Can CBD Oil Cause Dizziness

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If you're experiencing vertigo, you may be wondering if CBD can help ease your symptoms or limit vertigo episodes? Find out with Peels. Some people believe CBD oil is safe and well-tolerated. Read about the side effects you can expect and what to be aware of.

Can CBD Help Ease Vertigo Symptoms?

CBD has had a major impact on the wellness scene over recent years. We’ve seen this phytocannabinoid cropping up in all sorts of products that are used to help soothe tension and ease discomfort.

With so much praise for CBD’s calming capabilities, there are a lot of questions about what ailments CBD may help in relief.

If you experience chronic vertigo symptoms, you may be wondering if CBD could provide a natural form of relief. While CBD does not directly ease symptoms of vertigo, its ability to affect our wellbeing in other ways may be beneficial.

What Is Vertigo?

Vertigo is the sensation that the world is spinning around you. For some, this can happen when you are up high up and looking down, or even just when you move quickly from sitting to a standing position.

Almost 40% of Americans experience vertigo at least once in their life, but for some, it can be a more common occurrence for some. Vertigo can last for just a few seconds or multiple days at a time.

If you experience chronic vertigo, it can increase your risk of falling and interfere with your ability to complete everyday tasks.

What Causes Vertigo?

Vertigo may be caused by various possible issues, including stress, certain medications, extended bed rest, or an inner ear issue.

While it is important to speak to a doctor to find the root cause of your vertigo and how to best improve it, you may also be looking for immediate solutions to help resolve dizziness when it happens.

Along with feeling like the room is spinning, vertigo can also cause nausea, vomiting, and a lack of balance, making it challenging to go about your day.

What Is CBD?

CBD, or cannabidiol, is one of better known plant-derived cannabinoids naturally found within the Cannabis sativa plant.

CBD can work with the body’s endocannabinoid system (ECS), which is an internal communication network made up of cannabinoid receptors that is believed to help regulate biological functions and maintain balance within the body.

How Does The Endocannabinoid System Work?

The endocannabinoid system is able to send chemical messages throughout the nervous system to help respond to and regulate a wide range of body functions.

Studies suggest that the ECS plays a role in sleep, appetite, mood, and pain regulation.

The brain can form chemical messages known as endogenous cannabinoids (or endocannabinoids) as needed. Researchers have found two main endocannabinoids: anandamide and 2-arachidonoyl glycerol (2-AG).

These endocannabinoids can bind with receptors throughout the body, including CB1 receptors prominent in the brain and CB2 receptors commonly found in immune cells.

Endocannabinoids can activate receptors they bind to, triggering biological responses. The immediate effects of endocannabinoids are often a source of temporary support, as the body’s enzymes can easily break endocannabinoids back down to their basic form.

How Does CBD Affect The Endocannabinoid System?

Because CBD is molecularly similar to our own endocannabinoids, CBD can work within the ECS to help restore balance as needed.

While scientists are still learning exactly how CBD works within the ECS, current research suggests that CBD can help extend the life of endocannabinoids by blocking enzymes from breaking them down as quickly.

Some researchers also believe CBD may modulate certain receptors, although it doesn’t bind directly with either CB1 or CB2 receptors.

Can CBD Help With Vertigo?

Currently, there is no evidence that CBD is suited to directly treat or help ease vertigo. However, it may help soothe symptoms that can accompany vertigo episodes, such as nausea.

Studies suggest that CBD can help ease nausea by supporting endocannabinoids that work with cannabinoid receptors in the digestive tract. The ECS can also help stimulate appetite by managing communication between the gut and the brain.

Can CBD Worsen Vertigo Symptoms?

CBD does occasionally cause dizziness for some users, especially when taken in high doses, so if you are trying CBD for vertigo, it is best to start with a low amount and see how it makes you feel. If using CBD exacerbates your vertigo or dizziness, stop using it right away.

CBD may also worsen your symptoms if your vertigo episodes are triggered by low blood pressure, which is the case for some.

CBD can help lower blood pressure by relaxing blood vessels and limiting oxidative stress. While this benefits many users, it could be counterproductive if you already have low blood pressure.

Speaking to a doctor to identify the cause of your vertigo can help determine if CBD is right for you.

What Can Help Ease My Vertigo Symptoms?

If you are experiencing vertigo often, it is best to speak with your doctor to help identify the cause and find the best ways to manage your symptoms.

Staying hydrated, standing up slowly, and practicing certain balancing exercises may help ease vertigo symptoms for some. If you’re taking medication responsible for your vertigo, your doctor may recommend changing medication.

