Is it possible to use too much CBD oil, and if so, what are the effects? Find the answers to these questions and more in this Secret Nature guide. Taking too much CBD may cause some discomfort, but it won't result in an overdose or death. This article discusses the effects of taking too much CBD. CBD has a good safety profile, but can you overdose on it? What are the side effects of taking too much CBD?
What Happens If You Use Too Much CBD Oil?
CBD is generally regarded as a mild, practically harmless substance. Unlike THC, this hemp constituent is non-intoxicating, and unlike many mainline pharmaceutical treatments, CBD does not appear to have any serious side effects .
As with anything, however (you can even overdose on water ), there is a limit to how much CBD you can take safely. According to the available evidence, the toxicity threshold of CBD appears to be around 20,000mg or 20g.
If you have any experience using hemp, you know how incredibly difficult it would be to ingest this much CBD during the brief 24-hour time window necessary to induce toxic effects.
We’ve just covered the most important fact you need to know: CBD is only toxic in doses so large the average consumer will never come anywhere close to using too much CBD oil. Let’s flesh out the details surrounding CBD toxicity to help you choose an ideal dose and better understand how this cannabinoid affects the human body.
Is CBD toxic?
Pretty much everything on planet Earth is toxic in the right quantities. In human biochemical research, toxicity is defined as the amount of a substance that can cause bodily harm. There are no such things as inherently “toxic” substances — even cyanide, widely considered to be one of the most potent poisons, is not harmful in extremely low concentrations .
To judge the relative toxicity of CBD, therefore, it’s necessary to compare the concentration at which CBD is believed to be toxic with the toxicity threshold to similar substances. While hardly definitive, preliminary lab studies indicate that CBD may exert toxic effects in humans at concentrations of 20,000mg and above.
To be absolutely clear, this means you would need to ingest 20 full grams of CBD at once for this cannabinoid to exert toxic effects. Since CBD fully metabolizes in the human body within 8-32 hours , you would furthermore need to ingest these 20 grams of CBD within a single day for this cannabinoid to become toxic.
The cost of this experiment is prohibitive for most consumers. Even more importantly, the commonly reported mild side effects of CBD, such as sleepiness and nausea, would likely prevent you from ingesting such an incredibly large dose of CBD to begin with.
So, is CBD toxic? Hardly.
Reaching the toxicity threshold for CBD appears to be nearly impossible, and studies indicate that doses up to 1,500mg CBD are well-tolerated in human subjects. Turning CBD into a toxic substance by ingesting more than 20,000mg of this cannabinoid would require nearly superhuman feats of dedication and incredible economic expenditure.
Can you overdose on CBD?
We’ve established that CBD can only become toxic under the most extreme and absurd circumstances. Can you still take too much CBD, however, even if you don’t take enough to make this cannabinoid toxic?
Even without using more than 20g of this cannabinoid in a single day, your body may react negatively to extremely large doses of CBD. According to the available scientific evidence, however, using toxic concentrations of this cannabinoid will not result in the severe symptoms that are commonly associated with overdose.
For most people, the term “overdose” brings to mind horror stories set into motion when people ingest dangerous quantities of prescription or illicit drugs. It’s important to clarify that even when taken in quantities around 20,000mg, CBD will not cause heart failure, internal bleeding, or any of the other terrifying consequences of ingesting too much alcohol or overdosing on opioids or stimulants.
The hallmarks of overdose as they have been established in popular culture will not occur even if you take CBD in concentrations that have been established as toxic. In all likelihood, ingesting unreasonable quantities of CBD will only result in vomiting or diarrhea as your body purges itself of this mild, non-intoxicating substance. The main concern would be dehydration, which could easily be treated with basic hospital equipment.
What are the effects of taking too much CBD?
Even though scientific research has established the toxicity threshold of CBD at 20,000mg over the course of around 24 hours, the definition of “too much” CBD will vary from person to person. A variety of factors can affect the way that a person’s body interacts with CBD, and the threshold at which CBD’s effects become uncomfortable changes in response.
People who are new to CBD, for instance, have not built up any tolerance to this cannabinoid, and there’s also some evidence that it takes multiple doses for your endocannabinoid system to become accustomed to CBD. For new CBD users, therefore, even reasonably small doses of CBD, such as 50-100mg may be “too much.”
The most commonly reported negative effects of CBD are sleepiness, nausea, and dry mouth. When you take too much of this cannabinoid, it’s reasonable to expect these negative effects to intensify.
