The Pros and Cons of Taking CBD
February 26, 2020 | Written by Merrill Long, PhD
As more and more people use CBD for a wide range of reasons, it’s important to keep an eye on the whole picture—good and bad. We recommend talking to your doctor before making any decisions about CBD, but we hope this short list of pros and cons will help you decide if CBD is right for you.
CBD is easy to use. You don’t need a prescription from a doctor or permission from your insurance company. CBD products are readily available online in many different forms— CBD oils, CBD skin care products, CBD bath bombs and many more. Unlike a lot of over-the-counter medications, CBD doesn’t cause brain-fog and can be taken any time of day.
CBD creates a feeling of wellbeing. It is not an intoxicant. CBD made from hemp has less than 0.3% THC, so you can’t get high from it. But it would be wrong to say CBD is not psychoactive. In fact, CBD can be a powerful mood-altering compound and create feelings of wellbeing. CBD can have a positive effect on a person’s psyche.
CBD is a natural plant medicine. A natural part of the cannabis plant, CBD has been used by humans for more than a thousand years. It comes directly from nature. While many pharmaceuticals have a host of serious side effects, CBD has relatively few.
CBD is not yet regulated by FDA. The CBD industry has grown quickly, encouraged by the 2018 Farm Bill which removed hemp-derived CBD from the government’s list of controlled substances and instead gave oversight and regulatory power to the FDA. The FDA is expected to issue regulations soon, but currently, CBD products can vary widely in quality. As it stands now, manufacturers can basically put whatever they want on their labels. In addition to having inconsistent amounts of CBD, products might also contain traces of pesticides, herbicides, and other chemicals left over from its growth and processing. Since new products and online stores are regularly entering the market, it can be hard to tell good products from the bad.
We recommend finding a brand that you trust and sticking with it. Some online stores, like CBD Plaza, do the legwork of vetting products and manufacturers to offer consumers a full line of trustworthy CBD products.
CBD has a few side effects of its own. At high doses, the side effects of CBD can include dizziness, drowsiness, fatigue, dry mouth, sleeping problems, and gastrointestinal discomfort. All medical treatments and medications come with some degree of risk, and CBD is no exception. And because cannabis has been illegal in the U.S. for the past 80 years, it’s been hard for researchers to study it. Scientists don’t yet understand exactly how CBD operates in the brain and body. There are still a lot of unknowns, including CBD’s impacts on the liver, appropriate dosing, and how it interacts with other medications.
Choosing a CBD product can be complicated. With thousands of CBD products on the market, deciding which one to try can be a challenge. To help find the right CBD products for you, you can take this quick quiz and answer a few questions about yourself. You’ll get up to 6 personalized product suggestions based on your individual needs. You’ll also get a coupon for 20% off your first purchase.
Dosing can be tricky.The FDA has yet not issued dosage guidelines for CBD. There are two reasons why determining the proper dosage can be difficult. First, the inconsistent quality of CBD products means you might not get the dosage you expect. This will undoubtedly improve once the FDA issues its regulations.
The second reason dosing is difficult is more complex. CBD works differently for each person, and there’s no one-size-fits-all approach. Factors such as bodyweight, diet, and disposition can mean that different people need different amounts of CBD to get the desired outcome. What’s more, CBD (like many other drugs) can have a biphasic effect, meaning low and high doses can produce opposite results.
The best protocol is to “start low and go slow,” taking a modest amount of CBD at first, then working your way up to the optimal dose for you.
CBD isn’t for everyone, but millions of people currently take it for a wide range of reasons. Researchers continue to explore new uses for CBD, and pharmaceutical companies are taking interest and sponsoring studies that will help us better understand its potential. If you’re ready to give CBD a try, shop here.