Pros and Cons of CBD Oil

May 3, 2021
Updated: March 8, 2022
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Interest in the medical use of cannabidiol (CBD) has been on the rise. With recent initiatives legalizing recreational marijuana, products containing CBD are now available over the counter in some states. Is there any truth to its health claims? We’re here to help you find out. Make sure you are aware of the many risks associated with taking CBD oils. 

CBD plant

”CBD is well tolerated in humans with doses up to 600 mg Not resulting in psychotic symptoms ” (


CBD oil does not make you high

CBD is one of many biologically active compounds found in hemp and other cannabis plants.  It is able to interact with a molecular pathway in human neurons called the endocannabinoid system, which modulates many important neurological functions such as pain, anxiety, and appetite.1  However, CBD is not a psychoactive compound; the molecule in marijuana that causes changes to perception, consciousness, or behavior is tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC.2  In fact, CBD can actually reduce the psychotic effects of THC and potentially can alleviate psychotic disorders.3  In other words, you will not experience any hallucinations or euphoric feelings from taking CBD alone.

However, note that in a study done by the Clean Project, some CBD oils did test positive for THC. This is why it is important to find a reputable brand that has been tested by a third party reptuable lab to meet label claims and to be clear of contaminants. If you have a pure CBD oil, you do not have to worry about getting high.  

Woman is high on drugs

CBD may relieve pain, but its not better than codeine

Currently, research on cannabis-based medicines is limited, in part due to the complicated legal status of such drugs.  Emerging evidence does suggest, however, that CBD can be an effective solution for chronic pain.  Various clinical trials and case studies have found that cannabinoids are effective in managing neuropathic and cancer-related pain.2,4  However, it has not been found to benefit postoperative pain (pain after a surgery), and it does not seem to be more effective than codeine for pain relief.4

Unless your doctor recommends CBD for pain, your better off looking for a safe over the counter solution. The risks mentioned in number 5 make CBD a less worthy option.


Woman has back pain

CBD may help control seizures

Though the exact mechanisms are still unclear, recent research has shown that CBD is able to help control seizures and muscle spasms in a number of conditions.  Cannabis-based medicines have been used for centuries to help with seizures.  More recently, CBD was found to have anti-epileptic properties, even being able to reduce drug-resistant epilespsies, such as the rare childhood Lennox-Gastaut and Dravet syndromes.2,5

Woman has a seizure

CBD has neuroprotective properties

Studies using cultured cells and animal models show several beneficial effects of CBD on neurons.  CBD has antioxidant activities, which protects against harmful reactive oxygen species.  It can also help reduce inflammation in the brain and nerves, and can improve neuronal metabolism.5,6  Emerging evidence suggests that because of these neuroprotective effects, CBD could be helpful in preventing or alleviating disorders related to neurodegeneration.  Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, and Huntington’s diseases, Multiple Sclerosis and other neurodegenerative disorders were improved by CBD in cell and animal studies.2,5,6  Clinical trials investigating its benefits on these diseases in humans have recently begun.5,6 However, just because CBD worked in animal studies, it does not mean it will provide benefits to humans. There have been many studies that have shown effectiveness in anmals, yet subsequently showed no benefit to humans. 


Woman has neuroprotection

CBD oil has many risks


Some CBD products don't have any CBD. 

CBD products are everywhere, and you really do not not know what is in them. The Clean Label Project tested 242 brands of CBD and found that many products that have no CBD at all.

Some CBD Products may have too much CBD

Testing showed that a few CBD brands contain 700% of the amount listed on the label which can present health risks, including fever, headaches, nausea, etc.

Alert: Some CBD products have High Levels of Lead & Phthalates 

Whats worse, this report found some brands to have a high level of lead and phthalates. Why? Hemp plants are known for to accumulate heavy metals. Only through a strict ingredient sourcing program and comprehensive testing from a reputable third party lab like Eurofins can you truly mitigate the risks. If you are not sure that your CBD product is clean of impurities, don't take it.

CBD may cause bad side effects 

CBD has a better safety profile than other cannabinoids, including THC.5  However, some side effects might occur if you take CBD.  Related to its neurological activities, CBD intake might make you feel tired or less hungry.  Another unpleasant potential side effect is diarrhea.  Overall though, CBD in the right dose should not cause any harm to your body (if it is not contaminated).5,6

Scientist evaluates the purity of CBD
Lead contamination in soil and CBD oil

[1] Scharf EL. Translating Endocannabinoid Biology into Clinical Practice: Cannabidiol for Stroke Prevention. Cannabis and cannabinoid research. 2017;2(1):259-264.94

[2] Kozela E, Juknat A, Vogel Z. Modulation of Astrocyte Activity by Cannabidiol, a Nonpsychoactive Cannabinoid. International journal of molecular sciences.2017;18(8).

[3] Iffland K, Grotenhermen F. An Update on Safety and Side Effects of Cannabidiol: A Review of Clinical Data and Relevant Animal Studies. Cannabis and cannabinoid research.2017;2(1):139-154.

[4] Aviram J, Samuelly-Leichtag G. Efficacy of Cannabis-Based Medicines for Pain Management: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Randomized Controlled Trials. Pain physician.2017;20(6):E755-e796.

[5] Maroon J, Bost J. Review of the neurological benefits of phytocannabinoids. Surgical neurology international.2018;9:91.

[6] Peres FF, Lima AC, Hallak JEC, Crippa JA, Silva RH, Abilio VC. Cannabidiol as a Promising Strategy to Treat and Prevent Movement Disorders? Frontiers in pharmacology.2018;9:482.

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