Wednesday November 22 2023
CBD, or cannabidiol, is the second most famous compound of cannabis or hemp, only after THC. CBD has become a magic compound that can help with numerous health conditions with minimal side effects.
Unlike THC, CBD is relatively safe because of its non-psychoactive nature. It is available in different delivery systems that work differently but aim to reach the ECS receptors present all across the body to help it perform better.
CBD is a true game changer when it comes to fixing the physiological functions of the human body. It is an essential active cannabinoid of Cannabis Sativa or Industrial Hemp. Research has shown it possesses an incredible ability to help our body under stress or anxiety.
As the importance and knowledge of health and wellbeing has grown over the years, long term use of CBD has also become common. Here is everything we need to know about it.
The medical community of CBD has accepted the potential and use of CBD for chronic health issues such as Lennox-gastrula syndrome and Dravet syndrome. It has led to a greater trust in the cannabinoid and its increased usage. With several years of patient data and clinical trial programs, Epidiolex has proven to be an effective CBD-based medicine for epileptic seizures. However, for CBD based medications to become common, more studies are required.
In 2020, a study was conducted offering CBD lifelong exposure data. C elegan nematode, or commonly known as a roundworms, were used in this study (1). It is a common species often used to check the effects of many drugs as it has several ancestral genes to humans and in this case, it was exposed to a variety of CBD dosages.
As the study proceeded, it was shown that none of the subjects under study died during the experiment. It also showed that in old age, there is a 206% increase in activity meaning that CBD can possibly reduce age-related motility. The study gives a good indication that there may not be any long-term side effects of CBD. More accurate claims can only be made if such studies are conducted on human specimens.
One of the best things about CBD is that it comes with minimal side effects. It is safe and does not cause any serious adverse effects in most users. It is safe for both short and long-term use. Most people experience temporary fatigue, nausea and drowsiness when they start using CBD, but these side effects usually subside on their own. Since CBD self-administration is becoming quite popular, there is a risk of additional adverse effects.
Drowsiness, decreased appetite, diarrhea and raised serum aminotransferases are the most common side effects of short-term use (2). Although it is rare, using CBD for a long period can lead to memory loss, slow reaction time, and changes in mood, such as irritability, therefore as with all supplements, it is important to take this under the supervision of a medical professional.
The Food Standards Agency suggests that CBD use should be stopped if one is pregnant, especially if over the counter medication is being used (3). It is also suggested that healthy individuals should avoid exceeding daily CBD dose above 70mg.
One of the most important things to remember when using CBD oil does not always work very well with some over-the-counter medicines. Its use with medicines such as opioids, benzodiazepines, antipsychotics, antidepressants and antihistamines may cause hepatotoxicity. It hinders the metabolic activity required to break down these medicines and can lead to liver dysfunction.
While traditional cannabis can lead to addiction, CBD is quite different. CBD does not have any psychotropic effects that could lead to dependency. It does not have any abuse potential and causes minimal side effects. In fact, research has shown CBD can mitigate the effects of addiction. Preclinical studies suggest that CBD possess therapeutic properties against cocaine, opioid and NSAIDs (4).
CBD withdrawal symptoms are quite different from the symptoms of other psychoactive compounds. If you have decided to quit using CBD after a long time, the most prominent effect is the absence of positive effects. CBD interacts with the body in the most mild and non-invasive way, which is why users’ bodies will not be alarmed by the sudden absence. The World Health Organisation have stated that CBD is well-tolerated and has an excellent safety profile. There is no evidence of health-related issues or withdrawal symptoms of CBD (5).
It should be noted that when you stop using CBD, your body will take time to fully adjust to the new change, depending on the tolerance level and extent of CBD usage.
Every time we introduce our body to something new, it changes and expresses it in the form of positive and negative effects. The time required to produce these changes depends on a number of factors, like body chemistry and dosage. Everyone’s body reacts to the stimuli differently, so the experience also varies. The first 2 weeks of CBD intake may cause symptoms like fatigue and diarrhea, which usually settle on its own.
People expect instant results and think that CBD starts to show its effects immediately after intake; however, that’s not the case. CBD oil takes time to get to the bloodstream and then react with the endocannabinoid receptors (6). New CBD users may have to wait for several weeks to experience the effects of CBD oil. The process requires patience and commitment, as you may feel the same for months.
It usually takes one to three weeks of regular CBD dose to produce a significant difference. It would be best to figure out the correct dose and continue with it for a few weeks before thinking CBD is not practical.
One of the most popular benefits of taking CBD on a regular basis is that it can help clear brain fog and improve natural focus. Anxiety and depression have a significant effect on our ability to focus and reduce our attention span, so those who want to ace their important tasks without heavy feelings in their head should start using CBD instantly.
Daily CBD dose can also help in improving the sleep-wake cycle. It is a perfect remedy for getting a restful sleep without any interruptions. It is necessary to follow a proper routine and take CBD at the same time every day. CBD users suggest that the optimal dose should be taken an hour before bedtime so it has enough time to enter the system and start producing the results.
Even though we cannot control the stressors all the time, we can reduce our anxiousness and improve our flight and fight response. Racing thoughts, increased blood pressure, and pervasive thoughts characterize anxiety. The natural anti-anxiolytic properties of CBD can help in managing the symptoms of persistent anxiety if it is consumed regularly.
The long-term effects of CBD remain an area of ongoing exploration. While research suggests potential benefits for conditions like epilepsy, anxiety, and chronic pain, comprehensive, large-scale studies are still needed to understand its full impact over extended periods. The existing evidence indicates generally few adverse effects, but individual responses may vary. More extensive and controlled studies are crucial for a nuanced understanding of CBD’s long-term effects across diverse populations and conditions.