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Cannabidiol (CBD) is an active ingredient in cannabis that is derived from the hemp plant, but it does not cause a high and is not addictive. CBD has been shown to be effective in treating conditions like pain, insomnia, and anxiety. Learn more about CANNABIDIOL (CBD) uses, effectiveness, possible side effects, interactions, dosage, user ratings and products that contain CANNABIDIOL (CBD). CBD oil is made from hemp plants. It may help treat pain, anxiety, and seizures. Here is what you should know before trying it.

Cannabidiol (CBD): What we know and what we don’t

Cannabidiol (CBD) is often covered in the media, and you may see it touted as an add-in booster to your post-workout smoothie or morning coffee. You can even buy a CBD-infused sports bra. But what exactly is CBD? And why is it so popular?

How is cannabidiol different from marijuana, cannabis and hemp?

CBD, or cannabidiol, is the second most prevalent active ingredient in cannabis (marijuana). While CBD is an essential component of medical marijuana, it is derived directly from the hemp plant, a cousin of marijuana, or manufactured in a laboratory. One of hundreds of components in marijuana, CBD does not cause a “high” by itself. According to a report from the World Health Organization, “In humans, CBD exhibits no effects indicative of any abuse or dependence potential…. To date, there is no evidence of public health related problems associated with the use of pure CBD.”

Is cannabidiol legal?

CBD is readily obtainable in most parts of the United States, though its exact legal status has been in flux. All 50 states have laws legalizing CBD with varying degrees of restriction. In December 2015, the FDA eased the regulatory requirements to allow researchers to conduct CBD trials. In 2018, the Farm Bill made hemp legal in the United States, making it virtually impossible to keep CBD illegal – that would be like making oranges legal, but keeping orange juice illegal.

The Farm Bill removed all hemp-derived products, including CBD, from the Controlled Substances Act, which criminalizes the possession of drugs. In essence, this means that CBD is legal if it comes from hemp, but not if it comes from cannabis (marijuana) – even though it is the exact same molecule. Currently, many people obtain CBD online without a medical marijuana license, which is legal in most states.

The evidence for cannabidiol health benefits

CBD has been touted for a wide variety of health issues, but the strongest scientific evidence is for its effectiveness in treating some of the cruelest childhood epilepsy syndromes, such as Dravet syndrome and Lennox-Gastaut syndrome (LGS), which typically don’t respond to antiseizure medications. In numerous studies, CBD was able to reduce the number of seizures, and, in some cases, stop them altogether. Epidiolex, which contains CBD, is the first cannabis-derived medicine approved by the FDA for these conditions.

Animal studies, and self-reports or research in humans, suggest CBD may also help with:

    Studies and clinical trials are exploring the common report that CBD can reduce anxiety.

  • Insomnia. Studies suggest that CBD may help with both falling asleep and staying asleep.
  • Chronic pain. Further human studies are needed to substantiate claims that CBD helps control pain. One animal study from the European Journal of Pain suggests CBD could help lower pain and inflammation due to arthritis when applied to skin. Other research identifies how CBD may inhibit inflammatory and neuropathic pain, which are difficult treat.
  • Addiction. CBD can help lower cravings for tobacco and heroin under certain conditions, according to some research in humans. Animal models of addiction suggest it may also help lessen cravings for alcohol, cannabis, opiates, and stimulants.

Is CBD safe?

Side effects of CBD include nausea, fatigue and irritability. CBD can increase the level of blood thinning and other medicines in your blood by competing for the liver enzymes that break down these drugs. Grapefruit has a similar effect with certain medicines.

People taking high doses of CBD may show abnormalities in liver related blood tests. Many non-prescription drugs, such as acetaminophen (Tylenol), have this same effect. So, you should let your doctor know if you are regularly using CBD.

A significant safety concern with CBD is that it is primarily marketed and sold as a supplement, not a medication. Currently, the FDA does not regulate the safety and purity of dietary supplements. So, you cannot be sure that the product you buy has active ingredients at the dose listed on the label. In addition, the product may contain other unknown elements. We also don’t know the most effective therapeutic dose of CBD for any particular medical condition.

How can CBD be taken?

CBD comes in many forms, including oils, extracts, capsules, patches, vapes, and topical preparations for use on skin. If you’re hoping to reduce inflammation and relieve muscle and joint pain, a topical CBD-infused oil, lotion or cream – or even a bath bomb — may be the best option. Alternatively, a CBC patch or a tincture or spray designed to be placed under the tongue allows CBD to directly enter the bloodstream.

