The most common question I have faced hasn’t been on the recommended dosage, the legality of CBD oil or which is the best CBD oil available, it has been around why people’s lips go numb after taking it.
Considering how many people go through this process, I decided to dedicate an article to the subject, which I hope many of you find useful. In fact, I originally wrote this article back in 2019, but three years on I’ve given it a bit of an update as I still receive hundreds of emails about this subject.
Lack Of Information
Let me start by saying I’m not a doctor, I’m not a registered dietician, nor am I a health expert, I try my best to gather information and share it with the community.
Having said that, I tried to research this subject and found virtually nothing! The best I could find was 3 forums where people shared their experiences, but no informative pieces explaining this reaction.
From that point, I contacted a number of CBD brands, I spoke to a doctor for advice and spoke to a number of companies that deal with reactions, so to get a broad view of the potential reasons.
Most Common Answer
The most common reasoning I was offered was in relation to the THC levels. Following a number of studies, it was found that THC can create a slight numbing of the mouth area and potentially cause a little tingling on the lips.
This is not a bad reaction, but it does highlight something around the accurate dosages which brands are offering. Surely, we should have the same response each product we use, when they are stating the same amount of THC, however this is rarely the case (speaking as someone who tests hundreds of them).
It is very hard to ensure precise amounts with these tests, but you should always check whether a brand is willing to provide their third party lab test results before making a purchase.
If they refuse or don’t have it readily available, this could mean one of two things. They might either not have the lab test results (run to the hills) or their results might not match what they are stating.
In fact, some tests have shown some brands didn’t have any CBD in their bottles. The most common culprit is the edibles, such as gummies, as the quantity is so low, sometimes it can reach zero.
Just the same, the quantities can be higher and this is the same with THC, hence some of the products are arguably not allowed, due to being over 0.2% THC.
Side Effects Of CBD
While we often talk about the positive effects of CBD oil, it is worth discussing some of the potential side effects you can have from supplementing. The vast majority of tests showed no side effects at all, but a couple did show some signs in a few individuals, such as a dry mouth, drowsy or light headed and low blood pressure.
None of the official sources claim anything around the mouth becoming numb, but this could simply be that the industry is growing and expanding so quick that the online information simply isn’t up to date or offering accurate details.
I’ve spoken a lot about CBD oil, but a follow up question I got was ‘can edibles make your tongue numb‘, at which point the answer seems to be yes according to a few others who have also felt this. I personally have only felt the numbness with the oil and not with various gummies I’ve tried, but others claim they have felt it, so we have a collective answer of yes!
Many of the gummies actually utilise CBD isolate rather than broad or full spectrum, meaning it will only contain CBD with no other cannabinoids present, which could be the reason why your mouth doesn’t go numb with gummies.
Sifting through a number of the forums, it appeared that the majority of people who had this reaction were scared they were having an allergic reaction and stopped taking it.
My question to them would be how seriously were they effected? On a personal level, I feel a slight tingling and it disappears after about 5 minutes, however some of the comments stated it would stay for an hour and completely numb the mouth and tongue, to the point you would expect at a dentists.
I wouldn’t want to comment on whether they are having an allergic reaction, as I wouldn’t want to give medical advice, however if you have a stronger reaction or it stays for a longer period of time then you might want to either stop or swap brands.
As I previously mentioned, if the THC is much higher than quoted then another brand that more accurately works out their dosages could potentially solve the situation. Just the same, you can get products that contain zero THC, which might be worth a try.
I hope this has helped to clear it up for some people, there is an annoying lack of information around these subjects and no definitive answers online, so I will make sure to update this blog post as time goes on and as I speak to more specialists and experts.
Movement To Isolate
This was an article i initially wrote almost 4 years ago and it absolutely exploded, as so many people were seeking an answer.
One significant thing that has happened in the UK market over the past couple of years is that most of the CBD oils on the market are now an isolate, meaning no other cannabinoids are present other than cannabidiol.
This is frustrating, a factor brought on by some of the strict rules in place with the FSA dossier’s to qualify with regulations, however it also means less people have made comments about their mouth going numb after usage.
Something interesting as well, this no longer happens to me very often, perhaps it was slightly related to tolerance, but I know the products I used to get were often broad/full spectrum rather than the isolates on the market I test nowadays.
