These days everyone is talking about cannabidiol (CBD).
It’s very much the new kid on the block for wellbeing and alternative therapy and its popularity has soared over the past few years, with many claiming it is a cure-all treatment for ailments such as stress, skin conditions, anxiety and chronic pain.
While research is still ongoing into the benefits and risks of CBD for the human body, and whether there are any CBD oil side effects, the World Health Organisation has deemed CBD Oil to be safe for widespread use, saying in a report in 2018: “CBD is generally well tolerated with a good safety profile”.
So what are the risks? And does CBD oil have any side effects?
Taken on it’s own, CBD oil is deemed to be safe to use. It is well tolerated by the vast majority of users and brings little or no risk - but may bring great benefits.
Extremely rare side effects that have been noted in research studies include tiredness, changes in appetite and diarrhea, but they affect very few people, are very mild and are easily combated with change in diet, lower dosage CBD products or ceasing use altogether with no lasting effects.
It may just be that it takes a little while for your body to get used to the product and you can reintroduce it gradually to avoid any CBD Oil side effects.
Promisingly, CBD also has no ability for substance abuse because it doesn’t make you high. Although it comes from the cannabis plant, it doesn’t contain any of the psychoactive element of the plant called tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) so it doesn't create the intoxicated feeling commonly associated with cannabis.
CAN CBD OIL INTERACT WITH MEDICATION?
In some people, CBD oil can interact with certain prescription medications, so it is advised to speak to your doctor if you are already taking prescription drugs before you add CBD oil to your lifestyle. It is vitally important to be sure as to how CBD products might affect you and your current treatment programme if you have health problems.
Some drugs, but not all, in these types of medication may interact with CBD:
(Please check with your pharmacist to see if they interact with 'cytochrome p450'. Or easier still check your medication leaflet, if it says do not drink grapefruit juice when on this medication then you cannot take CBD. If there is no mention of grapefruit juice then you are safe to try the drug. At any stage if you are unsure, ask your health expert.)
- HMG CoA reductase inhibitors
- Calcium channel blockers
- HIV antivirals
- Immune modulators
- Beta blockers
- Angiotensin II blockers
- Oral hypoglycemic agents
Additionally, if you suffer at all with liver damage or any related problems it is advised to speak with your doctor before you try CBD Oil. Previous studies have shown that those with liver impairments may have lower tolerance to CBD Oil.
Similarly, if you suffer from low blood pressure, be cautious with your CBD intake as it can dilate blood vessels and thin the blood which could create further problems.. If you suffer with low blood pressure, consult a doctor and consider increasing your CBD dose gradually - then monitor carefully.
If you are pregnant or breastfeeding it is advised that you do not use CBD Oil. Everything ingested by a pregnant woman or one currently nursing is transferred across to the baby and, therefore, it is important to err on the side of caution. There are many limitations put in place for the safety of pregnant women and unborn or newborn babies as it is virtually impossible to undertake any tests to discover the effects without an element of risk due to the unknown outcome.
If you are trying to conceive, there is currently not enough evidence to prove whether or not CBD Oil would affect fertility or conception, therefore it is recommended that you avoid it. And on the other hand, if you are using birth control pills, CBD Oil may change their effectiveness - something to bear in mind!
There have also been some concerns over immunosuppressed individuals using CBD oil as it is thought that CBD could relax an immune system which might be detrimental if it is already impaired. But there is nothing concrete to cause any alarm and, as with any underlying health condition, it is advised to speak to your doctor before you introduce CBD Oil.