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Effects of CBD

Using marijuana to treat a variety of health conditions has been in practice for thousands of years. But it wasn’t until recently that science could put marijuana and its components to the test for treating a variety of chronic and acute health conditions.

Medical marijuana has been legalized for many years in Europe, and CBD products and oils are manufactured under the strictest of conditions and regulations. In the U.S., CBD has only been legalized in some states since 2014. But recently, the CBD extracted from industrial hemp has become federally legalized.

With the recent FDA developments, conditions look promising for the medical marijuana industry, which is projected to be worth more than 5 billion dollars by 2021. But in general, the industry is still in its infancy. The regulations surrounding the production of CBD oil are not well-established yet, and the side effects and benefits of CBD oil for a host of health issues are still being studied and quantified. For people who want to try CBD oil, it’s crucial to understand how the product works, and where to find a high-quality, medical-grade CBD oil.

What is CBD oil?

CBD oil is a product where the cannabinoids and other components of the hemp plant are isolated and then diluted with a carrier oil. Most CBD oils are diluted with coconut oil, hemp oil, or grapeseed oil.

CBD oil will not get a person high like they would get if they smoked or ingested the marijuana plant. The component in marijuana that gets a person high is called THC. People can purchase CBD oils that are entirely free of THC, or they access “broad-spectrum” CBD oils that include minuscule, but still therapeutic, levels of THC. In the U.S., CBD oils that contain .3% of THC or less are legal. It is also legal to ship CBD oils with .3% or less of THC into the U.S. from overseas. But people need to be aware that even low doses of THC from using CBD oil can still show up in a drug test. For those who work for an employer who drug tests, it’s a good idea to try CBD oils free of THC.

CBD oils also come in three different types which offer various benefits as well – raw, decarboxylated, and filtered. Raw CBD oil is usually black or dark green and is extracted directly from the plant. Raw CBD oils contain chlorophylls and terpenes from the hemp plants. Decarboxylated CBD oil is usually black or dark green, but has gone through a process where the acid is taken out of the cannabinoids. Some studies claim that the decarboxylated process improves the CBD oil’s bioavailability. Filtered CBD oils are honey-colored in appearance, and are filtered for purity. They are the most popular of the CBD oil products on the market.

What are the short-term, adverse reactions of using CBD oils?

While there are many pieces of research looking into the benefits of CBD oil, it is not a miracle drug. Any drug comes with side effects, some more severe than others. There have been a few studies on the short and long term side effects of using CBD oil.

Reviews are still few and far between since this industry is new and not regulated on a federal level. But, there are a few reported, negative short and long-term adverse effects of using CBD oil. However, it’s important to understand that CBD oil, despite these side effects, is still safer to use than smoking and ingesting the marijuana plant and THC. Plus, CBD oils are non-addictive and stopping their use will not give a person withdrawal symptoms. HUGS products are derived from industrial hemp and contain less than .3% THC.

Before someone can appreciate the side effects of CBD oil, it’s beneficial to know how CBD affects the human body, and how the CBD oil impacts the body and can lead to these side effects.

First of all, the human body possesses a naturally occurring neural pathway called the endocannabinoid system, or ECS. The ECS is responsible for sleep regulation, appetite, and the registration of pain. The cannabinoids present in CBD oil bind with and activate the body’s natural endocannabinoid receptors. The way the CBD oil components bind and impact the endocannabinoid system is the primary way in which the elements can either alleviate specific health symptoms or cause certain symptoms. The most common, short-term side effects of CBD oil use include the following.

1. Dry Mouth

Dry mouth is one of the most commonly reported side effects in CBD oil users. The most likely cause of it is that cannabinoids inhibit the body’s salivary production. Dry mouth when taking CBD oil is easy to combat and prevent by drinking plenty of water before, during, and after CBD oil use. Making it a priority to stay hydrated regardless of CBD oil use is a good idea anyway.

2. Drops in Blood Pressure and Lightheadedness

Numerous studies on CBD oil and cardiovascular health found that CBD oil users had a slight drop in resting and active blood pressure. This is beneficial for people who struggle with high blood pressure. It is the leading cause of stroke and heart attack risk. But a drop in blood pressure, even a small one, can be considered an adverse reaction to CBD oil in some people. People who take blood pressure medications, or who have naturally low blood pressure should consult their physician before they take CBD oil or other medical marijuana products.

