Side Effects of CBD Oil: Can You Go Ever Wrong With CBD?

With all the lights on CBD, it’s easy to find information on its impressive range of  benefits – but are there any downsides of using CBD oil? Does CBD oil come with any side effects?

Although the research on the medical use of cannabis (including marijuana and hemp) is in its infancy, so much has been said about the advantages of CBD supplementation, but nobody seems to care about explaining the potential side effects.

Maybe because CBD enthusiasts are so positive about the power of this cannabinoid that they don’t find this omission biased. Or, it might as well turn out that CBD actually has few to none side effects – none of which are considered dangerous.

So, what’s the truth?

Let’s find out!

The Quality of CBD Oil Determines the Possible Side Effects

Just as with any health supplement, the quality and source of your CBD oil can make or break your experience, not to mention that some unexpected side effects may occur after consumption.

You know the deal – you get what you pay for. If you buy inferior magnesium supplements, for example, you may end up not feeling well, too – yet nobody stigmatizes magnesium, right?

As reported by many users, the vast majority, if not all, unpleasant experiences from CBD could result mainly due to the poor quality of CBD and impurities that your bottle of cannabidiol may contain.

Until Recently, Quality Control Standards Were Nonexistent in the CBD Industry

Who is to blame for such a state of affairs? Partially, the responsibility for the rumors about the possible side effects of CBD oil can be attributed to greedy companies who cut down on the manufacturing expenses to keep the money flowing into their pockets.

Let us make one thing clear from the beginning – when it comes to sourcing and extracting CBD from hemp, one simply cannot use half measures. CBD oil is meant to help people in a natural and safe way, so it has to be extracted from the finest materials and with environment-friendly methods to let you experience its full potential.

Due to the war on drugs and the long-lasting crusade against cannabis, free and open research into both marijuana and hemp is in the phase of, let’s say, early development. The progressing cannabis legalization makes researchers finally able to delve into the science behind cannabinoids and the endocannabinoid system without having to hit that wall of bureaucracy any longer. On the hemp side of the equation, the legalization of hemp and hemp-derived products has opened the way for research into the health and wellness benefits of hemp in its all forms.

Let’s see what science has to say about the possible effects of CBD oil.

There Are Few Side Effects of CBD Oil, Studies Say

Although the medical research is still in its initial stages, scientists have come to a general conclusion that CBD oil is entirely safe for human consumption.

At the time of writing, there have been no reports on any severe side effects of CBD oil. In fact, CBD does not cause toxicity, even when consumed in large amounts [1].

CBD Studies in the Lab

Nonetheless, the fact that these side effects are really mild, it doesn’t mean they’re nonexistent. On the contrary, CBD oil can cause the following side effects:

  • Drowsiness;
  • Dry mouth;
  • Lower heart rate;
  • Lightheadedness;
  • Sedation;
  • Diarrhea;
  • Appetite Suppression.

Drowsiness is often related to the dosage of CBD. At lower doses, CBD oil can stave off daytime sleepiness; but on the other hand, large doses of CBD can have sedative effects on the body, making a person sleepy.

Moreover, contrary to THC, CBD is an effective appetite suppressor [2]. While it may not come in handy for gaining extra pounds, it can help those who have problems with controlling their food cravings. That being said, whether or not this one is an undesired side effect is up for discussion.

As for the dry mouth and lower heart rate, these effects are common among all cannabis varieties. Cottonmouth can be conquered by drinking lots of juices or chewing a gum, which stimulates salivary glands to produce more saliva and thus quench your thirst. If you feel like your blood pressure is too low, consider a compact shot of caffeine – a single espresso should do the job well.

Other possible side effects of CBD oil can occur if a person is using any other drugs with Cannabidiol, as stated by WHO [3].

CBD Doesn’t Cause Toxicity, No Matter the Dose

If you’re wondering if CBD is safe for human consumption, the answer is a loud YES. In 2006, a team of scientists examining the potential benefits of CBD in treating anxiety and psychosis reviewed several studies of CBD oil’s safety and concluded their findings in a paper published in the Brazilian Journal of Medical and Biological Research. The researchers noted that CBD has been proven safe both in animal and human models [4].

The study found that daily doses ranging from 10 to 400 mg are not capable of inducing any significant alteration in neurological, psychiatric or clinical exams. Moreover, it appeared that even 700 mg of CBD per day, administered to patients suffering from Huntington’s disease, was not enough to induce any toxicity [5].

