Social Anxiety Disorder Coping The Potential Side Effects of CBD CBD: Benefits and Side Effects By Wendy Rose Gould Wendy Rose Gould LinkedIn Wendy Rose Gould is a lifestyle reporter with over a decade of experience covering health and wellness topics. Learn about our editorial process Updated on January 07, 2022 Medically reviewed Verywell Mind articles are reviewed by board-certified physicians and mental healthcare professionals. Medical Reviewers confirm the content is thorough and accurate, reflecting the latest evidence-based research. Content is reviewed before publication and upon substantial updates. Learn more. by Steven Gans, MD Medically reviewed by Steven Gans, MD Steven Gans, MD is board-certified in psychiatry and is an active supervisor, teacher, and mentor at Massachusetts General Hospital. Learn about our Medical Review Board Fact checked Verywell Mind content is rigorously reviewed by a team of qualified and experienced fact checkers. Fact checkers review articles for factual accuracy, relevance, and timeliness. We rely on the most current and reputable sources, which are cited in the text and listed at the bottom of each article. Content is fact checked after it has been edited and before publication. Learn more. by Karen Cilli Fact checked by Karen Cilli Karen Cilli is a fact-checker for Verywell Mind. She has an extensive background in research, with 33 years of experience as a reference librarian and educator. Learn about our editorial process Print Verywell / Alex Dos Diaz Generally speaking, CBD is considered a safe substance when applied topically or taken orally. There are, however, some potential side effects to keep in mind when using this substance, the majority of which are mild. Common Side Effects of CBD 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. Drowsiness 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. Gastrointestinal Issues Some people may get diarrhea or liver problems [when using CBD]. This is dependent on the individual and their medical history, so monitoring is important,” says Dr. Matharu-Daley. Dry Mouth Also known as “cotton mouth,” CBD can potentially cause your mouth and eyes to feel very dry. Though this side effect is more likely to occur with THC, it can happen with CBD as well. Can Interact With Other Medications CBD might interfere with the other medications you take. Dr. Matharu-Daley says it’s important to talk to your doctor about whether CBD could affect your existing prescriptions. Nausea In some cases, those who ingest CBD supplements might experience nausea, says Dr. Matharu-Daley. This depends on how sensitive the person is to CBD, as well as the amount they ingest. Because CBD supplements come in so many different forms—such as oils, gummies, tinctures, and vapors—the amount that’s actually absorbed can vary drastically. This, combined with each person, will ultimately affect which (if any) CBD side effects you might experience. What Is Cannabidiol (CBD)? CBD—the abbreviation for cannabidiol, a substance that's generally derived from the hemp plant—has skyrocketed in popularity over the last five years. In fact, according to research, "CBD" as a Google search term remained stable from 2004 to 2014 but has since ballooned by up to 605%. 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. “CBD is not an intoxicating substance, whereas THC is a psychoactive that can get you high,” explains Dr. Jas Matharu-Daley, a physician and consultant for a brand that specializes in CBD production. She adds, “[Another difference is that] CBD is derived from hemp and has been classified as a legal substance. Hemp has <0.3% THC. Conversely, cannabis plants such as marijuana are grown to have much higher levels of THC and are still illegal according to the FDA, although individual states vary as to their use.” What to Know About Marijuana Use Are There Any Benefits Associated With Using CBD? There are several reasons why someone might want to use CBD. The substance can be found in a multitude of products ranging from pain-relieving creams to edible tinctures to skincare. Research is still underway, but over the last few decades scientists have become more aware of how CBD might be beneficial when applied either topically or ingested. “Since discovering the endocannabinoid system (ECS) in the body in the 1990s, CBD has been researched more extensively. The ECS is a central regulatory system restoring normal balance and homeostasis in a range of human physiologic systems throughout the body and brain and has cannabinoid receptors and chemicals in its function,” explains Dr. Matharu-Daley. CBD benefits include the following: CBD can have positive impact on the brain. In fact, Dr. Matharu-Daley says that the substance is legally prescribed in a specific medication for certain severe forms of epilepsy in children. It has also been shown to have anti-inflammatory properties, which is why you often see CBD in topical products such as oils, creams, and lotions. Some research points to CBD’s ability to relieve stress and anxiety. It has been used as a nausea treatment in some countries. CBD may potentially reduce pain symptoms. It has antioxidant properties, which means it can help fight off free radical damages that leads to premature aging. Regarding skincare, CBD may help reduce excessive oil production in those with very oily skin types. Ultimately, the primary reasons why people use CBD is because it tends to have calming, relaxing, pain-reducing effects. It has been used to alleviate joint pain and nerve pain, reduce anxiety and stress, treat insomnia, improve migraines, and address nausea. CBD Oil for ADHD: Research, Considerations, and Side Effects CBD Is Still an Unregulated Substance It's important to point out that CBD is not regulated by the FDA and therefore dosages might not be accurate. It’s also difficult to know what an appropriate dose is the first time you try a new product. “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.” A Word From Verywell CBD is technically an unregulated substance in the United States and therefore it ought to be used with caution. This is especially important for those taking additional medications and/or those with ongoing medical issues. That said, preliminary research on CBD and its benefits are promising in relation to helping with mild to moderate health concerns and it is generally considered a safe substance. Health professionals do not consider CBD a cure-all for serious medical issues, including cancer. As with any sort of supplement, we recommend speaking to your medical doctor about whether using CBD makes sense for you. Your doctor can also recommend certain products that align with your needs and help ensure you get the correct dosage. Is CBD Addictive? 4 Sources Verywell Mind uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy. Oberbarnscheidt T, Miller NS. The impact of cannabidiol on psychiatric and medical conditions. J Clin Med Res. 2020;12(7):393-403. doi:10.14740/jocmr4159 Leas EC, Nobles AL, Caputi TL, Dredze M, Smith DM, Ayers JW. Trends in internet searches for cannabidiol (CBD) in the United States. JAMA Netw Open. 2019;2(10):e1913853. doi:10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2019.13853 Mortimer TL, Mabin T, Engelbrecht A-M. Cannabinoids: the lows and the highs of chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting. Future Oncology. 2019;15(9):1035-1049. doi:10.2217/fon-2018-0530 Atalay S, Jarocka-Karpowicz I, Skrzydlewska E. Antioxidative and anti-inflammatory properties of cannabidiol. Antioxidants. 2019;9(1):21. doi:10.3390/antiox9010021 By Wendy Rose Gould Wendy Rose Gould is a lifestyle reporter with over a decade of experience covering health and wellness topics. See Our Editorial Process Meet Our Review Board Share Feedback Was this page helpful? Thanks for your feedback! What is your feedback? Other Helpful Report an Error Submit Speak to a Therapist for Social Anxiety Disorder Advertiser Disclosure × The offers that appear in this table are from partnerships from which Verywell Mind receives compensation.