Drops in blood pressure are most commonly associated with feelings of lightheadedness. While this can be uncomfortable or distressing, it can cause someone to fall and hurt themselves too. People who get lightheaded after taking CBD oil can reverse the symptoms with a caffeinated beverage paired with a glass of water to avoid dehydration and dry mouth.

3. Drowsiness

Studies on CBD oil and insomnia and anxiety have been found promising. However, CBD oil can make some people drowsy or sleepy. But it’s critical to understand that CBD oil can affect people in opposite ways. While most will experience increased drowsiness, some people will become unusually alert and awake after using CBD oil. People who get drowsy from using CBD oil should avoid operating heavy machinery or driving until the effects dissipate. It might be a good idea for people who get drowsy from using CBD oil to take it before bed instead of during the day.

4. Nausea

For cancer patients and people who take medications for HIV or AIDS, CBD oil has been found to reduce nausea and vomiting in these patients. However, people who do not take CBD oil for these issues may experience nausea as a side effect.

5. Anxiety

While there are a few studies that have found CBD oil promising in treating anxiety symptoms, CBD oil can also induce anxiety symptoms in some people. Studies have found that CBD oil products that contain THC are the most likely to cause anxiety symptoms. For people who are susceptible to experiencing anxiety, high-quality CBD oil products that are free of THC can prevent this side effect.

What are the long-term CBD effects?

Because using CBD can often cause dry mouth, failing to counteract this effect can lead to dental issues. The saliva protects the teeth, gums, and soft tissues from bacteria and corrosion. People with a chronic dry mouth or who get dry mouth from medications or supplements are at increased risk of cavities.

Also, some preliminary studies and concerns surrounding the use of CBD oil show an increase in liver enzymes. Increased liver enzymes are a marker of inflammation and liver damage. About 10% of people taking CBD oil products had an increase in liver enzymes. But to make things even less straightforward, studies on CBD oil’s effects on people with liver failure and disease found that CBD oil improved liver function. The bottom line is, CBD oil usage is such a new phenomenon that the full effects of CBD are not well known yet. Also, there is such a lack of uniform regulation in the CBD market that consumers can end up with a product that is of low-quality, and where the amounts of different cannabinoids and THC may be widely different than what’s stated on the label. It is critical that people do their research and purchase CBD oil from a reputable company, where the hemp is sourced from a food-grade farm.

Furthermore, people who are taking prescription medications or other supplements should speak to their doctor before using CBD oil. CBD oil will interact with certain medications and research here is much less murky than the research the CBD industry has so far on the benefits of the product.

What drugs can someone not use along with CBD products?

Although the FDA has recently approved a medical marijuana drug for epilepsy, using CBD oil, along with anti-seizure medications, can lead to potentially dangerous side effects. Epileptic drugs have to be carefully monitored, so that blood levels of the medicines do not reach toxicity. People who take epileptic medications have to have periodic blood tests to check and make sure the drugs haven’t reached dangerous levels in the bloodstream. Certain medications and supplements can increase the levels of these epileptic drugs in the blood, which can cause an increase in seizures and other side effects. Studies have found that CBD oil can increase epileptic drug levels in the blood. Patients who take epileptic drugs should speak to their doctor first before they try CBD oil.

Also, people who take blood pressure medications may not be able to take CBD oil either. CBD lowers blood pressure, and taking it along with a blood-pressure-lowering drug can cause side effects. It’s a good idea to speak to a doctor before mixing CBD oil products with blood pressure medicine.

What CBD products are the best to use?

People with anxiety and people who have to be drug tested at work should stay away from CBD oils that contain THC. Even minuscule amounts of THC can appear in a drug test. CBD oils that contain THC and products that are free of THC may be suitable. People’s tolerance levels may vary, and side effects can be different from one person to the next.

What We Still Do Not Know About CBD

Preliminary studies, and what people do know for certain regarding the benefits of CBD are promising. The industry is in its infancy, and as things progress in the scientific and medical fields, more of the benefits and the risks, of CBD oil will become well-known and established. For now, people on prescription medications should consult their primary care physician before trying a cannabinoid product.

Although the long-term effects of CBD oil are not well known and haven’t been studied conclusively, CBD oil with and without THC can alleviate the symptoms of several debilitating health conditions. As always, it’s critical that consumers do their research into a product’s quality before purchasing, and speak to their physician before trying CBD oil.

Last updated November 17, 2019