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How long does CBD oil take to work? Dr. Mudd tells us that the amount of time it takes for CBD like how it is taken, your body weight, the time of day. CBD oil is made from hemp plants. It may help treat pain, anxiety, and seizures. Here is what you should know before trying it.

How Long Does CBD Oil Take to Work?

To understand how long CBD takes to work, you first need a basic understanding of what CBD is, and how different variables can impact its onset of action. In general, CBD is absorbed into the bloodstream within 20 minutes to 2 hours depending on the method of delivery. 1 Other variables like the dosage, full spectrum or THC-free , consistency, and quality can also play a role in how quickly you begin to feel the benefits of CBD. How long does CBD oil take to work? It really depends on your goals and expectations, along with other variables like your age, body weight, and metabolism.

However, for anyone trying CBD for a more serious issue, consistency and patience needs to be part of your wellness routine for the full potential of CBD to be realized.

If you’d like to know more about what it takes to begin seeing results, read on as we explore the variables, but first watch my short video below!

How Long CBD Takes to Enter Your Bloodstream

As I mentioned above, the answer to how long CBD takes to work really depends on your own definition of the word “work.” Mild anxiety is going to be much quicker and easier to address than a more serious condition.

Simply put: the answer to this question isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution. It is a step by step approach that acknowledges how the benefits of CBD, and how long it takes to achieve them, may differ from different delivery methods and the issue at hand. For example: how long it takes CBD to work will differ drastically between sublingual oils, CBD capsules, and CBD topicals . So let’s get down to the nitty gritty!

Factor 1: Method of Intake

There are many different ways to consume CBD. Each of these methods has a different impact on how much, and how quickly, the CBD gets absorbed into your bloodstream. 2 This phenomenon is called bioavailability. It’s important to understand this because it will help you determine how much you’ll need to take to feel its effects; and you can also get an idea of how long it will take for your CBD to work.

CBD Bioavailability Chart

As you can see in the chart above, the consumption method of CBD is the biggest determining factor in how long it may take for CBD oil to work. The quickest and most bioavailable method of CBD consumption is through inhalation, but many states still prohibit the sale of CBD-rich hemp flowers for smoking. The next best is a sublingual oil or tincture, followed by ingestible CBD capsules and finally topicals.

Because CBD capsules have to travel through your digestive system, they have what’s known as a first-pass metabolism. This means that it’ll take longer to feel the effects of the CBD, or in medical terms – the bioavailability rate. (To clarify: this applies for all edible cannabis products, because all of them have to pass through your digestive system.)

On the other hand, CBD oil avoids first-pass metabolism by going straight through the capillaries under your tongue. This makes it the most effective method of delivery after smoking, and it means you’ll feel it quicker. 3 This is also the main reason we formulate our organic CBD oils with medium chain coconut oil . Because of its thin and viscous characteristics, it absorbs quickly when placed under the tongue.

There are other variables at play in how long it takes, but this should help you determine when your specific form of CBD will start working.

Factor 2: Dosage & Potency

The amount of CBD you’re taking every day will affect how quickly you will begin feeling its effects. In general, the more that you’re taking, the quicker you’ll feel it.

For example, if you take a high dose of CBD to Support a healthy Sleep Cycle , you’ll probably feel sleepy in about 15-30 minutes. In contrast, if you take a lower serving for general wellness or everyday aches or pains, it could take a few days of dosing to notice significant results. 4

How Much CBD Should I Take?

The bottom line is that when you’re choosing a CBD product, you should consider the type of results you’re trying to achieve and adjust your dosage accordingly. This may also include testing different consumption methods or a different application style. It can also depend on your body mass, and if you’re taking any prescription medications . 5

Everyone is different, and this is something you need to dial in for yourself. A full dropper of our 750 mg CBD oil is 25 mg, which we think is a great daily serving to start with. But some people take more, and some need less. CBD can be a powerful supplement, especially when it contains THC alongside it . So it’s best to consult with your doctor to determine the right dose for you and avoid any CBD side effects .

Factor 3: CBD Quality

We’ve said it time and time again: not all CBD products are created equally. Because this market is largely unregulated, many brands on the market do very little to maintain the quality of their products. 6 Some CBD brands use ingredients that have impurities, additives, and adulterants which will significantly effect the safety of your product. This is why you should always look for a third party lab test to know that you’re getting a high quality CBD product, along with the USDA organic seal.

We also recommend looking for a full spectrum CBD product, which contains more cannabinoids than just CBD. Just like CBD, these other cannabinoids don’t get you high ; but they do have a synergetic effect that heightens your body’s response through the “entourage effect.” 7 One of those cannabinoids is probably one you’ve heard a lot about, and that’s THC. In order for a product to truly be considered full spectrum, make sure it contains trace amounts of THC . The legal amount is no more than 0.3 percent of total dry weight.

