The use of CBD oil is growing rapidly in Australia and the rest of the world. Millions of people take this natural cannabis compound to help with anxiety, stress, sleep, chronic pain, and a myriad of other health issues.
One of the major reasons for CBD oil’s popularity is its remarkable safety. Compared to pharmaceutical prescription drugs, CBD is a natural, non-addictive substance with few side effects and no potential to cause dependency.
So, how safe is CBD oil? Does it have side effects? Let’s take a closer look at what health experts have to say about this natural remedy.
Research on the Safety of CBD
The safety of CBD has been examined in numerous research studies over several decades. All in all, this research suggests that CBD is a remarkably safe substance.
Studies done as early as the 1970s showed that varying doses of CBD — as high as 160 mg taken orally — did not lead to any harmful effects.
Most notably, a 2011 review paper by researchers from Brazil looked at all of the available evidence of CBD’s safety and side effects, concluding that “Based on recent advances in cannabinoid administration in humans, controlled CBD may be safe in humans and animals.”
The conclusions of this highly-cited review were corroborated in 2017 by German researchers, who noted that “In general, the often described favorable safety profile of CBD in humans was confirmed and extended by the reviewed research.”
Finally, the World Health Organization (WHO) released a report in 2018 which summarized that: “CBD is generally well tolerated with a good safety profile…To date, there is no evidence of recreational use of CBD or any public health-related problems associated with the use of pure CBD.”
Side Effects of CBD Oil
CBD can cause side effects such as tiredness, sleepiness, low blood pressure, lightheadedness, dizziness, diarrhea, dry mouth, and changes in appetite or weight.
However, it’s important to note that these effects are relatively minor and rare, only becoming likely at very high dosages.
In fact, they are typically reported by studies of epilepsy and psychotic disorders that used incredibly high dosages (600 mg and more). More importantly, they pale in comparison to the potential side effects of prescription drugs.
Also, large doses of CBD can interfere with the activity of a group of liver enzymes called cytochrome P450. An estimated 60% of pharmaceutical drugs are metabolized by the body with the help of these enzymes.
This means taking large doses of CBD has the potential to reduce or increase the effects of some drugs. If you’re taking any notable prescription medications, we recommend consulting your doctor before using CBD oil.
Is CBD Addictive?
Unlike whole cannabis, CBD is a non-addictive substance. In fact, CBD has shown the potential to fight all sorts of substance addictions. Although research in this area is just beginning, early evidence suggests that CBD can reduce cravings for cannabis, tobacco, psychostimulants, and opioids.
Thanks to this, CBD holds serious potential to help with the growing opioid crisis — the increasing number of deaths in the U.S., Australia, and other Western countries caused by addiction to prescription and illicit opioids.
Can You Overdose on CBD?
Given the lack of clear information on CBD dosing, it’s not surprising that some people are concerned about taking too much. Although taking high doses of CBD increases your chances of getting side effects, it’s incredibly difficult to overdose on CBD. Indeed, research has shown that even continuous daily doses as high as 1500 mg were well-tolerated.
CBD vs Pharmaceutical Drugs: The Safer, Natural Choice
Decades of research have shown CBD to be a safe substance with multiple advantages over pharmaceutical prescription drugs.
Prescription medications are typically synthetic, often have a risk of causing addiction and dependency, and come with serious, unwanted side effects.
For example, opioids — the most common treatment for chronic pain — can cause constipation and sedation. More importantly, you can become addicted to them, which means if you stop taking opioids, you can experience withdrawal symptoms such as vomiting, muscle pain, and anxiety.
In contrast, CBD is a natural, safe, non-addictive substance. Given this, it’s not surprising that so many Australians are turning to full-spectrum CBD oil as a holistic, natural alternative.