Dr. Robert Cook - Is It Bad For You? Approved by Dr. Robert Cook

Is CBD Oil Bad For You?

Also Known As: Cannabidiol oil



Short answer

CBD oil can be beneficial for many, but it's not devoid of risks. Its purity dictates safety, with organic, CO2-extracted, and third-party tested products being the best. Yet, it may cause adverse effects like dry mouth or interact with medications, affecting their efficacy. Legality varies by region, and while some therapeutic benefits are substantiated, notably in epilepsy, more research is needed to confirm its long-term safety. Always verify quality and labeling for a secure experience.



Long answer

Composition and Purity Concerns in CBD Oil

Cannabidiol, better known as CBD, is touted for its therapeutic properties, ranging from easing anxiety to reducing inflammation. But not all CBD oils are created equal. The purity and composition of CBD oil can significantly affect both the safety and efficacy of the product. Let's delve into the nitty-gritty details.

Source of Hemp

The quality of CBD oil starts with the hemp plant itself. Hemp plants are bioaccumulators, meaning they readily absorb compounds from the soil, including beneficial nutrients as well as potential toxins like heavy metals, pesticides, and other contaminants. Thus, the quality of soil and the farming practices employed can greatly influence the purity of the hemp extract.

Farms that adhere to organic farming practices and sustainable agriculture are generally considered safe sources. Conversely, hemp grown in questionable conditions could lead to tainted CBD oil — which, in turn, could introduce harmful substances into your body. Whenever possible, look for CBD products made from organic, non-GMO hemp.

Extraction Methods

The method by which CBD is extracted from hemp plants also plays a critical role in the composition and purity of the final product. There are several extraction methods:

  • CO2 Extraction: Considered the gold standard, supercritical CO2 extraction uses carbon dioxide under high pressure and extremely low temperatures to maintain the purity of the CBD. This method is efficient and maintains the integrity of cannabinoids and terpenes without leaving behind harmful solvents.
  • Ethanol Extraction: While also effective, ethanol extraction may mix the CBD with trace amounts of the solvent. Ethanol is generally regarded as safe, but if not properly purged, it could lead to unwanted residues in the oil.
  • Olive Oil Extraction: A natural and safe method, olive oil extraction is not used commercially due to the perishable nature of the resulting products.

Third-Party Testing

One way to ensure the purity and content of CBD oil is through third-party laboratory testing. Reputable companies will provide Certificates of Analysis (COAs) for their products, which outline the cannabinoid profile and confirm the absence of contaminants like heavy metals, pesticides, and solvents. Third-party testing adds a layer of verification and trust, indicating the company's commitment to transparency.

Consumers should be wary of products without COAs or with testing done by in-house labs, as this raises questions about potential bias and accuracy of the results. Look for reports from accredited laboratories with no affiliation to the manufacturer. A complete lab report should include:

  • A cannabinoid profile detailing the amounts of CBD, THC, and other cannabinoids.
  • Screens for any contaminants, such as heavy metals, pesticides, and solvents.
  • Terpene analysis to understand the potential therapeutic benefits and effects.

Other Ingredients

Purity also extends to other ingredients within the oil. Some products include additional substances like flavorings, preservatives, and carrier oils. These should ideally be natural and beneficial to avoid potential allergic reactions or other adverse effects. Synthetic additives or unnecessary fillers can detract from the wholesome nature of the product and potentially have their own health risks.

In conclusion, when examining the composition and purity of CBD oil, consider the source of hemp, extraction methods, and third-party testing results. Additionally, scrutinize any extra ingredients that may be present. By being alert to these factors, you enhance your chances of consuming a safe and quality product.

The Legality and Regulatory Oversight of CBD Oil

The legal status of cannabidiol (CBD) oil is as convoluted as it is dynamic, often leaving consumers in a fog of uncertainty. While its touted health benefits are proliferating, the legality, and regulatory oversight of CBD oil considerably varies across different jurisdictions. Let's unpack this complexity with a closer look at how this substance is treated under the law and what regulatory bodies are saying.