New CBD consumers may note negative effects at lower doses. Ffor CBD users who have become accustomed to this cannabinoid, negative effects may only set in at higher doses.
Most studies agree that doses up to 1500mg CBD per day are well-tolerated in humans. Especially if you’ve used CBD for a while, it’s highly unlikely that you’ll experience any negative effects when ingesting this cannabinoid in concentrations under 1500mg CBD.
Regardless of how accustomed to CBD your body may be, the worst effects you should expect from taking too much of this cannabinoid are nausea, diarrhea, dry mouth, fatigue, or sleepiness. In cases of extreme overdose, CBD may cause tremors, convulsions, trouble breathing, slow heart rate, and other serious negative effects. You would need to significantly exceed the 20,000mg/day toxicity threshold of CBD, however, to experience these severe side effects.
Can CBD be lethal?
Lethal doses of CBD have been achieved in animal studies . In most cases, CBD achieved lethal results in animals via cardiac failure.
Due to obvious ethical concerns, similar experiments have not been conducted in humans. It is difficult to say whether CBD is lethal in people and at which concentrations this cannabinoid would achieve human lethality.
Even though CBD becomes toxic at concentrations of 20,000mg per day, this concentration is not considered to be a lethal dose. Rather, this is simply the threshold at which CBD predictably exerts negative effects in human subjects.
While the lethal dose of CBD in humans has not been established, it’s likely that cannabidiol’s toxicity threshold would need to be significantly exceeded before lethal effects ensued. In short, CBD is a remarkably mild substance that is incapable of becoming lethal at concentrations an average consumer could use.
Pharmaceutical drugs commonly become lethal at surprisingly low concentrations. CBD appears to be significantly safer for both this cannabinoid’s intended consumers and for any children or pets who accidentally get their hands or paws on CBD tinctures, capsules, edibles, vapes, or flower.
Differences between CBD and THC toxicity
While THC is highly intoxicating and can cause anxiety or paranoia, CBD is only mildly psychoactive and does not cause any significant “head changes.” THC can also be habit-forming while CBD does not appear to cause dependency of any form.
It comes as no surprise, therefore, that the toxicity of THC is significantly different than that of CBD. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), the median lethal dose of THC is 4,000mg (4g), which this prestigious medical organization assures us is still “very low compared to most other recreational and pharmaceutical drugs.”
Let’s take a look at these THC toxicity figures in comparison to the toxicity of CBD. Recall that the 20,000mg toxicity threshold reported for CBD is not this cannabinoid’s lethal dose — lab studies indicate you would need to ingest significantly more than 20g of pure CBD to die from this substance.
A mere 4g of THC, however, is enough to kill an average 150lb person, making THC at least 5 times more toxic than CBD.
The WHO and other authorities assure us it would be extremely hard to ingest more than 4g of pure THC. It’s now reasonably common among heavy THC users, however, to vaporize dabs of THC concentrate larger than 1g that contain more than 60% THC. As a result, a “gram dab” can contain nearly a quarter of the fatal dose of THC.
Why CBD quality matters
Cannabidiol appears to be safe even if you routinely ingest quantities of 1500mg CBD or higher per day. The CBD industry is anything but perfect, however. Depending on the CBD products you ingest, the cannabidiol concentration in your system might be the least of your worries.
Many CBD producers fail to practice basic quality control oversight over their production processes. While CBD-rich hemp is often grown using safe, organic, and sustainable methods, just as much hemp on the market is contaminated with heavy metals, pesticides, fertilizers, and other substances that are hundreds of times more toxic than CBD.
CBD extracts are sometimes combined with dangerous ingredients, such a PG, VG, artificial flavors, and chemical preservatives, that could also overshadow the benefits of CBD and cause contamination hazards.
While the toxicity of CBD itself hardly seems to be cause for concern, some of the sub-par ingredients in CBD products could be extremely dangerous. To protect yourself from contaminants in CBD products, choose hemp brands that use hemp and other ingredients that are organic and non-GMO.
Enjoy CBD safely
CBD is only toxic in extremely large doses and the lethality of CBD still hasn’t been established in humans. Still, that doesn’t mean you have to go overboard with this cannabinoid.
The results are still out regarding the ideal dose of CBD for adults. The evidence we’ve accumulated so far, however, seems to indicate that using more than 1,000mg of CBD per day fails to provide any increased benefits.
