CBD is primarily process through the hepatic pathway (liver) within the CYP family of enzymes. Because of its metabolic processing within the body, this can be affected by certain medications and intrinsic liver disease. Certain classes of medications, such as “blood thinners” and anti-epileptic medications, can interact with CBD and cannabis-based medications. This interaction can lead to levels that are too high or too low, which in either case can be problematic. You should discuss with your pharmacist or physician any potential medication interactions before starting a dedicated CBD or medical cannabis treatment regimen.
CBD has a relatively wide therapeutic range and overall safety profile. However, certain side effects have been reported, such as nausea, fatigue and irritability. As noted above, CBD is non-intoxicating, and thus side effects that can accompany THC (paranoia, dizziness, etc) are not shared.
One major potential pitfall with CBD products is purity, and this is often left to the consumer to evaluate, who needs to be well educated. Because there is no universal governing body applying regulatory standards to CBD products, these can vary widely, place to place, region to region. However, unscrupulous products can be very problematic, leading to lack of efficacy or worse, unwanted toxin exposure. Bi-products, such as heavy metals or pesticides, can end up in cannabis-based products if not controlled and tested for accurately. These products can be harmful if not avoided, removed, or accounted for. Likewise, products should contain what is advertised. If the CBD product claims 25mg capsules on the label, but laboratory testing shows different or varying numbers, this can be the difference between a product begin efficacious or not working.
Fortunately, there is a straightforward answer to confirming product accuracy and composition. All legitimate CBD products should have available their associated Certificate of Analysis, or COA. The COA’s contain analysis of the products, confirming both what is in them, and what is not in them. These COA’s are common in the medical cannabis industry, and should be available for any consumer-based CBD product. If the product COA is not readily available for you and other consumers, then that is not the CBD product to be using.