CBD is a compound that is growing in popularity with all demographics regardless of, gender, age, and even species! But just how safe is CBD really?
CBD is a 100% legal naturally occurring Cannabinoid found in Cannabis that, unlike its currently illegal sibling THC, has no psychoactive effects on the consumer, so in case you're wondering if CBD will get you stoned, the answer is no.
It has slowly been gaining in popularity for many years in the UK and exploded over the past two years as a result of the Medicines and Healthcare Regulatory Agency’s (MHRA) January 2017 decision that restricted the sale of CBD as a medicine to licensed producers and distributors only.
However, this also created a legal grey area that is the CBD supplement market which allows for CBD to be sold without a license as long as its classified as a food supplement and no health benefits are attributed to the products the proprietor sells.
Cannabidiol (CBD) isn't scheduled by the Convention on Psychotropic Substances, the predecessor to the single convention on narcotic drugs produced by the United Nations which deals with Psychotropic Substances.
Far from being damaging to the brain, CBD has been shown to be a neuroprotective antioxidant, and even the World Health Organisation (WHO) in December 2017 declared that CBD is safe, non-toxic and said that it poses no risk of addiction.
That being said, there are after all many different ways to consume CBD, some of which are considered safer than others.
The combustion of CBD rich flowers for example still may have potential associated health risks. The inhalation of burning plant material could potentially produce carcinogenic gases and natural tars, and this is avoided through Vaporisation.
Inhalation of CBD by combustion, Dabbing, or Vaping is all considered a form of smoking in the UK and as such are subject to the same age restrictions as Tobacco and often the same prejudices too.
CBD has been found to be safe, but as with everything we consume, there are potential side-effects. Fortunately, there are rather few unwanted or negative side-effects from the consumption of CBD. Below we discuss the few there potentially could be.
- Dry Mouth
- Low Blood Pressure
- Inhibition of hepatic drug metabolism
- Wakefulness/ Drowsiness
- Potential Vape additive issues
The consumption of CBD can cause what is termed by Cannabis enthusiasts as “Cotton Mouth”. This dry mouth effect seems to be a consequence of CBD’s interaction with the CB receptors in the mouth known as the Submandibular glands, this interaction tends to reduce saliva production.
Low blood pressure
In high doses, CBD can affect blood pressure. It has been observed to lower blood pressure within minutes of it entering the body.
This can result in a temporary light-headed feeling when standing too quickly. It also potentially offers new novel treatments for hypertension, a growing medical problem in the western world.
CBD can affect the sleep cycle. In high doses it can induce drowsiness, however, paradoxically it has also been shown in clinical research to be a wake-inducing agent at a moderate and low dose.
Inhibition of hepatic drug metabolism
CBD can inhibit hepatic drug metabolism which is responsible for breaking down most pharmaceutical drugs.
CBD actually temporarily neutralises the enzyme cytochrome P-450. This could be viewed as a side effect but also a benefit for some as it seems to be one of the mechanisms which block the metabolism of THC, which potentially could allow for THC to be consumed in higher doses without the sometimes unwanted psychotropic effects.
Potential Vape additive issues
There may also be some potential negative side-effects from different vaporiser products and additives.
Some CBD companies use artificial flavourings that contain chemicals that although considered Generally Recognised As Safe (GRAS) by the Flavour Extractors Manufacturers Association (FEMA), this too often only applies to ingestion, not inhalation. There has been little research done into the effects of these additives on the respiratory system and the rest of the body when these products are vaporised.
Important note: CBD Asylum only uses flavours that are safety checked to comply with current TPD laws which govern the nicotine E-liquid market. TPD Laws do not currently affect the CBD liquid market, but we volunteer to adhere to this additional regulation to ensure customer safety and satisfaction.