In the United States, the legality of CBD oil hinges on its source. CBD can be derived from two plants: hemp and marijuana. Thanks to the 2018 Farm Bill, hemp-derived CBD products containing less than 0.3% THC are federally legal. However, they must comply with state laws, which can differ dramatically. For example, some states have embraced the Farm Bill without reservation, while others have imposed stricter regulations, leaving a patchwork legal landscape.

On the other hand, marijuana-derived CBD oil falls under the regulation of marijuana laws and is federally illegal, although several states have legalized it either for medical or recreational use. This creates a dichotomy wherein a substance could be perfectly legal according to state law but simultaneously violates federal law, a legal gray area that fuels further confusion and controversy.

Regulatory oversight of CBD oil is primarily the domain of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). While the agency acknowledges the public's interest in CBD, it asserts that more research is needed to evaluate its safety and efficacy. Up till now, the FDA has approved only one CBD product, a prescription drug for treating rare, severe forms of epilepsy. However, despite this isolated approval, the agency has repeatedly issued warnings to companies making unfounded health claims about CBD products.

As for dietary supplements and food additives containing CBD, the FDA strictly prohibits them. According to its guidelines, it is not lawful to sell food (for humans or animals) to which CBD has been added or to market CBD as a dietary supplement. This is because CBD was investigated as a new drug before it was ever marketed as a dietary supplement or food additive, precluding such products from being legally marketed without passing through the FDA's drug approval process.

The FDA's cautious stance is partly based on the need for a deeper understanding of CBD's safety. Questions linger about its potential for liver injury, interactions with other drugs, and impact on vulnerable populations like children, pregnant women, and breastfeeding mothers. Clearly, when supplementing with CBD oil, one isn't just wading into murky legal waters, but also undetermined scientific territory requiring prudent judgement and a proactive approach in staying informed.

Internationally, the legality of CBD varies even more dramatically, with some countries classifying it as a controlled substance, while others have legalized it for medical or even recreational use. It behooves consumers to stay attuned to the laws in their respective countries or the destinations they intend to visit.

What remains crucial is to understand that the lack of consistent oversight suggests a buyer-beware scenario. This means that product quality and labeling may not be reliable, and third-party testing becomes all the more critical for verifying the contents of CBD oil. Thus, consumers are encouraged to do their due diligence before purchasing and using CBD oil to ensure not only its legality but also its safety and quality.

For those navigating this fast-evolving regulatory maze, consulting with healthcare providers and legal experts can provide additional layers of clarity and precaution. The legal and regulatory landscape of CBD is as much an active construction site as it is a jurisdictional jigsaw, requiring a vigilant and informed approach to its use.

As this space continues to evolve, it would be wise to keep an eye on the proceedings of potent regulatory bodies like the FDA and the World Health Organization (WHO), as well as judicial outcomes that may further delineate the legal boundaries of CBD oil.

Short-Term Effects and Potential Immediate Adverse Reactions

When evaluating the short-term effects and potential immediate adverse reactions to CBD oil, it is crucial to approach the topic with both a critical eye and a balanced view of the current scientific landscape. CBD, or cannabidiol, is a compound found in cannabis plants that has garnered substantial attention for its potential therapeutic benefits. However, like any substance introduced to the body, it may come with its own set of immediate reactions or side effects.

Common Short-Term Effects

Some individuals may experience positive short-term effects after ingesting CBD oil, such as:

  • Reduced anxiety and stress
  • Improved sleep quality
  • Alleviation of pain and inflammation
  • Inhibition of epileptic seizures

These effects are backed by both anecdotal reports and emerging scientific studies. For instance, a 2019 study published in The Permanente Journal suggested that CBD may help reduce anxiety and improve sleep. However, it's imperative to note these are potential benefits and may not be universally experienced.

