What Are the Effects of CBD?

As we’ve said a few times, the effects of CBD are entirely therapeutic, not recreational- CBD won’t get you high or make you feel intoxicated at all. Instead, there are numerous studies on the potential therapeutic properties of CBD, and how it may be beneficial for dozens of illnesses. 

The US government has only approved one medication made from CBD: it’s called Epidiolex, a prescription version of CBD. 

It’s only available to a very small number of people- Epidiolex has specifically been approved for use in patients with two forms of rare childhood epilepsy. The two forms of epilepsy, Dravet Syndrome and Lennox-Gastaut Syndrome, are especially severe, rare, intractable seizure disorders, which means they do not respond to traditional seizure medication. For children with these rare diseases, having numerous dangerous, sometimes life-threatening, seizures a day can be the norm. In order to be approved to try Epidiolex, a patient must have tried at least 3 or 4 other epilepsy medications without success. 

Epidiolex is the only government-approved CBD medication, but that’s not stopping people from trying CBD for themselves, and for a range of illnesses. 

There’s quite a lot of research on CBD making its way into the light these days, with more studies being published and shared all the time. These studies provide a good idea of just how many things CBD may be helpful for. 

Studies have found CBD to be beneficial for: (Sources: 4, 5, 6, 7)

  • Cancer-related symptoms
  • Seizures / Epilepsy 
  • Anxiety / Depression
  • Insomnia (and other sleep disorders)
  • Pain / Inflammation
  • Diabetes
  • Neuropathy
  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Arthritis
  • Spasticity / Muscle spasms
  • Multiple Sclerosis
  • Fibromyalgia
  • PTSD
  • Stress

If you think there may not be a whole lot of evidence on CBD and these conditions, think again! Project CBD, a non-profit centered around CBD & CBD research, lists 19 studies on CBD + inflammation, and 21 studies on CBD + pain relief on their website, and that’s just one website’s list. There are plenty of other places compiling sources as well, including us- here’s our blog post on recent research. The amount of information on CBD continues to grow, and the more we learn, the more good it seems CBD might be able to do. 

How does CBD make you feel?

There’s a lot of good that CBD can do for people with any number of health conditions, but what if you aren’t dealing with a health condition? How does CBD make the average person feel?

There are some effects you may notice after taking CBD, even if you aren’t taking it with a specific purpose in mind:

  • Relaxation
  • Elevated mood
  • Clear head

Lots of people report noticing effects like muscle relaxation, mental clarity, calmness, and an improved mood, after taking CBD. So, if you’re not looking for pain relief/stress relief/help sleeping, or any of the other things people often use CBD for, you might still find that this little compound does you a world of good. 

What are the side effects of CBD?

There aren’t many side effects reported when using CBD. On the occasion that side effects do occur, people note appetite loss, nausea, drowsiness, and fatigue as the main complaints. These reports are rare, however, and most people do not notice adverse effects. The lack of side effects when using CBD is one of the major reasons why WHO released their official statement declaring CBD safe for use. 

CBD does have the potential for drug-drug interaction, and may also interact with the cytochrome P450 enzyme system (8). The cytochrome P450 enzyme system is a major part of how your liver breaks down toxic compounds and flushes them out of your body- a lot of prescription drugs fall into that group of compounds. CBD can potentially inhibit the cytochrome P450 enzyme system’s ability to work. When this system is inhibited, it could potentially take longer for medications to be broken down in the body, meaning they’d remain in your system longer than normal. 

CBD isn’t alone in interacting with the cytochrome P450 enzyme system- grapefruit, watercress, and St. John’s Wort all inhibit the cytochrome P450 system, too. 

If you take prescription medications, you should talk to your doctor to make sure it’s safe before adding CBD into your routine.