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Can CBD Oil Cause Headaches?

 man holding head in pain

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As the popularity of CBD products skyrockets, so do the questions surrounding side effects. Unfortunately, in an exploding market, it can be hard to know what information to trust. 

A current gripe some users of CBD oil might have heard about is that it causes headaches. In this article, we’re going to explain why it probably isn’t the CBD causing the headaches, reveal what is and tell you how to avoid products that may be causing headaches. 

What Is CBD Oil?

Cannabidiol, or CBD as we commonly call it, is a special compound found in hemp plants. CBD and other related compounds are collectively known as cannabinoids, and they can interact with a unique network in your body known as the endocannabinoid system (ECS). This may produce beneficial effects, including reducing anxiety, regulating sleep patterns and relieving inflammation. 

CBD oil, also often referred to as a CBD tincture, is concentrated CBD suspended in a carrier oil. Here at The Green Claw, we’re big fans of CBD tinctures with C8 MCT oil. This particular oil has its own benefits, which may include increased mental functioning and higher energy levels. 

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What the Research Says

Some folks enjoy touting CBD as a side-effect-free, be-all and cure-all remedy. However, according to at least one study, this isn’t true. 

No significant side effects of CBD have been discovered, and the research generally points to CBD having a favorable safety profile. However, CBD has been suspected of causing light-headedness, hypertension, drowsiness, dry mouth, weight gain and appetite changes in some individuals. But clinical research is needed to verify all of these as definite side effects.

When it comes to headaches, specifically migraines, CBD is being investigated as a possible source of relief, not a cause. Researchers believe that CBD may interact with particular receptors in the ECS present in the brain and peripheral tissues. As a result, more research has been recommended.

Why Some People Report Having Headaches

Why then are some people reporting that they get headaches when it comes to CBD products? There are a variety of reasons this may be happening. Let’s explore the major ones now.

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Incorrect Dose: When adding a new supplement to your regimen, it’s essential to follow directions closely. When it comes to CBD, the general rule of thumb is to start low and up your serving size once a week. Diving in at an extremely high potency could have side effects, such as headaches, because your body simply isn’t used to the sudden change. 

Interaction with Existing Medication: According to the same research we cited before, CBD is metabolized by a specific enzyme that might be targeted by certain medications, including ketoconazole, itraconazole, ritonavir and clarithromycin. This means that the CBD you take may stay in your system longer, leading to the same issues caused by incorrect dosage as the body cannot metabolize and discard used CBD.

Poor Quality CBD Oil: Unfortunately, not all CBD oil is created equally. With the market for CBD products appearing so lucrative, many companies have joined in, but might be selling non-organic, subpar products. Some will use low-quality carrier oils, while others will source their CBD from unreliable sources. Other questionable filler ingredients may also be added to bulk out the product or change its flavor.

Raw Product Toxicity: Hemp, as a plant, is remarkable. One of its many abilities is to act as nature’s vacuum. Through a process called phytoremediation, hemp plants can absorb heavy metals and other contaminants from soil to help restore polluted land. However, there is no switch to tell the plants when to do this and when not to. So hemp plants grown in poor conditions or using pesticides will absorb these harmful things, resulting in CBD products that have a certain level of toxicity, which may cause headaches.

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The Importance of Third-Party Testing

Third-party laboratory testing should be conducted on all CBD products, including CBD oil, to verify the levels of CBD and other cannabinoids and terpenes contained in the product. This same process will also verify the absence of contaminants like heavy metals and pesticides.  

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Reputable companies who sell high-quality CBD products will make these lab reports, known as certificates of analysis (COAs), available for public viewing. If you can’t find them on the company’s website, send them a message to ask. You might have missed them, or they might not have posted them yet. But if they won’t send them to you, a potential customer, it’s best to move along and find another vendor. 

Buying CBD Oil You Can Trust

Buying CBD products online is incredibly easy and gives you access to a wider variety of options than physical stores will generally have. In addition, by buying online, you get CBD oil with the potency and flavor you want, delivered to your home, with discretion ensured. 

Only ever buy CBD oil and other CBD products from companies that make their third-party lab results available. 

Once you find the right CBD shop for you with a wide selection of options, be sure to set your bookmarks. The benefits of CBD will keep you coming back time and time again.


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