In less than one year, CBD has come a long way. Thanks to the passing of the 2018 Farm Bill that legalized CBD-rich hemp oil, CBD has taken America by storm. What was once a hard-to-find compound is now sold on supermarket shelves and added to spa packages to encourage utter relaxation. But for cautious consumers, a rapid rise in popularity isn’t met without some concern over safety. Before you and your family decide to use CBD on a regular basis, there are questions that need to be addressed. One of the primary concerns that we hear has to do with CBD risks. Are there CBD risks? If so, what are they, and how can they be minimized?
We will address these questions and more below, allowing you to fully understand CBD risks. This will help you to decide if CBD supplements are the right choice for you.
Why Does CBD Have Side Effects and Risks?
CBD, short for cannabidiol, belongs to a class of plant compounds found in hemp and marijuana plants called cannabinoids. Cannabinoids are unique in how they interact with our bodies and those of other animals.
All animals with backbones have an internal system called the endocannabinoid system, or ECS. The ECS is found throughout our bodies, with receptors in our brain, organs, immune system cells, and more. It plays a role in homeostasis, which means that it’s involved in maintaining balance in the body.
Because CBD interacts with the ECS, it can impact many parts of the body. For example, animal studies have found CBD to impact pain perception and human studies have found it to reduce seizure frequency and severity in certain forms of childhood epilepsy.
While these effects have elicited excitement from scientists and people from all walks of life over CBD’s potential therapeutic benefits, interactions with such a vast network of receptors inside of our bodies also means that CBD could come with side effects or risks.
Whenever you add a supplement or drug to your regimen, it’s important to do your due diligence and understand any potential dangers that you might encounter.
CBD Risks That You Should Know About Before Trying CBD
When it comes to the risks of CBD, they fall into three categories:
- Side Effects
- Drug Interactions
- Product Quality
We will delve more into each of these categories. Understanding these CBD risks can help you decide on the best CBD products and dosages for you.
1. CBD Side Effects
CBD side effects are undesirable effects that can happen as a direct cause of taking supplemental CBD. While CBD use thus far has been found to have a favorable safety profile in humans, there have still been a variety of side effects attributed to CBD. These include:
- Sluggishness or drowsiness
- Changes in weight
- Changes in appetite
- Liver inflammation or damage
These side effects appear to be more likely when large quantities of CBD are taken. This demonstrates the importance of finding the lowest effective dose of CBD. What this means is that you want to only take as much CBD as it takes for you to experience the benefits you’re looking for, no more. Some studies suggest that taking more than this dose may even result in decreased efficacy.
CBD’s safety in pregnant and breastfeeding women in unknown. Until more research is done, it is recommended that you avoid CBD supplements if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.
More studies are needed before we can know the full list of possible CBD side effects. Until we have more long-term studies, we will not know the complete list of CBD risks.
2. CBD Drug Interactions
CBD can interfere with a wide variety of medications. This interaction is similar to that of grapefruit juice in that it affects how the body metabolizes certain drugs. This can be a positive thing or a negative thing.
For example, CBD may result in a lower need for certain prescription drugs, therefore limiting the side effects of those drugs. However, it is possible for CBD to raise the concentration of certain drugs in the bloodstream to dangerous levels. For example, CBD can increase the level of coumadin, a blood thinner. If your dosage of coumadin isn’t reduced, this could lead to increased risk of complications.
We are still learning a lot about which drugs CBD interacts with and how. If you are on any other prescription drugs, you should consult with your doctor before using CBD.
3. CBD Product Quality
One of the biggest CBD risks comes from impurities in the product itself. Many CBD products on the market today are not what they claim to be. Because CBD is not categorized as a drug, it is left to self-regulate, leading to a wide variety in product quality.
In a 2018 study published in Pediatric Neurology Briefs, researchers set out to determine the labeling accuracy of 84 CBD products sold online. Their results were troubling: 69% of the products contained a different quantity of CBD than claimed on the label.
This study highlights the need to do your due diligence before purchasing a CBD product. Fortunately, there are many companies that go through the steps to ensure that you’re receiving a high-quality, accurately labeled CBD product.
To find high-quality CBD, look for:
1. Third-Party Lab Results
The best CBD companies do the due diligence for you by having every batch of their products tested by an independent lab. Find a company that posts these test results online and includes the following:
- How much CBD, THC, and other cannabinoids are found within
- The presence or absence of solvents, pesticides, heavy metals, and other impurities
2. Organic Hemp Grown In the USA
CBD oil is extracted from hemp plants, so you want to ensure that the hemp is grown wisely. The hemp plant has a unique ability to clean the soil that it grows in. While this can be great for cleaning dirty soils, those impurities are retained within the plant. The last thing you want is to take CBD from hemp grown in soils that are contaminated with things like heavy metals or pesticides. Look for hemp that is:
- Grown organically: This protects you from having CBD contaminated with high levels of pesticides that could be detrimental to your health.
- Grown in the USA: Cheap CBD hemp oil is often grown abroad in poor-quality soil. This is especially true of hemp grown in China. Hemp grown in the USA has a better chance of being grown in clean soils on small farms.
3. Safe Extraction Methods
To make CBD oil supplements, CBD-rich oil must be extracted from the hemp plant. Just as with growing conditions, there are good ways and bad ways to do this. Thermal extraction, such as that used by Altura Wellness products, is a clean, safe, and efficient way to extract CBD and other beneficial compounds from the hemp plant. Be sure to avoid products that use questionable solvents like butane and hexane.
Does CBD’s Risks Outweigh Its Benefits?
It‘s only natural to ask yourself whether or not the CBD risks outweigh its benefits.
At Altura Wellness, we don’t believe that they do. CBD has taken the scientific world by storm in recent years. While we are still in the infancy of CBD research, researchers have found this and other cannabinoids to offer unique benefits for human health and wellbeing. And it’s important to understand that every drug or supplement that you take comes with some risks.
With CBD oil, it’s all about choosing the right product, starting with a small dosage, and determining how the product affects you. If you are new to CBD, look for a company that offers a money-back guarantee after you’ve had a chance to use the product.
At Altura Wellness, we believe in the quality of our products and the potential benefits of CBD. With our empty bottle guarantee, you can determine if CBD is right for you without a financial risk on your part. Click here to give Altura CBD a try today.