Is it Bad to Take CBD Every Day? [Myths vs. Facts]
In this modern age of medicine and plenty of freely available drugs, it is all too easy to fall into the habit of taking far too many medications far too frequently. When this happens, there is always the risk of complications that arise as a result of taking the same drug every single day. Though many people take the same medication every single day of their lives, it is possible that the adverse side effects can add up and result in some serious problems later in life.
What about CBD, though? Is it a problem to take CBD every single day? Let’s take a look at a few of the myths and facts surrounding regular CBD usage.
Myth: CBD Isn’t Addictive or Habit Forming
This commonly touted fact is only really half true – while it is utterly factual that you won’t be feeling any kind of physical or mental addictions like you would with opioid-based pain medication, there are long-term effects and changes that will happen to your body that will cause a kind of reliance on CBD if you use it every single day. Your body chemistry will change and adapt in the same way that it would if you took any kind of regular medication. With CBD, this is specifically related to the endocannabinoid system.
In the human body, it is the ECS that is responsible for CBD and other cannabinoids having an effect on your body. The reason the ECS exists is because the body actually makes its own cannabinoids that accomplish the same thing that external cannabinoids seek to, such as reducing inflammation, increasing cellular regeneration and generally promoting your health. When you take CBD, your ECS’ receptors are triggered by this external cannabinoid, rather than the natural cannabinoids in the body. When this happens frequently enough, your body will realize that it doesn’t need to produce as many cannabinoids as it usually would, so it begins to create less and less natural cannabinoids.
This means that if you are a regular user of CBD and then suddenly stop taking it, you might find yourself feeling slightly different than you would usually. This is in no way as significant as alcohol withdrawal or the dreaded symptoms that come about as a result of quitting opioids cold turkey, but it is still a noticeable effect.
Studies, such as one by Kerstin Iffland and Franjo Grotenhermen for the Journal of Cannabis and Cannabinoid Research, have found that CBD withdrawal is noticeable, especially if you were using CBD to treat a specific condition – if you were managing your pain with CBD, you might be surprised at the intensity of the pain you feel once you are no longer taking CBD. Interestingly enough, that same study found that CBD was excellent at treating withdrawal symptoms from other drugs, including the THC found in cannabis. This means that, while CBD does indeed cause some small amount of withdrawal, it is also used as the treatment for other forms of withdrawal.
Fact: CBD Does Not Cause You to Hallucinate or Make You High
When you take a drug frequently enough, especially one so closely related to the common psychedelic cannabis, it might be assumed that you will begin to suffer some kind of hallucinogenic or otherwise psychedelic effects. In actual fact, no matter how much you take, it is quite literally impossible for CBD to cause you to experience any kind of ‘high’ effect. This is due to how CBD interacts with your endocannabinoid system.
When it first interacts with your ECS, CBD finds its way to your CB1 and CB2 receptors. These receptors are what is responsible for the effects cannabinoids have on your body. However, CBD interacts with them in a profoundly different way when compared to THC. When THC interacts with the CB1 and CB2 receptors, it clings onto them, overstimulating them and causing the infamous ‘high.’ However, with CBD, it is entirely different. CBD sets itself up near the receptors, rather than directly on them; instead of triggering them by itself, it instead turns off the chemicals that your body produces that are used to shut the receptors down. What this means is that the CB1 and CB2 receptors are allowed to continue working, rather than being sporadically turned off as they usually would. This is why CBD is completely non-psychoactive or in any way a narcotic, as it doesn’t do anything that would cause a high.
If you are regularly using CBD, you are not any more at risk of developing a CBD high than someone who frequently uses paracetamol.
Myth: There are No Side Effects of CBD
One of the consequences of taking any kind of medication over a long period of time is that the side effects that you can expect from taking the drug normally are going to be felt at a much higher rate. After all, if you have a 10% chance of having a side effect every time you take a drug, after taking it for ten days you will then have a 63% chance of having felt it at least once, according to the law of averages.
Contrary to popular belief, CBD does have side effects. They are minor, but they do exist. The side effects of CBD might not seem too much of a problem, but the issue is when you are forced to suffer these effects for an extended period of time.
Let’s take a look at a few of these side effects.
Side Effect #1 – Drowsiness
One of the most frequent uses for CBD is to help treat issues with insomnia, as CBD interacts with the CB1 receptor to encourage the releases of melatonin and help you sleep. However, it is a little bit more complicated than that. A study published by Rodriguez et al. discovered that the sleep-inducing effects of CBD only occurred during the night time when the body was already expecting to be getting ready for sleep.
If CBD was taken during the day, however, then the subjects were actually more awake and alert than if they hadn’t taken any CBD at all. This means that depending on when you take your CBD; you might find yourself either more alert or more sleepy. You need to make sure you don’t take CBD during the night-time, if you are trying to stay awake or trying to perform a particular task. Similarly, don’t take CBD during the daytime if you are looking to try and get some shut-eye during the afternoon.
Side Effect #2 – Lower Blood Pressure
Though it might not be one of the first things that people think of, CBD is actually extremely useful at helping to lower blood pressure. This occurs due to a principle known as vascular relaxation, wherein the arterial lining of the circulatory system is able to, in essence, relax and not exert as much pressure on the heart. This is an excellent thing for those with inherited blood pressure issues, wherein they run the risk of chronic heart damage due to high blood pressure, but not a great idea if you have the opposite condition – low blood pressure.
This is doubly important if you regularly take CBD, because then you run the risk of having chronically low blood pressure when you might need it to be higher. The actual capacity for CBD to reduce blood pressure is quite small, but if you are in a situation wherein you need your blood pressure to spike, or if you are already prone to low blood pressure, then regularly taking CBD might cause some adverse effects. You might find yourself getting dizzy when standing up, or after exerting yourself physically.
This might not be felt when taking it in the short term, but with long-term usage, this could prove to be a real problem.
Fact: CBD Helps Reduce Long-Term Anxiety
One of the more common reasons for people to take CBD over a long period of time is to help treat issues resulting from severe anxiety. The constant feeling of worry, stress, and general anxiety makes this mental disorder one of the most horrible to live with, yet millions of people cope with it every day.
CBD is excellent at treating anxiety due to how it interacts with the CB1 receptor and the important release of helpful neurochemicals, which is why many people take it solely to help manage their anxiety. The only annoying thing is that, to be able to treat anxiety effectively, you need to take an extremely large dose every day. This makes the risk of suffering the mild side effects, or the chronic dependence issues, much higher. However, as anyone who suffers from anxiety can tell you, anything is preferable to the mind-altering state of being eternally anxious.
Final Thoughts – Is it Bad to Take CBD Every Day?
Taking any kind of drug has its problems, especially with long term regular use, but with CBD, the pros easily outweigh the cons. However, there is the increased risk of developing some minor symptoms, as well as the fact that, if you were to stop using CBD suddenly, you might be in for a bit of a shock (mainly if it was used to treat anxiety!). Still, the positive effects of CBD are just too useful not to use it!
While it is generally a bad idea to ever be reliant on a substance that you need to take every day, CBD is easily one of the most consequence-free drugs you can choose to help you with innumerable medical issues and it doesn’t really have any kind of significant drawbacks for long term use. After all, coffee has a variety of long term consequences and is massively addictive, yet almost half the world drinks it every day!