What Are the Side Effects of CBD? How CBD Could Affect Your Body

The side effects of CBD are very limited, and The World Health Organization reports that most people tolerate CBD well. However there are always exceptions. Continue reading to see how CBD interacts with your body and what to know about its potential side effects.

Like Mark Twain said “Too much of anything is bad, but too much good CBD is barely enough.” Or was it "too much good whiskey?" We always forget...

Think about it like eating ice cream. Ice cream is amazing and makes you feel great. But eating too much ice cream is obviously gonna make you feel pretty lethargic and out-of-balance...

Wondering About The Possible Side Effects From Using CBD?

CBD is a great tool for helping you relax and get relief from the racing thoughts in your head. It’s natural and non-psychoactive—so, what’s not to love? The good news is, many people don’t experience any side effects from CBD.

The World Health Organization (WHO) reviewed research and states that CBD is “well-tolerated” by most users, but it’s still good to know the potential impact of any substance you put into your body.

It’s rare, but certain individuals have particular risks when using CBD, including:

  • Pregnant or nursing women
  • People with liver conditions
  • Individuals using certain medications

CBD generally lives up to its reputation as a super-safe way to keep your head on straight, but anyone could be in the minority that experiences side effects—so, it’s good to be informed.

Here’s what you need to know about CBD: how it affects your body and possible side effects:

How does CBD affect your body?

We don’t know precisely how CBD works because the research is still ongoing. But we do know it affects your body by influencing:

  • 5-HT1A receptors, which may mimic the effect of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) drugs like Zoloft
  • Calcium, sodium, and potassium ion channels, which control the electrolyte balance in your body
  • Opioid receptors, which regulate mood, pain, reward, and more
  • Glycine receptors, which control serotonin release (that’s one of your feel-good chemicals!)
  • Vanilloid receptors, which lessen the response to stressful stimuli

Instead of directly activating cannabinoid receptors, CBD works using what’s called a receptor-independent pathway. That means it changes the receptor without activating it by altering its binding capacity, changing reuptake, or slowing metabolism.

Receptor-independent pathways can keep certain neurotransmitters hanging around your brain and body for longer than usual, leading to CBD's signature chill effect.

When we talk about CBD helping us quiet our minds, calm our composure, and achieve blissful relief, these are the chemical mechanisms making it happen behind the scenes.

What are the side effects of CBD?

There have been over a thousand studies documenting CBD's side effects as of 2020, and the good news is they’re typically mild. If you keep using it, you may find that the side effects go away after time.

The most common potential side effects of CBD include:

  • Drowsiness
  • Appetite changes
  • Diarrhea
  • Dizziness
  • Dry mouth
  • Mood changes
  • Nausea

You may find that you experience fewer side effects at a lower dose. If you experience any that don’t go away, try lowering your dose.

What are the risks of CBD?

It’s rare to experience serious side effects from CBD, but some people develop high liver enzymes. Elevated liver enzymes are a sign that you have liver inflammation, which could mean you're at risk of developing liver disease.

You’re more likely to develop CBD liver side effects if you:

  • Have liver disease
  • Use medications that interact with CBD
  • Use extremely high doses of CBD for a long time

When an external substance causes it, this liver inflammation is called toxic hepatitis.

High liver enzymes will show up on a blood test, but you may not know that you need a test if you don’t recognize the signs. If you have high liver enzymes, you may experience:

  • Fatigue
  • Muscle pain
  • Joint pain
  • Nausea
  • Low appetite
  • Stomach pain
  • Dark urine
  • Itchy skin
  • Yellowing eyes and skin, called jaundice
  • Fever

Without treatment, toxic hepatitis can cause cirrhosis, which is permanent liver scarring. That said, it is very rare to develop liver inflammation while using CBD—and see the section on medication interactions that can cause it below!

If you’re pregnant or breastfeeding, you should avoid using CBD. That’s because CBD passes through the placental barrier and enters the fetus’s bloodstream during pregnancy, and it makes its way into breast milk during breastfeeding.

Due to ethical issues, of course, there haven’t been any studies examining the effects of CBD on infants. But because we don’t know the risks, pregnant or breastfeeding women should avoid using CBD, and you should always consult with your physician.

Does CBD interact with medications?

Like many substances, CBD can interact with medications, and (in very rare cicumstances) that interaction could cause liver damage. To be on the safe side, always tell your doctor and pharmacist that you’re using CBD so they can double-check potential interactions and make sure you’re not at risk.

CBD inhibits the CYP450 enzyme, which affects how you metabolize some drugs. If you use other medicines that also interact with the CYP450 enzyme, using CBD could result in:

  • Decreased effectiveness of your medication
  • Increased side effects of your medication
  • Liver damage

The medications that interact with CBD include:

  • Anti-arrhythmia medications, like propranolol or Norpace
  • Anti-seizure medications, like Lamictal or Tegretol
  • Antifungal drugs, like miconazole or clotrimazole
  • Antipsychotic medications, like Seroquel or Clozaril
  • Benzodiazepine sedative medications, like Ativan or Xanax
  • Immunosuppressant drugs, like cyclosporine or tacrolimus
  • Macrolide antibiotic medications, like erythromycin or azithromycin
  • Migraine medications, like cyclobenzaprine or gabapentin
  • Opioid painkiller medications, like tramadol or OxyContin

That’s not a complete list of all the medication types that can interact with CBD. Always talk to your doctor and pharmacist before you start a new medication or try CBD. You may need to change your dose, space out your doses, or try a different medication.

Your Scarefree lifestyle change starts today

At Sunday Scaries, we believe everyone deserves to live their life free of worry & second-guessing—and that everyone should be well-informed on everything they put into their body.

Cannabidiol is safe and well-tolerated for the vast majority of people. Still, the smart approach is to titrate (gradually increase) your dose when you start using it and avoid CBD if you are pregnant or using certain medications. And talk to your doctor if you have any concerns or questions!

Our CBD oil tinctures, gummies, and candies deliver cool, calm relief. Every milligram of CBD is double-tested from family-owned local Colorado hemp farms—only the very best to keep your head on straight and your positive attitude flowing.

Subscribe to your favorite Scaries today and score 20% off, with free shipping EVERY month!

We're here for you - The Sunday Scaries Squad