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    CBD Oil Side Effects: What Are The Risks?

    5 min

    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?

    What is CBD Oil?

    CBD stands for cannabidiol, one of the many chemical compounds found inside the cannabis plant. It is a food supplement to help you maintain a healthy lifestyle and, despite its roots, it is legal to buy in the UK and in many other countries across the world.

    The properties of CBD oil support the endocannabinoid system in the human body, which is known to keep everything balanced, by regulating hormones, sleep patterns and mood, as well as things like appetite and immune response..

    The endocannabinoid system is made up of millions of receptors throughout the body and functions by passing messages through the receptors and pathways to keep the body well balanced. 

    CBD is similar in structure to the endocannabinoids which are produced in the endocannabinoid system (ECS) and so ingesting plant-derived cannabinoids such as CBD can help to stimulate the system and aid its effectiveness.

    What Could CBD Oil Help With?

    There are currently no approved health claims for CBD products and they should be used as supplements to a healthy lifestyle in order to boost wellbeing.

    Everyone will have a unique response to using CBD products and they are frequently used by our customers as an alternative therapy to help them with numerous ailments including anxiety, pain, nausea and inflammation.

    Research indicates that CBD oil reacts with a receptor in the human body known as serotonin - the happiness and wellbeing chemical - changing the way your body responds. Many people feel more relaxed after using CBD products which explains why more than a third of those who use CBD oil choose it to help manage anxiety, stress, PTSD and insomnia. 

    Serotonin can also be responsible for feelings of nausea and so CBD oil is often used by cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy to help fight any side effects from their treatment. Again the CBD Oil reacts with the serotonin receptor to change the body’s response.

    CBD Oil can also reduce the action of pain and inflammation receptors and so can be a very promising choice for people suffering with chronic pain through conditions such as arthritis, multiple sclerosis and osteoporosis. If it does have the potential to successfully help to reduce inflammation that can make neurodegenerative diseases worse, this could totally change the quality of life for some patients. 

    The anti-inflammatory properties could also be useful as an effective and safe way to treat irritants such as acne, and scientists are also investigating the potential use of CBD oil to relieve symptoms of Parkinson’s Disease and epilepsy.

    What Are The Side Effects Of CBD Oil?

    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?

    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.)

    • Steroids
    • HMG CoA reductase inhibitors
    • Calcium channel blockers
    • Antihistamines
    • Prokinetics
    • HIV antivirals
    • Immune modulators
    • Benzodiazepines
    • Antiarrhythmics
    • Antibiotics
    • Anesthetics
    • Antipsychotics
    • Antidepressants
    • Anti-epileptics
    • Beta blockers
    • PPIs
    • NSAIDs
    • Angiotensin II blockers
    • Oral hypoglycemic agents
    • Sulfonylureas

    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.

    What To Look For In A Good Quality CBD Oil

    Although there is continuing research and lots still to be learned about CBD Oil, it appears to be a safe, powerful and effective alternative treatment for many common health problems.

    Enthusiasts will tell you endless stories about how their health and wellbeing has benefitted from the powerful alternative therapy and we agree that CBD products can totally change your quality of life. 

    However it is important to note that you should avoid replacing current prescription medications with CBD products unless you have the nod from a doctor. Check with a medical professional before you add CBD oil to your current medications and consult their opinion before you make any decision as to how you choose to proceed.

    For those not on any current medication, the likelihood of CBD oil side effects is very low. Users should ensure they buy from a reputable source and choose an organic, lab certified product to best suit their needs and help reduce the likelihood of any side effects. Our buyers guide has been created as an easy to understand helpsheet for those who aren’t sure where to start.

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