Does CBD have side effects?

The therapeutic properties of CBD (Cannabidiol) have been the most studied in the last 50 years. Since it was discovered that not all components of cannabis had psychoactive effects, CBD has been finding its place as a natural remedy to treat some important diseases, even when conventional drugs were not effective.

If you are a regular reader of our blog, you will remember the previous post about Refractory Epilepsy. In it we explained the case of Charlotte Figi, an American girl who was one of the youngest patients with refractory epilepsy who started taking CBD. She was only 5 years old. She was not the first, but she was the most mediatized thanks to the publicity that CNN did on her case.

Thanks in part to these testimonies and to medical research, in this past decade the process of legalization of medical cannabis has had a spectacular advance. The WHO has authorized its use to treat some diseases and the manufacture and distribution of CBD capsules medicines has also been authorized in many countries of the world, both for adults and children.

Therapeutic properties of CBD

The numerous scientific studies that have been carried out have been able to demonstrate with more or less evidence the following therapeutic properties of CBD.

  • Anti-inflammatory
  • Painkillers
  • Neuroprotectors
  • Reduces seizures
  • Antioxidants
  • Reduce nausea and vomiting
  • Anxiolytics
  • Antipsychotics
  • Helps reduce anxiety in cases of drug dependency

These properties of CBD have been shown to be effective in reducing or treating the symptoms of some major diseases.

  • Epilepsy
  • Neurodegenerative diseases (Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, Multiple Sclerosis)
  • Anxiety and Depression
  • Autism (Autism Spectrum Disorder)
  • Inflammatory diseases (Arthritis, Crohn’s)
  • Reduced symptoms caused by chemotherapy
  • Painful diseases such as Fibromyalgia or Osteoarthritis.

The relaxing properties of CBD are also effective against insomnia and improve the quality of sleep. They also help us to reduce the stress of our daily lives.

Possible side effects of CBD

Although CBD is a product of natural origin, since it is obtained from a plant (cannabis), it can have some side effects in some people. In general, medical studies indicate that these are mild effects when taken in small doses and that they disappear when administration is stopped.

In cases of higher doses and when taken for long periods of time, there are still no comprehensive studies showing that it can have irreversible adverse effects.

Let’s see what doctors say about these side effects.

Side effects of CBD in ointments, oils or creams

There is no data to suggest that creams or any cosmetic products with CBD cause side effects. Therefore, creams to treat our skin or ointments or oils with CBD have no side effects.

Side effects of oral CBD

By oral route we understand the oils with CBD in drops, capsules, in mop, gummies… In specially sensitive people the following mild symptoms can appear.

Drowsiness and dizziness. CBD preparations do not have psychoactive effects since the possible traces of THC are so small that we do not even notice them. The relaxing effect of CBD may cause some drowsiness or the feeling of being very tired in some cases. These reactions usually occur when the dose is higher than necessary according to the person’s weight or metabolism.

Is CBD safe for children?

CBD is being given to treat such important disorders in children as epilepsy or ASD (Autism Spectrum Disorder). If you want to know more about these disorders and how CBD helps them, you can find more information in the post Cannabis and Autism: A Way to Hope and in How CBD Changed the Life of a 5 Year Old with Epilepsy.

There are no studies that show that the CBD drug Epidiolex is not safe when taken by mouth every day. Children’s doses do not cause side effects, unless very high doses (15-20 mg/kg per day) have to be given, which would be likely to produce side effects. For your peace of mind, this medicine has been used in children up to 1 year of age.

Precautions before taking CBD

According to the medical literature, only in the cases discussed below should precautions be taken when taking CBD.

Liver failure: It is commented in these reviews that CBD in high doses and for a prolonged time could produce liver failure. There are not enough cases to be absolutely certain. It is recommended that people who already have liver failure should take lower doses than healthy patients.

Pregnancy and Breastfeeding: Although CBD is a safe product and no adverse effects on the development of the baby have been demonstrated, it is recommended that CBD should not be taken during pregnancy or breastfeeding. Products with CBD are not yet well regulated and do not pass quality control like drugs, unless they are CBD drugs such as Sativex or Epidiolex. They could be contaminated with heavy metals or pesticides that would be harmful to the baby.

Parkinson’s disease -Some preliminary research suggests that taking high doses of cannabidiol (CBD) may worsen muscle movement and tremors in people with Parkinson’s disease.

Drug interactions Recent reviews suggest that CBD has interactions with other drugs commonly used to treat some conditions, and may reduce or increase the effectiveness of those drugs.

Taking CBD as a relaxant to combat stress and help us sleep better is safe and has no side effects in principle. If these appear in a mild form, the best solution is to reduce the dose or suspend the intake. We recommend starting with small doses and increasing or decreasing them until we find the right dose for each person according to their weight and their metabolism.

In case of important diseases, our recommendation is always to consult a doctor. We have already seen that it can have interactions with some drugs, many of which cause undesirable effects if intake is not gradually stopped.

Author: Jason B. Villarreal

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