Debunking CBD Side-Effects & Myths

Author Stacy Mosel, LMSW by Stacy Mosel, LMSW

From relieving stress to aiding sleep, CBD has many benefits and is arguably one of the most popular health and wellness products on the market right now. It’s so versatile that CBD can be found in practically everything, from food to beauty products (including our THC-Free Broad Spectrum Hemp Sheet Mask, which can help promote healthy and hydrated skin).

Regardless of how you use it, CBD is generally considered safe for most people. Still, we know it’s always smart to know how what you put into your body or use on your body might affect you, so we at SHEbd want to explain some of CBD’s common side effects to help you sort fact from fiction.

Myth 01: CBD Oil Can Get You High

If you’ve never used CBD oil, you might be a bit hesitant to try it because you might think it gets you high. However, it’s important to understand that by law, CBD products can contain no higher than 0.3% THC (the compound in cannabis that causes a high), so don’t worry — you won’t get high or experience feelings of intoxication from using CBD. And rest assured that SHEbd’s products contain 0% THC, so while it’s possible that you’ll feel more relaxed, you won’t experience any of the classic symptoms of being high.

Myth 02: CBD Oil Can Cause Serious or Long-Term Side Effects

Like most wellness topics and trends, there are a lot of myths floating around the internet about CBD that can make you wonder, Is this really true? If you’ve been wondering about questions such as can CBD oil cause diarrhea, or can CBD oil cause itching, or even is CBD addiction a real thing, we’ve got you covered. 

Like any supplement, CBD oil can affect everyone differently — for the most part, side effects can vary in severity and duration, based on your unique constitution. Although research is still limited, clinical data has shown that CBD’s side effects — should you experience them — are often mild, but may include:

  • Tiredness
  • Diarrhea
  • Changes in appetite
  • Changes in weight

Anecdotal evidence also suggests that CBD could cause skin itching in some people. 

CBD Side Effects: Itching & Diarrhea 

Let’s take a closer look at two of the most common and frustrating side effects of CBD: diarrhea and itching. CBD is actually often thought to help ease gastrointestinal issues and may help soothe the digestive tract. So if you have diarrhea, it could be that you are using poor-quality CBD or a carrier oil that doesn’t agree with your system; also keep in mind that people who do experience diarrhea or other digestive issues generally tend to get mild complaints.

On the other hand, if you experience itching, you might want to take a look at the other ingredients in your product, or whether you might be allergic to cannabis. Some promising research has shown that creams containing CBD may actually help itchy skin conditions, due to the anti-itch and anti-inflammatory properties of CBD. 

Dr. Nima Gharvari of the Cedars-Sinai Cosmetic Dermatology Program says, “there’s likely little harm that can come from applying a CBD beauty product to your skin.” However, it’s always advisable to do a patch-test when using any new product, especially if you have sensitive skin or skin conditions.

Myth 03: All CBD Is Basically The Same

In an interview with POPSugar, Dr. Kenneth Brown, MD, a board-certified gastroenterologist and doctor of internal medicine, says that the quality of the CBD oil you use can make a big difference in whether you experience gastrointestinal CBD oil side effects. For example, it’s probably more likely that you’ll experience side effects if you use CBD oil that is extracted with a harsh process or is grown in nutrient-deficient soil.

cbd oil side effects quality

Remember: Not all CBD is SHEbd CBD. SHEbd’s THC-free Broad Spectrum Hemp Oil is made using a patent-pending chromatography process that purifies our organically grown cannabis to ensure that it is free of THC, while leaving all of the female plant’s 100-plus beneficial cannabinoids, terpenoids and flavonoids intact to preserve the entourage effect. So you can rest assured that you are using the highest quality CBD oil when you choose SHEbd.

Myth 04: CBD Can Cause Addiction

A lot of people are concerned about CBD addiction because they know that CBD is extracted from cannabis plants — after all, we know that marijuana can be addictive (though most cases are downgraded to marijuana use disorder, which is a less severe form of substance abuse), so wouldn’t that mean CBD is, too? This is one of those common yet easily dispelled myths — CBD is not thought to be addictive

Most CBD products are made using hemp plants, which unlike marijuana, contains high amounts of CBD and very low amounts of THC. These trace amounts of THC are then often completely removed during the manufacturing process (which is the case for all of SHEbd’s products), meaning broad spectrum CBD products will not get you high. 

Myth 05: You Can Use Too Much CBD Oil

CBD is amazingly effective in small quantities — you only need to put a few drops of SHEbd’s Broad Spectrum Hemp Oil under your tongue to experience calm and focus, or to reduce stress. But can you use too much? While it’s theoretically possible to take too much of anything, research has shown that CBD is non-toxic in high doses of up to 1500 mg (which would be equivalent to taking a bottle and a half of our Hemp Oil at once) and is well tolerated by most people. Since there’s no added benefit to taking higher doses, you probably wouldn’t want to use more than that, anyway.

When CBD is consumed at that high dose, the side effects discussed above are the most common consequences people experience. 

Myth 06: CBD Can Cause Hangovers

Some people say they experience hangovers from marijuana (but this usually occurs in conjunction with other substance use), but there’s no such thing as a CBD hangover — as a matter of fact, anecdotal reports claim that CBD might actually help ease hangovers from too much alcohol and reduce symptoms like aches and pains, nausea, vomiting and brain fog. If you do experience a hangover after using CBD, and you haven’t also had alcohol or another substance, you might want to switch to a high-quality brand.

cbd oil hangover

A Word to the Wise

Keep in mind that studies of CBD’s side effects mainly looked at people suffering from epilepsy and psychotic disorders, and examined the effects of CBD oil compared to medication, so these studies aren’t looking at the average healthy woman who’s using CBD for everyday purposes. In the end, CBD is likely safe for most of us, but if you have concerns, it’s always smart to talk to your doctor. Also remember that CBD can interact with certain medications, including blood thinners, so it’s important to let your doctor know that you plan to use CBD if you take medication or have a medical condition.

Stacy Mosel, LMSW, is a health and wellness writer, as well as a licensed social worker, yoga enthusiast, certified Reiki practitioner and musician. She received a bachelor’s degree in music from the State University of New York at Stony Brook in 1999, and a master’s of social work from New York University in 2002.