April 7, 2021

9 Side Effects Of CBD Oil

Written by - Mallory Milne

minute read

If you've been following the news surrounding CBD oil for the past year, you're probably aware by now of the many health benefits that it can carry. ?

Sure it's got a ton of potential uses, and everyone says it's great, but what are the side effects of CBD oil?

While there isn't a lot of them, and the majority are very minor and more of a nuisance than anything, there are still some things to watch out for when you first start taking it.

What Is CBD?

what are the side effects of cbd oil

First things first. For the newcomers, here is a quick overview on what CBD actually is.

In every person there exists an Endocannabinoid System, in which there are many cannabinoid receptors. Cannabidiol(CBD), and Tetrahydrocannabinol(THC), are among the two most studied, and their receptors are called CB-1 and CB-2.

CBD is not psychoactive, and does not produce a "high", whereas THC does. Most of the CBD oil you can buy in Canada is hemp derived, and comes from the industrial hemp plant.

Hemp vs. Marijuana

Hemp is part of the cannabis family, and is closely related to marijuana. 

The biggest difference between the two? Hemp is naturally very low in THC and high in CBD, while in marijuana it is the exact opposite.

Another cool fact for you - CBD actually works to combat the psychoactive effects of THC in the body, by blocking the receptor that THC binds with!

hemp vs marijuana

The discovery of the Endocannabinoid System and the effect that it has on the human body is fairly recent. It's believed to have a major impact upon many other systems within, and how they operate.

Our bodies normally produce its own cannabinoids, and with more research being done in the area, its now thought that an endocannabinoid deficiency may be linked to a number of disorders.

CBD is a potent anti-inflammatory, with antioxidant and anti-fungal properties, and comes packed with essential vitamins and nutrients (with hemp seed oil as carrier).

There are a few different types of CBD available. Full Spectrum, which contains everything in the hemp plant, including traces of THC. Broad Spectrum, which contains most of the things within the plant, but has the THC removed, and CBD Isolate. This one is 99.9% pure CBD and nothing more. Full Spectrum oil carries many benefits over Broad Spectrum or Isolate alone.

Now that those details are out of the way, on to what you came for....

side effects of cbd

As mentioned above, CBD doesn't come with a lot of side effects, and is generally regarded as safe to take by EVERYONE, young or old.

Nevertheless, some of them can be quite the annoyance.

The side effects of CBD oil

Much like when starting a new medication, when you first start taking CBD oil it might take your body a little bit of time to get used to it. After all, it is brand new, and something that your body hasn't experienced before.

Give your body a chance to become accustomed to it, but also be aware that persistent side effects may be your body's way of telling you that something isn't right.

Some people suffer from cannabis allergies, which can range from mild to quite severe. If you suspect that your body is reacting in an unusual way, stopping CBD oil and talking with a doctor is recommended.

Below is a list of some of the common side effects that you may experience with CBD oil or other CBD products.

nausea as side effect of cbd oil


One of the most common side effects of CBD oil is nausea. This can be narrowed down to a few things.

One is the carrier oil that's used in your CBD. MCT oil is a popular carrier, but has an adverse effect on some people. If you're finding yourself very nauseous, it may be worth switching to a CBD product with a different carrier oil.

Another cause may simply just be the taste. Some brands of unflavored CBD taste downright nasty, and leave an aftertaste that can be hard to stomach.

If you're squeamish about the taste of CBD oil, try changing up the brands and flavors. There are many companies out there right now, like FAB CBD, that are making it a point to produce delicious oils. 

It can also be the way that you're ingesting it that is causing it. If you're finding that you can't stomach swallowing the straight oil, switch to another ingestion method such as vaping, capsules, or edibles that are better tasting.

diarrhea as side effect of cbd oil


Gastrointestinal distress and diarrhea are unfortunately a very common side effect of CBD oil when first starting out.

Some people have a hard time digesting fat. Considering your CBD oil contains a lot of fat from the carrier oil, it may cause some unwanted trips to the toilet.

Despite being highly bio-available and a great choice as a carrier oil, MCT oil may exasperate these effects.

This generally runs its course as your body adapts to the CBD, but if you experience persistent stomach troubles, switch it up.

headache as side effect of cbd oil


Different cannabinoids have some research behind it showing it as a possibly effective treatment for migraines, but in some it can cause mild headaches. 

A high dose is generally responsible for this, though it can occur at lower doses.

You can combat this by lowering your dose until your body gets used to it, and then slowly increasing if need be.

low blood pressure as side effect of cbd oil

Low Blood Pressure

This is one of the more serious side effects of CBD oil, and is something to watch out for. 

Studies have shown CBD oil to lower blood pressure, and lightheadedness or dizziness is a common sign of this.

It is not recommended to take CBD oil if you have high blood pressure and are already treating it with medication.

If you are on medication to help lower or regulate your blood pressure, it is crucial that you speak with a doctor before adding in CBD of any kind to your daily routine.

anxiety as side effect of cbd oil

Increased Anxiety

This CBD oil side effect is kind of a catch 22.

It is well documented that CBD oil can help to reduce anxiety and anxious emotions, but it may also increase your anxiety. This can be caused by two things.

One, you might be taking too much, especially when starting out. Taking too high of a dose can cause increased anxiety. If you experience this, cut back your dose and slowly increase as needed. Check out our dosage guide for tips on how to go about this.

