By Dr. Morgan Camp, MD
One of the reasons I have used CBD personally and professionally for over a decade is due to its safety profile compared to standard pain meds. When it comes to managing pain, many people turn to over-the-counter pain relievers like nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) and acetaminophen, as well as prescription opioids. However, these medications can come with a range of potential side effects, which is why some people are turning to CBD as a natural alternative. In this blog post, we'll explore the side effects of CBD compared to NSAIDs, acetaminophen, and opioids.
NSAIDs are a class of medications that are commonly used to treat pain, inflammation, and fever. Some of the most common NSAIDs include aspirin, ibuprofen, and naproxen. While NSAIDs are generally safe and effective, they do come with a range of potential side effects. The most common side effects of NSAIDs include:
Stomach upset and ulcers: NSAIDs can irritate the lining of the stomach and increase the risk of developing stomach ulcers and bleeding.
Kidney damage: Long-term use of NSAIDs can cause kidney damage or even kidney failure.
Cardiovascular complications: NSAIDs can increase the risk of heart attack, stroke, and other cardiovascular complications.
Allergic reactions: Some individuals may experience allergic reactions to NSAIDs, which can range from mild to severe.
CBD, or cannabidiol, is a non-psychoactive compound found in the hemp plant. CBD is often used as a natural remedy for pain, anxiety, and other health issues(Athletic Recovery with CBD: The Natural Solution for Improved Performance). While CBD is generally considered safe and well-tolerated, it can cause some side effects in certain individuals. The most common side effects of CBD include:
Dry mouth: CBD can decrease the production of saliva, leading to a dry mouth sensation.
Drowsiness: CBD may cause drowsiness or fatigue, especially at higher doses or when taken with other sedating medications.
Changes in appetite: CBD may increase or decrease appetite in some individuals.
Diarrhea: High doses of CBD may cause diarrhea or digestive upset.
Changes in mood: CBD may cause changes in mood, such as irritability or agitation, in some individuals.
Changes in blood pressure: CBD may cause a temporary decrease in blood pressure, which may be of concern for individuals with low blood pressure or those taking blood pressure medications.
Acetaminophen, also known as paracetamol, is a common pain reliever that is often used to treat headaches, muscle aches, and fever. While acetaminophen is generally considered safe and effective, it can cause some side effects in certain individuals. The most common side effects of acetaminophen include:
Liver damage: High doses of acetaminophen can cause liver damage or even liver failure.
Allergic reactions: Some individuals may experience allergic reactions to acetaminophen, which can range from mild to severe.
Blood disorders: Long-term use of acetaminophen can cause blood disorders, such as anemia.
Opioids are a class of prescription pain relievers that are commonly used to treat moderate to severe pain. While opioids can be effective at managing pain, they come with a range of potential side effects, including:
Drowsiness: Opioids can cause drowsiness or fatigue, which can impair driving and other activities.
Constipation: Opioids can cause constipation, which can be severe in some individuals.
Respiratory depression: Opioids can cause respiratory depression, which can be life-threatening.
Addiction: Opioids are highly addictive and can lead to dependence, abuse, and addiction.
The side effects of CBD are comparatively mild considering the potential addictive nature and severe reactions of other medications. It’s important to be aware of side effects for medications you are using. More importantly, you should recognize if you are suffering from any side effects, if you need to modify your dosages or stop taking something altogether. Be sure to consult with your doctor.
Check out our related blog posts:
CBD vs Traditional Pain Relief Methods: Which is Better for Athletes?
CBD for Athletes: A Natural Alternative to Opioid Painkillers
Safety Considerations: What Medications Does CBD Interact With?