Outside of the US, the prescription drug Sativex, which uses CBD as an active ingredient, is approved for muscle spasticity associated with multiple sclerosis and for cancer pain. Within the US, Epidiolex is approved for certain types of epilepsy and tuberous sclerosis.

The bottom line on cannabidiol

Some CBD manufacturers have come under government scrutiny for wild, indefensible claims, such that CBD is a cure-all for cancer or COVID-19, which it is not. We need more research but CBD may prove to be a helpful, relatively non-toxic option for managing anxiety, insomnia, and chronic pain. Without sufficient high-quality evidence in human studies, we can’t pinpoint effective doses, and because CBD currently is typically available as an unregulated supplement, it’s hard to know exactly what you are getting.

If you decide to try CBD, make sure you are getting it from a reputable source. And talk with your doctor to make sure that it won’t affect any other medicines you take.

CANNABIDIOL (CBD) – Uses, Side Effects, and More

Cannabidiol (CBD) is a chemical in the Cannabis sativa plant, also known as cannabis or hemp. One specific form of CBD is approved as a drug in the U.S. for seizures.

Over 80 chemicals, known as cannabinoids, have been found in the Cannabis sativa plant. Delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is the most famous ingredient in cannabis. But CBD is obtained from hemp, a form of the Cannabis sativa plant that only contains small amounts of THC. CBD seems to have effects on some chemicals in the brain, but these are different than the effects of THC.

A prescription form of CBD is used for seizure disorder (epilepsy). CBD is also used for anxiety, pain, a muscle disorder called dystonia, Parkinson disease, Crohn disease, and many other conditions, but there is no good scientific evidence to support these uses.

Laws passed in 2018 made it legal to sell hemp and hemp products in the US. But that doesn’t mean that all CBD products made from hemp are legal. Since CBD is an approved prescription drug, it can’t be legally included in foods or dietary supplements. CBD can only be included in “cosmetic” products. But there are still CBD products on the market that are labeled as dietary supplements. The amount of CBD contained in these products is not always the same as what is stated on the label.

How does it work ?

Uses & Effectiveness ?

Likely Effective for

  • Seizure disorder (epilepsy). A specific prescription product (Epidiolex, GW Pharmaceuticals) is approved by the US FDA to treat seizures caused by Dravet syndrome, Lennox-Gastaut syndrome, or tuberous sclerosis complex. It is unclear if other forms of CBD are helpful for seizure. For now, stick with the prescription product.

Possibly Effective for

    (MS). A prescription-only nasal spray product (Sativex, GW Pharmaceuticals) containing both 9-delta-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol has been shown to be effective for improving pain, muscle-tightness, and urination frequency in people with MS. This product is used in over 25 countries outside of the United States. But there is inconsistent evidence on the effectiveness of cannabidiol for symptoms of multiple sclerosis when it is used alone. Some early research suggests that using a cannabidiol spray under the tongue might improve pain and muscle tightness, but not muscle spasms, tiredness, bladder control, mobility, or well-being and quality of life in patients with MS.

Side Effects

When taken by mouth: CBD is possibly safe to take in appropriate doses. Doses of up to 200 mg daily have been used safely for up to 13 weeks. With the guidance of a healthcare provider, a specific prescription CBD product (Epidiolex) has been used at higher doses and for longer durations.

CBD can cause some side effects, such as dry mouth, low blood pressure, light headedness, and drowsiness. Signs of liver injury have also been reported with high doses of the prescription form of CBD, called Epidiolex.

When applied to the skin: There isn’t enough reliable information to know if CBD is safe or what the side effects might be.

Special Precautions and Warnings

Pregnancy and breast-feeding: It may be unsafe to take CBD if you are pregnant or breast feeding. CBD products can be contaminated with other ingredients that may be harmful to the fetus or infant. Stay on the safe side and avoid use.

Children: It is possibly safe for children to take a specific prescription CBD product (Epidiolex) by mouth in doses up to 25 mg/kg daily. This product is approved for use in children with certain conditions who are at least 1 year old. It isn’t clear if other CBD products are safe in children.

Liver disease: People with liver disease may need to use lower doses of CBD.

Parkinson disease: Some early research suggests that taking high doses of CBD might make muscle movement and tremors worse in some people with Parkinson disease.

