Is CBD safe?

Jan 31, 2020

Woman touching chin

As part of my exploration into Cannabidiol (CBD), I want to explore whether it is universally a safe option, or whether there are certain groups or demographics who should steer clear of it. Although only being sold as a food supplement, as well as adding CBD to drinks, currently in the UK, more and more people are using it for potential medicinal purposes.

Is CBD safe for skin?

Yes

CBD products include a range of tinctures, creams and balms that are touted as being useful for myriad issues including acne, skin irritation and oily skin. As a skincare product, there has been slightly more testing on CBD than in other areas, and the results find that it can be beneficial for certain skin complaints.

study in 2014 showed promising results for CBD in treating acne by regulating the production of sebum, which is excessive oiliness,' says Dr Perry for NetDoctor.

However, it currently shows that for more serious skin complaints and higher levels of acne, CBD might not be the perfect solution. Dr Perry says: “If you are struggling to find a skincare regime for mild to moderate acne, you could try CBD products if you are interested in that route."

Is CBD safe for those with sleep difficulties?

Yes

women in bed duvet covering face

The Sleep Doctor claims that “CBD has the ability to reduce anxiety, which can be helpful in reducing sleep difficulties and improving sleep quality. CBD may increase overall sleep amounts, and improve insomnia, according to research. CBD has been shown to reduce insomnia in people who suffer from chronic pain.”

Whilst psychoactive compounds should not be present in CBD products, due to the unregulated nature of the industry, some people can find that they experience more vivid dreams whilst taking doses of cannabidiol. However, there are also reports that people find CBD causes them not to dream at all, so reports are conflicting and seem to change from person to person.

Is CBD safe for those with anxiety?

Yes

One of the driving forces behind the rise in CBD popularity is its effects on mental health. Many people have reported that after taking CBD they were able to destress and rid themselves of (or significantly improve) their anxiety.

Blogger Monalogue gives a glowing testament of how it’s helped her anxiety on her site, where she explains what happened the first time she tried CBD: “When I first took CBD oil, I didn’t expect much at all. I felt like my anxiety was far too complex and deep-rooted for a few drops of oil to touch. But I was very wrong.

“I took a couple of drops under my tongue, let them sit there for a minute, and then gulped them away. Within half an hour, I felt a wave of tiredness, so I went to sit in the garden. Then the most amazing thing happened. For the first time in my life, the ten conversations running on loop in my mind just stopped. I decided to listen to some music, and I was really able to listen and focus. I stopped the music. I was able to think about one thing at a time, and those thoughts weren’t worries. They were neutral or happy.”

Is CBD safe for animals?

Yes

white cat with blue eyes

Although it may not be the first thing that comes to mind, many people are using CBD to aide with animal ailments, including anxiety and later-life pain. David Barcly, the founder of a UK-based CBD brand told Metro that “around 20% of his customers have reported giving CBD to their pets”.

Dr Katherine Kramer, a Canadian vet, was a pioneer in using CBD for animals when she used it on an elderly cat six years ago. She explained: “‘He was miserable and facing euthanasia. However, his owner said he wanted to try giving the cat CBD, I had not thought of that before and said it was worth a shot because we have nothing to lose. Within a few days he was eating, and getting back to his normal self, he ended up living another two years, two good years as well.”

Using CBD as a medical solution on animals is legal in the UK since September 2018 and you can read the Veterinary Medicines Directorate’s statement online. 

Is CBD safe?

Yes

Overall, it seems that CBD can be deemed safe for most users. Obviously, with all products of this nature, it will suit some more than others and there is a level of personalisation necessary. However, it feels like people shouldn’t dismiss CBD before the first hurdle for fears it will not be safe for them.

In an interview with Vogue, Ethan Russo, MD, director of research and development at the International Cannabis and Cannabinoids Institute says: “Cannabis is botanical medicine, and as a medical plant, it’s very versatile and offers unparalleled safety if used in proper preparations.” 

As the wellbeing industry expands, something my sugar-free soft drink Kolibri slots into, I’m excited to watch new products and ingredients come to the forefront of consumer interest. CBD is certainly a hot trend right now and I can see why, with so many people reporting significant positive effects for them. I’m certainly excited to see how brands continue to utilise it in the future.

Please note: As with all products, there can be adverse effects on a person-to-person basis and anyone thinking about taking CBD should discuss this with their GP first. Equally, anyone thinking about administering CBD to an animal should talk to a vet first.

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