How to avoid the most common side effects of CBD oil

Published Mar 18, 2019 01:09 p.m. ET
(Including diarrhea, changes in appetite, and fatigue)

Cannabidiol aka CBD is one of over one hundred compounds called cannabinoids that are naturally produced by a marijuana plant. It’s quite popular as of late within the medical community as it appears to offer even more benefits than THC without the powerful high. CBD products are great for relieving pain, reducing anxiety or depression, alleviating cancer symptoms, reducing acne, and it has neuroactive properties that can be beneficial for those with neurological disorders such as Alzheimer's, multiple sclerosis, and epilepsy. It’s no wonder that so many people around the world have chosen CBD as either an alternative or a supplement to more traditional pharmaceuticals. It is not uncommon to hear about all these benefits followed by catch phrases like all natural and no side effects. The reality is that CBD, especially in larger concentrations can cause adverse side effects. Luckily these symptoms can be managed and, in many cases, avoided altogether with a few little changes to your daily routine.

Common side effects of using CBD oil

Since CBD is an incredible alternative to several different prescription medications, using it, especially in higher doses may come with a few unwanted and embarrassing side effects.

CBD oil diarrhea

Though this side effect is relatively uncommon, some users will experience a sick feeling that begins in the stomach, which is promptly followed by several urgent bathroom visits. When the cannabinoid CBD enters your body, it will bind to the CB1 receptors locatedin your endocannabinoid system. Typically, when this is followed by stomach problems like gas, nausea, or diarrhea is not caused by the CBD oil itself, rather than the added ingredients used in the manufacturing process. The most significant contributor to users experiencing these symptoms is the added carrier oil which could be any of 13 different mixtures that are currently used.

How to avoid CBD oil diarrhea

  1. As we mentioned before the biggest culprit responsible for wreaking havoc on a person's stomach after using CBD oil is almost always the carrier oil. Coconut oil and MCT oil should be avoided at all costs, especially by those with stomach sensitivities to begin with as they are notorious for causing cramping, stomach pain, and diarrhea.

  2. The carrier oils purpose is to improve the versatility and bioavailability of CBD. Some of them are better than others on the stomach. Grape seed oil, hemp seed oil, and olive oil are the easiest to digest.

  3. Always double check the ingredients label for additives for flavoring or coloring that may be contributing to an adverse reaction.

  4. Never take cannabidiol on an empty stomach.

How to treat CBD oil diarrhea

  1. Stop taking CBD oil immediately if you notice any negative feelings or sensations after ingesting it.

  2. Drink plenty of water and stay hydrated.

  3. If stopping CBD consumption isn’t possible than cutting your dose by half may be enough to curb the symptoms.

CBD oil fatigue

Fatigue is the most reported adverse reaction to CBD products and is often the most difficult to manage as the majority of people who are using cannabidiol are already in poor health, resulting in many users feeling tired before they even begin taking treatments. Luckily, with a few tips and tricks CBD oil fatigue is avoidable and treatable with relatively minimal effort.  

How to avoid CBD oil fatigue

  1. Use smaller doses. Often patients will take massive doses of cannabidiol since they know that there isn’t any real danger from over-consuming CBD products. Unfortunately, the confidence in their perceived safety tends to mean that people take more than they need at one time. It is always recommended to begin with the smallest dose possible around 5 mg and slowly work your way up until the results start to show themselves.

  2. Get plenty of rest. CBD products are meant to help you heal, and you do the most of that when you are sleeping. Starting the day off groggy is going to amplify your chances of suffering from fatigue after using cannabidiol.

  3. Stay hydrated and be sure to drink the recommended eight glasses of water per day while using CBD oil.

  4. Eat healthy and try to maintain a high iron and fiber diet that includes natural easy to process sugars for your body to use for fuel.

How to treat CBD oil fatigue

There isn’t much you can do to immediately take away nagging tired feelings, there are a few things you can do to cleanse your system and make waiting out the effects feel a little more bearable.

  1. Caffeine is an excellent pick me up and is a stimulant that can help to counteract fatigue quickly. Pop, tea, and coffee are great sources for it in large amounts.

  2. Take a nap to help pass the time. It will take several hours for the effects of the CBD oil to wear off, and for some, a good night’s sleep is enough to shake the tired feeling.

  3. Drink plenty of water and cold drinks to help lift the fog. The introduction of a cold liquid is often enough to make a person feel alert again.

  4. Eat a large meal that includes healthy food choices like fruits and vegetables. This will help your body to process the cannabidiol faster and help give you energy.

CBD oil changes in appetite

Changes in appetite can be either positive or negative depending on the individual in question. A change in appetite that affects the way you feel in a negative way that is difficult to manage is the third most commonly reported side effect of using CBD products.

How to avoid changes in appetite

Take small doses that are well spaced apart. Though many websites and even doctors will suggest a regimen consisting of three times a day dosing, many will find much more benefit in cutting back to two instead. If the effects are wearing off too quickly with only two doses than consider cutting each portion in half.

How to treat changes in appetite

It is nearly impossible to treat changes in a user’s appetite immediately, but there are some things you can do to help manage the symptoms as they wear off.

  1. If you feel like your appetite has increased to the point where it is uncomfortable, you may want to consider a high fiber or iron snack that will make you feel full longer. This will help your body to process the CBD a bit faster and can sometimes be enough to satisfy the sensation.

  2. If you are experiencing a lack of appetite than the best solution is to find light snacks that are easy to nibble on over time. Cold foods are excellent for stimulating appetite and tend to settle lighter in the stomach. Things like crackers, toast, soup, and just about anything you manage to eat while sick is a perfect choice to get your stomach going again, or in the very least get some nutrients into you while waiting for the effects to die down.

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