May 31, 2023


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How to Handle CBD Side Effects

About 14% of American adults use CBD, and the numbers continue to grow. For most, the experience is pleasant. However, side effects are possible.

Fortunately, most adverse reactions are mild, so you can probably still enjoy the benefits you’re seeking. That may include relief from physical pain, anxiety, and depression, as well as general health and wellbeing.

As for the side effects, drowsiness and nausea are two of the most common. Find out more about what to expect and how to minimize any discomfort while using CBD products.


If you’re using CBD to fight insomnia, you may not mind a little sleepiness. Otherwise, there are steps you can take to stay alert.

Try these techniques:

  1. Keep regular hours. Go to bed and rise at around the same time each day. Use a fan or pink noise machine to block out intrusive sounds.
  2. Let some light in. Adjust your exposure to light, so you’ll naturally feel more energetic during the day and be ready to fall asleep at night. Go for a run or eat breakfast outdoors with the morning sun. Avoid bright TV and computer screens in the late hours.
  3. Exercise daily. Moving around is stimulating. Do moderate or vigorous exercise at least 3 times a week to increase your heart rate. Do gentler activities on the days in between, like going for a walk.
  4. Drink water. Down a glass of water if you feel tired. To prevent fatigue, stay hydrated by carrying a water bottle around with you.
  5. Limit caffeine. A few cups of coffee or less is safe for most adults, but more than that is likely to make you jittery. Consume your caffeine in the early hours, and switch to other beverages by about 2:00 in the afternoon.


CBD is often used to control nausea. However, if you’re sensitive or take too much, it may unsettle your stomach.

These strategies can help combat nausea:

  1. Eat bland foods. Choose meals and snacks that are easy to digest. Follow the traditional BRAT diet of bananas, rice, apple sauce, and toast if you begin to vomit. Consuming smaller and more frequent servings may help too.
  2. Add ginger. There are a few strong scents and flavors that are exceptions to the rule. Ginger is a popular remedy for nausea, along with cinnamon and mint.
  3. Breathe deeply. Treat your body to fresh air. Inhale from deep in your abdomen, and exhale slowly.
  4. Sit up. Your posture matters too. Bending over or slumping puts pressure on your core. Straighten up by lifting your chest and rolling your shoulders gently down and back.

Other Possible Side Effects of CBD

  1. Eat healthily. For some users, CBD can increase appetite or suppress it. You might need to control cravings or eat foods that are denser in nutrients.
  2. Freshen your breath. While products high in THC are more likely to cause dry mouth, CBD may have this effect too. Sip water and chew sugar-free gum. Avoid any form of tobacco and be sure to breathe through your nose instead of your mouth.
  3. Prevent diarrhea. The BRAT diet works for diarrhea too, because soluble fiber absorbs liquid. You may also want to take probiotic supplements and eat foods like yogurt, kimchi, and miso.
  4. Shop carefully. Because CBD is unregulated, some side effects may be caused by impurities rather than the CBD itself. Buy from trusted sources and look for independent lab certifications.

Many factors can affect how your body responds to CBD, including underlying medical conditions, prescription drugs and supplements, and the method and dosage of the CBD products you use. Talk with your doctor about your concerns, so you can avoid side effects and find the approach that makes sense for you.