Does CBD Oil Cause Coughing

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People have used cannabis-based treatments for millennia. So how does medical cannabis square up against modern medical research? Some people believe CBD oil is safe and well-tolerated. Read about the side effects you can expect and what to be aware of. Although vaping involves inhaling vapour, which are water molecules suspended in air, it may still cause your throat to get dry and lead to coughing.

Can Medical Cannabis Help With Lung Disorders and Cough?

Cannabis has been a part of our world for many thousands of years. In fact, there is some evidence of people using cannabis medicinally as early as 2800 BCE 1 . There have been some hot debates about the use of this substance, especially in recent decades.

Generally, there are two major ways in which we discuss cannabis: in terms of advocacy, and in terms of scientific/medicinal uses.

  • Advocacy – There is a contingent of people who advocate for the use of both medical cannabis and recreational cannabis. These individuals fight hard for the right to use cannabis however they wish.
  • Scientific/medicinal uses – We’ll mostly cover this side in this article, and discuss the scientific use of medical cannabis for the treatment of cough and lung disorders.

The goal of this piece is not to take a position on whether or not cannabis should be legal or illegal. Legality is an extremely important consideration with regard to cannabis use. In terms of legal implications, you should always thoroughly research the relevant laws and rules governing this drug in your country or region. Further, you should never smoke or consume any drugs with the goal of treating a condition before discussing the matter thoroughly with your doctor.

In This Article

Advocacy for Cannabis Use

Cannabis is an extremely complex drug. Not only does it present us with conundrums related to health and medicine, but it also presents social issues as well.

Advocates for the use of cannabis will often point to the fact that the substance is fairly mild, especially when compared to drugs such as heroin and cocaine. For this reason, many advocates of legalizing cannabis point out that long jail sentences for the use and possession of cannabis are excessive. This is of particular concern when cannabis-related offenses have gained some prisoners life sentences.

Furthermore, advocates stress that medical cannabis has been used to treat a variety of conditions over the years. Therefore, the drug may have a functional utility, rather than strictly a recreational benefit.

This brings us to the main focus of the article: can cannabis be used for the treatment of cough and lung issues? Let’s take a look!

What the Science Says: Medical Cannabis and the Lungs

In this section, we’ll provide an overview of the current understanding of how cannabis affects cough and lung issues.

Properties of Medical Cannabis

When cannabis is used to treat health issues, it is referred to as medical cannabis, to differentiate it from recreational use. Countries may legalize cannabis for medical use but not for recreational use. There is a lot of research on its effects on the human body. Some of its properties include:

  • Short-term bronchodilation (expansion of the airways) 3
  • Anti-inflammatory 4
  • Anti-convulsant 5
  • Anxiety reduction (anxiolytic) 6
  • Pain reduction (analgesia) 7
  • Epileptic seizure reduction (antispasmodic) 8

Methods of Delivery for Medical Cannabis

The most common method for medical cannabis delivery is smoking or inhalation. This includes vaporizers, traditional smoking, or other, similar methods.

Many of the benefits of cannabis, although not all, come from a chemical in cannabis called cannabidiol. You may have heard of this as CBD or CBD oil. There are many different sprays, mists, balms, and other topical solutions that deliver isolated CBD.

CBD can be somewhat separated at home through the production of cannabis butter or oil. This can then be used in cooking food with cannabis in.

Ingestion has been increasing in popularity as a delivery method. Cookies, gummies, and other foods are now being supplemented with cannabis. This makes it much easier and more tolerable for some individuals to access the positive effects of cannabis.

Effects On Lung Health

When it comes to any therapeutic option, there are always risks and benefits. This is even true with regard to something as benign as exercise or dietary changes.

Cannabis offers a host of potential benefits; many of its beneficial properties have been listed above. Additionally, cannabis may help with symptoms of asthma, COVID-19, COPD, and other disorders, which are discussed in more detail below.

However, there are some documented risks, including higher risk of psychosis in susceptible individuals 9 as well as increased coughing frequency. 10 Here, we will focus on the effects on lung health.