Interactions ?

Moderate Interaction

Be cautious with this combination

Medications changed by the liver (Cytochrome P450 1A1 (CYP1A1) substrates) interacts with CANNABIDIOL (CBD)

Some medications are changed and broken down by the liver. CBD might change how quickly the liver breaks down these medications. This could change the effects and side effects of these medications.

Medications changed by the liver (Cytochrome P450 1A2 (CYP1A2) substrates) interacts with CANNABIDIOL (CBD)

Some medications are changed and broken down by the liver. CBD might change how quickly the liver breaks down these medications. This could change the effects and side effects of these medications.

Medications changed by the liver (Cytochrome P450 1B1 (CYP1B1) substrates) interacts with CANNABIDIOL (CBD)

Some medications are changed and broken down by the liver. CBD might change how quickly the liver breaks down these medications. This could change the effects and side effects of these medications.

Medications changed by the liver (Cytochrome P450 2A6 (CYP2A6) substrates) interacts with CANNABIDIOL (CBD)

Some medications are changed and broken down by the liver. CBD might change how quickly the liver breaks down these medications. This could change the effects and side effects of these medications.

Medications changed by the liver (Cytochrome P450 2B6 (CYP2B6) substrates) interacts with CANNABIDIOL (CBD)

Some medications are changed and broken down by the liver. CBD might change how quickly the liver breaks down these medications. This could change the effects and side effects of these medications.

Medications changed by the liver (Cytochrome P450 2C19 (CYP2C19) substrates) interacts with CANNABIDIOL (CBD)

Some medications are changed and broken down by the liver. CBD might change how quickly the liver breaks down these medications. This could change the effects and side effects of these medications.

Medications changed by the liver (Cytochrome P450 2C9 (CYP2C9) substrates) interacts with CANNABIDIOL (CBD)

Some medications are changed and broken down by the liver. CBD might change how quickly the liver breaks down these medications. This could change the effects and side effects of these medications.

Medications changed by the liver (Cytochrome P450 2D6 (CYP2D6) substrates) interacts with CANNABIDIOL (CBD)

Some medications are changed and broken down by the liver. CBD might change how quickly the liver breaks down these medications. This could change the effects and side effects of these medications.

Medications changed by the liver (Cytochrome P450 3A4 (CYP3A4) substrates) interacts with CANNABIDIOL (CBD)

Some medications are changed and broken down by the liver. CBD might change how quickly the liver breaks down these medications. This could change the effects and side effects of these medications.

Sedative medications (CNS depressants) interacts with CANNABIDIOL (CBD)

CBD might cause sleepiness and slowed breathing. Some medications, called sedatives, can also cause sleepiness and slowed breathing. Taking CBD with sedative medications might cause breathing problems and/or too much sleepiness.

Clobazam (Onfi) interacts with CANNABIDIOL (CBD)

Clobazam is changed and broken down by the liver. CBD might decrease how quickly the liver breaks down clobazam. This might increase the effects and side effects of clobazam.

Eslicarbazepine (Aptiom) interacts with CANNABIDIOL (CBD)

Eslicarbazepine is changed and broken down by the body. CBD might decrease how quickly the body breaks down eslicarbazepine. This might increase levels of eslicarbazepine in the body by a small amount.

Rufinamide (Banzel) interacts with CANNABIDIOL (CBD)

Rufinamide is changed and broken down by the body. CBD might decrease how quickly the body breaks down rufinamide. This might increase levels of rufinamide in the body by a small amount.

Topiramate (Topamax) interacts with CANNABIDIOL (CBD)

Topiramate is changed and broken down by the body. CBD might decrease how quickly the body breaks down topiramate. This might increase levels of topiramate in the body by a small amount.

Valproate interacts with CANNABIDIOL (CBD)

Valproic acid can cause liver injury. Taking cannabidiol with valproic acid might increase the chance of liver injury. CBD and/or valproic acid might need to be stopped, or the dose might need to be reduced.

Zonisamide interacts with CANNABIDIOL (CBD)

Zonisamide is changed and broken down by the body. CBD might decrease how quickly the body breaks down zonisamide. This might increase levels of zonisamide in the body by a small amount.

Medications changed by the liver (Cytochrome P450 2C8 (CYP2C8) substrates) interacts with CANNABIDIOL (CBD)

Some medications are changed and broken down by the liver. CBD might change how quickly the liver breaks down these medications. This could change the effects and side effects of these medications.

