Cannabidiol (CBD) affects the brain, however, the exact cause of these effects is unclear. CBD seems to prevent the breakdown of serotonin, a chemical in the brain that affects pain, mood, and mental function. Preventing the breakdown of this chemical and increasing its levels in the blood seems to reduce psychotic symptoms associated with conditions such as schizophrenia. CBD may also block some of the psychoactive effects of delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the psychoactive cannabinoid in cannabis.
Though CBD is generally well tolerated and considered safe, it may cause adverse reactions in some people.
Side effects noted in studies include:
- Changes in appetite and weight
- Drug interactions
CBD is also known to interact with several medications. Before you start using CBD oil, discuss it with your doctor to ensure your safety and avoid potentially harmful interactions.
This is especially important if you take medications or supplements that come with a “grapefruit warning.” Both grapefruit and CBD interfere with cytochromes P450 (CYPs), a group of enzymes that are important to drug metabolism.
One study performed on mice showed that CBD-rich cannabis extracts have the potential to cause liver toxicity. However, some the mice in the study were force-fed extremely large doses of the extract.
A Potential New Option
Though there is much to be learned about the efficacy and safety of CBD, results from recent studies suggest that CBD may provide a safe, powerful natural treatment for many health issues.
CBD oil has been studied for its potential role in easing symptoms of many common health issues, including anxiety, depression, acne and heart disease. For those with cancer, it may even provide a natural alternative for pain and symptom relief.
Research on the potential health benefits of CBD oil is ongoing, so new therapeutic uses for this natural remedy are sure to be discovered.
In the meantime, if you’re interested in trying CBD, you can purchase many products online, including gummies, oils, and lotions.