Cannabidiol (CBD), the Good and the Bad

2 years ago   •   3 min read

By Juana Know Staff

If you're looking into CBD to decide if it's right for you, you've likely been seeing exaggerated claims about it being effective for anything that ails you.

You've probably seen some inaccurate information about it causing intoxication or positive drug tests as well.

Here's the unbiased truth in a nutshell: It may work for you, or it may not. But is it worth a try? Let's sort out CBD's pros and cons.

The Good

It's Pretty Safe For Most People

CBD is relatively benign in the body, especially when compared to synthetic pharmaceutical drugs.

  • It doesn't raise blood pressure or heart rate and is OK for people with heart problems.
  • It's safe for diabetics.
  • The FDA has approved a purified form of CBD for use by children as young as two years old.

You can't say those things about many pharmaceuticals.

Google "Is CBD legal in my state?" Instead of an answer, you'll probably get a bunch of conflicting info that will confuse you.

Let's make it simple. The FDA considers CBD a supplement, not a drug. Therefore, it is federally unregulated. No state has banned it, and it is highly unlikely that any state ever will. It's legal throughout the USA.

There's No Intoxication

THC is the main compound responsible for marijuana's psychoactive effects. It's present in all cannabis, including medicinal strains.

CBD is extracted from industrial hemp, which must contain negligible amounts of THC by law.

Furthermore, almost all of the THC is left behind in the extraction process. There may be a tiny bit of THC in CBD oil, but such a small trace amount cannot cause any psychoactive effects. Think of it as a residual impurity.

CBD Is Versatile

Although scientific research is scant, there is anecdotal evidence that CBD is useful for treating many conditions, including:

  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Epilepsy
  • Pain of all kinds
  • Inflammation
  • Insomnia
  • Social phobia

That's only a partial list, but they are the conditions for which CBD shows the most promise.

The Bad

It Isn't Regulated

The fact that it isn't regulated is good because that keeps it legal and widely available without any hassles.

But there's a downside to lack of regulation. There aren't any real quality or purity standards that manufacturers or sellers have to stick to. This means that the amount of CBD in the product you buy can be way lower or way higher than advertised. There may even be impurities, like solvents or other cannabinoid compounds, present in the oil.

The only way to be relatively certain you're getting a pure product is to buy from a well-known and reputable company that has been in business for a while. Don't be afraid to contact the company and ask if they have their CBD tested for purity and potency. Request a copy of the test results to be shipped with your order, and make sure that the lot numbers on the product and the test results match.

It Can Interact With Certain Drugs

As with any other supplement, you should ask your doctor whether CBD can interact with any medications you're taking.

Here is a partial list of drugs that may react badly with CBD:

  • Benzodiazepines
  • HIV drugs
  • Antivirals
  • Steroids
  • Antidepressants
  • Antipsychotics
  • Beta blockers

There Are Some Possible Side Effects

There's a low risk of side effects, and they are usually mild when they do occur.

Watch out for the following:

  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Dizziness
  • Drowsiness
  • Headache

Alcohol can increase the risk of side effects.

There's some evidence that CBD can weaken a pregnant woman's placental wall. That can make it easier for drugs in the mother's body to cross over into the baby's body. It's critical to discuss the benefits of CBD versus its risks with a doctor before using it during pregnancy.

To Summarize...

Although there isn't much hard scientific evidence regarding CBD'S effectiveness for treating any health condition, many people report positive results for a wide variety of ailments.

It's generally safe. But it can interact with certain drugs, and it may cause some side effects.

Anyone can legally purchase and use it in the USA without fear of violating the law or failing a drug test due to any residual THC.

Above all, the most important thing to consider before starting to use CBD is the source. Take some time and find a trustworthy and reputable supplier.

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