VG (Vegetable Glycerin), a common constituent in most CBD vape juices, can cause an allergic reaction and result in some consumers who are particularly sensitive to VG suffering shortness of breath, dizziness, and nausea. However, it is classified as GRAS by the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
As with VG, PG (Propylene Glycol) is considered GRAS by the FDA, consumers may still experience an allergic reaction or adverse effects. Both VG and PG are designed to attract moisture, meaning that their usage can also cause dry mouth.
CBD is Non-toxic
A 2011 Study found that Cannabidiol (CBD) is non-toxic and can easily be tolerated in humans at doses of 1,500mg.
Another study in 2014, looking at the effects of CBD on Huntington’s disease found that a daily dose of 700mg for six weeks induced no toxicity.
CBD is not psychoactive like THC
Some professionals may argue that CBD is psychoactive, as the molecule is can affect your mood, emotions, and mind. However, CBD does not cause the mind-altering “high” that is produced by THC.
CBD is not psychoactive like THC because of its poor binding affinity with the CB1 and CB2 receptors in the brain. CBD is a Pleiotropic drug, which means that it produces effects through multiple molecular pathways.
So far scientists have observed that CBD operates through more than 60 different such pathways including 5HT1A (Serotonin) TRPV1, PPAR- Gamma and GPR55.
Is CBD safe for pets?
Our furry friends along with all vertebrate animals have an Endocannabinoid system (ECS). This not only means that they too are potentially suffering from the detrimental effects of prohibition by being cannabinoid deficient, they too also could benefit from the potential medical benefits of consuming Cannabinoids like CBD.
Although both Cats and dogs both suffer from epilepsy, it is Canines that seem to be more likely to suffer these types of conditions. It is estimated that up to 5% of canines suffer from either symptomatic or idiopathic seizures.
Some breeds which are more susceptible to seizure disorders than others are Beagles, German Shepherds, Dachshunds, English springer spaniels, Irish wolfhounds, collies, golden retrievers, Saint Bernard's, American cocker spaniels, Alaskan malamutes, Siberian Huskies, and poodles to name a few.
Cats and Dogs suffering from these types of seizures are typically prescribed Phenobarbital, a medication commonly used to treat seizures in young children.
While being WHO (World Health Organisation) approved it comes with a spectrum of side-effects from lethargy to confusion and more serious side-effects such as long-term liver damage.
Unfortunately, most veterinarians are still reluctant to explore Cannabinoid based alternatives as they are typically short on knowledge of it themselves. Another unintended consequence of the incredibly restrictive and draconian scheduling of Cannabis and the war on drugs.
The only real risk to animals consuming CBD products is the fact that the market is currently unregulated. It's the other ingredients such as artificial flavours, emulsifiers and other additives that may be used in production that could potentially cause irritation, allergic reaction or other unintended complications from consumption.
There are special CBD-rich pet products designed to complement their individual dietary needs while also potentially maximising the health benefits of Cannabinoid consumption in our pets.
Its all about ingestion method when it comes to giving pets CBD. Not all pets are well behaved enough to allow you to just drop a pipette into their mouth, which would be the best delivery method as at least some of it would be absorbed sublingually increasing uptake and shortening the delivery time.
Alternatively, adding it to their food is still a good way to ensure they're getting CBD into their diet.
Is CBD safe for children?
The efficacy and safety of CBD for children is a question that is of paramount importance for all parents considering adding CBD to their child’s nutritional diet.
CBD is safe for children for all the same reasons that it is for adults or dogs. Its non-toxic, non-addictive, It doesn’t get you high and it has minimal other side-effects.
CBD studies have shown to help with Epilepsy, especially Dravet syndrome, a form of epilepsy that typically begins at around six months of age and carries a rather high risk of sudden and unexpected death.
Charlotte Figi is one of many children born with Dravet Syndrome.
She suffered seizures that would last for hours and frequently resulted in visits to the hospital. Her parents turned to medical cannabis when all other options failed.
Once that supply ran out the family sought help from one of Colorado's largest cultivators, the Stanley brothers.
The brothers had been cross-breeding various Cannabis and Hemp strains that showed potential therapeutic properties. After a few years experimentation, they found and stabilised a strain that drastically reduced Charlotte’s seizures.