Potential Immediate Adverse Reactions

On the flip side, some individuals may experience immediate adverse reactions to CBD oil. Below is a list of some reported short-term side effects:

  • Dry mouth
  • Dizziness
  • Diarrhea
  • Changes in appetite and weight
  • Mild nausea
  • Increased levels of liver enzymes (indicative of liver inflammation)

A comprehensive review of cannabinoids published in Current Drug Safety highlights that CBD has a favorable safety profile but does not dismiss the possibility of these side effects. The exact incidence rate of adverse reactions is not well-established due to the varying dosages and formulations used in studies. Furthermore, it is worth noting that the quality and purity of CBD oil can significantly influence the likelihood of experiencing adverse effects.

Interactions with Medications

Immediate adverse reactions may also arise from interactions between CBD oil and other medications. CBD can affect the metabolism of drugs by inhibiting the action of cytochrome P450, a family of liver enzymes responsible for breaking down pharmaceuticals.

  • Increased potency or prolonged effects of certain medications
  • Potentially dangerous levels of blood thinners like warfarin
  • Interference with the efficacy of seizure medications

These interactions could lead to unexpected consequences despite the seemingly benign nature of CBD oil. The 2017 review article in Cannabis and Cannabinoid Research recommends caution when co-administering CBD with medications metabolized by P450 enzymes.

Importance of Consultation

Individual responses to CBD oil can be highly variable, making personalized advice from healthcare professionals essential. People considering CBD oil, especially those with pre-existing health conditions or who are taking medications, should consult with a healthcare provider to evaluate potential risks and benefits tailored to their specific health profile.

Ultimately, the need for higher-quality, controlled research cannot be overstated. As CBD becomes more mainstream, there's a pressing need for more robust scientific evidence to clarify the short-term effects and immediate adverse reactions of CBD oil consumption. This will empower consumers to make more informed decisions and help professionals provide better guidance on the use of CBD oil.

Long-Term Impact of Regular CBD Oil Usage

When it comes to evaluating the impact of regular CBD oil usage over the long term, the data remains somewhat elusive—and yet, the quest for clarity continues unencumbered by the cloud of uncertainty. Emerging research and anecdotal reports suggest that CBD oil is well-tolerated, but the long-term effects warrant a comprehensive analysis.

Firstly, let’s dissect what we know about the impressive cannabinoid CBD. Unlike its psychoactive cousin THC, CBD is largely celebrated for its therapeutic potential, offering an array of purported benefits ranging from anxiety relief to anti-inflammatory properties. However, as we zoom in on the long-term use of CBD oil, questions arise about its sustained efficacy and safety profile.

One of the pivotal questions revolves around the concept of tolerance. Does prolonged use of CBD lead to a reduced efficacy, necessitating higher doses over time? A 2017 study published in Cannabis and Cannabinoid Research indicates that CBD does not induce tolerance. However, this area requires more longitudinal studies to draw definitive conclusions, particularly regarding the use of varying dosages and the effect of combination with other cannabinoids.

Concerning safety, a comprehensive review of potential side effects was published in the same journal, which suggests that CBD exhibits a favourable safety profile. Chronic use—and high doses—have frequently been reported to be well-tolerated in humans. Nevertheless, some reports do highlight potential mild side effects like tiredness, diarrhea, and changes in appetite or weight.

For individuals with specific health conditions or those taking other medications, it's crucial to ponder the interactions that may occur with long-term CBD oil use. When CBD is ingested, it interacts with the cytochrome P450 enzyme system in the liver, which can affect the metabolism of some pharmaceutical drugs. This is a significant consideration, and those who are under medication should consult with healthcare professionals before initiating a long-term CBD regimen.

Finally, there's the issue of quality and regulatory oversight—or lack thereof. The supplement industry is notorious for its lax regulations, and CBD oil is not exempt. The potency and purity of CBD oil can dramatically influence its long-term impact, underscoring the importance of sourcing high-quality products from reputable suppliers. A study conducted by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) found significant discrepancies in the labelling accuracy of CBD products; thus, consistent and reliable dosing remains a pivotal factor in ensuring a positive long-term experience with CBD oil.

