How CBD Works  - Is CBD safe - side effects

Is CBD Safe? - your questions answered

 

Is CBD safe to use
None of the statements on this website have been evaluated by the United States Food and Drug Administration. CBD products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. A doctor's advise should be sought before using CBD products especially if you have a serious medical condition, use prescription medications, are pregnant, or are nursing a child.

 

We love this question.

 

Better yet...we love the answer!

 

It really shows the need to help the general public understand current research on CBD or Cannabidiol.

 

That's a mouthful so we'll use CBD.

 

Let's take a look at everything available on CBD safety.

 

We'll especially look at the popular ways to take CBD since that can have an impact.

 

We will also consider what to look for when shopping for CBD to make sure you're getting the safest qualify product.

 

After all, some items on your grocery store shelf are probably pretty bad for you.

 

Not to mention back in the pharmacy!

 

You can always jump right to our preferred store with CBD products tested for safety here:



Buy CBD online

 

Otherwise, you can jump right to any section here..starting with the basics:

 

Lots to cover.

 

Let's get started!

What is CBD?

 

We've written extensively on this. but a quick refresher is needed when talking about safety.

 

Why??

 

Because there's so much confusion!

 

CBD is a naturally occurring substance found in any of the Cannabis plants.

 

There are three different species of this plant.

  • Sativa
  • Indica
  • Ruderalis

 

They differ by size and structure, and chemical make-up.

 

The different species have been cross-bred so much, that the species don't tell us much about what we want to know these days.

 

On top of this, the word hemp is always thrown around.

 

Is hemp a different plant?

 

NO!

 

Hemp is more a legal term to describe any of the Cannabis plants that have THC (the psychoactive component) below .3%.

 

This means the plants are very high in CBD and very low (or zero) in THC.

 

That's a mark of safety and legality really.

 

We want high CBD to start with from safety point of view.

 

All the products we rate here are CBD products which are legal in all 50 states to purchase.

 

So what's so special about CBD?

 

What does it actually do in the body and is it safe?

 

How does CBD interact with the body

 

CBD is a member of the cannabinoid family.

 

There's over 100 substances in the family.

 

Guess what...you have cannabinoids naturally in your body!!

 

In fact, there are receptors all over your body for these substances:

  • Brain
  • Liver
  • Organs
  • Cardiovascular system
  • Immune System
  • Endocrine System
  • Blood cells

 

Let's just say everywhere (except red blood cells).

 

It's call the endocannabinoid system!

 

Here's a quick look at what's going on:

 

how does CBD work

 

This is important.

 

You share this system with every other living member of the animal kingdom (but no insects welcomed!).

 

Your dog has naturally-made cannabinoids doing work in it's body.

 

Your cat does too.

 

The bat up in the attic as well.

Ummm...get that taken care of!

 

How does CBD interact with this system?

 

It doesn't actually plug into these receptors.

 

It stimulates the body's natural endocannabinoid system when needed!

 

That's one reason there's never been an overdose on CBD.

 

It's not overloading a chemical pathway in the body.

 

It's getting that pathway to run at full capacity!

 

You can learn all the things this system does at our how does CBD work article. but here's a quick summary:

  • Balances neurotransmitters
  • Balance immune response
  • Balances hormone levels
  • Balances inflammatory response in brain, cardiovascular system, and everywhere!

 

These are the system that have been research but it's safe to assume that new data will come out on virtually every system in the body!

 

They've only been able to research CBD recently.

 

Get ready for a slew of new research activity!

 

So...that's the broad strokes of how CBD works in the body....

 

Is it safe?

 

Is CBD safe

 

The resounding data points to yes (we had to use our Magic 8 Ball reference at some point!)

 

Let's look at the NIH (National Institute on Health) data and other health entities for real clarity.


The links to these results will be below.

 

Here are some key excerpts:

In general, the often described favorable safety profile of CBD in humans was confirmed and extended by the reviewed research.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5569602/

 

WHO (World Health Organization)

 

CBD is generally well tolerated with a good safety profile. Reported adverse effects may be as a result of drug-drug interactions between CBD and patients' existing medications.

 

https://www.who.int/medicines/access/controlled-substances/5.2_CBD.pdf



The FDA approved the first CBD based medication for severe forms of epilepsy, with a similar safe profile found here:

 

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6113576/



CBD itself appears to be very safe and more data will bear this out.

 

That being said, there are a few caveats.

 

In order for the CBD you consume to be safe, it needs to processed and sourced correctly.

 

That's really why we built this site!

 

We spoke with a CBD wholesaler who sells to many of the CBD brands you will find online.

 

Behind closed doors they said that 90% of the CBD product on the market is bad.

