This article by Madeleine Taylor is originally published on SundayScaries.
Like with cannabis itself, CBD oil has become one of the most talked-about natural remedies in recent years. It has been known to help alleviate symptom severity with mental health issues, such as PTSD, and illnesses like multiple sclerosis. It has also been shown to help relieve pain and migraine severity. People want to know more about the effects of CBD; they want to know how it can be used to help them and if there are side effects. One of the biggest concerns about CBD oil is whether it will cause headaches or a migraine—one of the things it is supposed to help.
What do you need to know about CBD oil, and how it can help you?
What Is CBD Oil?
First, it’s important to understand what CBD oil is and what it is not.
CBD stands for cannabidiol, which is a compound found in the cannabis plant, Cannabis sativa. Hemp is a plant that is associated with marijuana, but when grown and processed differently it produces a variety of different products.
CBD oil is made from hemp plants that contain low levels of THC and high levels of CBD. There are similarities to medical marijuana, but medical marijuana comes from plants that contain high levels of THC, which is the psychoactive ingredient. There are thousands of varieties of hemp, and what is used to make CBD oil is different than hemp that contains high levels of psychoactive ingredients. CBD hemp contains zero to trace amounts of THC, so you don’t need to be concerned about whether CBD will “get you high” or produce any of the effects you’d experience when using marijuana.
Hemp oil and CBD products can be sold and delivered throughout the United States and are not considered contraband or an illegal drug.
Why Is CBD Oil Considered Effective?
CBD oil is touted as being able to help with a variety of health concerns. It interacts with the body through the endogenous cannabinoid system or endocannabinoid system. This is the body’s system for regulating homeostasis and helps a person feel balanced. The endocannabinoid system plays a role in appetite, sleep, mood, hormone regulation, pain, and immunity. Many people find that supplementing with CBD oil enhances their body’s natural ability to deal with these things.
To date, CBD has been the subject of more than 20,000 medical studies examining how its use can improve health. It has been shown to be effective for treating anxiety, depression, epilepsy, inflammation, cancer, and cancer treatment side effects, memory loss, immunity, sleep disorders, chronic pain, spasticity, and menstrual symptoms.
*Note from RJ: If you enjoy the science behind how CBD and marijuana affect the endocannabinoid system, check out the research published on the National Center for Biotechnology Information website.
What Are the Side Effects of CBD Oil?
Like anything we use, some people experience side effects when incorporating CBD oil into their wellness and self-care routines. These side effects are typically mild, but if you are experiencing side effects, it might be an indication that the product is not right for you. This is the case with all-natural health remedies and supplements. If there is a problem, you can consider sampling other brands, as there is a variety of different methods for manufacturing and producing CBD oil out there and some are better than others.
It should be noted that feeling “high” or experiencing euphoria or any psychoactive effects of CBD is never a side effect of using the product. CBD oil does not contain THC or at least does not contain an amount of THC high enough to produce this effect. It will not affect perception, consciousness, sensory awareness, or anything associated with using drugs.
The most common side effects experienced by CBD users include a drop in blood pressure, dry mouth, sedation, lightheadedness, and drowsiness. Most agree that these symptoms occur when dosing is an issue—someone takes too high a dose of CBD too soon and their body isn’t able to process the introduction of the substance gradually. Ideally, you’ll give yourself time to adjust to CBD by starting with a small dose and slowly increasing it over days or weeks. High doses of CBD are not believed to be toxic, but they can counteract the positive benefits you’re seeking.
According to at least one study investigating CBD side effects, there is no reason to believe it has any negative impact on:
- Blood pressure
- Heart rate
- Body temperature
- Glucose levels
- pH levels
- Oxygen and carbon dioxide exchange between the lungs and bloodstream
- Red blood cell volume
- Digestive system
- Potassium and sodium levels
When it did affect any part of the body connected with any of these factors, it was in a positive manner.
Is It Possible to Be Allergic to CBD Oil?
Though it has not been proven that an allergic reaction to CBD is out of the realm of possibilities, no medical studies have shown any link between an allergic reaction and CBD. The same is true for headaches and CBD; CBD is not believed to be linked to headaches or migraines.
The is also true for other unpleasant side effects, including changes in appetite, weight, and diarrhea. Put simply, should you develop a horrible migraine following taking a dose of CBD, it is likely to be coincidental.
In addition to carefully introducing CBD to your body, it’s also important to use a high-quality oil you can trust. In most cases, when someone experiences a negative side effect after using CBD oil, it’s due to an issue of purity. Essentially, they are not taking what they think they are taking. Like all-natural health supplements, CBD oil needs to come from a reliable brand and it’s up to the consumers to educate themselves properly before trying CBD oil.
What should you consider when shopping for CBD oil?
- Purity and safety: CBD oil should be guaranteed free of lead and mercury and other contaminants. Products imported from overseas sometimes contain only trace amounts of CBD oil and are actually nothing but fillers.
- Testing: CBD oil should be tested by a third party to ensure quality and potency. Third-party testing also helps to identify microbial contamination and whether or not the product contains any harmful chemical fertilizers.
- Labeling: Regulations concerning product labeling are not very stringent when it comes to CBD and other natural products, so it’s important to do your research. Companies should be transparent about what is in their product even though they are not required to be by the government yet. Proper labeling should include the product’s name, the manufacturer’s name, and a list of the content in the product.