My throat goes completely numb after I consume cbd. Doesn’t matter the form it comes in. I get a feeling like I came home from the dentist. I can’t even feel myself swallow for hours. I do personally consume cannabis and rarely have issues. But once in a while I will smoke a strain that will keep my mouth and throat numb for hours. I knew I was not the only one with this issue. I google ,but very few answers
I did find it bizarre, my mouth goes numb with a lot of them, but there wasn’t a single thing online about it. I spent months contacting doctors and specialists to write up this article, but there is such little understanding on the subject. The only guesses that were made by each professional was that it was to do with the THC levels, but again it is purely a prediction.
Hi Tom. I’m having side effects from CBD where my entire arm goes numb the next day, also my neck face and ears. I didn’t know what was causing it, i even went to the emergency room because numb arms are a sign of a heart attack, but they couldn’t find anything wrong with me. When I stopped CBD it got better, then when i took CBD again it got worse. The numbness comes in waves for days after I take CBD, i know it can stay in your system for a long time. I’m quitting it now and hoping that it gets better, but also seeing doctors in case it’s something else. I found a few reddit threads of people having similar reactions:
Hi Mack, ah I’m so sorry to hear! Definitely doing the right thing by stopping taking it if you’re having this reaction. Also, useful Reddit posts on people with similar issues, but I wish there was more information and clinical studies on the plant so medical specialists could sufficiently diagnose the reasoning, at the moment it’s too ‘finger in the air guessing’. If anyone else has experienced this, do share it in the comments below, or respond to Mack to share what you’ve found.
Yes! I took CBD for the first time today CBD- 25mg/ml and THC – 0.7mg/ml (sublingual) and the tip of my tongue and lip felt a little numb. I highly doubted allergic reaction since I smoked weed yesterday and was fine and I’m not allergic to the carrier oil, but the only answer I could find in forums was allergy.
I gave my mum a squirt of nature’s aid 10 ml 1000 g CBD and her tongue was numb for a full day and she say she has a sore now where it was sprayed
,thought it was safe can anyone add to this??
That’s interesting/worrying, thanks for sharing. I can’t say I’ve used them before, but according to their website it’s a full spectrum product, so it could be a sensitivity to the THC potentially (but I wouldn’t want to state without knowing for certain). It sounds like it’s best to avoid, but if you were to try a product in the future, maybe stick to a broad spectrum or an isolate and use from a different brand. I’d also ask them for their third party lab test results, which will show you what is contained. I couldn’t spot it on their website, but if you email they will be willing to provide it (if they don’t, I’d be worried).
I used a full spectrum 200mg cbd face mask last night and washed it off an hour later. My face still feels numb and tingly like after visiting a dentist! I’m not too concerned unless this is a permanent effect. This was my first time ever using cbd.
That is a very high strength for a face mask, which brand/product was it? From my experience, most CBD face masks will provide you with around 10mg of CBD. I hope you’re all better now!
I’ve just taken a 500mg full spectrum cbd oil with only 0.04% detected THC. Not sure on the dosage as expected to feel the drops on my tongue but you can’t!! May have overdone it, but my throat is totally numb. I occasionally smoke weed which gives me a tight head so I may just be a little weird. Really interesting that there’s not much info out there about the numbing effect. I did read that people that have been told to avoid fruit juice, citrus and fermented products should avoid cbd but the article didn’t state why. Any ideas? I have a histamine intolerance so I currently avoid these things. 🤔
ah that’s really interesting. Sorry to hear your throat went numb, it seems to be such a common occurrence. I’ll have a read up about the citrus aspect, not heard that before. I do find it bizarre that there’s not much info around the numbing effect, it’s why I wrote this article to help people who are in a similar position, but it’s hard to state the reasons behind this other than what I’ve found online and my personal experiences, which is that it always goes more numb when the THC levels are higher. CBD has no histamines and has shown early positive signs when used with histamine intolerance, so not sure if there would be any connection there.
How about tongue sores way back towards throat? I can’t see them but I feel them.. Anyone experience sores all the way back of tongue after using CBD oil? Feels like something in throat when I swallow. And I definitely felt tongue numbing as well.
that sounds a lot more severe, I wouldn’t continue supplementing with CBD until you’ve sought medical advice, to make sure it is ok to take it and what might be causing the issue. Obviously, the medical representatives aren’t going to be experienced in cannabis and there is a distinct lack of clinical studies to offer any real insight, but if it’s causing you any issues then I’d recommend stopping and seeking advice. I’ve not experienced anything like that so far, just tingling of the lips and numbness.