CBD is a natural extract from the cannabis plant. This means it tends to be a lot safer than synthetic alternatives and only has a few potential side effects. That being said, like any substance, it isn’t safe for absolutely everyone. Here are the things you need to keep in mind when using CBD.
What is CBD?
CBD is a molecule also called cannabidiol that can be extracted from the cannabis plant. It’s not a synthetic molecule, meaning it isn’t made in a lab using chemical reactions. Instead, the whole hemp plant is used and pressed, then heated up and distilled to obtain CBD extract.
CBD can have a significant effect on our body and mind because it affects our endocannabinoid system. This system is responsible for regulating important body functions like pain management, inflammation, stress, appetite, and even mood. But compared to other molecules that can have similar effects, studies show that CBD is very safe.
CBD products that contain trace amounts of THC (less than 0.3%) are now legal on a federal level in the United States. However, they are not FDA-approved, and may still be illegal in certain states. Check your local laws before making a purchase.
The side effects of CBD
There have already been over 15 years of research on CBD and so far, scientists haven’t discovered any serious side effects. This 2017 review of studies looked at dozens of experiments and concluded that apart from occasional nausea, changes in appetite, and lethargy, CBD didn’t cause any side effects.
If your body reacts poorly to CBD, you could experience:
- loss or gain of appetite
- loss or gain of weight
This is impressive when you consider that most drugs on the market used to relieve pain, inflammation, or anxiety have a much longer list of side effects, including some life-threatening ones.
Is CBD addictive?
When people start taking CBD, they are sometimes worried that they could become addicted to the substance. After all, isn’t CBD a cannabis derivative? But the truth is, studies have shown that CBD is completely non-addictive.
In fact, preliminary studies even suggest that it could cause something called “reverse tolerance.” This is the opposite of tolerance, meaning the more you take CBD, the less you need to take.
So if you’ve started to use CBD to relieve pain or insomnia for example, you don’t need to worry about being unable to stop it. You may want to keep taking it because it improves your life, but that’s it.
What to keep in mind when taking CBD
In general, CBD is a safe substance that doesn’t cause dangerous side effects or addiction. However, there are still a couple of things that could make it unsafe for you:
CBD can interact with prescription drugs and prevent them from working properly
If you’re taking any prescription drug, you should consult with your doctor before you start taking CBD. That’s because studies have shown that taking CBD alongside certain medicines could stop them from working properly.
The most common drugs that CBD interacts with are heart medicine and other drugs that carry a “grapefruit warning.” But if the drug you take doesn’t have this warning, you still need to be careful. We still know too little about how CBD works in your body when you are taking these drugs, and it may not always be safe.
CBD may not be safe for pregnant or breastfeeding women
CBD affects your endocannabinoid system, which is what makes it so good at relieving pain, inflammation, and supporting a healthy mood. That being said, we still know very little about how it may affect the endocannabinoid system of fetuses or breastfed children. In the absence of more information, scientists recommend that pregnant and breastfeeding women avoid taking CBD, as it could affect the development of their child’s endocannabinoid system.
The quality of the CBD products you use matters
High-quality CBD is safe to use for the vast majority of people. However, it could be a different story with lower quality products. When you buy a CBD product that comes from non-organic hemp or that has been extracted with solvents, there’s a real chance that it could contain harmful chemicals. CBD extract can increase the concentration of things like heavy metals and pesticides. So if you want to be safer when taking CBD, make sure to go for a high-quality, organic, CO2-extracted product.
Smoking CBD could still be unhealthy
Many people tend to assume that smoking CBD is safe because it has so many amazing properties for your wellness. Unfortunately, that is not the case. Smoking CBD can still be harmful because it exposes your lungs to very hot fumes. Moreover, when burned, CBD still releases toxins, like any other plant compound be it tobacco or something else. Smoking CBD can have a lot of benefits, but keep in mind that it isn’t fully safe for your respiratory system.
CBD is generally considered a very safe substance. It is non-addictive, and its side effects are mild and rare. That being said, there are four things that could make it unsafe for you:
- using it alongside non-compatible prescription drugs
- using it while pregnant or breastfeeding
- using poor-quality products
- inhaling hot CBD particles by smoking it
With that in mind, we hope that this article has helped you understand how to be even safer when using CBD.