Your doctor may also suggest including more potassium-rich foods such as tomatoes or antioxidant-rich foods like berries and citrus fruits in your diet and may help identify potential food-related triggers such as caffeine or alcohol.

Getting enough sleep may also help with some instances of vertigo, as can managing stress.

While CBD doesn’t directly provide relief for vertigo and may increase dizziness for some, it may help target underlying triggers for others. For instance, if lack of sleep or stress is causing your vertigo symptoms, CBD may help provide some relief.

CBD and Sleep

Our resting hours are prime time for the body to reset, as production of the stress hormone cortisol is reduced and the immune system has time to hyper-focus on any areas that need support. A lack of high-quality sleep can negatively affect body function, and may make some more susceptible to vertigo episodes.

By promoting relaxation and supporting sleep quality, CBD may help limit instances of sleep-related vertigo.

When taken shortly before bed, CBD can work within the body to prolong the effects of endocannabinoids like anandamide (referred to as “the bliss molecule”) in the brain, which can help settle the mind and shift the body into sleep mode.

CBD may also help block stress-causing molecules from binding to serotonin receptors, which can help promote feelings of rest that stress is known to interfere with. In a study that found CBD could help reduce stress in most users, many also reported improved sleep quality accompanying consistent CBD use over the course of a month.

CBD and Stress: Does It Help?

Vertigo symptoms are often caused by changes in the inner ear, known as your vestibular system. While stress does not directly cause vertigo, it can affect the part of the inner ear responsible for balance.

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During periods of stress, the body produces high levels of the stress hormone cortisol. Cortisol may affect the inner ear by disrupting neurotransmissions between the brain and vestibular system.

So how can CBD help reduce stress before it sets off a dizzy spell?

By engaging with the endocannabinoid anandamide and neurotransmitters, such as serotonin and dopamine, CBD can aid the ECS in regulating mood and lowering stress levels.

Alternatively, experiencing vertigo may also heighten your stress levels. The feelings of vertigo can be worrying, and for some who experience vertigo often, it can lead to nervousness about the possibility of vertigo coming on during certain situations.

Luckily, CBD can help calm the mind and promote relaxation when nervous thoughts are creeping up on us.

If CBD doesn’t worsen your dizziness, using it to relieve some of the stress that accompanies vertigo can help lower cortisol production and ease tension throughout the mind and body.

CBD Without The THC

While THC–the psychoactive cannabinoid found alongside CBD in the cannabis plant–can provide benefits for some, one of its most common side effects is dizziness, meaning it may not be right for those with vertigo.

Most CBD products derived from the hemp plant contain trace amounts of THC, but here at Peels, we do things a little differently.

At Peels, we source our CBD from organic orange peels. We use a process called cyclic terpene assembly to turn the aromatic terpenes in citrus peels into bioidentical CBD. Our CBD works exactly the same as the CBD found in hemp, but because there is absolutely no THC in orange peels, there will never be any trace of THC in your Peels CBD.

Bottom Line

CBD does not directly ease vertigo symptoms and may even worsen dizziness for some.

However, CBD can help ease nausea that some experience with vertigo and help reduce stress, tension, and improve sleep quality when used consistently – all of which may impact the frequency of vertigo symptoms.

If you’re interested in incorporating CBD into your wellness regime, Peels’ freshly squeezed CBD oil is here to support you.

7 CBD Oil Side Effects You Should Watch Out For

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CBD oil is believed to be generally safe and well-tolerated, but it is not free of side effects. Read on to learn which adverse effects you should watch out for when using CBD oil, how the delivery form influences them, and what you can do to reduce your risk.

CBD Oil Side Effects

First, it is important to remember that CBD oil is considered experimental and investigational and far more clinical studies are needed before we can make any firm conclusions about its supposed benefits [1].

Similarly, it’s an insufficiently investigated supplement with a relatively unknown safety profile. The list of side effects listed in this article is, therefore, not a definite one.

So, make sure to speak with your doctor before starting on a CBD oil regimen.

With the recent legalization of CBD oil in many states worldwide, its popularity is booming and people are taking it for not only its FDA-approved use for seizures, but also conditions such as [2]:

An advantage of CBD oil is that it’s considered generally safer and causes fewer adverse effects than the drugs typically used for these conditions. Chronic doses of up to 1500 mg/day were tolerated well in multiple studies [3+, 4].

Unlike THC, CBD doesn’t cause behavioral and psychological side effects. What’s more, it may even reduce some of them such as anxiety, psychosis, and memory loss [5, 6, 7, 8].

