The Benefits and Potential Side Effects of CBD

The Benefits and Potential Side Effects of CBD

CBD oil, also known as Cannabidiol, is a product derived from the cannabis or hemp plant. Unlike marijuana, it contains no THC – the psychoactive ingredient which makes cannabis users high. Instead, it has a variety of health benefits which may help with conditions including MS, Alzheimer’s, chronic pain, anxiety and depression.  

There have been multiple studies on the efficacy of CBD oil, carried out by organisations including the World Health Organisation. Currently, CBD is considered a supplement, rather than a pharmaceutical product, with insufficient evidence to prove its effectiveness, but medical practitioners are optimistic about ongoing trials and research.


Potential benefits of CBD oil

Pain reduction and management
CBD oil has shown significant promise in the treatment of pain, both acute and chronic. It’s been used to reduce pain caused by surgical incisions, arthritis, cluster headaches and other chronic illnesses.

Oral CBD has been shown to reduce anxiety. Research suggests the dose is quite specific to the person, so you may need to experiment somewhat in order to see the best results.

Poor sleep
If you suffer from insomnia, CBD oil may help. Studies have shown it can reduce insomnia, helping users fall asleep more easily stay asleep throughout the night.

This is one of the most promising areas of Cannabidiol research. Many people with seizure disorders have seen notable benefits from taking CBD oil.

Research is still in the early stages, but CBD oil could have both anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial effects. There’s also evidence it can limit excess production of sebum, the natural oil which causes some types of acne.



Known side effects of CBD oil

The side-effects are similar to those of many pharmaceutical products. If you develop any of them while taking CBD, stop using the product and consult your GP or pharmacist.

Digestive problems
While early studies have shown CBD oil can be beneficial for conditions such as IBS, it can also cause nausea and diarrhoea issues in other users. These side-effects are most likely to be caused by the carrier oils used in CBD preparations, rather than the CBD itself.

It seems counterintuitive, when you consider the potential benefits to anxiety levels, but some CBD users experience mood swings and irritability. This appears to be linked to finding the correct dose, and may be helped by trying a different brand or type of CBD.

Drowsiness and fatigue
Just as some people feel energised, others can feel unusually tired when taking CBD oil. Clinical trials have suggested this is linked to dosage; taking a large amount appears more likely to make users drowsy, while smaller doses increase wakefulness.

Dry mouth
One of the most common side-effects of CBD is dry mouth, also known as cotton mouth. Several studies have shown that Cannabidiol suppresses the response of salivary glands and stops them producing normal amounts of saliva in your mouth.

Interactions with medication
CBD can interact with some types of medication, even increasing the levels of those medications in the blood. More research and specific trials are required in order to learn more about drug interactions and their consequences. If you’re taking any kind of medication, speak to your GP before trying CBD oil.



CBD is available in various forms, including drops which can be taken orally or applied topically, capsules, skin gels, creams, sprays and edibles, such as gummy sweets. Whichever you choose, it’s important to buy it from a reputable source.

The production of CBD oil is not currently regulated. The products you purchase could potentially be contaminated with heavy metals, pesticides, fertiliser and other harmful chemicals. It’s also possible the quantity of CBD in the preparation will differ from what’s on the label.

Trusted brands will have their product lab-tested and certified to prove its quality and safety. There are many potential benefits to CBD oil, and the associated risks appear to be minimal. Thanks to trials and research studies, our knowledge of Cannabidiol – and its popularity –  is increasing exponentially. The outlook appears optimistic, but only time will tell if CBD oil is the wonder-product so many are hoping it could be.