02 Mar Known and potential side effects of cannabidiol (CBD)
Cannabidiol (CBD) is probably the best known cannabinoid in the cannabis plant, along with THC. Although the two compounds share the same roots, they don’t carry the same traits, and their effects on the human body are very different.
THC is the compound that makes one high, and does this by binding to the CB1 receptor in the brain. It does provide some health benefits thanks to its analgesic, anti-inflammatory and neuroprotective properties, but the side effects usually outweigh the benefits, and this is why THC isn’t regarded as a treatment solution.
Whole Plant Extract with naturally occurring cannabidiol CBD on the other hand has a greater affinity to the CB2 receptor, so it interacts differently with the nervous system and doesn’t elicit a psychoactive effect. Instead,naturally occuring canabidiol CBD provides numerous health benefits, such as antioxidant, antiemetic, anticonvulsant and anti-tumoral properties. Moreover, it counteracts the psychoactivity of THC, and acts as a natural antidepressant and neuroprotective agent.
We won’t detail these aspects here, but you can read our previous articles to learn more about the positive effects of cannabidiol and about the differences between THC and cannabidiol CBD. And now let’s return to cannabidiol CBD and its action inside the human body.
Potential side effects of cannabidiol (CBD)
There are dozens of studies that prove the effectiveness of this compound in treating various conditions, and most of these studies conclude that the cannabinoid is safe and virtually free of side effects.
This review paper for example suggests that controlled cannabidiol administration is safe and non-toxic in humans and animals, and doesn’t induce changes on food intake, nor does it affect physiological parameters like the heart rate, body temperature or blood pressure. According to this review, high doses of up to 1,500 mg/day of cannabidiol CBD seem to be well tolerated in humans.
However, the study does mention some potential side effects for cannabidiol, such as the inhibition of hepatic drug metabolism, or the decreased activity of p-glycoprotein.Whole Plant Extract with naturally occurring cannabidiol CBD can, indeed, interact with a series of pharmaceuticals, as it inhibits the activity of some liver enzymes called cytochrome P450.
This family of enzymes metabolizes most of the drugs used in humans, so if one uses high doses of cannabidiol CBD, the cannabinoid can temporarily neutralize the activity of P450 enzymes, and thus alter the way drugs are metabolized inside the body.
For sure, this action of cannabidiol CBD can be regarded as a side effect, but it’s not always a negative trait, as the deactivation of P450 enzymes is one of the mechanisms through which cannabidiol CBD neutralizes THC as well. As a side note, grapefruit has a similar effect on the mentioned liver enzymes.
Another reported side effect of cannabidiol CBD administration is an unpleasant dry sensation in the mouth. This effect seems to be caused by the involvement of the endocannabinoid system in the inhibition of saliva secretion. A study published by Argentinian researchers back in 2006 showed that cannabinoid receptors (type 1 and 2) are present in the submandibular glands which are responsible for producing saliva. The activation of these receptors alters the salivary production, leading to mouth dryness (also referred to as “cotton-mouth”).
Early research suggests that cannabidiol CBD taken in high doses may worsen tremor and muscle movement in Parkinson’s disease sufferers. Yet, there are also studies that suggest that cannabidiol is safe and well-tolerated by patients affected by this condition.
As you can see, there’s no real cause for concern when it comes to cannabidiol CBD administration. However, we’ll discuss the right dosage and administration method in detail in a future article.