CBD oil is believed to cause fewer side effects than THC and most prescription drugs, even at high doses.

Nevertheless, there are some potential side effects of CBD oil that you should watch out for. Below is a detailed overview of the most common ones.

1) Dry Mouth

Whether you use them for recreational or medicinal purposes, cannabis products will often make your mouth feel as if it were stuffed with cotton balls. Almost 12% of 1500 people responding to a survey about CBD use experienced dry mouth, making it the most common adverse effect [2].

Stimulation of the CB1 and CB2 receptors in the salivary glands reduces saliva secretion, which makes the mouth feel dry. The well-known cannabis compound THC activates these receptors directly. In turn, CBD raises the levels of an activator naturally produced in the body – the cannabinoid anandamide [9, 10, 11, 12].

2) Digestive Issues

Both CBD oil supplements and the FDA-approved CBD medicine Epidiolex have been reported to cause digestive issues such as [2, 4]:

  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Increased or reduced appetite
  • Weight loss or gain

Because preliminary research suggests that CBD improves rather than causes nausea and diarrhea, these effects most likely result from the irritating effects of other ingredients (e.g., carrier oils) on the bowels [13, 14, 15].

Alternatively, the loose regulation of supplements may allow for excessive CBD levels in products or harmful contaminants such as pesticides, heavy metals, and solvents [16+, 17].

In turn, the endocannabinoid system has a role in promoting appetite. The mixed effects of CBD on appetite and weight seen in different studies may be due to its dual effect: it blocks the CB1 and CB2 receptors but boosts the levels of their activator anandamide [18, 19, 11].

If you experience digestive issues from using CBD oil, tell your doctor. He or she may recommend reducing the dose or shifting to another brand.

Contaminants and additives are likely responsible for the digestive side effects of low-quality CBD oil: nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and appetite and weight changes.

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3) Drowsiness and Fatigue

People taking CBD oil often report feeling sleepy and tired. Indeed, this side effect was observed in early clinical trials and one of the most common uses of CBD oil is to improve sleep disorders [20+].

If the symptoms are very severe, you shouldn’t drive or operate heavy machinery.

The effect of CBD on sleep seems to be biphasic: high doses may increase sleeping time, lower amounts may promote wakefulness. Additionally, levels of endocannabinoid receptors depend on the circadian rhythm. This may explain why CBD tends to cause drowsiness later in the day but has the opposite effect in the morning [21, 22, 23].

CBD oil may make you feel sleepy, especially if you take high doses at night. Low morning doses, on the contrary, seem to increase wakefulness.

4) Dizziness

High doses of CBD lowered blood pressure in a small trial on 9 people. In turn, THC seems to have a more complex effect: it slightly raises blood pressure in people lying down but increases the risk of sudden blood pressure drops when standing up [24, 25+].

As a result, a common adverse effect of CBD – both alone and with equal amounts of THC (nabiximols) – is feeling dizzy and light-headed [26, 27, 28].

If your blood pressure drops too much, you may faint. The risk is especially high in people diagnosed with low blood pressure or on blood pressure medications – such as diuretics, ACE inhibitors, and beta-blockers. These people should be especially cautious with CBD oil and never try it out without discussing it with their doctor.

CBD oil, alone or with THC, may reduce blood pressure. This can make you feel dizzy and light-headed, especially if you are prone to blood pressure drops.

5) Possible Liver Damage

Several trials testing CBD for seizures found possible liver damage (high transaminases ALT and AST) in 9-25% of the people. The risk increased with the dose and was highest in people also taking the anti-seizure drug valproate, which is known to cause liver injuries [29+, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34].

Similarly, CBD caused signs of liver toxicity (high transaminases, alkaline phosphatase, and bilirubin) in mice and dogs. However, the doses were generally higher than those used in human trials [35, 36, 37].

Make sure to talk to your doctor, especially if you are taking valproate, and never exceed the recommended CBD oil dose to reduce your risk of liver damage.

CBD oil may cause liver damage at very high doses and in people prescribed the anti-seizure drug valproate.

6) Irritability

CBD is often used to curb anxiety, although research suggests it has “inverted U-shaped” effects: moderate doses, but not low or high amounts, may be effective for a range of anxiety disorders and stressful situations [38, 39].

In contrast, very high doses may even trigger anxiety and irritability. This was the case in 7-9% of the children in 2 clinical trials using CBD for seizures and autism [40, 41].

The effect probably involves the TRPV1 receptor, the activation of which increases the brain’s response to stressful situations [42].

