Common Side Effects of CBD Oil

CBD oil seems to have created a following overnight.

Many are looking to this supplement to help with things like anxiety, depression, or epilepsy. A lot of research has returned with encouraging results that are only increasing the popularity of CBD oil.


With all of the hype around CBD oil, a lot of people are wondering what the side effects are. Most articles only talk about the benefits without mentioning any risks. So, what are these risks? What kind of tests have been done to confirm that this substance is safe to ingest?


Negative Side Effects


There are some negative side effects for using CBD oil, but they are not typically extreme. The most common side effects include:


  • Fatigue
  • Nausea
  • Irritability
  • Change in Appetite
  • Tiredness
  • Diarrhea


These side effects, while common, are not severe and are usually temporary. Most people feel that the side effects of CBD oil are minor compared to the side effects of other medication used to treat their ailments. While you may experience ongoing nausea, it is still better than the side effects you would feel from more traditional medications.


For instance, CBD oil is commonly used to help reduce anxiety or alleviate depression. The drugs typically prescribed for these disorders can result in insomnia, sexual dysfunction, increased anxiety and depression, even an increase in suicidal thoughts. Many people are uncomfortable being on these medications because they perceive that the negatives outweigh the positives.


CBD oil can be helpful to these people because the side effects have so little of an impact on everyday life that the trade-off seems more worthwhile. Some tiredness is much more manageable than increased anxiety.


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Extreme Situations


There are some situations where CBD oil has proved to be harmful as a supplement, but these situations are relevant only to specific people or specific ailments. The side effects in this section are less common but are important for you to know about should you find yourself in these situations.


For example, pregnant women are advised not to take CBD oil at any point or in any amount during their pregnancy. Even short-term use of it can result in increased permeability of the placenta that puts the fetus at risk during the developmental stages. Typically, it results in an impairment of developing neurons.


Another situation in which CBD oil usage had a negative effect was in a test on people diagnosed with epilepsy. This test used one particular medication (Epidiolex) that used CBD oil as a main ingredient. Epidiolex is one of the few FDA approved CBD oil medications.


This test resulted in a long list of negative side effects and did not prove to benefit the patients as much as it was supposed to. Again, these side effects are not common but are a perfect example of why you need to talk to a medical professional before you start using CBD oil to treat your ailments.


Issues with CBD Oil Testing


The testing that has been done on CBD oil only scratches the surface. Some results have not been replicated. Some research is criticized for not using a large enough test group. Some test groups did not perform the tests for a long enough period of time. These are major issues in the research community.


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Without further testing, it’s hard to tell if the conclusions that were reached are accurate. It could have been a fluke or there could have been an outside factor affecting the results that went unnoticed during the initial experiment.


To conduct a more thorough evaluation of the positive and negative side effects of CBD oil, larger, more varied pools of candidates should be selected and monitored for a longer test period. Doing so will ensure that the information collected is accurate and reproducible. Because CBD oil is a relatively new supplement, we don’t know a lot about the long-term effects. Conducting longer studies with diverse subjects will give us insight into that issue.


We also don’t know much about how CBD oil can affect hormone levels or immune systems. This is critical information. If a person is taking CBD oil as a supplement to help with their depression, a potential hormone imbalance could derail the entire process. Similarly, a weakened immune system can make a person vulnerable to other illnesses, which is not an acceptable trade-off if a person is planning to use CBD oil on a long-term basis.


FDA Approval


Most uses of CBD oil do not have FDA approval and are only considered supplements, not medication. Because they are labeled as supplements, they are not required to get FDA approval. This is true of all dietary supplements. The only thing that the FDA has approved CBD oil for is two severe forms of epilepsy.


Without FDA approval, CBD oil is subject to fewer regulations. There is no third-party guarantee that you are getting what you pay for. Companies may mislabel products or be intentionally misleading about the potency or safety of the product. You don’t have the assurance that the active ingredients and doses are accurately listed.


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Plenty of accurate and well-researched tests have proven that CBD oil can be beneficial in treating ailments like epilepsy, depression, and anxiety. When you look at the side effects that other medication can cause, CBD oil has much fewer and less serious side effects.


However, we still have a lot to learn. It is important that we remain cautious about CBD oil usage until we have further information. Consult a trained professional before you decide to use CBD oil to supplement your medications.


Want to learn more about CBD oil? Check out our guide to CBD oil for dogs: what you need to know

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Marina Turea

Marina has been calling Chicago home since 2007. She's a world traveler and an avid reader.

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