What Are The Potential Side Effects Of Cannabidiol (CBD)?

Potential Side Effects Of Cannabidiol

The cannabis plant has long been viewed as a drug that causes recreational users to become lazy and “slow”, but, in reality, this plant is not as bad as some might think it is.

Even though all the campaigns against drug use tend to include “weed” as one of the no-no substances, it is important to note that these campaigns are designed to discourage the recreational use of drugs for the purpose of getting that “high” that people are often after.

The cannabis plant contains a large number of cannabinoids, which are chemical compounds that act upon the human body in different ways.

Inside the cannabis plant, there are two primary cannabinoids that are most prevalent and more abundant than the rest of the cannabinoid chemical compounds that inhibit the plant.

These two cannabinoids are known as tetrahydracannabinol and cannabidiol. The “high” effect that recreational cannabis users use the plant for is caused by the tetrahydracannabinol chemicals in the plant.

Tetrahydracannabinol is also called THC – in fact, people are more acquainted with the name THC than tetrahydracannabinol.

While this particular compound has some potential benefits for the human body, it is the cannabidiol cannabinoids that medical researchers often choose to study since these chemicals in the cannabis plant does not cause the “high” or psychoactive effects that the tetrahydracannabinol cannabinoids causes, and has a larger number of health benefits to contribute towards a user’s physical and psychological well-being.

What Is Cannabidiol And CBD Oil?

Cannabidiol And CBD Oil

Cannabidiol is an oil that many people use today for many different reasons. The oil contains a concentration of cannabidiol, which is one of the most abundant chemicals found in cannabis.

Medical Marijuana Inc[1] reports that cannabidiol can be found throughout the majority of the cannabis plant, including the flowers of the plant, as well as the stalk and the seeds.

They also report that this particular chemical is present in large quantities within these parts of the cannabis plant, which means it is not difficult to extract the compound from the cannabis plant.

It is important to note that the most common source of cannabidiol is the cannabis plant, which is its natural source, but this is not the only method of making cannabidiol products, such as oil that contains this chemical compound.

In addition to its natural source, cannabidiol can also be synthesized. This process is done in a laboratory using a series of specialized tools.

The body contains a particular system that is involved in the actions and health benefits cannabidiol is able to offer the user. This system is known as the endocannabinoid system and consists of several receptors.

The main receptors identified by medical experts as of yet includes the Cannabinoid 1 (CB1) and 2 (CB2) receptors. When cannabis is used, the THC primarily acts upon the Cannabinoid 1 and Cannabinoid 2 receptors.

Cannabidiol does not directly act upon these two receptors but rather activates the CB1 and CB2 receptors by first activating another receptor.

Why Is Cannabidiol Oil Used?

People who use cannabidiol oil does not turn to the cannabis plant for its psychoactive effects, but rather for the many health benefits that the plant has to offer.

Oil that primarily contains cannabidiol does not cause any type of psychoactive effects to the user. Several health benefits may be experienced, which will depend on the particular problems that the user is suffering from.

To better understand why people turn toward cannabidiol oil, we should start by looking at the numerous health benefits that cannabidiol has to offer[2].

Some of these health benefits are already well-known by the general population and thousands of people are already using cannabidiol oil for these particular benefits, but some of the health benefits may be new and quite surprising to a few readers.

The earliest scientific-based use of cannabidiol is for the treatment of symptoms caused by epileptic seizures. One study found that cannabidiol oil is able to reduce* fatigue and drowsiness and improve* mood, sleep and alertness amongst children who suffered from epilepsy[3].

Epileptic Seizures

Another study found that cannabidiol oil is useful in treating epilepsy symptoms[4] amongst patients who are resistant to the conventional drugs that are usually administered to patients who suffer from epilepsy seizures.

Cannabidiol is well-known for its ability to relieve pain. It is often administered to patients who have been diagnosed with cancer since it can assist with relieving the painful symptoms that cancer causes without leading to any severe side-effects.

Several studies have proven that cannabidiol is highly effective in reducing* chronic pain in patients with diseases, such as cancer, that causes pain as a chronic symptom.

The oil may also be beneficial for relieving acute pain, especially when administered sublingually (under the tongue).

In addition to its ability to relieve pain, scientific studies have also shown that cannabidiol is able to reduce* inflammation.

This is not only beneficial for patients who experience inflammation due to injury as a short-term relieve option, but also acts as a potential treatment options for reducing* the inflammation that is often caused by autoimmune diseases.

A reduction* in inflammation often leads to a reduced* effect on the joints in cases like Rheumatoid Arthritis and also further contributes to less pain.

More recently, cannabidiol has been used alongside conventional cancer treatment options to speed up the process of killing off cancerous cells.

The discovery that cannabidiol not only helps to ease symptoms of cancer (pain, discomfort and inflammation) but also assists with preventing the metastasis of cancer and even destroying cells that are cancerous has offered a breakthrough in cancer treatments.

Heart health can also benefit from the use of cannabidiol oil. A study conducted on animal subjects provided evidence that cannabidiol is able to assist with the vasodilation process of blood vessels[5]; thus enhancing* blood flow to the heart.

