Side Effects of CBD
With CBD’s explosive growth in popularity within the health community, people have begun to ask the logical question: How safe is it, and will I have to deal with any side effects from taking it? CBD isn’t addictive or psychoactive, so many see it as the perfect answer to managing symptoms of more serious conditions without relying on powerful prescription medication. The side effects that do exist are relatively minor, but it is still good to be aware of them if you are looking to incorporate CBD into your lifestyle.
To understand the side effects of CBD, you must first have a general understanding of how it affects the body. CBD directly interacts with the body’s endocannabinoid system or ECS. This system interacts with many of the body’s processes from how your neurotransmitters regulate brain chemistry to how fast your cells repair damage and more. The primary receptors of the ECS are called CB1 and CB2. CB1 is tied to the brain and nervous system while CB2 is connected to the rest of the body and specifically regulates how fast cells regenerate. For this reason, when one ingests CBD, it encourages the natural processes of the body to improve.
With that understanding, the potential side effects of CBD can be better explained. The first potential side effect is known as vascular relaxation. CBD, in recent years, has increasingly been used to treat high blood pressure. It helps that condition by naturally relaxing the walls of the circulatory system, allowing blood to flow more easily through your veins. While this is greatly beneficial for those suffering from high blood pressure, it can cause potential issues for those with chronic low blood pressure.
A more concerning side effect is how CBD interacts with other prescription drugs you may be taking. When taking CBD, as with any other substance, it passes through the liver to be broken down by an enzyme called CYP450. This particular enzyme handles any drug or medication that’s passed through your body. The issue with CBD is that it has similar enzymes to CYP450 and so the body will produce less of it. Under most circumstances, this won’t affect the user in any way. However, if you are taking a strong prescription medication, you run the risk of an overdose as your body is producing less of the enzyme needed to process that medication. If enough of a build-up takes place, it can be dangerous. Bear in mind that for this particular side effect to occur, the user must be taking extremely large doses of CBD on top of other strong prescription medication. The risk is small but it is worth taking note of.
The final notable side effect is less dangerous but still worth paying attention to. One of the other primary effects some doctors recommend CBD for is its ability to aid in sleep. Taking CBD produces melatonin in the brain, the chemical responsible for feeling tired and aiding in falling asleep. You might assume that this would always result in tiredness every time you take CBD, but researchers have found that not to be the case. It’s been found that depending on when you take your dose of CBD, it can either make you feel more alert or more drowsy. This can be extremely beneficial depending on which effect you are looking for. All it takes is a dose of CBD in the morning or before you get ready to sleep.
The truth about CBD is that it is a very safe substance. The only real danger comes from taking it in conjunction with other strong medications (and even then, it’s only unsafe if you are taking a great deal of CBD). In moderation, CBD can improve many aspects of one's health.