Cannabidiol (CBD) Side Effects

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The growing research on cannabidiol (CBD) continues to uncover a wealth of potential benefits. The substance has a wide range of uses and is beneficial for those suffering from a wide range of conditions and diseases. While it's important that we talk about the benefits, it's equally as important to talk about the potential downsides associated with the substance.

A growing number of studies demonstrate the effectiveness of cannabidiol. Most of these studies conclude that CBD is safe and virtually free of side effects and safe for human and animal consumption. (R) Nonetheless, there are a number of reports outlining some effects you should be aware of.

Potential Side Effects

In a 1986 study, oral doses of CBD ranging from 100-600 mg per day were given to 5 patients suffering from movement disorders. The report on this study cited mild side effects including hypotension, dry mouth, psychomotor slowing, lightheadedness, and sedation. (R)

This study also showed that two patients given CBD doses greater than 300 mg per day showed signs of aggravated Parkinson's disease symptoms. This result contradicted findings from a 2014 study which showed CBD improved the symptoms of Parkinson's sufferers. (R)

In 2011 a review on CBD showed that it may interfere with the hepatic drug metabolism. In large doses, the oil may decrease the activity of cytochrome P450, a liver enzyme responsible for metabolizing more than 60% of prescribed drugs. (R) This interaction is similar to eating or drinking grapefruit while on prescription medicine.

CBD is also known to have interactions with the salivary glands in humans. The results of a 2006 study showed that CBD does inhibit the secretion of saliva. This leaves some users with a dry mouth sensation commonly referred to as cotton mouth. (R)

The biggest risks from consuming CBD products is posed by interactions with other drugs. See our guide on the topic for more information.


It is important to understand that CBD, it is important to discuss the substance as it relates to cannabis. Many people associate cannabis with nothing more than the mind-altering effects. In reality, it is an individual chemical compound within the cannabis plant, THC, that creates these effects. While CBD is found in cannabis, it is non-psychoactive. CBD actually works to curb the psychoactive effects of THC, actually doing the opposite of what most people think!

Today most CBD products are extracted from hemp. These products contain THC, but only in trace amounts - most commonly less than 0.3%. This means that CBD products are safe for daily use at normal doses. CBD products are even being used to treat ailments in children like epilepsy.

This means that CBD will not adversely affect any of the following:

  • Sensory awareness
  • Consciousness
  • Reaction Time
  • Perception
  • Anxiety Levels

Safe Dosages

Cannabidiol doses of up to 300 mg daily have been used safely for up to 6 months. Higher doses of 1200-1500 mg daily have been used safely for up to 4 weeks. Cannabidiol sprays used under the tongue have been used in doses of 2.5 mg for up to 2 weeks. (R) For more information see our guide on dosing CBD oil.

Originally Published: June 2, 2018 | Last Updated: October 26, 2018

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