We all know at least one person with an “iron stomach.” No matter what they eat, their bodies carry on like they just had a salad. Or perhaps they’re able to drink everyone else under the table.
Of course, these aren’t healthy habits – but they illustrate an important point. Body and brain chemistries vary. Consequently, so do people’s reactions to certain foods, medicines, or drugs.
For a recent example, think about the COVID-19 vaccines currently in circulation. Some people experienced mild to severe side effects, while others had the jab and went on with their days.
In short, our unique reactions to foods, medicine, supplements, and drugs showcase the unpredictability of human biology.
Although many people try to supplement or substitute their medication with CBD, doing so without the guidance of a doctor is a huge “no-no.”
With CBD, one universal concern is prescription medication. Researchers didn’t always know that CBD and medicine can interact if they metabolize using the same enzyme family.
For a while, people believed CBD alone could cause liver damage. However, a 2021 report from Validcare revealed this isn’t true – at least not to the extent critics thought.
Of the 839 participants, only three individuals showed increased liver enzyme function. All three were on prescription medications.
However, the experts later realized that about 70% of the participants were using prescriptions, yet all but three were impacted.
These findings mean that CBD and several medicines can interact, but this doesn’t apply to every drug metabolized in the liver. According to the U.S. National Library of Medince, only those using the P450 family of liver enzymes will clash with any ingested CBD.
We now have an extensive list of medications CBD users should be aware of, but it’s likely there are others we don’t know about.
Fortunately, this only applies to oral CBD. Inhaled or topical varieties don’t rely on digestion to be effective. If CBD oil doesn’t work, consider other methods.
Poor Quality CBD
Poor quality CBD used to the norm, rather than the exception. But thanks to pushback from the FDA and smarter shopping by consumers, the market is self-regulated and a lot safer.
But sometimes, vendors cut corners. Dirty extraction methods and sloppy manufacturing can lead to residual contaminants such as fungi, solvents, heavy metals, synthetic pesticides, microbes, or extra THC.
It doesn’t take a doctor to know that those ingredients can make you sick. Consequently, you may think CBD is the issue, when in reality your body’s rejecting something else.
A little due diligence is all you need to reduce your chances of a bad experience. Most CBD businesses post third-party lab tests in an easy-to-read format. If they don’t, then it’s likely they’re hiding something.
Even a reputable CBD brand can still disagree with your body. Despite checking all the boxes with organic, CO2-extracted, lab-tested CBD, something about the formula might not work for you.
Whether it’s the carrier oil, flavoring (if any), or other ingredients, the brand’s recipe might not be for you. Unfortunately, no amount of regulation can create a single formula for anything – let alone CBD extracts.
So, if “Brand X” doesn’t work for you, try another one. Tessera Naturals, for instance, uses basic, natural ingredients and nanoemulsion to make its products safe, effective, and more bioavailable than standard CBD extract.
Quality CBD products contain no additional fillers or artificial flavors. The most basic formulas consist of CBD extract and a carrier oil. But despite the product’s simplicity, there’s still the risk of an allergic reaction.
Specifically, the carrier oil can potentially trigger a severe reaction. Medium chain triglycerides (MCT) are typically derived from coconut oil. It’s possible to be allergic to the MCT itself, the coconut source, or both. The symptoms can range from rash to a life-threatening emergency.
Hempseed, grapeseed, and peanut oils are also just a few more carrier examples that can be dangerous to those with diagnosed or undiagnosed allergies.
It’s also possible to be allergic to some of the terpenes in full-spectrum or broad-spectrum CBD oils. These compounds are found throughout the plant kingdom, which is why certain fruits or vegetables can cause allergies.
On a brighter note, there’s some evidence suggesting CBD can help relieve symptoms associated with certain allergies. 2017 findings published in The Journal of Pharmacology and Experimental Thereapeutics indicate CBD’s reported anti-inflammatory effects may help with allergic reactions in the skin.
Another piece of research from the European Journal of Pharmacology found a reduction in symptoms for mice with allergic asthma.
Regardless, it’s a bad idea to try CBD when you knowingly have allergies. Speak with a doctor to see if you need to use a different brand or formula.
The term “overdose” is something we use loosely with CBD. Despite popular belief, overdoses aren’t exclusively associated with illegal drugs, and don’t always involve painful and dangerous withdrawal symptoms. Overdosing is simply the act of consuming more than your body can handle or process.
CBD Overdose Symptoms
The symptoms of CBD overdose are mild and usually go away quickly. If you suspect that you overshot your ideal dosage, keep an eye out for the following symptoms:
- Upset stomach
- Dry mouth
Another consequence of CBD overdose is – ironically – lack of potency. CBD is biphasic, meaning there’s a certain peak amount or “sweet spot.” Once you exceed that, CBD loses its therapeutic effects.
That being said, it’s theoretically possible to have a toxic overdose of CBD. But just like with THC, it’s an impossibly high amount. According to 2011 findings, it would take a single 20,000 mg dose for CBD to be lethal – but not fatal.
Preventing CBD Overdose
Prevention is always the best approach. Fortunately, it’s one of the easiest things to do with CBD. Just follow this simple rule: “start low and go slow.”
A lot of people immediately take the recommended dose, only to find it doesn’t work – or worse – makes them sick.
Consume the lowest dose possible (2.5 to 5 mg) and gradually increase it until you notice results. This can take days or weeks, but you may find your required dose to be much lower that what’s recommended (again, it’s about individual biology).
What to Do if You Take Too Much CBD
If you take too much CBD, try not to worry. You won’t get high (unless the product is mislabeled) and the symptoms you experience are easy to manage.
Other than self-care, just wait until the symptoms stop.
- CBD can make people ill
- Body chemistry, food tolerance, and many other factors determine how you handle CBD
- In rare instances, prescription medications can interact with CBD
- Ingredient allergies, product quality, and formula can also affect your reaction to CBD
- Slowly and carefully introduce CBD into your diet to reduce the chance of side effects
- Always consult a doctor before starting a CBD regimen