They also found that the chemical has a protective effect on the blood vessels of the animal subjects. Another study offered evidence that cannabidiol is also able to actually reduce* the damage that has been done to the brain and the heart by blood vessels that are clogged[6].

Dyskinesia symptoms, which refers to involuntary muscle movements, can also be treated rather effectively with the use of cannabidiol. It was also proven that cannabidiol significantly reduces* the risk of ever developing symptoms related to dyskinesia.

Some people use cannabidiol oil to treat* acne due to its anti-inflammatory effects, as well as several other health effects that the chemical has.

Several mental illnesses can also be effectively treated with cannabidiol. While the chemical is not able to act at the same level as conventional treatment options for all of these mental illnesses, it can offer a significant reduction* in the symptoms experienced.

Depression and anxiety disorders are a particularly important field of study where medical experts are now starting to use cannabidiol as part of their treatment plants.

Evidence is also available that suggests cannabidiol may assist in relieving the symptoms people with schizophrenia experiences.

It is also well-known that cannabidiol oil is beneficial for patients with Dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. It has been found that the chemical poses as a powerful antioxidant and also protects the nervous system to prevent degeneration of the user’s mental health.

While these are not the only reasons why people turn towards cannabidiol, they are some of the primary uses for this particular chemical in the cannabis plant.

There are many other health benefits that the cannabinoid has to offer and, as mentioned before, the use tends to vary from one person to another.

What Are The Potential Side Effects Of Cannabidiol?

Cannbidiol CBD Info

While it is good to look at the positive attributes that cannabidiol can contribute to your life, it is essential not to overlook the fact that the cannabinoid is not all good and well in every single case.

Developing side-effects while using cannabidiol is possible, but may vary from one person to another.

One person may experience only one side-effect while using oil that contains cannabidiol, while another may experience multiple side-effects or more severe side-effects.

To offer a better understanding of how cannabidiol may have some adverse effects in store for the user at times, we have decided to compile a comprehensive list of all the potential side-effects that have been reported by people who have used cannabidiol oil in the past.

This will give you a way to make a more informed decision – for example, you could compare the potential side-effects of cannabidiol to the potential side-effects of a supplement or medication you are currently taking.
If you find that the potential adverse effects of cannabidiol are less severe than those of the medication, you might want to consider giving this oil a try.

When it comes to discussing the possible side-effects that cannabidiol can cause, it is important to notice that these side-effects should be divided into two separate parts – and that is exactly how we are going to present them.

First, we are going to look at some adverse effects that people have reported concerning their general well-being.

Thereafter, we are going to discuss the potential interactions cannabidiol can have with certain drugs; thus causing the activity of the drugs to become enhanced* or to suppress* the efficiency of the drugs.

When cannabidiol interacts with the activity of a drug, it could cause potential problems to arise with the user’s well-being – especially when the drug is being used for an important function.

The Most Common Adverse Effects Of Cannabidiol

As mentioned previously, we are going to start by looking at the potential adverse effects that a person may experience when they use cannabidiol.

This will give a potential user the ability to identify whether or not the side-effects they may be experiencing while using a certain drug is worse or milder than that of cannabidiol. In turn, this will help the potential user decide whether they should give cannabidiol oil a try – or not.

Before we get started, we do want to note that, even though certain side-effects are possible, they are usually very mild when they do develop. The use of cannabidiol in the human body has also been deemed safe.

The University of Sao Paulo[7] in Brazil explains that cannabidiol is safe to be used and it not toxic to the body at any level – even though it was deemed as possibly toxic upon its first isolation in the 1940s.

A Dry Mouth

A Dry Mouth

One of the most common side effects that people experience when they use CBS oil is a dry mouth. This is a relatively common side effect to experience and is usually nothing serious.
All that will happen when you experience dry mouth as an adverse effect of taking CBS oil is being excessively thirsty. This particular side effect is sometimes referred to as “cotton mouth”.

In scientific terms, however, the side effect is known as xerostomia.

According to Zamnesia, this particular side[8] effect is caused by the activity that the cannabinoids have on the nervous system of the user.

They report that, in 2006, a study was able to provide evidence that both Cannabinoid 1 and Cannabinoid 2 receptors are present in the submandibular gland. This particular gland is involved in the production of saliva.
In fact, it produces as much as 60% or more of saliva found in the mouth. When CBD oil is used, these receptors in the submandibular gland may cause saliva production to be reduced*; thus leading to the dry mouth side effect.
It is possible to counteract this particular side effect. It is an important note to opt for a beer, wine or a fruit juice, as these may cause the dry mouth effect to become worse. Rather stick to a constant supply of water throughout the day.

During times where you need to limit your visits to the bathroom, you can switch to a sugar-free gum. Chewing sugar-free gum will help to stimulate the production of saliva, which may also assist with preventing this particular adverse effect of CBD oil.

Reduced* Blood Pressure

Another common side effect that people tend to experience when they use a product that contains cannabidiol is a reduction* in their blood pressure levels.

It is important to note that the reduction* CBD causes in blood pressure is not considered a side effect in patients with hypertension since the chemical will act as a treatment method for bringing down their high blood pressure levels.

