Does CBD have Side-Effects?

By Dr. Mary Clifton

I often get asked questions around CBD and its side effects. When first considering CBD as a supplement, many of my patients believe that CBD may have less than desirable side effects. One assumption is that CBD will offer the same ‘spacey’ or lethargic effect as marijuana. Another assumption is that it is addictive. I can happily report that these assumptions are 100% untrue. 

For the average healthy individual, there are no negative side effects of taking CBD as part of your wellness routine. However it is imperative to take an appropriate dose. Typically, I recommend those new to CBD to start at a low dosage, and work their way up as they see how the product works for them. 

The World Health Organization has concluded that CBD does not cause overdose or addiction and I can assure you it is 100% safe and non-habit forming. That said, finding the right dose that works for you is key to a positive experience. You can’t really overdose on CBD blends, but taking too much at once might result in side effects including upset stomach or feeling extra sleepy. Reviewing and applying the metrics noted in this dosing chart will help you identify the best dose for your needs and body type. 

Overall, CBD is a great supplement to add to your wellness routine and people report improvement in common conditions like sleeplessness, feelings of anxiousness and pain. It can sometimes feel like CBD is being touted as a wonder drug that helps everyone. For the most part, CBD can and does help the majority of people, without side effects. However, there are certain segments of the population that should not take CBD. 

This includes:

1. People on daily medication for seizures or high blood pressure

I recommend confirming with your doctor that CBD (or any supplement) is right for you and safe to take along with your daily medication. While it is very uncommon or unusual for CBD to cause an adverse affect when taken alongside other medication, some people do have a very personalized response especially when taking other, strong medication so it’s best to check with your doctor.

2. Women who are breast-feeding or pregnant

Comprehensive research on healthy pregnant women and CBD does not currently exist. As such, I do not advise using CBD during these life moments. As research in this space grows, we will continue to learn more and assess. 

To close, unlike pharmaceutical drugs that are often laden with potential side-effects such as nausea, drowsiness and addiction, research continues to support that, for the average person, CBD can be a great, side effect-free supplement to add to your wellness routine.