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Side Effects of Legal Cannabidiol (CBD) for Older People Like Me

Updated on November 27, 2017
Joel Diffendarfer profile image

Joel's most recent projects include Burning Man 2017, Colorado Hemp Expo, Denver Paper Fashion Shows, Arise Music Festival and more.

Over 55 and CBD Alive!

Cannabidiol won't get you "high"  But, because of what it does for your body, mind, and spirit, CBD helps the body heal itself the way it was designed.
Cannabidiol won't get you "high" But, because of what it does for your body, mind, and spirit, CBD helps the body heal itself the way it was designed. | Source

The Big Questions

What should I be concerned about when I consider using Cannabidiol (CBDs)? Are there side effects? Will CBD interact with medications that I am currently taking? What prescribed or over the counter medications can I replace with CBD therapy? Are they legal?

All good questions! Let’s take a look at the answers and more!.

Are there side effects of CBD therapy?

Studies on the possible side effects of CBD has been developing since 1980 with nothing more than minor side effects being exhibited and now there is overwhelming evidence that CBD’s are safe for human consumption and clinical trial after clinical trial supports the short and long-term benefits of CBD therapies

With that being said, there are some warnings and side effects that should be considered, especially in cases where high doses are administered.

What are the side effects?

(Important note: Mild CBD Side Effects reported from clinical trials, and research reports. Not everybody will experience these side effects and none are life-threatening.)

The list of five commonly known side effects discovered over the decades of study and documented research are included in the list below. Most of the effects are mild and dissipate quickly.

  • Hypo-tension

  • Dry Mouth

  • Psycho-motor slowing

  • Lightheadedness

  • Drowsiness

Side Effects of Aspirin

Even the side effects of aspirin are more serious than CBD.
Even the side effects of aspirin are more serious than CBD. | Source

Can I use CBD with my current medications?

If your medical adviser, pharmacist, or prescription fact sheets, have ever told you, do not take with grapefruit juice or similar food products, then, that’s a pretty good indication that you probably don’t want to mix the two. The main reason is, just like restrictions on grapefruit juice with certain other medications, the problem becomes the same, CBD can neutralize the hepatic drug metabolism in the liver of prescribed medication. Basically, by mixing the two, neither will work the way they were intended. On the other hand, this interaction usually only occurs with a very high dosage of CBD which is usually found more intense CBD therapies involving autism and certain cancers and cancer treatments.

Research has also shown that the same neutralizing effect can happen when both CBD and THC(the kind of marijuana that gets you”high), are used at certain levels although a combination of CBD and THC have also been shown to work off of each other for added benefits in some therapeutic regimens. This is known as the Entourage effect. That in itself is quite different than using CBD alone.


Approximately 60% of prescribed medication will react in some way with CBD, both good and bad...

Can I overdose on CBD?

This is a question that gets asked a lot! Bottom line: it is impossible to overdose on CBD just like it is impossible to overdose on kale. There has never been a single incident involving research and data collection and clinical trials have been conducted that supports the premise that no report or indication that a person can overdose on CBD. Even the Department of Health and Human Services admits that ‘no signs of toxicity or serious side effects have been observed following chronic administration of cannabidiol (CBD) to healthy volunteers.


Grapefruit & Certain Medications Don't Mix
Grapefruit & Certain Medications Don't Mix | Source

CBDs can reduce or eliminate certain prescribed medications.

What medications can I replace with CBD?

One of the most exciting things happening today behind the scenes is the increase and exciting discoveries of what CBD can do! CBD can eliminate or reduce the need for many prescribed medications. Research into the treatment of many diseases, conditions, and new discoveries. Even more clinical trials and studies are proving that the use of CBD in all three areas is opening up to even more natural remedies and cures. Along with the amazing natural health properties, and perhaps even more importantly, is that CBD gives a credible option to many non-pharmaceutical choices. By using CBDs as a replacement, you also gain the advantage of avoiding certain pharmaceutical potentially dangerous side effects.

And, just as more research and continuing trials are finding out, CBD is showing that there are many prescription medications that can be replaced or reduced. The most common areas of prescription replacement are as follows:

  • Opiates and Painkillers

  • Anti-epileptic medications

  • Anti-psychotics

  • Anti Insomnia medications including over the counter

  • Anti Anxiety and Depression medications

Success story from a real person: Me

Let me start out by saying, that I am a success story. I am 60 years old, I have had multiple major surgeries, injuries, and diseases over the years. Several years ago I was prescribed a wide range and long list of medications, the combination of which left me feeling pretty useless. I was just ready to give up on life. It was then that I discovered CBD. Today, I no longer take any medication other than CBD and my health is improving almost naturally. Now, with that being said, and because I have personally chose eliminated all counter-productive harmful medications, my mind, body, and spirit have each taken on a dramatic change. I've also felt like doing more exercise and eating better foods, which in turn allows my body's natural in-borne healing properties, to get even stronger.

Three years ago, I was quickly falling apart. After starting CBD's I became alive again and have begun new adventures. I went from "on the crux" of claiming total disability and brokeneness to having the health and energy to doing all of the following in the last three years.

Burning Man 2016 and 2017: Designer, fabricator, installer in the Black Rock Desert for 3 weeks

Denver Paper Fashion Show two years running: Designer, marketer, producer, choreographer,

Colorado Hemp Expo: Designer, Educator, Marketing

Arise Music Festival, Loveland Fire & Ice, Maker Fair After Dark

and actually, the list goes on and is continuing. (did I mention I also made my way from Pennsylvania to Colorado--walking...

By no means, am I trying to boast or say my path is right for you. I like to write about the things I am most passionate about...Cannabidiol is definitely one of them!

What should you tell your doctor?

Important: Even though CBD is found to be promising in so many areas of health and wellness, do consult your medical adviser, especially with concerns about interaction with prescribed medications. The FDA is still not calling CBD a medication even though they seem to be going more in that direction. The main hold up is primarily focused on consistent dosing which is still being determined through ongoing trials and studies. Choose a physician who is well versed in the progress of CBD’s and is open to discuss alternative therapies.

It's Your Choice

Read for yourself the side effects of your current medications in which CBD may substitute. Weigh out the choices and talk openly to a doctor who is also well versed in CBD therapies. Weigh in on the subject and ask yourself, are CBD’s the right choice in your personal health and wellness care?

As you can see, there is evidence that supports CBD being a safe substance with minor side effects. The benefit and promise for incorporating CBD into your lifestyle, still comes down to your choice. CBD is now legal and available to ship to all fifty states. Continue to do your own personal research and be amazed!

CBD: Its Your Choice

Has your opinion about CBD changed after this article?

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Sources: Cunha et al., Pharmacology 21:127-185, 1980, Consroe et al., Pharmacol, Biochem, Behav. 40:701-708, 1991. For more source and resource information, visit the Over 55 and CBD Alive website and Dig Deeper.

© 2017 Joel Diffendarfer


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    • leafwize profile image


      22 months ago from Orange County, CA

      Very nice article! This should really help people on the fence considering trying CBD. And the Grapefruit Test is a very important note that most fail to mention. CBD has helped me, my 70 yr old mom, and many other friends heal and use fewer prescriptions.


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