In fact, most CBD users report find their ideal dose of this cannabinoid is around 100-250mg per day. Feel free to experiment with CBD to your heart’s content safe in the knowledge that this cannabinoid is remarkably non-toxic.
Just remember — moderation is the key to success with any substance.
CBD overdose FAQ
Anything else you’d like to know about the toxicity and overdose potential of CBD?
1. Can CBD oil kill you?
The simple answer is no. Anything — including oxygen and water — can kill you at the right concentrations, however.
In studies, CBD has been well-tolerated even at extremely high doses . Experts suggest that doses of CBD as high as 1500mg per day may be safe, but there isn’t enough evidence to draw conclusions.
Compared to substances like opioids, which are fatally toxic at remarkably low doses, it looks like you would have to try extremely hard to kill anyone with CBD.
2. Can you take too much CBD before bed?
Some users report grogginess the next morning when they use unusually high doses of CBD the night before. Taking too much CBD before bed does not appear to be harmful in any other way, however.
If a small dose of CBD is not enough to provide the bedtime effects you’re looking for, don’t be afraid to use a little bit more.
3. Can CBD oil make you jittery?
CBD is only known to cause tremors, jitters, or shakiness at extremely high doses. This cannabinoid must be administered in concentrations well exceeding 1500mg per day to result in these extremely rare CBD side effects.
4. How much CBD is OK per day?
In clinical studies, doses of CBD as high as 1500mg per day have been shown to be safe . These results need to be corroborated with further research, but it appears that even very large doses of CBD remain unable to cause any major side effects. To strike a balance with your body’s endocannabinoid system, consider sticking with a daily CBD dose between 50 and 200mg.
5. What happens if you take CBD oil every day?
Scientists have not come across any information indicating that taking CBD oil on a daily basis is dangerous. As with any substance, though, contaminants in CBD oil can make this substance dangerous even if it is perfectly safe on its own. Therefore, you should only use high-quality CBD products that come with third-party lab reports proving they don’t contain any harmful contaminants.
6. Is 70mg of CBD a lot?
Within the spectrum of common CBD doses, 70mg is neither a lot nor a little. Taken all at once, 70mg CBD might provide very strong effects, but spread out over the course of a day, this dose won’t affect you very profoundly.
The way 70mg of CBD affects you changes significantly depending on the way you use this cannabinoid. Ingested orally, 70mg of CBD won’t knock your socks off even if you take it in a single dose. Smoked or vaporized, though, CBD becomes much more potent, making a dose of 70mg capable of providing intensely relaxing effects.
7. Can you get addicted to CBD oil?
Despite extensive research, CBD has not been revealed to have any addictive properties whatsoever. In fact, the opposite might be true: quite a few studies have been published regarding the potential usefulness of CBD as an addiction treatment .
Even though CBD doesn’t appear to have any addictive properties, it’s still possible to become psychologically dependent on any substance. Make sure to use CBD responsibly despite the fact that this compound appears to be remarkably safe.
8. Can too much CBD make you dizzy?
Dizziness is an uncommon but known side effect of using CBD. Generally only occurring when you use more than 200mg CBD at once, dizziness after using CBD can usually be remedied by sitting down for a while and drinking some water. The vast majority of people who use CBD, though, never become dizzy.
9. Can CBD oil cause breathing problems?
CBD is not known to cause breathing problems. Since this cannabinoid has a relaxing effect, though, it’s conceivable that CBD could make it harder to breathe if you already have a pulmonary impairment.
Always consult with a doctor if you have any questions about how CBD might impact your medical conditions. CBD is known to interact negatively with certain common prescription drugs, making a physician’s advice even more important.
10. Can CBD oil cause heart palpitations?
CBD is not known to cause any cardiovascular conditions, making it different from THC, which appears to make cardiac arrhythmia worse in some patients . If you want to use THC but are concerned about heart palpitations, CBD might be a viable alternative.
11. Why does CBD oil make me feel weird?
While it doesn’t make you high, CBD has a strong relaxing effect that might feel “weird” to some users. Give CBD a proper chance, but if you continue to feel weird when you use this non-intoxicating cannabinoid, stop using CBD, and get a doctor’s opinion.
12. Is CBD oil safer than ibuprofen?
Generally considered to be safe, synthetic NSAID drugs like ibuprofen are known to cause stomach ulcers and digestive bleeding in some people who use these common over-the-counter medications. CBD is not known to cause any digestive or bleeding conditions, partially explaining why so many people who used to rely on OTC painkillers are switching to all-natural CBD.