Medications changed by the liver (Glucuronidated drugs) interacts with CANNABIDIOL (CBD)

Some medications are changed and broken down by the liver. CBD might change how quickly the liver breaks down these medications. This could change the effects and side effects of these medications.

Medications that increase the breakdown of other medications by the liver (Cytochrome P450 2C19 (CYP2C19) inducers) interacts with CANNABIDIOL (CBD)

CBD is changed and broken down by the liver. Some drugs increase how quickly the liver changes and breaks down CBD. This could change the effects and side effects of CBD.

Medications that increase breakdown of other medications by the liver (Cytochrome P450 3A4 (CYP3A4) inducers) interacts with CANNABIDIOL (CBD)

CBD is changed and broken down by the liver. Some drugs increase how quickly the liver changes and breaks down CBD. This could change the effects and side effects of CBD.

Medications that decrease the breakdown of other medications by the liver (Cytochrome P450 2C19 (CYP2C19) inhibitors) interacts with CANNABIDIOL (CBD)

CBD is changed and broken down by the liver. Some drugs decrease how quickly the liver changes and breaks down CBD. This could change the effects and side effects of CBD.

Medications that decrease the breakdown of other medications in the liver (Cytochrome P450 3A4 (CYP3A4) inhibitors) interacts with CANNABIDIOL (CBD)

CBD is changed and broken down by the liver. Some drugs decrease how quickly the liver changes and breaks down CBD. This could change the effects and side effects of CBD.

Brivaracetam (Briviact) interacts with CANNABIDIOL (CBD)

Brivaracetam is changed and broken down by the body. CBD might decrease how quickly the body breaks down brivaracetam. This might increase levels of brivaracetam in the body.

Everolimus (Zostress) interacts with CANNABIDIOL (CBD)

Everolimus is changed and broken down by the body. CBD might decrease how quickly the body breaks down everolimus. This might increase levels of everolimus in the body.

Tacrolimus (Prograf) interacts with CANNABIDIOL (CBD)

Tacrolimus is changed and broken down by the body. CBD might decrease how quickly the body breaks down tacrolimus. This might increase levels of tacrolimus in the body.

Methadone (Dolophine) interacts with CANNABIDIOL (CBD)

Methadone is broken down by the liver. CBD might decrease how quickly the liver breaks down methadone. Taking cannabidiol along with methadone might increase the effects and side effects of methadone.

Carbamazepine (Tegretol) interacts with CANNABIDIOL (CBD)

Carbamazepine is changed and broken down by the body. CBD might decrease how quickly the body breaks down carbamazepine. This might increase levels of carbamazepine in the body and increase its side effects.

Sirolimus (Rapamune) interacts with CANNABIDIOL (CBD)

Sirolimus is changed and broken down by the body. CBD might decrease how quickly the body breaks down sirolimus. This might increase levels of sirolimus in the body.

Stiripentol (Diacomit) interacts with CANNABIDIOL (CBD)

Stiripentol is changed and broken down by the body. CBD might decrease how quickly the body breaks down stiripentol. This might increase levels of stiripentol in the body and increase its side effects.

Lithium interacts with CANNABIDIOL (CBD)

Taking higher doses of CBD might increase levels of lithium. This can increase the risk of lithium toxicity.

Warfarin interacts with CANNABIDIOL (CBD)

CBD might increase levels of warfarin, which can increase the risk for bleeding. CBD and/or warfarin might need to be stopped, or the dose might need to be reduced.

Tamoxifen (Soltamox) interacts with CANNABIDIOL (CBD)

Tamoxifen is changed and broken down by the body. CBD might affect how quickly the body breaks down tamoxifen. This might affect levels of tamoxifen in the body.

Caffeine interacts with CANNABIDIOL (CBD)

Caffeine is changed and broken down by the body. CBD might decrease how quickly the body breaks down caffeine. This might increase levels of caffeine in the body.

Citalopram (Celexa) interacts with CANNABIDIOL (CBD)

Citalopram is changed and broken down by the body. CBD might decrease how quickly the body breaks down citalopram. This might increase levels of citalopram in the body and increase its side effects.

Medications changed by the liver (Cytochrome P450 2E1 (CYP2E1) substrates) interacts with CANNABIDIOL (CBD)

Some medications are changed and broken down by the liver. CBD might change how quickly the liver breaks down these medications. This could change the effects and side effects of these medications.

