Side effects based on high-dose clinical trials.
Because we lack clinical evidence in favor of CBD, we also lack clinical evidence against CBD. From the few clinical trials that have been conducted, no conclusive severe side effects have surfaced.
The most comprehensive results available are based on Epidiolex, the FDA-approved CBD drug for childhood epilepsy. During clinical trials, youths between ages 2 and 18 were prescribed high daily doses of CBD for 14 weeks. The daily doses were equivalent to 1,360 mg for a 150-pound adult — more than is typically found in an entire bottle of CBD oil.
These are the side effects they most often experienced:
-Altered liver enzymes (see following section for more on liver enzymes)
For most patients, these side effects occurred during the first few weeks while they were quickly raising their dosage. The symptoms typically subsided after their dosage stabilized, and lowering the dose was also an effective way of decreasing undesirable side effects. If you’re experiencing any of these side effects on your current CBD product, you might experiment with waiting it out a week, lowering your dose or trying a different type of product entirely.
If you’re experimenting with high doses of CBD, we recommend reading more about what scientists learned from the Epidiolex trials. You can find the results of their 120-person clinical trial here and their FDA documentation here.
Side effects from dishonest CBD products
Clinical trials give patients high-quality, safe products which contain a reliable quantity of CBD. The Epidiolex side effects are ones you might expect from a high dose of a very pure product. On the other hand, because the supplement industry in the US isn’t heavily regulated, if you purchase CBD from dishonest or potentially unsafe manufacturers, you might experience very different side effects. In fact, when scientists recently tested a variety of publicly-available CBD products, only 31% were accurately labeled.
What can these unreliable products contain?
-Pesticides and heavy metals from bad farming practices
-High levels of THC (more than desired)
-Any kind of contaminants (mold, bacteria, rancidity, etc)
Sometimes CBD products don’t contain any CBD at all — in which case you won’t experience any effects, positive or negative.
True CBD products are prepared from hemp plants, which can contain trace quantities of THC unless that’s removed during extraction. If a product contains high levels of THC, you might experience side effects like dry mouth, hunger, or altered mood and thinking.
Although it’s hard to imagine all the different side effects you might experience from contaminated or synthetic products, the worst effects of dishonest CBD products could be long-term damage to your body that you won’t immediately experience as a side effect.
If you’re suspicious about the safety of your current CBD products, do yourself a favor and throw them away. CBD oil is a concentrated plant-based extract that goes into your body — expect its quality to be at least as high as the foods you eat.