 

It's either diluted or processed poorly.

 

In terms of safety to the consumer, CBD must not have:

  • Pesticides
  • Solvents (used to extract CBD)
  • Bacteria
  • Mold
  • Other contaminants
  • THC (see THC versus CBD for info there)

 

This is true for any natural product.

 

There was a new study that glyphosate (Roundup basically) was showing in breakfast cereals at higher levels for children then was safe.

 

Since we're ingesting CBD, it's very important that we get the best product.

 

We have an entire comparison of the top brands here but the products we're most impressed by in terms of safety and purity are here:



Buy CBD online

 

CBD is safe.

 

But ONLY when purchased from a reputable supplier.

 

That's the net net and we expect many of the brands to disappear as this safety issue settles out.

 

Good riddance!

 

Is CBD same as hemp

 

This is where there is so much confusion.

 

The word "hemp" just means a member of the Cannabis plant family with THC under 0.3%.

 

That's it!

 

The species (Sativa, Indica, Ruderalis) doesn't matter since they have been tinkered with for 1000's of years now.

 

It's the THC (psychoactive cannabinoid) percentage that matters.

 

Basically, hemp was raised to provide fiber, and marijuana was raised and nurtured to produce more of the drug component, THC, which is illegal in many States.

 

Sometimes, the term industrial hemp is thrown out to further distance its use from the drug connotation.

 

All one plant.

 

Just different chemical make-up.


Hemp is high in CBD, and that's why it's often interchangeable with CBD.

 

Hemp oil. CBD oil. All the same thing for the most part!

 

What are the side effects of CBD

 

This come up quite a bit.

 

The most common side effects which are on the mild to moderate side are:

  • Dry mouth
  • Drowsiness
  • Lower blood pressure
  • Dizziness

 

There was a follow up study below with more detailed information.

 

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5569602/


There may be other side effects when CBD is taken in conjunction with medications or for people significant health issues.

Make sure to check with your doctor if you have other medications health issues.

 

In general, CBD should be taken at least 2 hours from other medications since they may use the same liver pathway.

 

Can you overdose on CBD

 

There is no known overdose of CBD reported.

 

This is pretty remarkable considering the millions of people that use it regularly.

 

Of course, CBD and cannabis has been around for about 7000 years (documented as least).

 

There are some issues with THC and it can be overdosed on (happens all the time). 

 

Are there negative effects to CBD

 

Other than the side effects listed above, there are just a few effects generally tied to other medication or drugs.

 

  • CBD can slow a certain metabolism in the liver that is used by other medications. 
  • CBD can enhance the effect of alchohol
  • CBD generally blocks the psycoactive effect of THC

 

This may enhance the effects of the medications and alcohol (and that of CBD).

 

If you experience any negative effects, discontinuing use should end those.

 

Make sure to check with a doctor if this persists or with any health related changes.

 

Also, there may be side effects from all the plant material in "full spectrum" CBD.  It's not uncommon for people to have side effects (especially gastro-intestinal) with full spectrum that go away with CBD Isolate.

 

We recommend CBD Isolate if you have allergy or histamine issues.

 

Again...only buy CBD from the best suppliers such as here:



Buy CBD online

 

As with any substance, people are generally concerned about specific safety questions.

We'll get into those below.

CBD Interactions with Medications

 

There is one important aspect to consider.

 

CBD metabolism uses a popular pathway in the liver - P450.

 

This is basically a mechanism the liver uses to break down certain chemicals.

 

Other medications also use this pathway so taking CBD may affect how they are broken down.

 

Either by enhancing or reducing their effects depending on how they use the pathway.

 

You can check out the list here and check with your doctor regarding potential interactions. 

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1312247/

 

Can CBD make you sick

 

There can be stomach irritability and dry mouth as a result of CBD consumption but this may be more due to the other ingredients (coconut oil, olive oil, etc).

 

Of course, contaminants such as solvents and pesticides can result in these issues so it's important to buy the best qualify CBD available (more on how to shop for CBD here).

 

If you do have stomach irritability, we recommend looking at CBD Isolate versus Full Spectrum CBD.

 

You may be one of the estimated 40% of the population that has an impaired histamine pathway.

 

The other natural substances in the plant (flavanoids, terpenes, etc) might not gel with a sensitive system. 

 

You can check options with price comparisons for isolate and full spectrum here:

 

Buy CBD online

 

Is CBD habit forming (can you get addicted)

 

There is no evidence of CBD being habit-forming.

 

NIH detail on that here: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5569602/

 

In fact, CBD appears to help with addiction of other substances including opioids, alchohol, and wait for it....marijuana.