Dosing

CBD has most often been used by adults in doses of 200 mg or less per day. Speak with a healthcare provider to find out what dose might be best for a specific condition.

For information on using prescription CBD, a product called Epidiolex, speak with a healthcare provider.

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CBD Oil Benefits vs. Side Effects

While it may be helpful, it may not be safe for all

Cathy Wong is a nutritionist and wellness expert. Her work is regularly featured in media such as First For Women, Woman’s World, and Natural Health.

Verywell Health articles are reviewed by board-certified physicians and healthcare professionals. These medical reviewers confirm the content is thorough and accurate, reflecting the latest evidence-based research. Content is reviewed before publication and upon substantial updates. Learn more.

Meredith Bull, ND, is a licensed naturopathic doctor with a private practice in Los Angeles. She helped co-author the first integrative geriatrics textbook, “Integrative Geriatric Medicine.”

CBD oil is said to have a variety of possible health benefits. It is used as an appetite stimulant, a sleep aid, a treatment for skin conditions like eczema and psoriasis, for relief of pain, to prevent seizures, and much more.

Though derived from cannabis, the same plants grown for marijuana, CBD oil is not he same as pot. But that doesn’t mean that CBD oil is 100% safe. Some possible side effects, like dry mouth, may be fairly minor. Others, like anxiety, are potentially more significant. And certain potential side effects may even make using CBD oil inadvisable for some people.

This article goes over what CBD is used for, the possible side effects, and what you should look for if you choose to buy CBD.

What Exactly Is CBD Oil?

CBD oil is a hemp plant extract known as cannabidiol mixed with a base (carrier) oil like coconut oil or hemp seed oil. CBD oil comes from Cannabis indica and Cannabis sativa plants.

CBD Oil Benefits

People who support the use of CBD claim that CBD oil benefits people with a variety of health problems. CBD oil is said to be good for:

  • Acne
  • Anxiety
  • Cancer
  • Depression
  • Drug use and withdrawal
  • High blood pressure
  • Muscle spasms
  • Poor appetite
  • Skin conditions like eczema and psoriasis

As CBD has gained popularity, researchers have been trying to study it more. Still, there has not yet been a lot of clinical research focused on finding evidence to back up these health claims.

Here’s a deeper dive into what is known about a few of the purported health benefits of CBD oil.

Anxiety

A 2015 review of research that was published in the journal Neurotherapeutics suggested that CBD might help treat anxiety disorders.

The study authors reported that CBD had previously shown powerful anxiety-relieving effects in animal research—and the results were kind of surprising.

In most of the studies, lower doses of CBD (10 milligrams per kilogram, mg/kg, or less) improved some symptoms of anxiety, while higher doses (100 mg/kg or more) had almost no effect.

The way that CBD acts in the brain could explain why this happens. In low doses, CBD might act the same as the surrounding molecules that normally bind to the receptor that “turns up” their signaling. However, at higher doses, too much activity at this receptor site could produce the opposite effect.

There have not been many trials to look at CBD’s anxiety-relieving effects in humans. However, one was a 2019 study published in the Brazilian Journal of Psychiatry.

For the study, 57 men took either CBD oil or a sugar pill with no CBD in it (placebo) before a public-speaking event.

The researchers assessed the participants’ anxiety levels using measures like blood pressure and heart rate. The researchers also used a reliable test for mood states called the Visual Analog Mood Scale (VAMS).

The men who took 300 milligrams (mg) of CBD oil reported less anxiety than the men who were given a placebo; however, the men who took 100 mg or 600 mg of CBD oil did not experience the same effects.

Addiction

CBD oil might help people with substance use disorder, according to a 2015 review published in the journal Substance Abuse.

The review looked at the findings from 14 published studies. Nine of the studies looked at the effects of CBD on animals and five looked at the effects on humans.

The researchers reported that CBD showed promise for treating people with opioid, cocaine, or psychostimulant use disorders.

However, the effects of CBD were quite different depending on the substance. For example, CBD without THC did not decrease withdrawal symptoms related to opioid use.

On the other hand, it did reduce drug-seeking behaviors in people using cocaine, methamphetamine, and other similar drugs.

Some experts suggest that CBD could help treat cannabis and nicotine dependence, but more research is needed to provide this theory.

Skin Conditions

Some studies have suggested that CBD oil may benefit the skin.