When a person has normal blood pressure levels, however, the cannabidiol may cause a slight reduction* in their normal levels, which could cause symptoms of low blood pressure to develop.

Since hypertension can be a troublesome disease[9] that causes additional stress on the heart, as well as increases* the risk of having a stroke or suffering from a heart attack, patients with the condition usually takes medication to help bring down their blood pressure levels.

If this is the case, then cannabidiol may increase* the efficiency of this medication by further lowering blood pressure levels. Thus, it is vitally important for a potential CBD user to first consult with their doctor before using CBD products together with their high blood pressure medication.

It is also important to note that, even though a drop in blood pressure levels are considered a possible side effect of cannabidiol, this particular adverse reaction is usually only observed when the chemical is taken in high doses and high concentrations.

Thus, if you are planning to take a product containing a low concentration of cannabidiol, this particular adverse reaction should be less likely to occur.

Drowsiness

Drowsiness

Even though cannabidiol, unlike tetrahydracannabinoid, does not cause any psychoactive effects, which means it does not cause the user to feel “high”, it can still cause drowsiness in some users.

In most cases, however, the chemical will rather have a wake-inducing effect, but drowsiness is still possible.

Drowsiness is not a serious side effect of cannabidiol and should go away. During times of drowsiness, it is strongly advised that a user avoids operating any machinery that might be dangerous to them, people around them or to the environment.

Driving a car or another vehicle is also not advised when feeling drowsy.

What’s The Connection Between Cannabidiol and Parkinson’s Disease?

If you have been doing some research on the potential side effects of cannabidiol before, or even studied the potential health benefits, then you should already know that an adverse connection has been made between products that contain this particular chemical and Parkinson’s disease.

One would think that the fact that cannabidiol has been shown to be beneficial for patients with Alzheimer’s disease and the fact that it has a protective effect on the brain would also mean that it is beneficial for Parkinson’s disease – but it seems like the contrary is true.

According to WebMD[10], research suggests that the adverse reactions that patients experience when taking cannabidiol products when they have been diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease only occurs when cannabidiol is taken in large doses.
In smaller doses, the chemical may still have a potentially beneficial effect on their well-being. The particular side effects that patients with Parkinson’s disease may experience while taking a product that contains cannabidiol includes an increase* in tremors and worse involuntary muscle movements.

Which Drugs May Cannabidiol Interact With?

Apart from the potential side-effects that cannabidiol products may cause when used for its medicinal properties, we should also look at the possible drug interactions that the chemical may have.

When taking certain drugs, it is important to consider that these interactions could interfere with the working action of the drugs; thus it may become a problem that leads to a worsening of the particular problem that is being treated with the drugs.

Now, it is important to note that by taking cannabidiol does not mean the activity of the particular drugs being used by the user will be completely inhibited.

In fact, many people are able to use products that contain this chemical alongside drugs that are on the interaction list without any problems.

The key is to note that the chemical may cause an interaction by reducing* the activity of the enzymes that are responsible for metabolizing the drugs, but this particular action only occurs for a short amount of time.
Thus, if the timing of the user is appropriate, then they can use both without having the cannabidiol interfere with their body’s ability to metabolize the drugs that they need to take to treat* particular medical issues.

Cannabidiol Medicine

Is It Safe To Use Cannabidiol During Pregnancy?

One very popular questions on the use of cannabidiol oil is whether or not it is safe to use during pregnancy. This particular area is still being actively studied.

The use of oil that contains cannabidiol cannabinoids are associated with a very low-risk profile, which means the risk of developing side effects to the use of this product is very low, but still, there is always the chance that side effects may develop.

The particular adverse reactions that have been associated with the use of these products, as we have already discussed above, are also not severe and does not necessarily seem like a call for concern amongst pregnant women.
Even though it does not seem like the use of products that contain cannabidiol has potentially harmful effects on pregnant women, too little research is available on the subject to ensure the safety of the woman and her unborn baby at the moment.

For this reason, it is usually recommended that pregnant women, as well as those who are breastfeeding a newborn baby, avoid using such products for the time being[1] until further research has been conducted on the topic.

Conclusion

Cannabis has both positive and negative attributes to contribute towards society. The most common negative attribute about the cannabis plant is the fact that it causes psychoactive effects when it is smoked or used in baking, which is caused by the tetrahydracannabinol content found in the plant.

On the other hand, however, there are also many positive attributes about this plant. The cannabidiol chemicals in the cannabis plant have been studied by many medical researchers and is now used to treat* a wide array of diseases and even some of the more common complaints that people have, such as to reduce* inflammation and treat* pain.

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Author

Contributor : Dr. Ahmed Zayed (Consumer Health Digest)

This Article Has Been Published on August 18, 2017 and Last Modified on March 9, 2018

Dr. Ahmed Zayed Helmy holds a baccalaureate of Medicine and Surgery. He has completed his degree in 2011 at the University of Alexandria, Egypt. Dr. Ahmed believes in providing knowledgeable information to readers. Other than his passion for writing, currently he is working as a Plastic surgeon and is doing his masters at Ain Shams University. You can connect with him on Linkedin.

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