CBD Side Effects

Cannabidiol or CBD, as it is generally known, has now become a popular topic in recent times. Everyone has been researching to find out more about this chemical compound so that they can decide if it is right for them and worth their time and money. Some already know about CBD but are concerned about whether it is beneficial and safe for them.

CBD oil is a part of the over hundred compounds in the marijuana plant. Together, we can call these compounds cannabinoids. Many people erroneously believe that for this reason, CBD oils contain intoxicating compounds that can give the feeling of euphoria and “highness.” Fortunately, this is not true. Tetrahydrocannabinol or THC is the chemical compound that produces the intoxicating effect found in the hemp seed. CBD oils contain maximum 0.2% composition of THC.

If CBD does not make me high, are there side effects I should be worried about? It is true that CBD possess a modulatory activity and can regulate the negative effects of THC and other psychoactive compounds, but there are some important side effects you need to know. These side effects arise from the strength of CBD to offer a wide range of therapeutic benefits and can be regarded as strengths rather than a weakness. There are also information from the World Health Organization (WHO) stating how the side effects of CBD only arise from drug-drug interactions.

Side Effects of CBD Oil

Many people have concerns regarding the adverse effects this kind of drug can have on the system. Although there are many restrictions on CBD oil, the industry’s regulations have fallen mainly on deaf ears. For this reason, we have many quacks running around, trying to sell fake products. These compounds, although touted as CBD oil, have high levels of THC, much higher than the required standard, as stated by regulatory bodies (0.2% in Europe).

Unfortunately, these quacks are everywhere. As a matter of fact, just under 31% of CBD oils have the right labeling, according to a test done by scientists on the labeling accuracy of cannabidiol extracts sold online.

However, we have seen a lot of clinical trials carried out to determine the side effects of CBD oils in the body, especially when taken at high doses. Some of these clinical trials on medical conditions like Dravet syndrome and Lennox Gastaut syndrome (chronic forms of epilepsy), used cannabidiol doses as high as 1360 milligrams for an adult weighing 60 kg (150 pounds). These high doses of CBD are higher than what is in any accurately labeled bottle of CBD oil.

The side effects found in these studies were:

  • Depression
  • Gastrointestinal problems
  • Decreased appetite
  • Altered liver enzymes
  • A feeling of dizziness or drowsiness
  • Low blood pressure

The patients observed these side effects during the first few weeks when they raised their dosage consistently. However, when the dosage stabilized, these symptoms reduced drastically. These results also showed that lowering the dose of CBD oils can have a massive effect on the side effects by reducing it drastically.

Apart from the above mentioned side effects of CBD, research has shown that CBD can produce negative drug interactions with warfarin, theophylin, clobazam, aspirin and alcohol. These are drugs metabolized by the Cytochrome P450 enzyme in the liver. The side effect is more lethal when CBD is taken concomitantly with these drugs, hence the reason why you may need to contact your physician or CBD experts before using any CBD product.

Other groups of people who should not take CBD include but those with liver problems, people dealing with low blood pressure, women trying to conceive, pregnant women and nursing mothers.

CBD makes users feel dizzy or drowsy because it can interact with the GABA and serotonin receptors to increase the rate at which we fall asleep even though this is dependent on the time of administration and dosage. There is a general rule-of-thumb stating that taking CBD products 30 minutes before sleep can improve your sleep and rest quality. CBD also plays an alternative role on the sleep-wake cycle.

Since CBD can promote healthy eating, its interaction with the endocannabinoid receptors (ECS) can lead to irregular eating habits. It is pertinent to note that the ECS modulates cognitive activities like appetite and using CBD will only improve this ability.

Remember that it is when we increase doses to levels much higher than the one present in a regular CBD oil bottle that we find these side effects in clinical trials. For controlled clinical trials, there has been very little evidence to suggest that CBD oils produce severe side effects that make it unfit for use by people who need it. Please note that CBD is safe and can be used by almost everyone as long as the law in that region allows it. It is safe, it has some excellent promising therapeutic properties that can provide relief with adverse side effects.

How Can CBD limit the metabolism of other drugs?

The main side effect of CBD is linked to how CBD can inhibit the ability of Cytochrome P450 to metabolize some drugs. The mechanism for this activity proceeds via the following mechanisms.

Allosteric modulation

Allosteric modulation occurs when CBD changes the structure of enzyme’s active site thus making it unavailable to receiving the incoming drug. When this happens, the drug is left in active circulation without being broken down. The interaction between CBD and the cytochrome P450 (CYP 450) enzyme lowers the enzyme’s binding power with any pharmaceutical product metabolized by the same enzyme.

Although this may be lethal and lead to drug overdose, information from research has shown that it can also serve important positive roles. Negative allosteric modulatory effect of CBD on the CYP 450 enzyme, can play important roles in treating conditions relating to the Central Nervous System and peripheral organs like the liver.

Altered gene expression

CBD can alter the gene encoding a CYP 450 enzyme thus reducing the total concentration of the enzymes in the cells. Altering the gene encoding for CYP 450 can negatively affect its potential to metabolize certain compounds in the body.

Competitive inhibition

Competitive inhibition occurs when CBD inhibits the absorption of other medications due to their dependence on CYP 450 for activation. In most cases, CBD tends to bind directly to the enzyme’s active site thus preventing other drugs from accessing it. Information from studies show how administering 25 mg of orally ingested CBD can inhibit the metabolism of anti-epileptic drugs.

Does CBD Stay Long in Your System?

Everybody is different when it comes to the study of how long CBD oil stays in the body. Different women hold CBD oils for different times in their system. Factors like weight, age, and health conditions play a significant role in determining how long CBD oils will last in the body.

Generally, there are suggestions that CBD oils stay in women’s bodies at any time within 2 and 5 days.  If you have a quick metabolism, it will be faster than if you have a slow metabolism. Also, an important fact is how much CBD oil you take in. If you take a lot, you’ll have a harder time flushing it out of your body.

The duration of CBD activity is dependent on the dosage, frequency of usage, body chemistry, and mode of administration. People who use CBD products everyday may tend to have a higher concentration of CBD in their bodily fluids like urine than those who use it less frequently


A lot of misinformation has gone around about CBD oils, and it is necessary to debunk many of these. Although we don’t have the kind of information we wished we have, we know enough to know that the benefits of CBD oils are enormous and far outweigh the untoward side effects. We have seen from research how CBD can promote sleep, trigger relief from chronic pain, multiple sclerosis, anxiety and depression.


It is, therefore, crucial that you take out time to study the importance and effects of CBD oil before diving in to use it. This information, coupled with your doctor’s recommendation, will guide you on whether it is right for you and how you should use it.

Please note that all the items listed in this write-up are from research and not based on official statements from the EFSA or FDA. We therefore suggest you seek medical advice before trying any CBD products.