The Risks Associated with CBD Oil

The Risks Associated with CBD Oil

Cannabidiol or CBD is one of the 100 chemicals that the Cannabis sativa plant contains. It is used for a lot of common ailments today, and the substance is considered generally safe for both oral and topical uses.

Back in June 2018, the Food and Drug Administration approved the Epidiolex use on prescription. Epidiolex is a purified CBD oil form, and it can help treat epilepsy. [1]

CBD is popular because it is great at relieving anxiety, depression, inflammation, and even pain in some cases,[2] but also because it doesn’t cause the “high” sensation, unlike THC.

THC is the main psychoactive compound in cannabis, and you can use CBD oil without THC in it. Therefore, CBD is a very attractive option for anyone looking for some improvements.

Despite having some benefits, CBD is not fully safe. It has some risks that are worth taking into consideration before you start spending money on CBD oils. What are the dangers of CBD? Keep reading to find out what you should be looking out for.

Why Do People Decide to Use CBD Oil?

CBD oil seems to be quite popular nowadays. But why is that?

While we still need more studies on CBD, some evidence we have at the moment suggests that CBD oil may have certain benefits. It may reduce depression and anxiety but also relieve pain. Also, it can reduce epileptic seizures, the side effects of cancer treatment, and may even decrease blood pressure. On top of that, it has anti-inflammatory effects.

At the same time, CBD is not fully safe and there may be side effects for some individuals. This is why anyone interested in CBD should proceed with caution.

Is CBD Legal at the Moment?

On the federal level, hemp-derived CBD products are legal. At the same time, under some state laws, they may be illegal. Meanwhile, cannabis-derived CBD products are legal under some state laws while they are illegal on the federal level.

Ideally, anyone who intends to use CBD should check the laws of their state before purchasing CBD oil and should also check the laws of the destination they may travel to. On top of that, it is best to keep in mind that CBD products that are not on prescription are not approved by the FDA and they may also be labeled inaccurately. [3]

Most Common Risks and Side Effects of CBD Oil

CBD oil is safe for the most part and it is tolerated pretty well. However, it can cause some adverse reactions in certain individuals. Before you purchase CBD oil, you may want to know what these risks are so you can decide whether buying CBD oil is a good idea or not.

Here are the most common risks and side effects associated with CBD oil use:

·      Dry Mouth

Have you ever had a dry mouth? If you have, perhaps you know how uncomfortable it can be and you’ll try to avoid it as much as possible.

Well, using CBD can potentially lead to dry mouth. This is also known as “cotton mouth”. Aside from that, some people have also dealt with dry eyes.

Generally, this is something that people can expect when using products with THC, but it is also possible to experience it when using CBD.

·      Altering the Effects of Different Other Drugs

The enzymes in the liver break down a lot of drugs. If you consume CBD, it may end up interfering with said enzymes. This could result in either too little or too much of that drug in your body, which is known as an “altered concentration”.

This may not sound that severe to some people, but it can lead to various issues. For instance, the risk of side effects will be much higher, or the medication might not work at all. Now, it is not easy to predict the interactions of the drugs, but it is something worth keeping in mind if you take any medications or drugs and want to use CBD simultaneously.

According to research, CBD may interact with medications like epilepsy drugs, blood thinners, and chemotherapy drugs.

An Epilepsy and Behavior Case Reports journal study discovered an interaction between Epidiolex and warfarin. The latter is a very commonly used oral anticoagulant. By disrupting the warfarin metabolization, the drug level build-up could lead to very dangerous bleeding. [4]

Epidiolex, the CBD drug approved by the FDA, is something used to treat certain epileptic seizure forms. However, if the doses are incorrect, the patient may end up dealing with more severe and aggressive seizures. This is why the drug should only be used for clients who can be closely monitored by medical professionals.

Also, chemotherapy drugs are made considering the likely metabolization rate, and if the CBD in oil will slow down the rate, toxicity may occur as a result of drug concentration build-up.

CBD may interact with other meds such as cold or flu medications, as well as anti-anxiety medications and antidepressants.

The research on how CBD will interact with drugs and medications is quite limited. For this reason, it is best to speak to your doctor about using CBD oil if you are currently taking medications.

·      Liver Toxicity

A few years ago, a mouse study was conducted in order to determine how well CBD is tolerated, especially in larger doses. The study involved several 8-week-old mice that got different CBD doses.

