Dry eyes can happen for numerous reasons. They might happen because of an eye condition or an external source, like cannabis. While cannabis is known to make your eyes red and dry, you may wonder if CBD, used by many for therapeutic reasons, can cause the same effect.
Like marijuana, CBD can cause dryness in several areas, including your mouth and eyes.
What Is CBD?
Cannabidiol, more commonly known as CBD, comes from hemp. While cannabis is becoming legal in increasingly more places, CBD has always been a legal substance. This is because CBD has little to no THC.
Because cannabis has several different cannabinoids (substances found in that plant), many people become confused if CBD is the same as another cannabinoid, THC.
Is CBD Similar to THC?
CBD and THC are commonly thrown around acronyms when people talk about cannabis. However, they aren’t the same—they are different cannabinoids.
The main difference between CBD and THC is that CBD won’t get you “high.” THC affects a different part of the brain than CBD, causing a different psychoactive effect.
Does CBD Have Benefits for Your Health?
CBD has become more popular lately, with people using it for several different reasons.
The National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health states that cannabinoids may help treat the following problems:
- Chronic pain: Several studies state that cannabinoids can help relieve pain, but the results may not be decisive.
- Epilepsy: CBD may benefit patients with forms of epilepsy difficult to treat with other medications. However, studies don’t have enough evidence to support this.
- Loss of appetite & weight loss from HIV/AIDS: Weight loss can affect patients living with HIV/AIDS, and cannabinoids may help. However, these studies had limited evidence and may have had biased results.
While the research on CBD is still ongoing, many people choose to use CBD products. If you’re interested in using CBD, it’s important to know the possible side effects.
Does CBD Make Your Eyes Dry?
THC is known for drying out your mouth and eyes when you smoke or consume cannabis in any form. The same is true for CBD—it doesn’t provide the same feeling as THC, but it can dry out your mouth and eyes.
Besides dry eyes and mouth, CBD can have several other side effects.
Common CBD Side Effects
Generally, CBD is safe, but it does have potential side effects. While these effects are mild, they can still cause possible discomfort.
CBD side effects include:
- Gastrointestinal issues
- Dry mouth
- Dry eyes
- Interference with other medications
Remember, CBD can affect everyone differently. Avoid driving in case you become drowsy.
Is CBD Right for You?
You may be interested in CBD use, but products containing this cannabinoid aren’t ideal for everyone or certain situations.
You may not benefit from using CBD in any of the following situations:
- Eye problems: CBD can affect your eyes, potentially increasing eye pressure or causing dry eyes. It may not be beneficial to use CBD if you have glaucoma.
- Mixing CBD with alcohol: Mixing alcohol and CBD can lead to intense drowsiness.
- Liver disease: CBD can increase your liver enzymes, leading to potential liver inflammation. CBD may not be ideal if you have liver problems.
- Pregnant or nursing: CBD use is still being researched, so avoid using it if you’re pregnant or nursing.
- Mixing with sedating medications: Like alcohol, using CBD when taking sedation medications can lead to drowsiness.
It’s important to note that CBD is not an FDA-approved substance. However, some companies list CBD products for medical or therapeutic use. While research is still ongoing, this government body hasn’t approved any CBD products so far.
According to the FDA, products with CBD have not been tested for their dosages, effectiveness, or possible interactions with other drugs. If you use CBD, do so with caution.
Talk to Your Doctor About CBD Use
CBD may have benefits, but it isn’t a regulated product. It can have potential side effects, including dry eyes and drowsiness. With the divisiveness of CBD, it’s worth speaking to your optometrist and other doctors before using any CBD products—your eye and overall health will thank you.
Contact Annik Eyecare if you have questions about how CBD or other medications can affect your eyes.