Side Effects of CBD: What You Need to Know

Side Effects of CBD

CBD has become quite popular due to its many health benefits. But even though this compound has a good safety profile, it can still result in unwanted side effects. The organic cannabis compound can interfere with various processes in the body, leading to less-than-optimal performance. So, what are the side effects of CBD?

Side Effects of CBD

CBD can interact with the endocannabinoid system and alter the normal functions of various processes in the body. Some of the potential side effects of CBD include:

Dry Mouth/Dry Eyes

Its also known as the cottonmouth effect. This is the most common side effect of CBD, especially those products that are designed for oral ingestion. This side effect is likely to occur in the presence of THC, for instance when you use full-spectrum CBD oil.

The cottonmouth effect occurs because cannabinoids usually interfere with the production of saliva from the salivary gland. This means that the amount produced would be insufficient to lubricate the mouth. The same applies to the dry eyes effect. The compounds interfere with the production of tears from the tear glands.


In most cases, drowsiness can be considered a benefit, especially if you are struggling with sleeplessness and insomnia. However, it can be a serious side effect if CBD interferes with your productivity due to its sedating effects. However, this effect is more prominent when you are using CBD with THC content.


If you have a highly sensitive digestive system, then CBD may trigger the feeling of nausea. While there is evidence that it may help with nausea, especially in cancer patients, it may also trigger it. In most cases, the feeling of nausea happens as a result of an overdose. So, if you are feeling it, you should consider reducing your dosage by almost half.


While CBD is known to relax muscles and even relieve pain, incredible relaxation can also lead to fatigue. The extremely high level of relaxation coupled with sedative effects means that you might find it hard to do your daily tasks. However, it’s possible to combat such a side effect by lowering your dose. Besides that, most users have reported that the symptoms of fatigue tend to dissipate once you move past the 2–3-week mark of use.



If you are taking CBD products such as edibles or tinctures, chances are that you might end up experiencing diarrhea. Tinctures, for instance, are rapidly absorbed into the bloodstream. On the other hand, edibles end up interacting with other food products and enzymes and this may result in stomach upset or diarrhea.

Note: In most cases, the gastrointestinal distress caused by CBD isn’t a result of the cannabinoid product itself but rather other ingredients that are used to formulate CBD oil.

Drug Interactions

Cannabidiol has the potential of altering the effects of certain medications. It’s known that many drugs are usually metabolized by enzymes in the liver. On the other hand, CBD is also broken down in the liver. This means that CBD and those drugs may compete for the same enzymes or CBD may interfere with the normal functions of those enzymes. As a result, the consumer may end up experiencing extreme or fewer effects of the drug in the body due to the altered concentration.

Risk and Side Effects of CBD Based on Epidiolex

The only FDA-approved CBD-based drug is epidiolex. Its currently used to treat two rare forms of epilepsy even though there is still a need for more research studies to determine how CBD affects the body. During the review and approval process of epidiolex, it was found the CBD has the potential of causing risks and side effects such as:

  • Decreased appetite
  • Increased risk of sedation and drowsiness. The risk is even higher when you take CBD with alcohol or medications for stress, sleep disorders, anxiety, and panic attacks.
  • Interaction with other medications.
  • Changing alertness
  • Resulting in liver injury

How to Reduce the Side Effects of CBD

While the side effects of CBD are mostly not severe, they may interfere with your productivity as well as wellness. However, it is possible to reduce the possibility of some of these side effects from occurring by implementing the following tips:

  • Always start with a lower dosage: This will give your body enough time to adjust to the presence of cannabidiol in the system. You can gradually increase your intake until you find a dosage that works for you.
  • Drink water: When you are using a CBD product, always hydrate. Drink water before, during, and even after taking your usual dosage. This will ensure that your system is well hydrated and glands such as tear and salivary are well-lubricated. As a result, you will minimize the chances of the dry mouth and dry eyes effect.
  • Eat: CBD can interfere with your appetite by making you eat less or more. Regardless of what you might experience, ensure that you eat enough food before taking your daily dose of CBD.
  • Take a shower: If you are feeling tired, run a hot shower. This will leave you feeling more refreshed and invigorated. Alternatively, you can take a cold shower if you are looking for a natural spur or something that will leave you refreshed.
  • Sleep: If you are feeling drowsy or fatigued, sleep or take a nap. This will make you feel less anxious and allow your body to reset.

The Bottom Line

Regardless of its good safety profile, CBD can still result in unwanted side effects. It may interact with certain medications, make you feel drowsy, leave you feeling tired, and even change your appetite. However, most of these side effects usually occur at the initial phase of using CBD and tend to disappear on their own. Besides that, it’s possible to minimize the side effects by starting with a smaller dose, drinking lots of water, resting, and showering among other things.

About the author

Avery Sofia graduated in 2014 with a degree in biological sciences, and she has a strong interest in health and fitness. She subsequently leaves her job as a health consultant to pursue her passion for writing. One of the reasons she now writes about hemp is because of her enthusiasm for it and its unlimited potential, including the practical therapeutic uses in creating CBD. Sofia is a knowledgeable writer who consistently publishes current articles regarding hemp, its uses, and its potential. He spends his free time visiting persons with neurological disorders and advising them on the finest practices that can help them transform their life.

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