Long story short, CBD is perfectly safe for your health.

The Possible Link Between CBD Oil Side Effects and Quality

As much as we trust these studies, they have been conducted on small samples, not to mention that every person reacts a little bit differently to cannabinoids. Thankfully, there is a growing body of anecdotal evidence confirming those research findings. You can find CBD oil users’ reports and testimonies posted on popular online forums and social media groups that talk about CBD products and their possible side effects.

Many self-reports suggest that it’s possible to get headaches from using CBD oil, which is a bit odd since CBD can aid migraine sufferers big time. But unsurprisingly, all these reports share one common note: that the quality of the CBD oil was inferior, and the headaches were gone once the users changed their supplier.

Main Factors That Can Make Or Break the Quality of CBD Oil

Alas, there’s a whole abundance of poor quality CBD oil from fly-by-night brands. The CBD market still has a way to go, which makes it challenging for consumers to get high-quality products at their first shot. First-time CBD users need to educate themselves prior to purchasing their CBD oil if they don’t want to go through expensive trial and error.

Here are the two main factors that can make or break your experience with Cannabidiol.


An extremely large share of CBD products is imported from overseas and the poorly regulated market is not helping consumers who just want to obtain a bottle of decent CBD oil.

Since hemp is a very receptive plant, it absorbs chemicals from the ground, such as lead and mercury. This, in turn, makes the growing conditions a decisive factor when it comes to the quality of CBD and other active compounds from hemp extracts.

CBD Plants

Thankfully, more and more companies decide to source Cannabidiol from domestically cultivated hemp. Since hemp farmers fall under the regulations of the 2014 Farm Bill, they are subject to strict quality control procedures and as such, they cannot afford to use morally grey practices in the sourcing and manufacturing processes.

If you want to avoid the unpleasant side effects that can come with low-quality CBD, always check if a company uses the U.S. grown hemp. If it imports the plant from overseas, make sure it’s cultivated in the best countries, such as Denmark or the Netherlands.


High-quality CBD oil should be free of any solvents, toxic chemicals, and heavy metals. In order to check for their presence, however, you need to see third-party lab results. However many CBD brands are not keen on showing those reports to their customers, mainly because it would expose the true content of their CBD oil.

If you want to make sure that you’re buying pure CBD goods, always ask for third-party lab testing reports; and if your potential supplier doesn’t provide them – even on demand – it’s an instant red light.

CBD Oil Is Safe As Long As You Buy It from the Right Supplier

On the whole, scientists and doctors have come to the conclusion that CBD oil is safe for human consumption, and there are few, if any, serious side effects.

While everyone responds differently to cannabinoids due to their own unique body chemistry, it looks like the vast majority of CBD users can consume it without any unpleasant side effects at all, and if they do, they often blame the quality of their CBD oil.

Scientists, on the other hand, have access to pure extracts from reliable sources, so yes, whether or not you experience any downsides when using CBD oil, you might have made a bad purchase decision.

Have you ever experienced any side effects of CBD oil?


  1. Iffland K., Grotenhermen F. An Update on Safety and Side Effects of Cannabidiol: A Review of Clinical Data and Relevant Studies. Cannabis and Cannabinoid Research. Published online in 2017.
  2. Natalyia K. M. Cannabinoids in Health and Disease. Dialogues in Clinical Neuroscience (2007) Dec; 9(4) 413-430. Published in 2007.
  3. World Health Organization. Cannabidiol (CBD): Pre-Review Report; Agenda Item 5.2. Expert Committee on Drug Dependence (2017). Thirty-ninth meeting. Published in November 2017.
  4. Zuardi AW, Crippa JA, Hallak JE, Moreira FA, Guimaraes FS. Cannabidiol, a Cannabis Sativa Constituent, as an Antipsychotic Drug. Brazilian Journal of Medical and Biological Research (2006); 39(4): 421-9. Published online in April 2006.
  5. Consroe P. et al. Controlled Clinical Trial of Cannabidiol in Huntington’s Disease. Pharmacology, Biochemistry, and Behavior (1991); 40(3): 701-8. Published in 1991.
James Reed

James Reed

James is our in-house cannabis expert and foodie. He earned a Bachelor of Health Sciences with a focus on pharmacology several years ago and has since been working as a writer and editor for cannabis-related blogs and e-commerce brands. In his spare time, he enjoys exploring the landscape around his Crescent City home with his dog Gus.

Leave a Comment