A 2020 paper, for example, found that CBD oil may help reduce inflammation, which could be useful for treating a variety of skin conditions including allergic dermatitis, acne, and psoriasis.

Cancer

Proponents say CBD oil has benefits for people with cancer. Although some studies have shown promise, there have been no large studies proving the benefits of CBD oil as a cancer treatment.

Other studies suggest that CBD might interact with cancer drugs.

If you have cancer and are considering CBD, talk to your oncologist first about whether or not it is safe for you to use.

High Blood Pressure

A 2017 study found that CBD oil may reduce the risk of heart disease because it can lower high blood pressure in some people.

For the study, nine healthy men took either 600 mg of CBD or the same dose of a placebo. The men who took CBD had lower blood pressure before and after experiencing stressors like exercise or extreme cold.

The study also looked at the amount of blood remaining in the heart after a heartbeat (stroke volume). The stroke volume in the men who took CBD was lower than in was in the placebo group, meaning their hearts were pumping more efficiently.

The study suggested that CBD oil could be a complementary therapy for people with high blood pressure that is affected by stress and anxiety.

However, there is no evidence that CBD oil can treat high blood pressure on its own or prevent it in people at risk. While stress can complicate high blood pressure, it does not cause it.

Sleep

Proponents say CBD oil has benefits as a sleep aid, but research so far is inconclusive.

A 2017 review pointed out that many studies have been small and limited. However, the authors also noted that because cannabinoids seem to have an effect on the sleep-wake cycle, their potential as a sleep aid is worthy of additional research.

Seizures

In June 2018, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved a CBD oral solution called Epidiolex.

Epidiolex is used to treat two rare forms of epilepsy in children under the age of 2: Dravet syndrome and Lennox-Gastaut syndrome. These are very rare genetic disorders that cause lifelong seizures starting in the first year of life.

Other than for these two disorders, CBD’s effectiveness for treating seizures is not known. Even with Epidiolex, it’s not clear if the anti-seizure effects are from CBD or another factor.

However, there is some evidence that CBD interacts with seizure medicines like Onfi (clobazam) and raises their concentration in the blood. More research is needed to understand the link.

Possible CBD Oil Side Effects

Clinical research has shown that CBD oil can cause side effects. The specific side effects and their severity varies from one person to the next and from one type of CBD to another.

Some common CBD side effects people report include:

  • Anxiety
  • Changes in appetite
  • Changes in mood
  • Diarrhea
  • Dizziness or fatigue
  • Dry mouth
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting

Do not drive or use heavy machinery when taking CBD oil—especially when you first start using it or switch to a new brand. Remember that some products do contain THC, even in small amounts.

Special Concerns

Your healthcare practitioner may advise against using CBD oil if you:

  • Have liver disease: CBD oil may increase liver enzymes, which is a marker of liver inflammation. Talk with your healthcare provider before taking CBD oil. You may need to have your liver enzymes checked regularly if you decide to use it.
  • Have eye issues: CBD oil may also cause eye-related side effects. A 2018 study found that it may increase pressure inside the eyes. For people with glaucoma, this can make the condition worse. Some people also report dry eyes as a side effect of CBD oil.
  • Are pregnant or nursing: You should not use CBD oil if you’re pregnant or breastfeeding. Even though the effects of CBD are not fully understood, it does pass through the placenta.

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) further states that pregnant people should not use marijuana because of the potential risks to a developing fetus.

Can CBD Oil Get You High?

CBD oil does not get you high. Although it is from a plant that is in the same family as the marijuana plant, it does not contain tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the compound responsible for this feeling.

CBD Oil Marijuana
A component of the hemp plant Separate plant in the hemp family that contains CBD and hundreds of other compounds.
No or trace amounts of THC Significant amounts of THC
Works receptors in the brain, but not those that induce psychoactive effects (e.g., opioid receptors that help control pain, glycine receptors that impact mood control) THC binds to cannabinoid receptors in the brain to create “high” feeling

What CBD Oil Can Interact With

CBD oil can interact with medications, including many that are used to treat epilepsy. One of the reasons for this has to do with how your body breaks down (metabolizes) drugs.

Cytochrome P450 (CYP450) is an enzyme your body uses to break down some drugs. CBD oil can block CYP450. That means that taking CBD oil with these drugs could make them have a stronger effect than you need or make them not work at all.