13. What happens when you stop using CBD?
When you stop using CBD, you shouldn’t feel any withdrawals or significant negative symptoms. CBD is not believed to be chemically addictive, so it’s very unlikely you’ll find yourself enduring cravings or other symptoms of withdrawal if you stop using CBD. The only negative consequence will be the disappearance of any benefits you enjoyed while using CBD.
14. What are some common cannabinoid toxicity symptoms?
In the case of THC, common signs of cannabinoid toxicity include increased anxiety, rapid heart rate, nausea, and mental confusion. Toxicity is practically unheard of in the case of CBD, but examples of negative effects that can occur when you use this cannabinoid are sleepiness and mild gastrointestinal distress.
Cannabinoid toxicity is extremely rare and usually does not occur unless you have cannabinoid hyperemesis syndrome (CHS) , a rare condition that involves strong negative reactions to cannabinoid ingestion. Used in normal or even quite high concentrations, cannabinoids like THC and CBD usually do not cause serious negative effects.
15. Can CBD side effects include tingling?
Tingling is not a common side effect of CBD. Some conditions, such as diabetic neuropathy, can cause tingling in extremities like your fingers and toes. If you experience tingling after using CBD, you should consult with a doctor immediately.
16. Can too much CBD make you drowsy?
Yes, taking a dose of CBD that’s higher than what you’re used to has a tendency to make you drowsy. CBD doesn’t get you high, but it does relax you, and many users report that CBD makes them sleepy.
If you want to avoid getting sleepy when you use CBD, keep your doses low, and choose CBD products that have been infused with sativa terpenes. Sativa strains are believed to be energizing, which might counteract the soporific effects of CBD to some degree.
17. How much does it take for CBD to kick in?
You most likely won’t feel the effects of CBD unless you take at least 10mg. A dose of 5mg is too small for the average person to feel CBD’s effects, but if you take at least 10-20mg, you should start to feel CBD kick in within the expected activation time of the product type you chose.
Some users find that taking larger doses of CBD allows this cannabinoid to kick in faster. You might feel the effects of 50mg of CBD faster than the effects of 25mg, for instance.
18. Is 25mg CBD enough for anxiety?
Many users indicate that 25mg of CBD is an ideal dose for anxiety. For context, 25mg is about the amount of CBD included in an average gummy or capsule. It’s also the equivalent of a small bowl of hemp flower, a few hits of a CBD joint, or 1-2 draws from a CBD vape.
People with anxiety commonly rely on inhalable CBD products that kick in quickly once an anxiety attack hits. These products also deliver relatively high concentrations of CBD per dose.
19. How long does a 50mg gummy last?
You should feel the effects of a 50mg CBD gummy for around 2-3 hours. If you use CBD gummies on a daily basis, you may need to take more every 1-2 hours to continue feeling the desired effects. Users with lower tolerances may feel the effects of a single 50mg CBD for as long as 3-4 hours.
20. How long do CBD gummies take to start working?
CBD gummies and other oral CBD products generally kick in within 20-30 minutes. Like tinctures, it’s possible to hold CBD gummies in your mouth for a while before swallowing.
Take some time to thoroughly chew your gummies to improve their activation time and effectiveness. If your CBD gummies still haven’t kicked in after 45 minutes to an hour, take a larger dose.
21. Are 500mg CBD gummies strong?
If a single CBD gummy were to contain 500mg total cannabinoids, it would certainly be quite strong. Thankfully, in most cases in which CBD gummies are referred to as “500mg,” that number refers to the total milligrams of CBD per bottle, not per gummy.
From there, you’ll need to determine how many gummies are in the bottle to conclude if 500mg gummies are strong or not. If there are 100 gummies in the bottle, they’ll only contain 5mg CBD each, which isn’t much. If there are only 10 gummies, though, each one will contain 50mg CBD, which is a large dose.
22. How long will 500mg CBD gummies stay in your system?
If you consume 500mg of CBD in the form of gummies, CBD will remain detectable in your system for between five and 30 days depending on the rate at which you consumed your CBD gummies. When you use them in low doses over a spread-out period of time, cannabinoids are removed from your system relatively quickly.
Used in high doses or all at once, however, cannabinoids remain detectable in your system considerably longer. This is mainly a moot point in regards to CBD, which isn’t usually a target of drug testing.