For the most part, the mice tolerated the CBD pretty well. However, the mice that received the human equivalent of 200mg of CBD per body weight kilogram had some liver toxicity signs. Mice who also took smaller repeated doses of CBD, respectively around 50mg of CBD per kilogram of body weight, had liver damage and swelling signs as well. [5]

Although this is very concerning, the amount that the animals were given is much higher than what the majority of people would take.

But another study was done later, respectively a Validcare study. This one included 839 participants who went through a seven-month analysis period. The study evaluated the CBD’s impact on the health of those going through clinical trials.

The FDA requested this study, and twelve CBD industry firms offered financial help for the study. They also recruited participants for the survey and provided authenticity certificates.

The study concluded that CBD doesn’t cause liver damage, which was good news for a lot of CBD lovers.[6] At the same time, it is still important to be wary of the amounts of CBD consumed. While in normal amounts it may not be harmful, excessive amounts may cause damage in the long-term, so be careful.

·      Nausea

Nausea is something some people might experience as a result of ingesting CBD supplements. Although not everyone will deal with this side effect, more sensitive individuals may be nauseous. So, how sensitive someone is to CBD will influence whether they feel nauseous or not, but the amount they consume will also influence it.

It can be hard to figure out how much CBD is actually absorbed by the body when using CBD oil. So, depending on how much is used and how your body resists CBD, you may experience nausea if you use more CBD than your body can handle.

·     Drowsiness

Drowsiness is one of the most common side effects of CBD. Some individuals may experience drowsiness and sedation when using CBD oil. Although many consider this a benefit, the effect may be way too strong if you are also taking other sedating medications together with CBD.

·      Changes in Alertness

Alertness can be greatly influenced by CBD, and this can be quite dangerous, especially when you are driving. This is why people must be cautious if they intend to use CBD oil and drive. It can increase the risk of accidents.

·      Mood Changes

While many people feel more relaxed after using CBD oil, not everyone gets the same effect. Some experience irritability and irritation after ingesting CBD, which can affect their daily activities and even their relationship with others.

·      Fertility Damage

Research has discovered that there is a negative relationship between sperm count and cannabis use. The same applies to different male fertility measures, such as sperm mobility and viability. The animal models in a study demonstrated reduced sexual function and libido too. [7]

However, so far, results haven’t been replicated in human studies. While there may be a negative effect on male fertility, more research is needed to validate whether the effects in animal models will also be present in humans.

Still, experts recommend that people are aware of these possible risks when they want to use cannabis. Doctors should also be aware of these side effects when they think of prescribing cannabis to anyone who is of reproductive age.

·      Diarrhea

Diarrhea is also a potential side effect of CBD oil. This was revealed during studies made for epilepsy and psychotic disorder treatment. Diarrhea was one of the most commonly reported side effects of CBD. [8]

·      Appetite Changes

Changes in appetite have also been reported by individuals who took CBD. The side effect was revealed during studies performed for psychotic disorder and epilepsy treatment.

CBD Dosing

CBD is considered safe in most cases, but it seems to be a matter of dosage. As long as one sticks to the right dose, things are less likely to go badly. Meanwhile, using larger amounts for longer periods seems to be the riskier option.

At the same time, it’s hard to know how much CBD there is in the CBD oils you purchase. Many CBD products that are sold over the counter have no federal regulation. As such, you may end up taking either less or more CBD than the product’s advertisement says.

The FDA has sent various warning letters in the last few years due to the amount of CBD products that are available for sale on the market yet do not have accurate levels of CBD. They either did not match what the packaging said or they contained THC too.[9] THC is the psychoactive compound found in cannabis that is responsible for the “high” one may experience when consuming cannabis. THC is also a Schedule 1 drug.

There was a study done by which discovered how CBD amounts in products that are commercially available went from 2.2 mg to 22.3 mg. So, worries surrounding the potential toxicity of CBD oil and other products have increased.[10]

Then, a CannaSafe report to California’s Bureau of Cannabis Control discovered that around 69-80% of CBD products were unsuccessful in making label claims. The company said that what the CBD market requires is “accreditation for all tests and traceability and introduction of stability testing and shelf labeling like the FDA requires for all food products and supplements.”


CBD oil is safe for the most part, but it can also be risky, especially when consumed in larger amounts. Not all CBD products are FDA-regulated, and they may include more or less CBD content than the packaging mentions. Furthermore, some may contain traces of THC.

More research is needed, but there are indications that CBD oil may lead to drowsiness, liver damage, diarrhea, changes in appetite, dry mouth, nausea, fertility damage, and others. Before you start using CBD oil, you should consult your doctor, especially if you are taking other medications at the same time.