Drugs that could potentially interact with CBD include:

  • Anti-arrhythmia drugs like quinidine
  • Anticonvulsants like Tegretol (carbamazepine) and Trileptal (oxcarbazepine)
  • Antifungal drugs like Nizoral (ketoconazole) and Vfend (voriconazole)
  • Antipsychotic drugs like Orap (pimozide)
  • Atypical antidepressants like Remeron (mirtazapine)
  • Benzodiazepine sedatives like Klonopin (clonazepam) and Halcion (triazolam)
  • Immune-suppressive drugs like Sandimmune (cyclosporine)
  • Macrolide antibiotics like clarithromycin and telithromycin
  • Migraine medicine like Ergomar (ergotamine)
  • Opioid painkillers like Duragesic (fentanyl) and alfentanil
  • Rifampin-based drugs used to treat tuberculosis

Always tell your healthcare provider and pharmacist about all the medicines you take, including prescription, over-the-counter (OTC), herbal, or recreational drugs.

The interactions between these medications and CBD are often mild and you might not have to change your treatment. However, in some cases, you might have to change medications or space out your doses to avoid a reaction. Never change or stop medication without talking to your provider.

What’s a Safe Dosage of CBD Oil?

There are no guidelines for use, nor is there a “correct” dose of CBD oil. That said, the average dose range is from 5 mg to 25 mg.

Available forms include:

  • Tinctures (CBD oil mixed with a base oil)
  • Capsules
  • Gummies
  • Sprays

Which you choose largely comes down to your preference and what you hope to get in terms of effects. For example, putting the oil under your tongue can produce effects more quickly than swallowing a capsule that needs to be digested.

Each product works a bit differently, depending on the form, so it’s important to follow the provided directions.

How to Calculate a CBD Dose

Sprays, gummies, and capsules are easy to use because their doses are pre-measured.

Tinctures are a bit more challenging. Most oils come in 30-milliliter (mL) bottles and include a dropper cap to help you measure.

But some tinctures have concentrations of 1,500 mg per 30 mL, while others have 3,000 mg per mL or more. That means figuring out the exact amount of CBD per milliliter of oil requires a little math.

To determine an exact dose of CBD, remember that each drop of oil equals 0.05 mL of fluid. This means that a 30-mL bottle of CBD oil will have about 600 drops in it.

If the concentration of the tincture is 1,500 mg per mL, one drop would have 2.5 mg of CBD in it (1,500 mg ÷ 600 drops = 2.5 mg).

Safer Buying Practices

Remember that CBD oils are unregulated. There’s no guarantee that a product is what it claims to be on its packaging. You also can’t know for sure that it’s safe and effective.

A 2017 study reported that only 31% of CBD products sold online were correctly labeled. Most had less CBD in them than was advertised, and 21% had significant amounts of THC.

If you are interested in buying CBD products, here are a few tips that can help you make the best choice:

  • Buy American: Domestically produced CBD oil might be a safer option than those that have been imported.
  • Go organic: Brands certified organic by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) are less likely to expose you to pesticides and other harmful chemicals.
  • Read the product label: Don’t assume that every ingredient on the product label is natural. CBD products can also have preservatives, flavorings, or thinning agents in them. If you don’t recognize an ingredient, ask the dispenser what it is or check online.

Frequently Asked Questions

CBD oil comes in different forms:

  • Isolates contain only CBD.
  • Broad-spectrum oils have nearly all of the components of the plant (e.g., proteins, flavonoids, terpenes, and chlorophyll), but do not have THC. oils have all the compounds including THC (up to 0.3%)

Alternative medicine practitioners believe that the compounds provide more health benefits, but the is a lack of evidence to support these claims.

Not necessarily. While the names are sometimes used interchangeably, hemp oil can also refer to hemp seed oil, which is used for cooking, food production, and skincare products. CBD oil is made from the leaves, stems, buds, and flowers of the Cannabis indica or Cannabis sativa plant. It should contain less than 0.3% THC. Hemp oil is made from the seeds of Cannabis sativa and does not have TCH in it.

It would be hard to overdose on CBD oil. Research has shown that human tolerance for CBD is very high. One study reported the toxic dose would be about 20,000 mg taken at one time.

It depends on where you live, the type of product, how it was sourced, and its intended purpose (medical or recreational). In many states, you must be 18 or 21 to buy CBD oil. Check your state’s laws.

Verywell Health uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.

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