In summary, while current indicators suggest that long-term use of CBD oil may be safe, the complete breadth of its longitudinal effects remains to be fully understood. More research is needed to draw definitive conclusions regarding the biophysical ramifications of extended CBD consumption, the emergence of tolerance, the possibility of interactions with other medicines, and the long-term implications of regulatory ambiguity on product quality.

Interactions of CBD Oil with Medications and Health Conditions

When venturing into the realm of cannabidiol (CBD) oil use, a critical aspect to consider is its interactions with prescription medications and pre-existing health conditions. CBD has been hailed for its potential health benefits, but it is not without its risk profile, especially when it comes to its synergistic effects with other drugs. Understanding these interactions is essential to ensure safety and prevent adverse effects.

Impact on Drug Metabolism

CBD primarily impacts drug metabolism within the liver, where it can inhibit the activity of the Cytochrome P450 enzyme system. A vast array of pharmaceuticals, both over-the-counter and prescription, rely on this system for their metabolism and elimination from the body.

  • Antidepressants (like SSRIs)
  • Antipsychotics
  • Beta blockers
  • Antiepileptics
  • Some types of antibiotics (like macrolides)
  • Oral hypoglycemic agents
  • Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)

If CBD oil is taken concurrently with these medications, it may lead to either increased side effects or decreased effectiveness of the drugs. For instance, a study published in the journal Epilepsia revealed that CBD could potentiate the effects of clobazam, an antiepileptic drug, by inhibiting its metabolism. As with any supplement, consulting with a healthcare professional is imperative before starting CBD oil, especially for individuals on such medications.

Interference with Blood Thinners

CBD oil's interaction with blood thinners poses a significant concern, highlighted in case reports and preclinical studies. An article in the Journal of Cannabinoid Medicine suggested that CBD potentiates the effects of warfarin, a widely used anticoagulant, increasing the risk of bleeding. Regular monitoring of blood coagulation parameters is recommended for patients interested in integrating CBD into their routine.

Effects on Existing Health Conditions

While some use CBD oil in an attempt to alleviate various health issues, the compound may exacerbate certain conditions. For example, individuals with low blood pressure should be cautious as CBD has been shown to cause a transient drop in blood pressure, as indicated by a study in the journal JCI Insight.

People with a history of mood disorders or mental health conditions should consult with a healthcare provider before using CBD oil as it can interact unpredictably with psychiatric medication. Moreover, the long-term effects of CBD on mental health are not well-documented, necessitating a careful approach.

Liver health is another area to watch. Elevated liver enzymes have been observed in some patients using CBD, as per the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. This highlights the importance of liver function monitoring, particularly for individuals on other hepatotoxic drugs or those with pre-existing liver conditions.

Conclusion and Risks

In conclusion, while CBD oil might offer potential health benefits, the risks associated with its interactions with other medicines and health conditions cannot be ignored. A thorough evaluation by a healthcare professional and honest discussion about one's current health status and medication regimen should precede the use of CBD oil. This approach will help minimize risks, especially for those with compromised health or those taking medications metabolized by the Cytochrome P450 system.

As the science around CBD oil continues to evolve, so will our understanding of its interaction with medications and health conditions. Staying informed through credible research studies and expert opinions is essential for anyone considering or currently using CBD oil.

Potential Benefits of CBD Oil Backed by Scientific Research

As we delve into the benefits of Cannabidiol (CBD) oil, a non-psychoactive component of Cannabis sativa, it's imperative to focus solely on what scientific research has substantiated. This compound has attracted immense interest for its purported health benefits, but it's our duty to separate fact from fiction based on available evidence.