The origin of the raw hemp plant material is another key factor that determines the quality of your product. Hemp is a powerful bioaccumulator, meaning that it soaks up all the nutrients and toxins in the soil it grows in. If the soil isn’t pre-tested for toxins, pesticides, or heavy metals, those things could end up in your CBD. That’s why you should only use CBD products made from hemp grown in the USA, and preferably in Kentucky. In addition, if the farmer uses synthetic fertilizers, or if the field doesn’t go through a multi-year crop rotation, there will be fewer nutrients in the soil and the hemp will contain less CBD. 8

You can avoid all of these problems by opting for an organic cannabis product that’s been certified organic by the USDA. As we explore in this article, the USDA has strict guidelines for organic farming and processing. This means that USDA certified organic products will be responsibly sourced and of higher quality. 9

Factor 4: Individual Biology

Although you can count on certain effects to take place, no two people respond exactly the same to CBD, even if they have the same consumption, the same delivery method , and the same body composition. One person could feel their CBD tinctures in 10 minutes, yet someone else could take the same dose and feel it in an hour. 10

There are several key considerations that fall into this category, and they all affect the amount of time it will take to feel CBD’s effects.

Body Weight

Like most cannabinoids, CBD is fat-soluble. Those who weigh more tend to have more fat cells in their body, which means that they’ll absorb and store CBD for longer in their body.

While this isn’t necessarily a bad thing, it does mean that people with more fat cells in their body will most likely need more time to adjust. It’s not all bad news, though: the higher your body mass, the longer it takes for CBD to work. 11

Metabolism

While individual metabolism does involve burning calories, it also affects how your body breaks down compounds like CBD . Depending on your age, your lifestyle, your digestive system, and your genetic profile, your metabolism can function at different rates. This is what we call our metabolic rate – and we all have different ones! 12

If you exercise regularly and have a high metabolism, you’ll feel the effects come on faster; but you’ll also feel it wear off more quickly. On the other hand, if you have a slow metabolism, you’ll notice that it takes longer to feel your CBD coming on; and it will stay in your body for longer.

Endocannabinoid Balance

CBD is part of a unique set of compounds called cannabinoids. These compounds interact with a biological system found in nearly all animals. It’s called the endocannabinoid system (ECS), and its cannabinoid receptors are found throughout your entire body. While we’re just beginning to understand how the ECS works, research suggests that it’s responsible for many of your biological functions like your mood, sleep, appetite, and pain response. 13

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If your ECS is imbalanced, you could experience a large range of negative symptoms as a result. While the science is still out on this subject, CBD could help to alleviate these symptoms by attaching to the receptors and rebalancing your system. In general, the more your endocannabinoid system is imbalanced, the longer it will take to feel the effects.

While there’s no way to quantify how much of an imbalance you’re experiencing; you can probably gauge this yourself by assessing the severity of your symptoms.

Factor 5: Consistency

For some people, the positive effects come immediately. A lot of people will notice that they’re experiencing less stress, less tension, and better sleep after just one dose of CBD — but this is just from anecdotal reports. For others, it might take a few weeks to notice the powerful effects of CBD. So if you don’t feel it right away, be patient.

Some impatient people might give up after a few CBD doses and brush it off as snake oil that doesn’t work. While these people might be taking a bad-quality product, they’re also ignoring one of the key properties of CBD oil — take it consistently.

Regardless of what you’re feeling, the positive results come slowly. The key to getting the most benefits out of your CBD is consistency! A consistent, daily dose will eventually restore balance your ECS; and you’ll be glad you stuck with it.

Feeling Out How CBD Works for You

When you’re new to CBD, the first thing to know is that the effects take a few days to become noticeable. That means when you begin taking CBD every day, it’s good to be mindful of how your body responds to your daily CBD dosage. To discover its full effects, we recommend trying it for a full 30 days.

Your first 30 days on CBD is an important time to better understand your body and how it responds. Below we answer many of the most common beginners’ questions about CBD.

The potential therapeutic benefits that CBD oils and tinctures offer are becoming more recognized, making people more interested in getting started. The first 30 days can be a trial and error time in finding what works best for you, the individual. After reading these answers to the most common questions, you are likely to add a cannabis supplement into your everyday routine soon.

What Kind of CBD Should I Take?

For first time users, we always recommend starting with full spectrum CBD oil, which you take sublingually — which means a dropper of oil under your tongue for 30 to 60 seconds to let it absorb through the mucous membrane in your mouth.

Some people have trouble taking our CBD hemp oil under the tongue, and so they prefer the CBD capsules . They are also worth considering if you’re experiencing inflammation in the lower digestive tract, as capsules get further down into the gut.

