CBD Oil Side Effects: Safety of Cannabidiol

According to research and user reports, CBD may have a number of benefits [1]. Studies show that CBD can improve the quality of your sleep, reduce stress and even help your skin. On the other hand, like any other active ingredient, CBD can also cause side effects. However, these adverse effects of CBD or products containing cannabis in general are primarily linked to its use by understudied groups such as pregnant individuals and children. Let's have a closer look at the safety and side effects of cannabidiol.

What is Cannabidiol?

CBD is short for cannabidiol, a cannabinoid found in the cannabis or hemp plant. Unlike THC, a psychoactive cannabinoid responsible for the "high" effect of cannabis, CBD does not cause intoxication of any kind [2]. Quite the contrary: numerous scientific studies have been published or are in progress to support the benefits of CBD, which are mainly linked to its anti-inflammatory, analgesic (pain relief) and anxiolytic (stress relief) properties. The effects of CBD vary from person to person and are also linked to the concentration of CBD in the product and the route of administration [3].


cbd oil man sleeping in bed


What are the Effects of CBD Oil?

CBD oil is one of the most popular CBD products. As its name suggests, it is a CBD extract dissolved in a carrier oil, such as MCT, olive or hemp seed oil. CBD oil is available in a range of CBD concentrations, allowing for precise dosing depending on the desired effects. Each brand also develops a unique formulation of CBD oil, containing different flavouring ingredients and carrier oil blends.

Scientific studies on the effects of CBD and CBD oil show that CBD's anxiolytic properties can help combat anxiety and stress [4]. They also suggest that it has properties beneficial for the quality of your sleep [5]. Many people also use CBD for the treatment of chronic pain [6] or the pain caused by arthritis [7]. Furthermore, the anti-inflammatory properties of CBD make it a promising ingredient for skincare [8].

While research supports the use of CBD for the above-mentioned applications, CBD oil for wellness purposes is not to be considered a medicine! If you have any health problems you would like to address, you should always consult with your doctor first. 

Is the Use of CBD legal?

The World Health Organisation (WHO) has published a statement a few years ago stating that CBD and the use of CBD oil are safe and that CBD is not a drug. WHO experts believe that it is not harmful to health. CBD is perfectly legal in the UK and in Europe as long as the level of THC in the product doesn't surpass 0.2%. As a result, you can find many CBD products freely available in shops and online (such as CBD capsules, CBD oils, CBD gummies and CBD vape juices). 

The Risks Associated with Using CBD

A question that often comes up is whether CBD is addictive. The answer is clear: CBD has no psychotropic effect and is not addictive. On a high consumption level, some side effects like a dry mouth may appear, but there is absolutely no risk of dependence or addiction. 

To date, the use of CBD oil by pregnant or breastfeeding individuals is not recommended. Scientific research in this area is not yet complete. Given the current lack of experience and the precautionary principle, this is the best approach. If this affects you and you still strongly wish to consume CBD or medical cannabis of any kind, it is essential that you seek medical advice from a healthcare professional.

The same principle applies when it comes to CBD for children and adolescents under the age of 18. While CBD oil may help relieve seizures caused by certain types of epilepsy in children, it is still essential to seek medical advice before including it in any therapeutic treatment.

In general, whenever you want to include a new supplement (whether it's vitamins, minerals or a CBD product) in your daily routine, it's always a good idea to consult a healthcare professional beforehand. This even becomes a must if you are on any kind of prescription medication, as CBD use might interfere with the efficacy of certain drugs [9]. Everyone's medical history is different and your doctor is the one who knows it best. Please understand that for this reason, we cannot give you generalised advice on this subject.

To be on the safe side when it comes to the amount of CBD consumed daily, you can follow the current FSA recommendation of 70 mg of CDB per day as a maximum intake. 


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The Side Effects of CBD Oil

CBD oil is not psychotropic and does not cause the side effects commonly associated with THC, like paranoia, dependence and increased appetite. However, CBD oil can still have very mild side effects if taken in too high a concentration or dosage. The CBD side effects that are reported most often are a dry mouth, drowsiness and mild headaches. CBD oil can also cause fatigue, so pay attention when you use CBD oil and are planning to drive shortly after. 

If the dose is way too high, CBD oil can also cause digestive problems such as diarrhoea or nausea. This might be associated to the CBD itself or to excessive quantities of oil or fat taken in with the product.

If you experience any side effects from taking CBD oil, discontinue its use immediately and talk to your doctor if you are not feeling better after a short wile.


cbd oil woman running in a field


Get the Benefits of CBD by Choosing the Right CBD Oil

The effects and safety of CBD have been established for wide parts of the population. What is important is to ensure you buy a high-quality CBD oil to ensure you are not experiencing any unwanted side effects due to poor-quality ingredients. As CBD is becoming more and more popular, we're seeing multiple brands being launched on the market, as well as hundreds of different products available online or in physical shops. But not all of them are of the same quality.

So before choosing your CBD oil, it's important to pay attention to the following:

Origin: Make sure that the hemp and other ingredients in your CBD oil are organically grown to avoid pesticides in the product.

THC content: It is important to check the concentration of THC in the product by looking at the certificates of analysis. Make sure the product is within the legal limits for your legislation.

CBD content: Check the CBD content of the product and adjust your dose accordingly.

Synergy: it's interesting to look at the overall formulation of the product including the other components and their individual benefits. Our CBD oil formulations include CBG, another cannabinoid with numerous virtues, which complements the effects of CBD. We've also added terpene-rich essential oils for an entourage effect [10].

Last but not least, be careful to distinguish between hemp seed oil and CBD oil. They do not have the same properties and effects. Hemp seed oil is a culinary vegetable oil with no cannabinoids and therefore will not give you the same benefits as cannabidiol oil. We advise you to buy your CBD oil in a pharmacy or in a physical or online shop that carefully selects the products it sells and can give advice around their use.



cbd oil



Portrait of Anna Falk

written by

anna falk - head of product

As the Head of Product at Harmony, Dr Anna Falk leads the development of our products and provides expert tips for your wellness. With over 10 years of experience in the research and development of natural products, her work is based on rigorous scientific studies.

Anna is an award-winning, internationally published researcher with a PhD in Organic Chemistry. She applies her expertise to develop Harmony's certified products that support your overall well-being. From research to development, she ensures that our products are of the highest quality and meet the highest standards.

We ensure our content is current and accurate with strict guidelines about sourcing that rely on governmental authority, academic institutions and peer-reviewed studies..

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