One of the most well-researched areas is CBD's role in relieving certain types of chronic pain. A study published in the Journal of Pain Research suggests that CBD may help reduce chronic pain by impacting endocannabinoid receptor activity, possibly reducing inflammation and interacting with neurotransmitters. Chronic pain conditions that may be affected include:

  • Neuropathic pain
  • Inflammatory pain
  • Arthritis pain

When it comes to mental health, several studies point to CBD's potential in treating anxiety and depression. For instance, a 2019 study in The Permanente Journal showed that CBD oil could help reduce anxiety in young people with social anxiety disorder. Other mental health benefits might include:

  • Stress reduction
  • Decreased physiological effects of anxiety, such as an increased heart rate
  • Improvement in symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)

Epilepsy is another field where CBD oil has shown promise. The FDA-approved drug Epidiolex, which contains CBD, is used to treat two rare and severe forms of epilepsy: Lennox-Gastaut syndrome and Dravet syndrome. The approval was based on several clinical trials that documented the efficacy of CBD in reducing the frequency of seizures.

Emerging evidence also highlights potential benefits for neurodegenerative disorders. CBD has been proposed to have neuroprotective properties which might be leveraged in diseases like multiple sclerosis and Alzheimer's. A review published in Frontiers in Pharmacology outlines CBD's antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and neuroprotective effects which are relevant in managing neurodegenerative symptoms.

Last but not least, there's some evidence pointing to CBD's role in heart health. A 2017 study published in JCI Insight observed a reduction in blood pressure in the subjects who were given a single dose of CBD, indicating its potential benefits in heart health and the circulatory system.

It's crucial to underscore that while these findings are promising, more research is always needed. Evidence to date provides an intriguing glimpse into the potential applications of CBD oil, but definitive claims await further clinical trials and longitudinal studies. As researchers continue to explore the capabilities of CBD, we encourage readers to keep abreast of the latest scientific findings to make well-informed decisions regarding its use.

Frequently asked questions

Yes, CBD oil can potentially interact with over-the-counter medications, particularly those that are metabolized by the liver’s cytochrome P450 enzyme system. This could affect the way medications work and may lead to increased side effects or reduced effectiveness. Always consult with a healthcare provider before combining CBD oil with over-the-counter drugs.

While some substances can lead to increased tolerance over time, the currently available evidence, including a 2017 study published in Cannabis and Cannabinoid Research, indicates that CBD does not tend to induce tolerance. However, this is an area that demands more comprehensive long-term studies to better understand how sustained use of CBD affects the body.

No, the FDA does not regulate CBD oil in the same way it regulates pharmaceutical drugs. Currently, the FDA has approved only one CBD-based prescription drug, Epidiolex, for treating certain forms of epilepsy. Other CBD products on the market, such as supplements and food additives containing CBD, are not FDA-approved and must meet different requirements, often with less stringent oversight.

In the United States, you do not need a prescription to purchase CBD oil derived from hemp with less than 0.3% THC content, as it is federally legal. However, state laws vary, and it's important to know the regulations in your area. For CBD derived from marijuana or products containing higher levels of THC, a prescription or participation in a state medical marijuana program may be required, depending on local laws.

Ask a question about CBD Oil and our team will publish the answer as soon as possible.

Possible short-term side effects

  • dry mouth
  • dizziness
  • diarrhea
  • changes in appetite and weight
  • mild nausea
  • liver enzyme elevation
  • drug interactions
  • blood pressure changes

Possible long-term side effects

  • tolerance uncertainty
  • potential mild side effects (tiredness, diarrhea, appetite and weight changes)
  • cytochrome p450 enzyme system interactions
  • elevated liver enzymes with chronic use
  • inconsistencies in regulatory and product quality
  • monitoring required with specific health conditions

Ingredients to be aware of

  • heavy metals
  • pesticides
  • solvents
  • additives and fillers
  • synthetic ingredients


  • anxiety and stress reduction
  • improved sleep quality
  • pain and inflammation relief
  • seizure inhibition
  • chronic pain management
  • neuroprotective properties
  • heart health
  • reduced seizure frequency in epilepsy

Healthier alternatives

  • organic sources of hemp
  • supercritical co2 extracted cbd oil
  • third-party tested products
  • legal, regulated cbd options

Thank you for your feedback!

Written by Joey Conners
Published on: 02-22-2024

Thank you for your feedback!

Written by Joey Conners
Published on: 02-22-2024

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