People looking for pain relief in a specific area often apply a CBD lotion on the affected area, while avoiding the eyes and mucous membranes. For best results, we recommend pairing CBD lotion with sublingual oil, and using the same delivery methods at the same time everyday.

You’ll also always want to make sure whatever CBD product you are using has third party lab tests. The best companies have a QR code, and all of their company information, and testing lab information readily available to be reviewed before or after purchase. In order for CBD oil to work, you must first make sure that what you’re taking is real! If you can’t view the third party test results before making your purchase, then hold off until you can do more research.

Unfortunately, many unscrupulous brands sell fake CBD oil. 14 This is actually just hemp seed oil with a fake concentration listed on the bottle. You’ll also want to stay away from any brand that is making lofty health claims about its CBD oil. No medical claims regarding full spectrum CBD oil have been approved by the FDA, as of 2021. 15

What Time of Day Should I Take It?

This answer is different for everyone. The important thing is to find a time of day to best incorporate CBD into your daily routine. If you’re suffering from discomfort and inflammation during the day, maybe it’s best to take it in the morning. But if you’re using CBD because you’ve read reports that it can help you sleep, then taking it just before bedtime is your sweet spot.

How Often Should I Take CBD?

To begin, start taking CBD once per day, a full dropper of 25 milligrams, or 50 milligrams if you’re using our extra-strength CBD oils. See how you’re feeling and sleeping. For first time users, it can be good to “load dose” at first — taking larger than normal servings. That means, take a full dropper in the morning, and another full dropper before bedtime.

You will know if you have taken too much if you feel groggy in the morning, or if you experience diarrhea symptoms. 16 If you feel these side effects, dial back your current daily dosage to find something that works best for you.

How often you take CBD may also play a role in a drug test or work-related drug screenings. After taking CBD oil consistently for a period of weeks, the cannabinoids begin to build up within our systems, especially in fat cells, which could cause you to test positive during drug screenings. 17 If drug testing is a concern for your job, talk to your HR department before you start taking CBD consistently. You may also consider switching to a CBD topical, which has a far lower risk of showing up on a drug test.

How Long Does It Take For CBD Oil To Work?

It takes a few days for CBD to work, and it’s not something that you’ll notice right away. Be mindful of any pain, anxiety, and changes in sleep patterns as you work through your first week. Keep journal entries to track sleep and progress, and the amount of CBD you’re taking. This will help you be aware of the effects of CBD on your body. Understand that health benefits from natural supplements like CBD edibles, CBD tincture and oils don’t happen overnight. It takes time for the human body to adjust after implementing several different changes into our lifestyle. It also depends on the amount of CBD you’re taking to really experience the true effects of hemp derived CBD products .

After One Month of CBD: How Will I Feel?

After a month of CBD usage, you’ll likely feel different. 18 But if you don’t believe us, try taking it for one month consistently, and then don’t take it for a week. Those bad feelings may return. That’s when you’ll know how CBD makes you feel , and you’ll be ready to order your CBD oil here. At Cornbread Hemp, we are passionate about producing our Flower-Only™ full spectrum, USDA organic hemp extract for consuming CBD in several different effective methods. And because our third-party lab partner tests every batch, you’ll never need to worry about potentially negative side effects from any harmful contaminants.

About the Author

Dr. Leslie Mudd, PharmD

A board certified oncology pharmacist with 25 years experience at the James Graham Brown Cancer Center in Louisville, Kentucky, Dr. Leslie Mudd now serves as the Cornbread Hemp resident pharmacist and medical expert. Read Dr. Mudd’s full author bio here .

References

1. Bruni N, Della Pepa C, Oliaro-Bosso S, Pessione E, Gastaldi D, Dosio F. Cannabinoid Delivery Systems for Pain and Inflammation Treatment. Molecules. 2018;23(10):2478. Published 2018 Sep 27. doi:10.3390/molecules23102478. Under the headings “Oral Route” and “Pulmonary Administration”

2. Bruni N, Della Pepa C, Oliaro-Bosso S, Pessione E, Gastaldi D, Dosio F. Cannabinoid Delivery Systems for Pain and Inflammation Treatment. Molecules. 2018;23(10):2478. Published 2018 Sep 27. doi:10.3390/molecules23102478. Under heading number 3.

3. Lucas CJ, Galettis P, Schneider J. The pharmacokinetics and the pharmacodynamics of cannabinoids. Br J Clin Pharmacol. 2018;84(11):2477-2482. doi:10.1111/bcp.13710. Discussed throughout the article.

