CBD oil: Is it safe?

CBD oil: Is it safe?

As an increasing number of states legalize medicinal and/or recreational use of marijuana, the market for cannabis products has exploded. One of these products, cannabidiol (CBD) oil, has gained recent popularity for its purported ability to reduce pain, insomnia and anxiety without producing any “highs” like its psychoactive cousin tetrahydrocannabinol (THC).

But is it as safe and effective as its advocates say it is?

CBD is an active ingredient derived from cannabis. While CBD has been considered legal in varying degrees according to state laws, it is still considered an illegal substance by the federal government with specific medical exceptions.

“CBD oil has reportedly had benefits in behavioral conditions such as anxiety and PTSD along with helping with sleep disorders and pain management. However, the use of CBD has only been approved for safety and effectiveness by the FDA for specific childhood epilepsy conditions,” cautions Dr. Desler Javier, an internal medicine physician at Advocate Illinois Masonic Medical Center in Chicago.

Dr. Javier adds that though there have been studies citing benefits of CBD oil in multiple medical conditions ranging from anxiety to even skin disorders, much more research needs to be done to validate the safe and effective use of CBD oil for conditions other epilepsy.

There are also risks with taking CBD products. In addition to experiencing side effects such as drowsiness, lethargy and sedation, CBD has also been associated with liver toxicity, especially when taken with other types of drugs. For this reason, consumers interested in purchasing CBD products should speak with their physician about the potential risks with its use, Dr. Javier says.

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  1. Of course CBD is safe. Where has CBD been linked to liver toxicity? This sounds like more propaganda. Cannabis is a plant with a plethora of health benefits. It doesn’t need nor has it ever needed government regulation. With literally thousands of strains, several with large CBD>THC ratios, there are so many that can benefit from this plant, as has been for thousands of years. Why is it still considered illegal on the federal level? The same reason alcohol was. The only difference being that alcohol is highly toxic, and lethal. I have two parents and several friends that would speak on this, if they were still here with us. Now there’s a legitimate liver toxicity claim.

  2. CBD oil is derived from the hemp plant. It is not cannabis and does not create a “high.” I would wager the liver toxicity when taken with othe drugs as referred to in the article is caused by the “other drugs” and not the CBD. Sure other tests are being done to validate its claims, but the FDA will take forever because of the BIG PHARMA lobby that is robbing consumers blind. You know them. They’re the people who give expensive drug samples to physicians in order to hook the consumer. Thanks for the opportunity to comment.

  3. CBD oil is being used by many cancer patients. Those that use it swear its helping stop the cancer from spreading. And they are living longer cancer free lives now. The doctors nor the pharmaceutical companies really don’t want cancer patients to use CBD Oil. I say if its helping why not?

  4. Marijuana continues to be grossly misclassified on our drug schedule. Cancer, seizures, autoimmune diseases, inflammation, autism, aggression, anxiety. Compared to many other countries, our research is woefully behind regarding the real health benefits of this natural medicinal. Not surprising, as we’re heavily into vaccinating, instead of caring for our bodies properly and promoting natural immunity, not synthetic, like we did in the past.

    Your article does point out safety considerations with CBD. Not only CBD, but grapefruit and numerous other pharmaceutical drugs interact and compete to metabolize in the liver.

    “CBD has been found to be a potent inhibitor of other drugs using the cytochrome P450 pathway. When taken with competing meds, CBD will fight its way to be metabolized first, forcing less strong prescriptions to wait their turn and often, reducing their effectiveness. That’s how CBD is similar to grapefruit; it too can prevent drugs using the cytochrome 450 pathway from metabolizing.”

    See article below this quote was from:


About the Author

Jaimie Oh
Jaimie Oh

Jaimie Oh, health enews contributor, is the manager of public affairs and marketing at Illinois Masonic in Chicago. She earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Journalism from the University of Missouri-Columbia and has nearly a decade of experience working in publishing, strategic communications and marketing. Outside of work, Jaimie trains for marathons with the goal of running 50 races before she turns 50 years old.