Jayden is a little boy also born with Dravet syndrome who’s story, along with Charlotte’s, has been instrumental in the acceptance of CBD and medical Cannabis in the states over recent years.
A bit closer to home in the past few years, Vera Twomey has been fighting in Ireland for her Daughter Ava to have access to medical cannabis. She first started Ava on CBD which drastically reduces her seizures.
However, Vera's own research has found much like Jayden's father Jason that using FECO (Full Extract Cannabis Oil) so including the THC but in a much smaller ratio to the CBD content reduced the seizures to a few a year. This added benefit seems to be down to the Entourage effect.
It has also just been announced that the Irish government will cover the cost of young Ava’s treatment.
Just across the border in Northern Ireland, another young boy's parents are fighting for access to Cannabinoid medications for their epileptic son Billy Caldwell.
He currently takes two different oils one CBD rich that is legal in the UK and a THC rich one that is currently illegal. Using these preparations Billy achieved over 200 days seizure free.
These reports seem to indicate that these children have had the frequency of the seizures massively reduced by utilising CBD.
Is CBD safe for pregnant women?
Cannabinoids have been consumed by many pregnant women over the years to relieve uncomfortable symptoms such as nausea, however, there isn't any significant research looking at the effects of Cannabis during pregnancy.
Cannabis remains a schedule 1 substance which drastically reduces scientists ability to conduct vitally needed research on the effects of Cannabinoids on pregnancy.
A 2016 study concluded that “Maternal marijuana use during pregnancy is not an independent risk factor for adverse neonatal outcomes after adjusting for confounding factors. Thus, the association between maternal marijuana use and adverse outcomes appears attributable to concomitant tobacco use and other confounding factors”.
A 2014 study found that in-utero exposure to THC could change the way that nerve cells function in animals and cells cultured outside of the body.
One of the studies contributing authors, Dr. Tibor Harkany suggested that even the smallest of changes in the ECS could make children vulnerable to certain conditions and diseases later in life.
However, this study only looked at THC and NOT CBD. It also failed to take into account other contributory factors that may well of skewed the data and outcome.
There are other studies suggesting that THC may also have detrimental effects on behaviour, mental health and later life outcomes, however, this study fails to take into account many other variables and contributing factors that again will of affected the end result.
There is also a longitudinal study of Jamaican Women conducted in 1980’s that produced some rather surprising results.
Babies exposed to Cannabis during pregnancy were tested on day 1, day 3 and day 30 they found that the babies exposed to Cannabis scored significantly higher in reflex tests and basic function tests like blood pressure and heart rate.
The children were re-evaluated at age 4 and 5. Taking into account home environment and school attendance no difference was noted between the Cannabis exposed children and their non-exposed counterparts.
Unfortunately, the research grant was pulled and there has been little follow up to this studies findings for various political reasons.
The concerns about pregnant women consuming Cannabinoids seems to be related to the consumption of Cannabis buds/flowers mixed with Tobacco that are then combusted and inhaled.
CBD doesn’t seem to have any adverse effects on mother or the development of her baby, however much more research needs conducting.
CBD Ayslum’s extraction and production process
The Hemp that CBD Asylum uses to produce our CBD isolate and Water soluble CBD is grown in both the US and Europe to ensure year round harvesting and availability. It is all certified Organic and lab tested.
The CBD isolate used to produce all CBD Asylum products except the Pro Shot and Nano Shot is produced from certified organic Hemp and extracted using C02 which is a much cleaner extraction method than potentially toxic solvents such as Butane.
Ultimately, other than smokable forms which are age restricted to over 18’s. All other forms of consuming CBD is considered safe for adults, children and even pets. All mammals, all vertebrates in fact, as they all have an Endocannabinoid system (ECS) that has been left deficient by decades of prohibition and the removal of Hemp and Cannabis from the Earth’s food chain.
- written by Simpa