What are CBD Side Effects?

CBD Side Effects

What are some CBD Oil Side Effects?

Does It seems like everyone’s using hemp derived CBD oil. The all-natural hemp plant is making positive waves in the botanical industry, from lowering stress levels, reducing anxiety, and improving sleep quality. You may wonder what are the downsides are to hemp-based cbd products. Companies and users alike tend to say CBD side effects are virtually nonexistent or very mild. However, medical professionals warn it has mild adverse reactions for some users. Who’s right?

side effects of cbd oil

What are the Effects of CBD

The answer to “Does CBD have side effects?” is yes. Few natural and synthetic chemicals don’t have at least one adverse response for someone. For most people, the popular hemp extract causes drowsiness. However, there are a few other minor responses that aren’t entirely pleasant. Additionally, some potentially severe reactions, although rare, are possible.

Another concern that some may experience is drug-to-drug interactions. The cannabinoids interact with the body and can have negative responses to certain medications. But, there’s good news. Side effects aren’t permanent and often lessen over time. Also, consumers have ways to minimize adverse reactions by using other CBD products.


There are several studies and some patient testimonials that mention diarrhea as a side effect of hemp extracts. No further studies are pinpointing what may cause consumers to have loose stool. Some theorize the carrier oil, such as MCT, is the cause of diarrhea. Again, it is rare for this to happen, but it’s possible.


Another rare but possible unpleasantness is vomiting. This CBD side effect usually coincides with nausea and diarrhea. Like diarrhea, there are no solid answers for why this occurs on a small number of consumers.


Many consumers choose CBD for its natural sedative abilities. Nonetheless, if you’re taking the hemp extract for stress relief during the day, you don’t want to fall asleep. By only consuming small amounts, you can prevent drowsiness while taking advantage of the stress relief it offers.

Are There any Serious Adverse CBD Oil Side Effects?

Some reports of hypotension are available. These are temporary dips in blood pressure or low blood pressure. Symptoms of hypotension include dizziness, fainting, nausea, and fatigue. However, as some point out, this might be beneficial for people with hypertension. It also shows why it’s important to tell your doctor about any botanical products you use daily. These responses may be a result of CBDs stress and anxiety-reducing abilities.

A single study found hepatic abnormalities associated with CBD. These are tiny lesions or cysts on the liver. However, there is no further research about this potentially serious response.

How Long Do Side Effects Last?

There are no long-term studies on the duration of side effects. Most people who experience them change the product, dosage or stop using the product. Patient testimonials in this area are limited. In theory, the side effects may subside over time.

Limiting Adverse Reactions of CBD

Alas, if you’re in the limited group of consumers who experience unpleasant side effects, there’s another answer.  CBD oil products aren’t all the same. Brands use different carrier oils. For example, common oils include,

  • MCT
  • Hempseed oil
  • Olive oil
  • Grapeseed oil

Some consumers may react to these specific ingredients. Additionally, many brands are infusing other elements into their products to improve and enhance the formulas. Typical additives include all-natural flavoring agents and other botanicals, such as melatonin or lavender for sleep.

Another option is to try a different method of using CBD. The hemp extract is available in capsules, edibles, tinctures, and powders. You may find the side effects weren’t related to the plant but the other ingredients in the formula.

Medication Interactions with CBD

There are a few potential interactions between CBD and prescription and over-the-counter prescriptions. The most well-documented is CBD and the blood thinner warfarin. Other medications include amiodarone, a heart rhythm medication, and levothyroxine, a thyroid prescription. Additional studies show that seizure medications, such as lamotrigine, clobazam, and valproate, can theoretically cause harmful interactions.

A 2011 study found CBD may interfere with Plavix, also known as clopidogrel that prevents clotting and is prescribed to reduce a heart attack’s chances.

A typical over-the-counter drug, acetaminophen, may increase the chances of liver toxicity when combined with CBD. Also known by the brand name Tylenol, it’s not an NSAID. Consumers with liver disease shouldn’t combine CBD and Tylenol without speaking with their doctor. But this study with liver toxicity is highly contested, and people without advanced liver disease should be okay using low dose CBD and acetaminophen.

This result doesn’t mean that you can’t use CBD. Instead, it would be best if you spoke with your physician before starting any new wellness products. They may need to make changes to the dosage or medicine to include CBD.

A common medication you don’t need a prescription for is an NSAID. Two animal model studies show CBD may increase the duration and strength of ibuprofen. For most people, this isn’t a problem. In fact, it can boost the ability of both drugs to reduce inflammation, providing more relief together. However, it can be very dangerous for people on blood thinners.

Quality & Safety

One last note. A government agency doesn’t regulate CBD. Instead, brands govern themselves. Reputable companies complete an internal and independent screening of all products to ensure safety. A concern professionals have with the CBD market involves this oversight issue.

It’s possible to experience side effects from unsafe products. Pesticides, heavy metals, and residual solvents can cause unpleasant short-term and long-term responses that are also dangerous and sometimes deadly.

There are ways to avoid contaminated extracts. The best option is to stick with a brand you trust. If you’re still looking for the right brand, read reviews, check the business’s history, and always check out the certificate of analysis before purchasing products.

The technicians look for impurities, such as chemicals used during the cultivation, mildew from improper drying techniques, and residual solvents leftover from the processing. The lab issues a certificate of analysis or COA after completing the tests. It’s a document certifying each batch’s safety following the lab’s independent tests.

The Bottom Line

Civilizations have been using hemp extracts for hundreds of years. There are no records of death or severe side effects in people. Most medical professionals conclude CBD side effects are minor compared to other wellness products on the market.

For example, many consumers don’t think twice about taking an aspirin or two for a headache or to reduce everyday joint and muscle soreness. But NSAIDs can have serious side effects from regular use. These over-the-counter medications are found in nearly everyone’s medicine cabinet at home. They can cause cardiovascular risk, gastrointestinal disorders, such as ulcers, and even lead to kidney and liver damage.

Yes, there’s a long list of “potential” side effects and drug-to-drug interactions. The fact you need to remember are 1000’s of anecdotal reports of using CBD without harmful side effects.

As time progresses, the scientific community will eventually catch up, but for now there are no clinical studies involving people. These are lab studies using samples and mice. Long-term research with consumers of all ages and health conditions is necessary to confirm any of these single-subject reports.

The FDA approved CBD because it’s safer than most products you can already purchase without a prescription. The World Anti-Doping Agency agreed, and in 2019, approved the use of CBD for all international athletes, including future Olympians.