 

CBD treatment resulted in a fast and progressive reduction in withdrawal, dissociative and anxiety symptoms, as measured with the Withdrawal Discomfort Score.

 

Check out CBD and Addition for more detail here.

 

Why isn't CBD habit forming?

 

That leads us to the next question....

 

Can CBD oil get you high

 

CBD is not psychoactive.

 

It cannot get you high.

 

THC is the part of the plant that gets you high, and a legal CBD product sold is the US must have THC under .3%.

 

Furthermore, CBD counters the high effect of THC!

 

It's actually the neutralizer of sorts for the high.

 

Generally, the feelings people feel are calming.

 

Is CBD oil legal

 

If CBD oil has under .3% THC by weight, it can legally be purchased and used in all 50 States.

 

There's an expansion at the federal level on how to treat "hemp oil" which started with the Hemp Farm Act of 2018.

 

Things are moving quickly there!

 

Again, we want to make sure to buy from a reputable source to make sure they're 3rd party tested for THC levels.

 

The suppliers with online document testing that we compared and screened are here:



Buy CBD online

 

Is CBD safe for children

 

This requires an entire article. 

 

Officially, CBD is not recommended for children under 21 or pregnant women.

 

Despite the fact that the real promise of CBD goes back to children with epilepsy that experienced near miraculous results when all else failed.

 

That's Charlotte Figi!

 

You can read her story and the CBD brand, Charlotte's Web or CWHemp is one of the brands we screen here!

 

Not that there's a safety issue with CBD, but we have to make sure that the quality and purity is of the highest grade.

 

3rd party testing is paramount here!

 

It's important to work with your child's doctor with CBD.

 

Personally, I used CBD for my son's anxiety, and it has been amazing.

 

You can learn about CBD and Anxiety here.

 

If you do decide to move forward with CBD for children, make sure it's free of solvents, heavy metals, pesticides, and other contaminants.

 

We've screen for 3rd party testing of the strongest brands CBD here.

 

Is there withdrawal from CBD

 

There has been no evidence of withdrawal from CBD.

 

In fact, CBD is used to lessen the withdrawal from other drugs such as opioids, alcohol, and other drugs.

 

CBD and addiction relief is expected to be a new area of research and discovery.

 

What to consider when buying CBD in terms of safety

 

Make sure to check out or article on how to shop for CBD.

 


It really comes down to purity and potency with CBD.

 

From a safety point of view, it's the purity that matters.

 

We want the following:

 

  • Free of pesticides
  • Free of heavy metals
  • Free of solvents (from extraction process)
  • Free of bacteria and mold
  • Free or minimal THC below the .3%
  • This needs to be 3rd party tested and the results need to be present.

 

That's probably the most critical piece.

 

If a CBD brand online doesn't publish it's testing...run, don't walk!

 

It's still the wild west and there's no real sheriff present aside from 3rd party testing.

 

For that reason, we only look at companies that are transparent and addressing the needs above.

 

Please check out our screened CBD option here:



Buy CBD online

 

Is vaping CBD safe

 

Vaping is the process of heating concentrated CBD and other substances without combustion.

 

The effects are faster than other delivery options.


There are some questions as to the metals that are being heated and how that might affect health.

 

Recent research has shown some initial data on immune cells in the lungs being dampened by exposure to the vaping process.

 

More research needs to be done.

 

For this reason, we focus on tinctures (drops), capsules, or balms (topical on skin) as the primary way to take CBD.

 

A safer approach for the faster results of vaping might to be to use a vaporizer. 

 

This heats the oil or "juice" in steel or ceramic chambers to avoid out gassing of heated metals.

 

You can check these out here:

 

Buy CBD online

Review of CBD Safety


We covered a lot on the safety of CBD.

 

There' are always more questions than we can get to on one page!

 

Please feel free to email us with any questions on CBD safety and we'll add the answer to the page (and of course respond to you).

 

Here's the net net...


CBD has shown remarkable evidence of it's safety in multiple studies at fairly high dosages for extended periods of time.

 

There's an onslaught of new research being done on CBD because of the promise it shows.


We welcome this!

 

Every new piece of information adds to the body of support for people to make informed decisions.

 

If you have specific questions, please let us know.

 

The main takeaway is this...make sure to buy from the best CBD brands.

 

One's that make safety their primary focus.

 

There are lots of companies that are just marketing CBD to ride the wave of popularity right now.

 

It's hard to tell who is who.


That's why we're here.

 

Make sure to check our comparison of CBD companies and brands here.

 

That's a good place to start!

 

Shop and Compare CBD Oils here from brands with 3rd-party testing

 

  Email us your CBD story for others to learn

 


 

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