Many of these are to do with the delivery method – smoking is a very common method, and has been associated with a higher risk of certain cancers, 11 including lung, neck and head.

Vaping is a similar method that is becoming more common, and comes with its own set of risks, 12 including e-cigarette or vaping-associated lung injuries (EVALI: cough, chest pain, and shortness of breath), stomach pain, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, fever, chills, and weight loss.

Minimizing the risks associated with cannabis use and potentially maximizing the benefits of the drug can involve changing methods of use. Namely, ingesting cannabis orally seems to reduce many of the risks that come with smoking cannabis.

Medical Cannabis and Cough, Asthma, and COPD

Perhaps surprisingly, there is some evidence 13 that indicates that cannabis can be an effective treatment for chronic cough.

Unfortunately, it’s not exactly clear why cannabis assists with cough and other lung disorders. One theory is that the use of cannabis leads to a temporary widening of the airways 14 and that this may reduce inflammation. These two effects may decrease the intensity and frequency of coughs.

Because of its anti-inflammatory properties, 15 CBD specifically may improve asthma symptoms. In fact, airway hyperresponsiveness was found to be mitigated with CBD, no matter how much or how little of the substance was used in treatment.

Many thousands of people around the world suffer from COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder), one cause of difficult-to-treat chronic coughs. Therefore, effective therapeutics for this condition are essential. There is tentative molecular evidence 16 that CBD oil could treat this frustrating condition; while we are still waiting on full studies in humans, this bodes well for future COPD treatment.

Negative Effects of Cannabis on Cough

Similarly to smoking tobacco, smoking cannabis can also worsen or cause a chronic cough. Additionally, smoking cannabis can cause wheezing and coughing through tar and other particle inhalation or through inflammation of the lungs. 17

Finally, while cannabis’ ability to widen the airways can reduce an existing cough, it can also cause bronchitis, 18 whether it is smoked or ingested. A symptom of bronchitis is a mucusy, wet cough.

Medical Cannabis and COVID-19

Because this disease has ravaged our world and is likely to be a part of our lives for many years to come, it’s critical that we find as many viable treatments as possible.

CBD, an active component within cannabis, has been found as a potential treatment for COVID-19. 19 CBD seems to inhibit the infection of the SARS-COV2 virus in the body. It restricts the virus’s ability to express its genes and therefore reduces its impact.

However, further clinical research is needed 20 to assess its true effect when ingested and not directly applied to the cells.

Medical Cannabis Interactions With Other Medication

Whether a drug is available over the counter, with a prescription, or only illegally, there are potential interaction risks when it is taken alongside other drugs, chemicals and herbs. This applies to cannabis as much as it does any other chemical.

In general, interactions may manifest as:

  • Additional side effects
  • Reduction in the effectiveness of one or both of the drugs
  • Toxicity

When it comes to drug interactions and cannabis, there is still much that we do not know. There are likely some interactions or adverse reactions that can occur when one pairs cannabis with other drugs, although the details of many of these need further research.

The interactions currently known about with medical cannabis include: 21

  • CBD taken alongside various anticonvulsants lead to higher levels of the anticonvulsants in people’s blood (topiramate, rufinamide, clobazam, eslicarbazepine, and zonisamide)
  • Liver function was affected when CBD was taken alongside an anticonvulsant/bipolar medication (valproate)
  • An antifungal medication (ketoconazole) increases the concentration of CBD and other chemicals responsible for cannabis’ effects, potentially strengthening the effect of the cannabis
  • An antibiotic (rifampin), in contrast, reduces the concentration of CBD and other cannabis chemicals, potentially reducing the effect of the cannabis
  • Vaping cannabis seems to make opioid-based painkillers more effective
  • Alcohol increases blood levels of the psychoactive cannabis chemical THC
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Gabapentin may increase the therapeutic, pain-reducing benefits of THC

Conclusion

Like it or not, cannabis use (both medically and recreationally) is becoming more common as time goes by. More and more countries around the world are passing laws allowing for the use of this drug.

