
  • Changes in appetite and weight

According to the recent book, Healing with CBD: How Cannabidiol Can Transform Your Health Without the High, authors Eileen Konieczny, RN and Lauren Wilson found, anecdotally, that the most common CBD oil side effects are “dizziness, lethargy, sleepiness, hyperactivity, loose stools, jitteriness, and an increased heart rate.”

In the book, Konieczny and Wilson also explore some less common CBD side effects, including: “irritability, increased seizure activity, decreased appetite, alertness, heart palpitations, and insomnia. Minor side effects like headaches have also been reported in conjunction with poor quality CBD oil tinctures.”

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Photography by Georgia Love for Herb

Many of CBD oil’s side effects are caused by either the dose or poor quality of the oil. Therefore, it’s important to be thorough when researching CBD products and make sure to use this handy checklist before making a purchase.

CBD’s Biphasic Effect

CBD’s effects depend on the dose because of cannabis’ biphasic affect—a drug’s ability to produce opposite effects depending on whether a low or high dose is taken. For high-THC cannabis, the biphasic effect becomes most apparent when thinking about the plant’s potential to create euphoric, relaxing experiences in low to moderate doses, but also paranoid, anxiety-ridden experiences in the same person at a high dose.

With CBD, the biphasic effect becomes clear when considering CBD oil’s ability to make a person either alert or sleepy, depending on the dose. At one to 10 mg of CBD, many people report feeling better able to concentrate, especially those with anxiety or attention issues. However, before bed, those same people will want to take a higher dose of CBD oil, so they’re not stimulated before bed. Plus, because of CBD’s biphasic effect, it becomes sedating at higher doses.

CBD Drug Interactions

One important CBD oil side effect we can’t forget to mention is the cannabinoid’s potential to interact with prescription drugs. According to Konieczny and Wilson’s book, 60 percent of the pharmaceutical drugs people consume are metabolized in the liver by a certain family of enzymes called the cytochrome P450 group. The thing is, CBD inhibits the activity of those enzymes, which can alter the effectiveness of prescription meds.

Therefore, it’s important to talk to your doctor before adding CBD oil to your daily routine. A good rule of thumb is to check if your prescription has a warning about drug interaction with grapefruit. If so, that prescription will likely also have an interaction with cannabis and CBD, and so your dose may need to be adjusted by a doctor to account for the CBD.

CBD oil is proven safe and many studies are showing it’s effective too, but every individual’s endocannabinoid system is different. Therefore, CBD oil side effects are possible, but they’ll be generally very mild, especially in comparison to their pharmaceutical drug counterparts. It’s important to “start low and go slow,” as Konieczny and Wilson recommend, and in time, you’ll learn the optimal CBD doses for your body and needs.


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