You’re Probably Thinking…
‘CBD oil seems almost too good to be true. You’re telling me there’s something that helps treat anxiety, nausea, insomnia, and helps mitigate even more serious conditions? AND it’s naturally-occurring and purchasable anywhere in the US without a prescription? AND it’s non-addictive and relatively inexpensive? Well, there must be a catch.’ This is the thought process of many people upon first discovering the borderline-magical abilities of CBD oil. With so many positives, there must be a drawback. Well, nothing’s perfect. CBD oil, though, that’s pretty close.
Affect and Effects
The effect CBD oil has recently had on the medical scene in America is staggering. Cannabidiol oil is derived from the hemp plant, and though it shares a family tree with marijuana, it has none of the psychotropic properties of THC. No hallucinations, no euphoria or altered mental state, but it’s the similarities that have people head over heels. CBD oil has been heavily studied, with results suggesting its incredible capability in healing both physical and mental maladies. Muscle ache and joint pain have been shown to be directly soothed by topical CBD compounds, while psychological conditions such as anxiety and even some more severe can be diminished or seemingly eliminated with precise dosage.
As a medical alternative, it’s important to understand all side effects of CBD, and the following is a quick overview; though CBD oil has been shown to be safe, it is still recommended to consult a physician before beginning a treatment plan, especially if it will be interacting with other medications.
Potential Negatives of a Positive
The first question the average user is likely to have is in regards to overdosing; specifically, can it happen? Currently (and happily), medical research suggests that even massive quantities of CBD oil for multiple consecutive weeks is safe.
CBD, designated non-toxic, has been found to have almost no adverse effects, even in excess of 10x the average recommended dose. Like anything, too much of a good thing is indeed not a great thing; massive quantities of CBD can cause slight nausea and other small side effects. This is often seen when 200mg or more is taken at a time, and even in these situations, side effects are far from dangerous. There are no reported cases of an actual overdose on CBD oil, nor is it likely that such a result can even happen.
While there are certainly recommended daily allowances, consuming more than average has not been shown to increase risks except in particular circumstances. CBD has been shown to alter blood pressure, though usually in conjunction with other medications, such as antiepileptics. Additionally, it has been shown to alter liver enzyme levels, and taken concurrently with other medication, CBD can have adverse effects. For these reasons, a physician should always be consulted, even if there are no other medications which could cause a conflict. By itself, however, CBD oil is relatively harmless even in high quantities, encouraging patients to experiment with their own dosages without worrying about over-medicating.
‘So you can’t overdose; guess that’s all I need to know about CBD!’ Not so fast. There is an entire industry based around the creation of CBD oil, and the current climate is worth understanding to mitigate potential issues. The first is the claim that there is no THC in CBD. While not all CBD contains THC, there are some manufacturing processes that leave trace amounts. In this case, ‘trace’ typically refers to the governmental limit of 0.3% THC, with anything below that being considered safe for general consumption. The truth is that even some products below the 0.3% limit can still contain THC, to the point that it is even reportedly possible to fail a drug test. Again, this is usually in extremely high doses, but it is worth understanding that there is always a risk, even a small one. Fortunately, there are also products designed to bypass this potential issue by changing the extraction process to guarantee 0% THC, making a drug test failure impossible. Make sure to thoroughly check every CBD product you purchase and do so only from a reputable source.
Speaking of reputable sources, the last point to consider is based entirely on this concept. Occasionally stories of “CBD OVERDOSE” or “HEMP FREAKOUT” will make headlines, further sensationalizing a complex issue. Almost 100% of these stories will then go on to admit that the drug used was not true CBD, but a synthetic recreation. Often times these cases occur because of an unregulated product being blindly purchased despite clear warning signs, such as a lack of company or medical information on the packaging; additionally, these types of encounters typically happen when using variable CBD. While extremely rare, occurrences like these show the importance of researching and understanding your product; a lack of federal regulation does create a small window for potential abuse by shady suppliers and distributors. This is certainly the minority, however, and by approaching with reasonable caution, scam products can usually be identified in an instant.
CBD for Me!
It’s hard to dwell on the negatives for so long, but also extremely important to understand what they are and how they can be avoided. While CBD is usually harmless, it is still a medical commodity and should be regarded and respected as such. Especially when taking other medication, a physician’s oversight can help prevent unlikely (but potential) complications.
Additionally, understanding the product itself is just as important as what it does. If drug testing is a concern, make sure to get only 100% THC-free products, and only from retailers that are trusted by both yourself and the community. There is a lot to understand about CBD usage, but hopefully, this article has helped to remove some of the mystery of a tool that can improve countless lives. As long as CBD is approached with the right attitude, it can be a wonderful experience!