CBD may not be a cure-all, but it is an effective, safe, and natural treatment for many ailments, from anxiety to chronic pain. Unlike many over-the-counter and prescription drugs, one of the best qualities of CBD is its low risk of side effects. But, as with anything in life, low-risk doesn’t mean no risk at all. Fortunately, any potential side effects, like dry mouth, nausea or diarrhea, fatigue, or decreased blood pressure, tend to be mild. Plus, with these tips, you can likely avoid them altogether.
5 Tips to Prevent CBD Side Effects
Know Your Source
It should come as no surprise that your CBD quality can significantly impact its effects, both positive and negative. This is why it’s essential to buy from a legit vendor. Reputable vendors mean those who put people before profits. They use ethically-sourced, GMO-and-pesticide-free, natural, vegan ingredients with no chemicals or synthetics. They should also be Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) certified and have a Certificate of Analysis (COA) displayed on-site or online. The COA indicates the products have been lab-tested by a third party.
Look for Products Made with the U.S.A. Hemp
Another element of CBD quality is where the hemp is grown. Bespoke Extracts, like most of the industry’s most trusted vendors, sources its hemp from U.S.A. farms. Why? A couple of reasons. But most importantly, cannabis is a bioaccumulator. This means it collects all of the ingredients from the soil in which it grows. The U.S. has strict regulations regarding soil testing for crops to prevent people from ingesting potentially harmful heavy metals, pesticides, and other contaminants. Not all countries that produce cannabis have the same standards. This is why most reputable CBD companies source their hemp from organic farms in the U.S.A.
Read the Label
Who reads the fine print? Savvy shoppers, that’s who. Once you’ve found a supplier that seems trustworthy, take a beat to read the product label before hitting “add to cart.” The most important thing to look for is the amount of CBD per serving size. Also, make sure the product contains real CBD, not a synthetic. You might find other items on the label, too, such as a Supplement Fact Panel, suggested use, whether the CBD is full-spectrum, broad-spectrum, or isolate, a batch/date code, and expiration date. If you have dietary restrictions, make sure the product meets your needs too (i.e., gluten-free, vegan, food coloring-free).
“Go big or go home” does not apply when it comes to supplements and medications. It’s always better to start small. There is no official or one-size-fits-all recommended dosage, but many vendors provide suggestions based on particular products and usage. As a rule of thumb, most recommend starting at 25 mg or 50 mg. You can find more information on dosing in this blog post. Starting with a low dose allows you to note any subtle side effects you might experience and make adjustments as needed.
Take with Food
Though some people take CBD to relieve nausea, it can sometimes cause nausea. This is most likely to occur if you take it on an empty stomach, so try taking it with a snack or small meal. Consider putting it into a drink like a smoothie or tea if you’re taking a tincture or oil. You might also want to experiment with different methods, like edibles, which tend to take effect more gradually.
What to Do If You Experience an Adverse Reaction
It’s important to talk with your doctor before trying CBD or any health supplement. While rare, CBD can interact adversely with certain medications and may be risky for people with low blood pressure or liver complications. Your doctor can also help you monitor for any side effects.
If you get the OK, start taking CBD, and experience an adverse reaction, first consider lowering your dose or trying a different kind of product. Some people experience an allergic reaction to THC, for instance, and may benefit from an isolate or broad-spectrum CBD oil instead of full-spectrum. If the side effects do not subside, stop taking it, and ask your doctor for advice.