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CBD or cannabidiol is a chemical compound found in the Cannabis Sativa hemp plant. It’s gained considerable popularity recently – particularly for those seeking an alternative remedy for various mental and physical health problems. 

Recent studies have identified surprising benefits and presented evidence of its positive effects. However, as far as studies are concerned there is still a lot to learn regarding this non-psychoactive substance. Physicians often choose not to recommended it even in areas where medical marijuana is legal, due to the lack of extensive study on potential side effects. But with the increasing level of research being conducted, science is beginning to separate fact from fiction when it comes to CBD.

Is CBD addictive?

The question on everyone’s mind… is CBD addictive?

The short and simple answer is no. When we compare THC with CBD, we find that CBD is not addictive at the molecular level, nor does it generate any psycho-active effects that we find with THC.

March 2017 study tested oral CBD in various dosages to subjects who were frequent marijuana users. The CBD was administered on its own and together with marijuana that contained 5.3-5.8% THC. The results conclusively found that CBD did not display any signals of abuse, whereas marijuana reliably produced abuse-related and psychoactive effects.

CBD vs THC

It’s important to note that THC doesn’t trigger the same degree of physical withdrawal symptoms as opiates or alcohol, but the use of chronic cannabis may cause cannabis use disorder (CUD). This condition causes symptoms of cannabis withdrawal from addiction development, causing symptoms similar to withdrawal of nicotine. Although there are particular symptoms of cannabis withdrawal, they are typically limited to increased feelings of anxiety, agitation, poor mood, and sleep disorder.

Cannabidiol extracted from hemp plants contain small trace amounts of THC (typically less than 0.2% THC in the UK). Therefore it should not put a person at risk of developing symptoms of cannabis withdrawal that may result from heavy consumption of THC. A 2011 study shows that CBD, relative to THC and other cannabinoids, has a better safety profile.

Researchers have found that the human subjects are comfortably able to tolerate high doses of up to 1500mg per day. CBD doesn’t affect motor or mental functions relative to THC, nor does it alter heart rate or body temperature.

CBD to combat addiction

Research indicates that CBD may also be used to help combat THC’s adverse effects, such as signs of cannabis withdrawal. There is also evidence that CBD oil may help thwart addiction to other hazardous substances, such as tobacco or opioids.

A study published in Addictive Behaviors in 2013 examined the effectiveness of CBD as a means of reducing the consumption of tobacco cigarettes. Researchers, observing a total of 24 tobacco smokers, gave half of the subjects a CBD inhaler and the other half a placebo and instructed them to use the inhaler when they felt the need to smoke. Those treated with CBD decreased the number of cigarettes smoked by 40% over a week, while those treated with placebo showed no significant change.

CBD’s negative side effects

Despite its benefits, cannabidiol can have negative side effects for some users. In most studies the impact affects a small number of subjects. Nevertheless, before we give in to the hysteria of CBD as a potential cure for various ailments, it’s important to understand any potential side effects that CBD may have.

Dry Mouth:

Researchers found that 12% of respondents experienced dry mouth after using CBD in a survey of 1,500 participants. Upon ingestion, the chemicals found in cannabis induced a reduction in saliva secretion for a small but significant proportion of subjects.

Studies have shown that the submandibular gland, which produces more than 60% of the saliva, has cannabinoid receptors. Anandamide, an endocannabinoid, which works through endocannabinoid system, induces mouth dryness, interacts with these receptors and prevents the development of saliva by blocking the nervous system’s signals for saliva production.

Drowsiness:

CBD oil does not typically cause a feeling of drowsiness for the average user, but as with most things we consume, the effects can differ from one person to another. CBD has a wake-inducing impact (generally speaking), making a person more alert and active. However, it can have the opposite reaction for some users who consume very high doses.

It would be a good idea to start with a small dose and work your way up to higher dosages and see what works best for you.

Weight and appetite changes:

In 2017, the Cannabis and Cannabinoid Research published a clinical study of patients with central nervous system problems such as various forms of epilepsy and psychotic disorders and their response to CBD oil as a form of treatment.

Scientists discovered in a study published in 2017  that subjects have experienced some negative side effects of CBD such as tiredness, diarrhoea, and weight and appetite changes.

With that being said, it’s still reported that CBD has a better side effect profile compared to other drugs used to treat such medical conditions. However, this analysis has left room for more extensive research into the toxicological properties of CBD, such as its effect on hormones.

Lowers blood pressure:

CBD was tested on healthy male volunteers who were given a 600mg dose and the data found that it reduced resting blood pressure, and the blood pressure response to stress. This should be taken into consideration before using.

It’s interesting to also note that the same study shows that CBD has positive effects on the cardiovascular system by reducing proinflammatory changes in human coronary artery cells and myocardial dysfunction associated with diabetes.

Sleep and fatigue:

Studies have been conducted on the effects that CBD has on sleep and interestingly it can have opposite effects depending on the amount taken. As already mentioned, a low dose of CBD tends to make people feel awake and alert, but exposure to high doses of CBD can often leave people feeling tired and fatigued. Of course, this can benefit people with sleep disorders if taking before going to bed – but care should be taken before or during driving or using heavy machinery throughout the day.

The verdict:

Human test subjects have seen high doses of up to 1500mg of CBD oil to be readily tolerated. CBD has minor negative impact on humans and if it does occur – happens in a small number of cases and in a mild manner. There is no evidence of any notably harmful impacts on human health.

Interested in learning more about CBD oil? Take a look at our products for more information about dosages, strengths and additional ingredients.

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