Because of this, the medical and research community needs to quickly and effectively compile data regarding the safety and effectiveness of cannabis. In the future, look out for more data and guidance related to the use of cannabis for respiratory and other conditions.

References
  1. Deiana, S. (2012). Medical use of cannabis. Cannabidiol: A new light for schizophrenia? Drug Testing and Analysis,5(1), 46–51. https://doi.org/10.1002/dta.1425
  2. Lee, M. H., & Hancox, R. J. (2011). Effects of smoking cannabis on lung function. Expert Review of Respiratory Medicine, 5(4), 537–547. https://doi.org/10.1586/ers.11.40[/efn_note]
  3. Muscle relaxation 2 Russo, E., & Guy, G. W. (2006). A tale of two cannabinoids: The therapeutic rationale for combining tetrahydrocannabinol and cannabidiol. Medical Hypotheses, 66(2), 234–246. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.mehy.2005.08.026
  4. Russo, E., & Guy, G. W. (2006). A tale of two cannabinoids: The therapeutic rationale for combining tetrahydrocannabinol and cannabidiol. Medical Hypotheses, 66(2), 234–246. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.mehy.2005.08.026
  5. Russo, E., & Guy, G. W. (2006). A tale of two cannabinoids: The therapeutic rationale for combining tetrahydrocannabinol and cannabidiol. Medical Hypotheses, 66(2), 234–246. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.mehy.2005.08.026
  6. Russo, E., & Guy, G. W. (2006). A tale of two cannabinoids: The therapeutic rationale for combining tetrahydrocannabinol and cannabidiol. Medical Hypotheses, 66(2), 234–246. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.mehy.2005.08.026
  7. Russo, E., & Guy, G. W. (2006). A tale of two cannabinoids: The therapeutic rationale for combining tetrahydrocannabinol and cannabidiol. Medical Hypotheses, 66(2), 234–246. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.mehy.2005.08.026
  8. Rosenberg, E. C., Tsien, R. W., Whalley, B. J., & Devinsky, O. (2015). Cannabinoids and Epilepsy. Neurotherapeutics12(4), 747–768. https://doi.org/10.1007/s13311-015-0375-5
  9. Volkow, N. D., et al. (2016). Effects of Cannabis Use on Human Behavior, Including Cognition, Motivation, and Psychosis: A Review. JAMA Psychiatry 73(3), 292. https://doi.org/10.1001/jamapsychiatry.2015.3278
  10. Tashkin, D. P., & Roth, M. D. (2019). Pulmonary effects of inhaled cannabis smoke. The American Journal of Drug and Alcohol Abuse,45(6), 596–609. https://doi.org/10.1080/00952990.2019.1627366
  11. Kaplan A. G. (2021). Cannabis and Lung Health: Does the Bad Outweigh the Good?. Pulmonary therapy, 7(2), 395–408. https://doi.org/10.1007/s41030-021-00171-8
  12. Chadi, N., et al. (2020). Cannabis vaping: Understanding the health risks of a rapidly emerging trend. Paediatrics & Child Health,25(Supplement_1), S16–S20. https://doi.org/10.1093/pch/pxaa016
  13. Neef, C., & Fullerton, S. (2020). Cannabis for Treatment of Intractable Malignant Cough- A Case Report. Journal of Cancer Science and Clinical Therapeutics, 4, 457-461. https://www.fortunejournals.com/articles/cannabis-for-treatment-of-intractable-malignant-cough-a-case-report.html
  14. Ribeiro, L. I., & Ind, P. W. (2016). Effect of cannabis smoking on lung function and respiratory symptoms: a structured literature review. NPJ primary care respiratory medicine, 26, 16071. https://doi.org/10.1038/npjpcrm.2016.71
  15. Vuolo, F., et al. (2019). Cannabidiol reduces airway inflammation and fibrosis in experimental allergic asthma. European Journal of Pharmacology, Volume 843, Pages 251–-259., ISSN 0014-2999, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ejphar.2018.11.029
  16. Mamber, S. et al. (2020). Effects of cannabis oil extract on immune response gene expression in human small airway epithelial cells (HSAEpC): implications for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Journal of Cannabis Research, 2(5). https://doi.org/10.1186/s42238-019-0014-9
  17. Tashkin, D. P., & Roth, M. D. (2019). Pulmonary effects of inhaled cannabis smoke. The American Journal of Drug and Alcohol Abuse,45(6), 596–609. https://doi.org/10.1080/00952990.2019.1627366
  18. Lee, M. H., & Hancox, R. J. (2011). Effects of smoking cannabis on lung function. Expert review of respiratory medicine, 5(4), 537-547. https://doi.org/10.1586/ers.11.40
  19. Holst, Nowak, & Hoch. (2022). Cannabidiol As a Treatment for COVID-19 Symptoms? A Critical Review [Manuscript submitted for publication in Cannabis and Cannabinoid Research]. Mary Ann Liebert, Inc. https://doi.org/10.1089/can.2021.0135
  20. Nguyen, L. C., et al. (2022). Cannabidiol inhibits SARS-CoV-2 replication through induction of the host ER stress and innate immune responses. Science Advances, 8(8) https://www.science.org/doi/full/10.1126/sciadv.abi6110
  21. Alsherbiny, M. A., & Li, C. G. (2018). Medicinal Cannabis—-Potential Drug Interactions. Medicines (Basel, Switzerland), 6(1), 3. https://doi.org/10.3390/medicines6010003
Author: Bennett Richardson

