It’s important to point out that CBD is not regulated by the FDA and therefore dosages might not be accurate. It’s also difficult to know what an appropriate dose is the first time you try a new product.
Also known as “cotton mouth,” CBD can potentially cause your mouth and eyes to feel very dry, notes Dr. Brent A. Bauer via Mayo Clinic. Though this side effect is more likely to occur with THC, it can happen with CBD, as well.
Some common side effects when using CBD include drowsiness and sedation. This is also considered a benefit, but Dr. Jas Matharu-Daley, a physician and chief medical officer for a CBD brand, notes that the effects might be too strong if you’re also taking CBD with other sedating medications.
Are There Any Benefits Associated With Using CBD?
Wendy Rose Gould is a lifestyle reporter with over a decade of experience covering health and wellness topics.
There are several reasons why someone might want to use CBD. The substance can be found in a multitude of products ranging from pain-relieving creams to edible tinctures to skincare. Research is still underway, but over the last few decades scientists have become more aware of how CBD might prove beneficial when applied either topically or ingested.
She adds, “[Another difference is that] CBD is derived from hemp and has been classified as a legal substance. Hemp has <0.3% THC. Conversely, cannabis plants such as marijuana are grown to have much higher levels of THC and are still illegal according to the FDA, although individual states vary as to their use.”
Steven Gans, MD is board-certified in psychiatry and is an active supervisor, teacher, and mentor at Massachusetts General Hospital.
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What Are Edibles?
Weber Packaging. “Cannabis Labeling Requirements By State.” June 2018. Accessed December 9, 2020.
Dowd, Maureen. “Don’t Harsh Our Mellow, Dude.” New York Times, June 3, 2014. Accessed December 9, 2020.
KUSA. “Colo. to revisit edible marijuana rules after deaths.” USA Today, April 29, 2014. Accessed December 9, 2020.
Potential edible side effects vary depending on the type. Adverse effects are relatively uncommon for CBD edibles. In an online survey of 2,409 people, only minor complaints were reported, says Dr Brewer – such as dry mouth, when used as oral spray or drops (11.1%), euphoria (6.4%), hunger (6.4%), red eyes (2.7%) and feeling sleepy (1.8%).
CBD edibles are commonplace in the UK and prescribing THC-based products for medicinal use has been legal since November 2018. Interestingly, medical marijuana users are more likely to consume edibles than recreational users, a US survey by RAND Corporation found.
You also need to account for the delivery method in your dosage. When you eat chewable CBD edibles, ‘only 13% to 19% of an ingested dose “survives” to reach the rest of your body,’ says Dr Brewer, ‘so you need a higher dose than when absorbing CBD straight into the bloodstream by holding it under your tongue.’ By contrast, when CBD is taken sublingually, up to 35% will reach the bloodstream, she says.
Edible side effects
Your weight and height influence the absorption of edibles, too. ‘There are personal differences in how we metabolise and respond to CBD based on our genes,’ says Dr Brewer. ‘People of greater weight may need higher doses to reach an equilibrium throughout the body, especially as CBD is fat-soluble and will pass into fat stores.’
‘There is no certainty about the quality of CBD products used by those taking part in the survey, however, and some may have contained unlabelled amounts of THC or other substances that produced these effects – for example, euphoria and hunger are more usually associated with THC than with CBD,’ she says. ‘Even so, no serious side effects were noted.’
With THC-based edibles, this latency often results in that all-too-familiar trope: not feeling any effects, consuming more edibles, and accidentally overdosing. Nobody has ever died from overdosing on THC, but it’s possible to have a bad reaction and experience side effects like severe confusion, anxiety, paranoia, hallucinations and vomiting. That’s why you should always wait at least 24 hours before taking another dose.
CBD (cannabidiol) and THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) both interact with your body’s endocannabinoid system, and share many of the same medical benefits. However, they produce markedly different mental effects. THC produces a sense of euphoria described as feeling ‘high’, whereas CBD doesn’t.