Two, it could be the THC that is in your CBD oil. While the amount of THC in Full Spectrum oil may be very small, some people experience heightened sensitivity to even the tiniest amounts.

If this is you, try switching to either Broad Spectrum or CBD Isolate, both of which have non-detectable levels of THC.


medication interactions with cbd oil

Medication Interactions

This one is the most important on the list.

According to drugs.com, there are 521 medications that interact with cannabidiol, 9 of which are major and can cause serious complications.

You've likely heard that grapefruit interacts with a lot of medications. CBD is metabolized in the liver, and acts in a very similar manner.

If you're taking medications that have warnings about grapefruit, it is likely that they are going to interact with CBD as well.

It is recommended to speak with your doctor before starting CBD if you are taking any medications.

loss of appetite due to cbd oil

Reduced Appetite & Weight Loss

While you may have gotten excited to read that, it is a concern for some who struggle to keep weight on.

CBD has an inhibitory effect on the appetite, so you may find you aren't reaching for those snacks quite so often.

For those who could stand to drop a few pounds, you'll be happy to learn that there is some research behind CBD oil and weight loss.

CBD has been shown to turn unhealthy "white" fat into the more healthy "brown" fat, and can potentially help aid you on your weight loss journey.

dry mouth when consuming cbd oil

Dry Mouth

Also known as cotton mouth, this is something that is also commonly experienced in people who ingest marijuana.

This effect can magnified if you are vaping CBD, rather than using the sublingual oils.

Vaping can mildy dehydrate the body, regardless of whether it has CBD in it or not. If you're finding yourself reaching for the water glass all the time, consider using multiple ingestion methods with your CBD, and cut back on the vape.

Make sure to stay well hydrated if you're consuming CBD, and that will go a long way towards preventing your mouth from becoming the Sahara Desert.

drowsiness as cbd oil side effect


This is another catch 22, as emerging CBD research shows it having the potential to make you more alert.

Taking too high a dose of CBD has been reported as one possible cause of drowsiness. Lowering your dose may be able to help combat this.

This effect is also more common with Full Spectrum CBD. There has been some speculation that the minute traces of THC are to blame, but there isn't a lot of research backing this up.

Keep in mind that if you experience extreme drowsiness with CBD, it's best not to engage in any activities that require you to be highly alert, such as operating heavy equipment or machinery.

Thoughts on the side effects of CBD oil

cbd side effects

Again, a lot of these side effects, if you experience any at all, are going to be very mild. Most people report zero negative side effects.

When first starting out with CBD, it is always recommended that you go slow. For one thing, the dose that you take is going to be different from the dose your friend may take. Your condition may be more or less severe, or you may be taking it in a different form, which affects the bioavailability rate(more on that here).

It's all about finding the dose that works for you, and you won't know if a small amount will work just as good as a larger amount if you don't start out at a lower dose.

For another, starting out at a higher dose increases the likelihood that you will experience some negative side effects from the CBD oil.

Your body needs time to adjust to the cannabinoids that you are introducing to your system, and for some this can take up to a few weeks. The best way to take CBD is to be consistent with it, and increase slowly only if you need to.

To minimize the chances of these side effects, its also important to know exactly what is in your CBD oil, and how to properly research a company to buy from. 

When you are out there searching for an oil, choose a company that has its products tested by a third party lab to ensure the CBD content, and also any possible toxins or contaminants that may be hiding within.

The possible health benefits of CBD greatly outweigh the side effects, and it's up to you to factor in the pros and cons and decide if it is worth it.

Have a question? Leave a comment below!

About the author 

Mallory Milne

Mallory is a mom of two, as well as the main content writer and owner of CBD Handle. She has been a consumer advocate and CBD user since 2018, and strives to relay accurate, easy to understand information and to educate others on the health benefits of CBD.


Cannabidiol side effects, CBD, CBD Oil, CBD Oil Benefits, Side Effects of CBD Oil, THC side effects

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  • Awesome post on CBD. I’ve been researching about CBD these last few weeks, as it’s gaining popularity almost everywhere you look on the internet. I’m glad that I came across your article at this time, it had answers to some questions I had regarding the possible side effects of CBD.

    Your article is very well in-depth, informative, and easy to understand. I’m bookmarking the site for further reference. 

    Thanks a lot for sharing this useful information. I’ll be happily sharing it with some others who I think would find it interesting as well!

    • Glad that you found it useful! While most of the articles surrounding CBD are positive, it is important to realize that like anything you put into your body, it can have positive and negative effects. While the negative side effects may be small, they are still possible. Thanks for reading!

  • I have read a lot of articles related to benefits, but this is the first time I read one related to the side effects. I have checked out that there are many side effects related to this, however, I think you should know how to consume this product to avoid those. 

    Although there are a couple of side effects, I still think that the benefits are more, but you have to make sure you qualified for this product by asking a doctor if it is okay to try this product. So that was a good recommendation.

    I would like to know if some of those side effects are related to any allergic you may have to the CBD?

    Thanks for sharing!

  • I am so glad i found this group! Ive been having so many MLMs trying to get me to buy their CBD. I have tried the local dispensary CBD but didnt notice any kind of relief. But have heard so many good things about it. I have chronic pain and am unable to get prescription medications and thats probably a good thing, really. So Ive been trying to decide on the best form of CBD. Thank you for allowing me into this group and Im really going to know my stuff before purchasing again! Thank you again.

    • You’re very welcome, glad to have you as a part of our community! Feel free to reach out if you have any questions, we are always willing to help here.

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