4. Millar SA, Stone NL, Bellman ZD, Yates AS, England TJ, O’Sullivan SE. A systematic review of cannabidiol dosing in clinical populations. Br J Clin Pharmacol. 2019;85(9):1888-1900. doi:10.1111/bcp.14038. Under “Discussion” heading, 3rd paragraph

5. 10) Millar SA, Stone NL, Yates AS, O’Sullivan SE. A Systematic Review on the Pharmacokinetics of Cannabidiol in Humans. Front Pharmacol. 2018;9:1365. Published 2018 Nov 26. doi:10.3389/fphar.2018.01365. Last paragraph before Author Contributions

6. VanDolah HJ, Bauer BA, Mauck KF. Clinicians’ Guide to Cannabidiol and Hemp Oils. Mayo Clin Proc. 2019;94(9):1840-1851. doi:10.1016/j.mayocp.2019.01.003. Under the “Finding a Quality Product” and Table 3.

7. Pavlovic R, Nenna G, Calvi L, et al. Quality Traits of “Cannabidiol Oils”: Cannabinoids Content, Terpene Fingerprint and Oxidation Stability of European Commercially Available Preparations. Molecules. 2018;23(5):1230. Published 2018 May 20. doi:10.3390/molecules23051230. 5th paragraph in the introduction

8. Girdhar M, Sharma NR, Rehman H, Kumar A, Mohan A. Comparative assessment for hyperaccumulatory and phytoremediation capability of three wild weeds. 3 Biotech. 2014;4(6):579-589. doi:10.1007/s13205-014-0194-0. Under the heading “Hyperaccumalative action by Cannabis sativa”

9. Hemp Production. Hemp Production | Agricultural Marketing Service. Accessed July 1, 2020.

11. Millar SA, Stone NL, Yates AS, O’Sullivan SE. A Systematic Review on the Pharmacokinetics of Cannabidiol in Humans. Front Pharmacol. 2018;9:1365. Published 2018 Nov 26. doi:10.3389/fphar.2018.01365. Throughout article

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12. Urasaki Y, Beaumont C, Workman M, Talbot JN, Hill DK, Le TT. Potency Assessment of CBD Oils by Their Effects on Cell Signaling Pathways. Nutrients. 2020;12(2):357. Published 2020 Jan 30. doi:10.3390/nu12020357. Throughout article

13. Pauli CS, Conroy M, Vanden Heuvel BD, Park SH. Cannabidiol Drugs Clinical Trial Outcomes and Adverse Effects. Front Pharmacol. 2020;11:63. Published 2020 Feb 25. doi:10.3389/fphar.2020.00063. Throughout article

14. VanDolah HJ, Bauer BA, Mauck KF. Clinicians’ Guide to Cannabidiol and Hemp Oils. Mayo Clin Proc. 2019;94(9):1840-1851. doi:10.1016/j.mayocp.2019.01.003. Under the “Finding a Quality Product”

15. Meissner H, Cascella M. Cannabidiol (CBD) [Updated 2020 Mar 9]. In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2020 Jan-. Available from: . Under “Indications” heading

16. Millar SA, Stone NL, Bellman ZD, Yates AS, England TJ, O’Sullivan SE. A systematic review of cannabidiol dosing in clinical populations. Br J Clin Pharmacol. 2019;85(9):1888-1900. doi:10.1111/bcp.14038. Table 1, Table 2, and Table 3

17. Spindle TR, Cone EJ, Kuntz D, et al. Urinary Pharmacokinetic Profile of Cannabinoids Following Administration of Vaporized and Oral Cannabidiol and Vaporized CBD-Dominant Cannabis. J Anal Toxicol. 2020;44(2):109‐125. doi:10.1093/jat/bkz080

18. Shannon S, Lewis N, Lee H, Hughes S. Cannabidiol in Anxiety and Sleep: A Large Case Series. Perm J. 2019;23:18-041. doi:10.7812/TPP/18-041. After 1 month of administration, the trial showed improvement in anxiety scores.

All rights reserved. The statements made regarding these products have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. The health effects and benefits of CBD products have not been confirmed by FDA-approved research. Hemp derived CBD products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. All information presented here is not meant as a substitute for or alternative to health information from licensed health care practitioners. Please consult your health care professional about potential interactions with prescription medication, or about other side effects before using any product. Taking too much CBD, and high doses of CBD may also cause undesired side effects. You should always consult with your doctor or another health care provider if you are considering making any changes to your lifestyle, diet or nutrition. Any CBD product is not intended for those who are pregnant or breastfeeding, please consult your doctor for more information before choosing to use CBD.

Cornbread Hemp works with cannabis plant suppliers who guarantee an equal to or less than 0.3 percent THC content. While there are no psychoactive side effects with these trace amounts of no more than 0.3% THC, it is possible that users may fail a drug test. Cornbread Hemp does not take any responsibility in the instance a customer fails a drug test while using any form of CBD products. Check state laws before travelling with any hemp derived CBD products.

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.

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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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By Cathy Wong
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.

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