In June 2018, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved Epidiolex, a CBD oral solution used for the treatment of certain rare forms of epilepsy in children under 2—Dravet syndrome and Lennox-Gastaut syndrome. Both are exceptionally rare genetic disorders causing lifelong catastrophic seizures that begin during the first year of life.
There is currently no known “correct” dose of CBD oil. Depending on individual needs and what is being treated, the daily dose may range between 5 and 25 mg.
CBD is the short name for cannabidiol, one of the two chemicals—among the dozens in cannabis—that have the most health benefits. The other, tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), produces the psychoactive effects described as being “high.” CBD oil generally does not contain THC, although some trace amounts may be present in products sold in certain states.
CBD oil may reduce the risk of heart disease by alleviating hypertension (high blood pressure) in certain people, suggests a 2017 study in JCI Insight.
If you are thinking about using CBD oil to treat a health condition, be sure to speak with your healthcare provider to ensure that it is the right option for you.
Clinical research has shown that CBD oil can trigger side effects. Severity and type can vary from one person to the next.
In an analysis of 14 published studies (nine involving animals and five involving humans), scientists with the University of Montreal concluded that CBD showed promise in treating people with opioid, cocaine, or psychostimulant addiction.
Some common side effects when using CBD include drowsiness and sedation. This is also considered a benefit, but Dr. Jas Matharu-Daley, a physician and chief medical officer for a CBD brand, notes that the effects might be too strong if you’re also taking CBD with other sedating medications.
The most comment side effects of CBD include drowsiness, gastrointestinal issues, dry mouth, reduced appetite, nausea, and interaction with other medications. Those are outlined in detail below.
“If the CBD is from a reputable source and one that has been inspected by a third-party independent lab, the content of CBD is more reliable,” notes Dr. Matharu-Daley. “The CBD should be organically grown, free of pesticides and heavy metals, and not sourced in food which can affect absorption. Generally, CBD is safe and side effects are few at low doses.”
Steven Gans, MD is board-certified in psychiatry and is an active supervisor, teacher, and mentor at Massachusetts General Hospital.
CBD is one of the many chemical compounds that is found in the cannabis plant—referred to as cannabis sativa. There are two primary parts of the plant that humans use. One is THC, or Delta-9-Tetrahydrocannabinol, and the other is CBD. Though they’re from the same plant, THC and CBD are quite different from each other.
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