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Is CBD Safe To Use?

Since the discovery of CBD's health benefits, a slew of queries have arisen, the most common of which has always been, "Is CBD safe?" Yes, absolutely. Apart from the large number of medical applications and diseases CBD can help with, another reason CBD has shown to be so effective in the medical field is that it is extremely safe.

CBD's safety has been proven by studies and scientific reviews: CBD's safety profile was reaffirmed and even expanded in a 2017 study. Furthermore, the World Health Organization (WHO) verified in a 2017 assessment that CBD has no public health risk or potential for abuse. CBD was shown to be very safe and well-tolerated across a wide range of dosages, according to the WHO report. Long-term doses of up to 1,500 mg per day were well tolerated in humans, according to a review published in 2011.

In response to a surge in interest from Member States in the use of cannabis for medicinal reasons, including palliative care, or specialized medical treatment for persons with life-limiting illnesses, a WHO committee urged for further scientific evidence and further study of CBD in 2018. To that aim, the Expert Committee on Drug Dependence (ECDD) conducted a first assessment of CBD and came to the following conclusion:

“Recent evidence from animal and human studies shows that its use could have some therapeutic value for seizures due to epilepsy and related conditions. Current evidence also shows that cannabidiol is not likely to be abused or create dependence as for other cannabinoids (such as tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), for instance). The ECDD, therefore, concluded that current information does not justify scheduling of cannabidiol and postponed a fuller review of cannabidiol preparations to May 2018, when the committee will undertake a comprehensive review of cannabis and cannabis-related substances.”

A hand wearing medical gloves holding few cannabis leaves
A hand wearing medical gloves holding few cannabis leaves

When considering the severe adverse effects and high rates of abuse with other prescription medications, particularly opioids, cannabidiol's nonaddictive qualities are particularly intriguing. In 2016, the CDC reported 32,445 opioid overdose deaths in the United States, or roughly 89 every day. "Lethal overdoses from cannabis and cannabinoids do not occur because cannabinoid receptors, unlike opioid receptors, are not found in the brain stem areas controlling breathing," according to the National Cancer Institute.

Another advantage of cannabis treatments, and one area where CBD truly shines, is its capacity to deliver a one-two punch when it comes to opioid use: not only may CBD alleviate pain, but it may also help reduce opioid addiction cravings and withdrawal symptoms.

Possible Side Effects

While there haven't been many scientific studies on the adverse effects of CBD, we do know that impairment is not one of them. In fact, studies demonstrate that even at very high doses, CBD causes no impairment.

The majority of clinical research has focused on CBD treatment for epilepsy and psychotic disorders, according to a 2017 scientific review, and the most common patient adverse effects in both areas included sleepiness, diarrhea, and changes in appetite/weight.

Dizziness, lethargy, tiredness, hyperactivity, loose stools, jitteriness, and an elevated heart rate are among the most common side effects patients experience. Irritability, increased seizure activity, decreased appetite, attentiveness, heart palpitations, and insomnia are among the less usually reported side effects. Poor grade CBD oil tinctures have also been linked to minor adverse effects like headaches.

A shiny CBD oil being dropped into a bottle
A shiny CBD oil being dropped into a bottle

Drug Interactions

If you wish to start using CBD but you're also on other prescription medications, be aware that there's a potential you'll have a drug interaction.

The cytochrome P450 group of liver enzymes is responsible for metabolizing around 60% of the prescription medications we eat. CBD suppresses the activity of these enzymes at high enough levels, extending the duration and efficacy of prescription medications processed by the P450 group.

Unfortunately, because each person's endocannabinoid system is unique, and each drug appears to have its own unique threshold for CBD sensitivity, there is no standard cut-off dose to avoid this interaction, so you'll need to work with a doctor to monitor your medications' blood levels while taking CBD.

Talk to your doctor or pharmacist if you want to combine CBD with other prescription medications. Ask your doctor or pharmacist whether you should avoid eating grapefruit while taking the drug in issue to see whether you should be concerned about possible CBD interactions. CBD interacts with pharmaceuticals in a similar way to grapefruit, but with far more potent results. If you answered yes, you should be aware that interaction may be a problem for you.

The following are examples of medications that interact with CBD and use the cytochrome P450 enzyme system:

  • Steroids
  • HMG-CoA reductase inhibitors
  • Calcium channel blockers
  • Antihistamines
  • Prokinetics
  • HIV antivirals
  • Immune modulators
  • Benzodiazepines
  • Antiarrythmics
  • Antibiotics
  • Anesthetics
  • Antipsychotics
  • Antidepressants
  • Antiepileptics
  • Beta blockers
  • Proton pump inhibitors (PPIs)
  • Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)
  • Angiotensin II blockers
  • Oral hypoglycemic agents
  • Sulfonylureas

If your doctor is unable to advise you on the use of CBD in conjunction with your prescription medications, consult a certified cannabis doctor or nurse.

To Conclude

In the 1988 ruling in the matter of “Marijuana Rescheduling Petition,” Francis L. Young said, “Marijuana in its natural form is one of the safest therapeutically active substances known to man. By any measure of rational analysis marijuana can be safely used within the supervised routine of medical care.”

CBD has been confirmed to be completely safe to consume and can help you enhance your health and wellness without getting you high.

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