Is CBD Safe?

One of the things that makes CBD so appealing is that there’s little risk, as CBD has been shown in studies to be very safe, with few accompanying side effects. 

So is CBD safe? In general, YES, CBD is considered safe to use. 

In November 2017, the World Health Organization Expert Committee on Drug Dependence concluded that “in its pure state, cannabidiol does not appear to have abuse potential or cause harm,” and recommended that CBD not be made a scheduled substance (3). 

An article published in the journal Cannabis and Cannabinoid Research in 2017 reviewed studies and clinical data on the safety of CBD, and concluded that CBD is safe and that studies on CBD confirmed this idea. The article also states that when compared to other substances that may be used for similar purposes, CBD has a better side effect profile- meaning the side effects of CBD are easier to deal with than other substances. 

The side-effects that are most commonly noted in CBD studies are:

  • Tiredness
  • Diarrhea
  • Change in weight/appetite 

While none of these side effects are desirable, they are considered mild when it comes to common adverse effects. When compared to common pharmaceutical medications, this list of possible side effects is considerably more tolerable. 

CBD may have the potential for drug-drug interaction and may interact with the cytochrome P450 enzyme system, which can impact how substances like pharmaceuticals are broken down in the body.

The cytochrome P450 enzyme system is responsible for how some pharmaceuticals are used and disposed of in the liver, and it seems as though CBD may impact the efficacy and rate of this system. CBD’s impact on this system is the exact same mechanism that allows grapefruit juice to impact levels of medication in the body. 

For people prescribed medication, this means taking CBD could potentially impact how that substance is used and disposed of by your body. Talk to your doctor about adding CBD to your routine to make sure it will work for you. 

There is some evidence that CBD and other cannabis compounds could potentially have an impact on pregnancy and developing babies- according to a study published in 2013 in the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology, even short-term exposure to CBD led to increased permeability of the placental barrier, potentially making it easier for certain substances to affect the developing fetus. While increased permeability of the placenta isn’t in and of itself dangerous, it could make it easier for the fetus to be put in danger. 

This study is not conclusive evidence that CBD usage is problematic during pregnancy, but it does point us in a direction for further research. 

Recent news articles about a study on CBD and liver toxicity had fairly alarming headlines, but they turned out to be ‘clickbait’ more than anything else. As it turns out, the liver toxicity noted in that study had been brought on by unreasonably high doses of CBD, doses that may work for epilepsy patients using CBD to combat seizures, but certainly wouldn’t be recommended for the casual CBD user. You can check out our blog on the truth behind CBD and liver toxicity here!

In general, CBD is considered to be completely safe for use. However, it’s important to talk to your doctor to make sure it’s a safe option for you before adding it to your routine.