Bennett Richardson is a physical therapist and writer out of Pittsburgh, PA. He grew up in the steel city and completed his undergraduate and graduate coursework at Slippery Rock University. Bennett enjoys reading, exercising, and listening to music.

2 Comments

Hi there! My father-in-law has been dealing with occasional asthma attack since last month and he has been searching for suitable alternative treatments. It’s really interesting to know that medical cannabis can help prevent our airway from becoming overly sensitive. I’ll definitely ask him to consider this option when he makes an appointment with an expert soon.

Hi Amy, thanks for reaching out.
It is helpful to consider all of the available options, especially those supported by rigorous scientific research.
We wish good health for your father-in-law.

7 CBD Oil Side Effects You Should Watch Out For

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Note that each number in parentheses [1, 2, 3, etc.] is a clickable link to peer-reviewed scientific studies. A plus sign next to the number “[1+, 2+, etc. ]” means that the information is found within the full scientific study rather than the abstract.

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].

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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.

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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Why does vaping CBD make me cough and can I stop it?

Why does smoking my CBD vape pen hurt my throat and make me cough? Would it be different if I smoked a dry herb instead?

Avik Das (Wednesday, June 16, 2021):

Numerous reasons play roles if you cough during CBD vaping. One major reason for making you cough could be the presence of terpenes in it or even certain types of vape juice. Terpenes are usually present in both full-spectrum and broad-spectrum CBD vaping liquids. Terpenes cause itching in the throat, resulting in cough. If you are a novice in vaping, then coughing could happen as well until you get used to it.

Osasere Okunloye (Monday, December 27, 2021):

It could be because of several reasons:

  1. Full spectrum CBD contains other cannabinoids like terpenes which can make you cough.
  2. Vaping can cause dehydration of your throat and make you cough
  3. Underlying respiratory and cardiovascular conditions can also make you cough when vaping.

If you are a new vaper, you might need time to adjust. Also make sure you use lab-tested, high-quality pure hemp extract CBD e-liquid.

Is There Another Way To Take CBD To Avoid Coughing From Vaping?

Yes, Cannabotech has developed a unique M²CBD formula which contains a blend of CBD oil and functional mushrooms. This formula is used in all of Cannabotech products to help you relax, and unwind, while supporting your Endocannabinoid and immune system simultaneously.

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