CBD boosts the naturally-produced cannabinoid anandamide. While moderate anandamide levels activate CB1 receptors and curb anxiety, high amounts may worsen it by binding to TRPV1. CBD also activates this receptor directly, further contributing to the potential anxiety-triggering effects [43, 44, 11, 45].

7) Immune Suppression

CBD may reduce the immune response. It prevents T cells from dividing, migrating to inflammation sites, and producing pro-inflammatory cytokines. This may be beneficial in people with autoimmune conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis or multiple sclerosis [46, 47, 48, 49, 50, 51, 52].

The downside of blocking the immune response is that it may make people with weakened immune systems more prone to infections. Thus, people on immunosuppressants or with conditions such as HIV, diabetes, and Down syndrome might want to avoid it [53].

CBD oil seems to reduce the immune response, which may make people with a weak immune system more prone to infections.

Kidney Health

CBD didn’t damage the kidneys in clinical trials. In fact, researchers believed it protected against kidney injury and inflammation in numerous animal studies [54, 55, 56, 57, 58]. Remember that larger and better designed clinical trials are needed before these findings are conclusive.

Though more clinical trials are needed, the current evidence suggests CBD oil will not harm your kidneys at normal doses.

On the other hand, people with kidney disease should probably avoid THC-containing medical marijuana without consulting a doctor.

According to a recent review, THC may worsen kidney health and increase urination by activating CB1 receptors. Remember that, unlike THC, CBD blocks these receptors. However, CBD may indirectly activate them by increasing anandamide levels in the body [59+].

Lastly, avoid synthetic cannabinoids at all costs (products like “spice” and “K2” sold in smoke shops). These chemicals caused sudden and severe kidney injury in several cases [59+].

Unlike THC and synthetic cannabinoids, CBD oil probably does not cause side effects on the kidneys; some researchers believe it might even be protective.

Are You at Risk of CBD Oil Side Effects?

Risk Populations

CBD altered the levels of two drug transporters in placental cells. This suggests that taking CBD oil during pregnancy may increase the exposure of the fetus to any drugs that the mother takes. Pregnant women should avoid CBD oil in any case, since safety data are lacking [60].

Taking THC-containing CBD oil during pregnancy and breastfeeding is particularly dangerous, since THC may reduce growth and cause brain developmental anomalies in babies [61+].

Because there are no studies testing its safety in children below 2 years old, it’s better to avoid giving them CBD oil unless prescribed by a doctor.

CBD is thought to be safe in older children, but they may be more sensitive to THC and toxic contaminants such as heavy metals and pesticides than adults. Be sure to use high-quality, THC-free CBD in children and consult the doctor first.

Pregnant women and children under 2 years old should avoid CBD oil due to the lack of safety data; THC during pregnancy is known to be dangerous.

Drug Interactions

Most drugs are broken down by liver enzymes. Among them, cytochrome (CYP) P450 plays a key role. A single CBD dose blocks several CYP enzymes, such as:

By doing so, it may slow the breakdown of several drugs and enhance their effects [62, 63, 64, 65, 66].

Indeed, CBD reduced the breakdown of the sedative hexobarbital, the anti-seizure drug clobazam, and the blood thinner warfarin in humans. It had the same effect on the immunosuppressant cyclosporin and the cannabis compound THC in cells [67, 68, 69, 70].

On the other hand, repeated CBD doses can increase the levels of some enzymes of this group and reduce the effects of the drugs they break down [71, 72, 73, 74].

Plus, CBD itself is broken down by CYP enzymes, especially by CYP34A and CYP2C19. Drugs that block these enzymes (such as ketoconazole and ritonavir) will enhance its effects, while those that activate them (such as phenobarbital and rifampicin) will have the opposite effect [75, 4].

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If you are on prescription medication and plan to use CBD oil, ask your doctor about potential interactions and dose readjustment. Additionally, avoid combining CBD oil with grapefruit or other supplements that block the same liver enzymes (such as St John’s wort or watercress).

CBD oil can block or activate liver enzymes that metabolize drugs. This may increase the side effects of both CBD oil and the medication you’re taking.

How Does the Delivery Form Influence CBD Oil Side Effects?

While rapid-release forms (mouth sprays and oil tinctures) deliver CBD directly into your bloodstream, slow-release forms (capsules, edibles, and teas) have to pass your digestive system first. This means their ingredients may irritate your bowels and give you nausea and diarrhea [76+, 77].

However, rapid-release forms will release CBD faster, so you may experience both wanted and unwanted effects sooner [76+, 77].

