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Does CBD Oil Have Side Effects?

CBD oil has grown massively in popularity over the last few years, with data indicating that sales of CBD products in the UK have almost doubled in the last year alone.

People are drawn to CBD for several reasons. Some are attracted by its potential to relieve pain and discomfort, including chronic pain from injuries. Others view CBD oil as a natural alternative to medications commonly prescribed to treat anxiety and other conditions.

An increasing number of people also use CBD oil as a sleep aid, claiming that it helps to enjoy deeper, more refreshing sleep. 

While CBD’s potential benefits are well known and increasingly backed up by scientific studies, like other natural treatments, CBD is also linked to a range of potential side effects.

For the most part, these side effects are not severe or dangerous. However, it’s important to be aware of them if you’re planning to use CBD. After all, the better you understand a substance’s effects, both positive and negative, the more equipped you are to use it effectively.

Below, we’ve listed the currently known side effects of CBD oil, with information on how and why they can occur. We’ve also listed several potential interactions of CBD that you should be aware of before using it to treat chronic pain, anxiety or any other health condition.

Potential Side Effects of CBD

CBD oil and a range of other supplements containing CBD have only recently been approved for sale in the UK. As a result of this, research into the side effects of CBD is still in a relatively early stage. 

Despite this, researchers and users have identified several common potential side effects that can occur while using CBD. These include:

  • Anxiety
  • Diarrhea
  • Dizziness
  • Drowsiness
  • Dry mouth
  • Fatigue
  • Mood changes
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting

There’s also some evidence that CBD could cause an increase in liver enzymes, signaling the potential for damage to the liver. This is primarily based on the results of a mouse study carried out in April of 2019, in which the researchers noted CBD’s potential hepatotoxic effects.

While this study is definitely worth considering, especially if you have a history of liver issues, it should be noted that it’s an animal study, meaning the results may not apply equally to humans that use CBD.

Still, if you have a history of liver diseases, such as any form of hepatitis, fatty liver disease or pre-existing liver damage due to substance abuse, it’s best to talk to your doctor before using CBD or any other treatments.

Using CBD With Other Medications

Overall, CBD is an extremely safe treatment for a wide range of conditions. However, like many other natural treatments used for anxiety, insomnia and pain relief, it has the potential to interact with certain other medications and supplements.

The fact that CBD is a naturally-occurring substance does not mean that it’s always safe to use with other medications. For example, other natural substances such as grapefruit juice and St. John’s wort are widely known to interact with some medicines, despite being 100% natural.

Although research on CBD’s interactions with other drugs is still in its early stages, researchers have identified that CBD can affect a family of enzymes called cytochrome P450.

Cytochrome P450 is responsible for breaking down certain substances as they enter into the body via the liver. Current research indicates that CBD may inhibit the activity of cytochrome P450, meaning your body is less capable of breaking down chemical compounds than normal.

This can increase the effects of certain drugs that are already in your system. For example, after using CBD oil or other products containing CBD, drugs such as ibuprofen and naproxen may be more likely to cause certain dosage-related side effects than normal.

If you use any prescription drugs, talk to your doctor about the risk of interactions before using any products that contain CBD. You should be particularly careful if you use medications that are designed to:

  • Lower your blood pressure, including nitrates, diuretics, beta-blockers, alpha blockers, ACE inhibitors and calcium channel blockers.
  • Affect your blood sugar levels, such as insulin, corticosteroids and certain other drugs used to treat diabetes and similar conditions.
  • Have a thinning effect on your blood, such as ibuprofen, warfarin, heparin, naproxen and others.
  • Relieve pain, such as opioid painkillers and certain non-opioid painkillers prescribed to treat chronic pain and other pain-related conditions.
  • Treat anxiety, depression and other psychiatric disorders, including benzodiazepines, antidepressants and other medications used for this purpose.

Again, it’s important to state the CBD is overwhelmingly a safe and effective natural treatment that isn’t linked to any dangerous side effects. However, like with all treatments, it needs to be used with caution when you’re taking it alongside other medications. 

If you use any of the medications listed above, or any other prescription medication, you should talk to your doctor about potential interactions and side effects before you start using CBD.

Using CBD Oil Safely

CBD oil and other CBD products are used by hundreds of thousands of people in the UK alone, with usage increasing rapidly. The majority of people who use CBD have a positive experience, with very few reporting anything other than minor side effects.

If you’re new to CBD, make sure you follow the dosage instructions provided with the CBD oil, e-liquid or other product you’ve purchased. Take it slow and start with a small dose to assess your tolerance and the substance’s effects before adjusting your dosage to meet your needs.

If you’re currently taking any prescription medications, make sure you talk to your doctor about potential interactions before you start using CBD.

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