Why CBD oil is proving to be controversial

CBD oil controversial

The CBD craze is sweeping different nations – whether or not cannabis has been legalised. You don’t have to look far to see CBD products on the shelves of Holland & Barrett in the UK. Meanwhile, in some states in the US, there are marijuana dispensaries visited by recreational users. Attitudes to cannabidiol are relaxing and it’s becoming a big hitter in the healthcare and retail industries alike. 

CBD oil, whether it comes in the form of capsules, sprays or edibles, has been praised for its long list of benefits. These include reducing anxiety, relieving pain, and treating symptoms associated with epilepsy. So, with its popularity and benefits in mind, how can CBD oil still be proving so controversial? 

Some health claims may be unfounded

When it comes to CBD, most of the scientific research has been based on its role in treating symptoms of rare forms of epilepsy. One large scale study on 214 patients shows that CBD use resulted in a 36.5% reduction of seizures.  

However, when it comes to other conditions, there’s simply too little evidence available. The NHS, for example, has called for further clinical trials into the effects of medical cannabis and CBD oil on the mind and the body. 

Controversy begins to build around how freely CBD-based products are available in stores and online. Marketers often their CBD products as being for wellbeing purposes – claiming that CBD could help with immune function and even depression. This has caused some controversy with boards such as the US Food and Drug Administration who reiterate that only certain products are approved and regulated.

Some products may be unregulated

The market for CBD oil and CBD-based products is booming.  The Hemp Business Journal has predicted that the market for CBD will reach approximately $1.3 billion by 2022. But the industry and what’s brought to market is still pretty much unregulated. Products could easily fail tests for content – whether that’s because they’re to concentrated or contain too little CBD.

The purity of some products may also be questioned. Unlike medicinal cannabis, retailed CBD oil won’t necessarily go through a monitored process or systematic checks. This could put users at risk of consuming impure CBD – often mixed with chemicals they don’t know about. Some products may also contain tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) – the chemical which is known as causing a “high”. 

There is no guarantee on the severity of side effects

The number of benefits offered by CBD oil could easily be outweighed by its side effects. The lack of research into the side effects could be worrying for some people. 

Each user, based on their existing health condition, state of mind and behavioral tendencies, may react differently and more severely to CBD oil. A cross-sectional study showed that one out of every three users reported non-serious adverse effects.

Some of the side effects include: 

  • Dry mouth
  • Fatigue
  • Decreased appetite
  • Diarrhea 
  • Drowsiness
  • Anxiety 


The use of CBD oil is proving to be controversial based on the lack of regulation, a lack of scientific research and the possibility that it may cause harm to consumers. Although CBD-based products can be bought in shops and online, caution should be aired around their “wellbeing” claims. Never self-prescribe CBD for any health conditions and always seek the advice of a medical professional.