And since tinctures and sprays are directly applied in the mouth, they will quickly reach the salivary glands and cause dry mouth. Mouth sprays may also cause a stinging sensation and even burns, especially if they contain alcohol [9, 78].

Capsules and edibles are more likely to cause digestive side effects, while mouth sprays and tinctures more frequently cause dry mouth.

Vapes

Vapes bypass the digestive system without irritating your bowels, but they may trigger the other adverse effects faster [76+, 77].

Vaping is considered safer than smoking cigarettes or joints because the oil is heated at lower temperatures that produce fewer toxic byproducts [76+ 79].

However, the additives used as flavorings and thinning agents in vaping oils may still pose some hazards. Although they are normally food-grade, they may release harmful compounds (including the cancer-causing formaldehyde) when vaporized. Their heavy use may lead to [80, 79, 81+]:

  • Cough
  • Dry throat
  • Lung injury
  • Fat particles entering the lungs (lipoid pneumonia – rare)

For instance, one man developed severe lung damage from vaping CBD oil [82+].

Creams & Gels

Creams and gels act locally on the application site and don’t release CBD into the gut or bloodstream. This means they will not cause most of the adverse effects previously described [76+].

However, they may cause allergic reactions with itching, redness, and rashes on the skin. It’s important to note that the reactions can be caused by either CBD or other ingredients in the formulation [83+, 84+].

How to Reduce Your Risk of Side Effects from CBD Oil

1) Drink More Water

The best way to reduce dry mouth when using CBD oil is to drink plenty of water and other hydrating liquids before, during, and after consumption.

2) Find Additive-Free Products

You can reduce the risk of digestive issues by choosing forms that bypass the gut and directly release CBD into your bloodstream such as vapes, mouth sprays, and oil tinctures. High-quality oils without additives may also irritate your bowels less.

3) Take it Before Sleep

If you feel drowsy or light-headed after taking CBD oil, you may need to reduce the dose or take it only before sleep.

4) Increase Wakefulness Naturally

Drinking coffee or tea will help you both stay awake and raise your blood pressure, but it also causes many side effects. Try to get more sunlight first thing in the morning, as it will energize you and help you get better sleep at night. We talk about other natural ways to increase wakefulness in this post.

5) Support Your Liver

Avoid combining CBD with the anti-seizure drug valproate. Additionally, make sure not to exceed the dose and regularly monitor your liver function to reduce your risk of liver damage. Eggs (choline), artichokes, NAC, and probiotics also support liver health. Read more foods and supplements that are good for the liver here.

6) Don’t Take Megadoses

Only very high CBD doses may cause irritability. Make sure not to exceed the dose and try reducing it if you notice this symptom.

7) Monitor Your Immune Response

If you have a weakened immune system, you should consult your doctor before taking CBD oil. You may need to avoid CBD or take a lower dose.

Additionally, you may also want to look into balancing your Th1/Th2 immune response. If you have a slightly weaker immune system and are prone to allergies, you are probably Th2-dominant.

To reduce your risk of CBD oil side effects, avoid products with additives, drink plenty of water, get sunlight during the day, and support your liver and gut health.

Takeaway

Always make sure to speak with your physician before starting on a CBD oil regimen.

CBD oil is thought to be safe and most people seem to tolerate it well.

Low-quality products may contain additives and toxins that can irritate the lungs when vaped and the gut when taken orally. Choose high-quality products to reduce your risk.

Additionally, CBD oil can make you feel drowsy and lightheaded. If you feel tired after taking CBD oil, lower your dose or use it only before sleep. Look to also increase your wakefulness naturally by getting more sunlight during the day.

High doses may damage the liver, but likely only in people taking the anti-seizure medication valproate. Monitor your liver enzymes and look into natural ways to protect your liver.

Avoid CBD oil if you have a weak immune system, as it might make you more prone to infection.

If you take prescription drugs, consult your doctor. Many drugs can interact with CBD oil and increase the risk of side effects.

Pregnant women and children should avoid CBD oil until more safety data are available.

Some people have genes that make them more likely to experience inflammation. Check out SelfDecode’s Inflammation DNA Wellness Report for genetic-based diet, lifestyle, and supplement tips that can help reduce inflammation levels. The recommendations are personalized based on YOUR DNA.

About the Author

Carlos Tello

Carlos spent 9 years in the laboratory investigating mineral transport in plants. He then started working as a freelancer, mainly in science writing, editing, and consulting. Carlos is passionate about learning the mechanisms behind biological processes and communicating science to both academic and non-academic audiences. He strongly believes that scientific literacy is crucial to maintain a healthy lifestyle and avoid falling for scams.

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