What is CBD?
Cannabidiol (CBD) is one of two active chemicals found in Cannabis. Unlike THC, CBD does not contain the ingredient, which produces the ‘high’. CBD is the non-psychoactive cannabinoid found in cannabis, and is instead known for its therapeutic affects. The therapeutic effect CBD has on users has led to a growth in its popularity within mainstream society. CBD is most commonly found as oil, but it can also be found imbued in food, drink and beauty products. CBD containing products are pretty common.
Is CBD different to Cannabis?
CBD and THC are the two main active cannabinoids found in cannabis. Cannabinoids are the natural compounds within the cannabis sativia plant where cannabis derives from.
CBD is a cannabinoid, which can be, derived from Cannabis and its sister plant Hemp. Despite being the same species, Cannabis and Hemp have significantly different effects on the brain due to the varying presence of THC, the psychoactive cannabinoid.
The main distinction between cannabis and CBD is that when taken alone CBD does not typically cause a high.
CBD and TCH both react with receptors in the brain. When an individual inhales cannabis (containing high levels of THC), the THC attaches to the two main cannabinoid receptors namely causing an intense experience – a high and a sense of euphoria. In contrast, CBD activates these receptors but it is not thought to bind with these instead leading to a moderate, therapeutic sensation. Research believes that CBD instead activates individual receptors such as the serotonin receptor, which is believed to cause the popular therapeutic effects on users.
Does use of CBD come with side effects?
Whilst CBD is largely safe to use, as with anything it comes with side effects. The most common side effects include: headaches, Diarrhea, Dizziness, Dry mouth, fatigue and low blood pressure. Research suggests that the severity of these side effects vary from person to person. On the whole CBD is well tolerated and can cause no side effects, however other users report otherwise.
It is always recommended to consult your doctor if you are concerned about anything and require information on appropriate use and dosage.
For more information on side effects read on:
CBD is not known to replicate the effects of cannabis, which causes the “munchies”. However, research does acknowledge that it causes some change in appetite for users. Studies show mixed results on the appetite of users, with some concluding that it boosts appetite whereas others noted decreased appetite.
A study looking at the long-term effects of CBD on patients with Dravet syndrome found decreased appetite to be one of the most common symptoms. Whereas, other studies have noted an increase in individuals who have consumed CBD infused drugs.
More research needs to be undertaken to uncover the full effects of CBD on appetite. As it stands, there is not enough research to confirm whether CBD is causing these effects alone, or if any other underlying factors contribute to the results in users.
Whilst appetite change has not been confirmed, CBD oil has become popular for weight loss among individuals.
Minor studies suggest that CBD may boost metabolism causing weight loss, however as highlighted above research is limited. Weight loss is not a confirmed side effect of CBD but rather mainstream gossip.
CBD works by interacting with the bodies endocannabinoid system. When taken it activates receptors which have a minor effect on the brain causing a more relaxed, calm state of mind.
CBD is a popular treatment for insomnia, due to its soothing properties on the body and mind. Whilst being commonly used to induce sleep, when taken at the wrong time or alongside other medication, CBD can cause users to feel drowsy and fatigued.
The type of dry mouth we refer to when talking about CBD is known as Xerostomia. CBD can cause a “cotton mouth” sensation when used because it reacts with the cannabinoid receptors found within the salivary glands, restricting the production of saliva. Whilst mouth dryness can be unpleasant it is highly unlikely to cause any harm.
Research has recognised dry mouth to be the most frequent side effect experienced by CBD users.
In some instances CBD has been recognised to sooth stomach pain and alleviate symptoms of IBD, however, other users report experiencing diarrhoea – probably the most unpleasant side effect.
In a clinical trial, which focused on the impact of Epidolex ( a drug derived from CBD) on childhood epilepsy, diarrhoea was concluded to be one of the most common side effects. The study showed a clear disparity in this side effect between those who took the CBD infused drug compared to the placebo.
Whilst research indicates a relationship between CBD and diarrhoea, our understanding is currently limited. There is no evidence to suggest that this side effect is not the result of additional ingredients found within CBD.
Low blood pressure
Unlike previous side effects, low blood pressure if one of the most serious potential consequences of CBD usage. For individuals who suffer with hypertension (high blood pressure), this side effect is not necessarily bad thing. CBD has been recognised to reduce stress naturally lowering blood pressure – beneficial for any high blood pressure suffers.
A minor study, which looked at the effects of CBD on the blood pressure of healthy volunteers, concluded that CBD was effective in reducing resting blood pressure. Whilst this is a promising side effect for hypertension suffers, further research is necessary.
However, if you have a known history of low blood pressure, CBD usage could have adverse effects on you, leading to dizziness and fainting. If you do suffer with low blood pressure, always consult a doctor before use.
Can I reduce the side effects?
Any side effects you may experience are temporary and should go away quickly. Due to the lack of research undertaken on CBD, the full cause of side effects is unknown, however, there are some preventative measures we can recommend.
Side effects could be related to high dosage, however research is limited. We recommend consulting a professional to find the appropriate dosage for you.
By making a purchase from a high quality provider you reduce the risk of product contamination. Researchers have speculated that some side effects experienced by CBD users could be due to the presence of an additional unknown substance.
Checked by third party
Safety unfortunately can’t be guaranteed with all products. Retailers could mislabel products or contaminate CBD with other ingredients. Checking for third party test results when buying CBD can minimise unwanted side effects.