Introduction: This literature survey aims to extend the comprehensive survey performed by Bergamaschi et al. in
2011 on cannabidiol (CBD) safety and side effects. Apart from updating the literature, this article focuses on clinical
studies and CBD potential interactions with other drugs.
Results: In general, the often described favorable safety profile of CBD in humans was confirmed and extended
by the reviewed research. The majority of studies were performed for treatment of epilepsy and psychotic disorders.
Here, the most commonly reported side effects were tiredness, diarrhea, and changes of appetite/weight.
In comparison with other drugs, used for the treatment of these medical conditions, CBD has a better side effect
profile. This could improve patients’ compliance and adherence to treatment. CBD is often used as adjunct therapy.
Therefore, more clinical research is warranted on CBD action on hepatic enzymes, drug transporters, and
interactions with other drugs and to see if this mainly leads to positive or negative effects, for example, reducing
the needed clobazam doses in epilepsy and therefore clobazam’s side effects.
Conclusion: This review also illustrates that some important toxicological parameters are yet to be studied, for
example, if CBD has an effect on hormones. Additionally, more clinical trials with a greater number of participants
and longer chronic CBD administration are still lacking.
Keywords: cannabidiol; cannabinoids; medical uses; safety; side effects; toxicity