23. Why do I feel weird after taking a CBD edible?
You shouldn’t feel weird after taking CBD in the form of an edible or any other type of product. Users almost universally describe the effects of CBD as mild and pleasant, and taking CBD in an edible shouldn’t change this cannabinoid’s inherent effects in any way. CBD doesn’t even get you high, the type of “weird” that people conventionally associate with edibles.
If you still feel uncomfortable for a while after taking an orally ingested CBD product, seek medical attention. It’s possible that a non-cannabinoid ingredient in the product you used is responsible for your discomfort.
Can You Overdose on CBD Oil? How Much Is Too Much?
It’s natural for people new to CBD to ask this question. After all, anyone who wants to try CBD will want to know if it’s really safe (even in large doses), as studies and many consumers say.
So, to answer the question — no, you won’t lethally overdose on CBD, but it is possible to take too much and feel uncomfortable for a few hours.
This article talks about the safety of CBD, what happens when you’ve taken too much, and what you can do to relieve some of the discomforts.
Why Can’t CBD Cause a Lethal Overdose?
Overdose is when you’ve taken more than the recommended dosage of a drug or a medication. If the signs of a drug overdose are ignored, it can lead to comatose or death.
The symptoms of an overdose vary, depending on the drug you’ve taken. These include:
- Changes in breathing pattern with difficulty breathing
- Changes in heart rhythm (cocaine increase heart rate, while opioids decrease heart rate)
- Severe headaches
- Nausea and vomiting
- Chest pain
- Severe anxiety
CBD doesn’t significantly inhibit the brainstem like opioids, for example. The brainstem is the part of the brain that houses the control centers for our heartbeat, blood pressure, breathing, body temperature, and digestion.
High amounts of opioid-based drugs can cause an overdose since the brainstem contains many opioid receptors. Overstimulation of these receptors slows down our breathing and heartbeat.
Now, cannabinoid receptors are also abundant in the brain and the spinal cord, but studies show that the lower brainstem contains only a few cannabinoid receptors. So, even if you take high CBD doses, there won’t be enough cannabinoid receptors to activate and significantly affect our physiological parameters .
This is one of the reasons why high concentrations of CBD (and even THC) won’t result in an overdose.
CBD also has a weak affinity for the CB1 receptor to trigger any hallucinogenic or psychoactive effects like THC . CBD has not been shown to increase anxiety or cause delusion, paranoia, and other adverse side effects associated with THC.
Instead, CBD works on other receptors such as the serotonin and vanilloid receptors and helps modulate these negative reactions from THC .
What are the Effects of Too Much CBD?
Taking too much CBD may not result in fatal overdose and death, but it doesn’t mean that it won’t cause any discomfort.
CBD, just like any other drug, also has some side effects.
Taking too much CBD may cause:
- Dry mouth. When CBD activates the cannabinoid receptors found in the mouth, it decreases saliva secretion .
- Drowsiness, lightheadedness, and dizziness. These may be caused by CBD lowering the blood pressure since it relaxes the blood vessel walls.
- Loose bowel movements or diarrhea
- Appetite changes
- Nausea and vomiting, especially on high CBD doses.
CBD also interacts with other drugs and may either increase or decrease their effectiveness.
Take warfarin, a common blood thinner medication, for example. CBD boosts warfarin’s effect . It binds to the enzymes that break down warfarin, allowing the drug to stay in the system longer.
CBD may also enhance the effects of antiepileptic drugs like phenytoin as well as clobazam.
If you’re taking maintenance medications, we recommend speaking with your doctor about using CBD. Your primary care physician can give you advice on CBD use and whether or not it will have an impact on your other medications.
Your doctor can also help you manage your CBD use, including its dosage and frequency of use.
How Much CBD is Too Much CBD?
What’s the lethal or toxic dose of CBD?
Well, there’s no clear-cut answer to this yet.
However, a 2011 study showed that chronic CBD use of 1,500 mg per day — this is equivalent to taking a whole bottle of high potency CBD — was well-tolerated by patients with treatment-resistant schizophrenia . The patients also reported no significant side effects while on this high CBD dose.
In 2018, a study was also conducted on CBD’s tolerability and safety. It showed that CBD at increasing doses between 1,500 and 6,000 mg was still well-tolerated by the participants .
Some side effects were noted, like diarrhea, drowsiness, headache, and nausea, but these were pretty mild and tolerable.
Is CBD Safe?
The World Health Organization stated in a 2018 report that CBD is a non-psychoactive cannabinoid that’s generally well-tolerated by consumers and has a good safety profile. The report also stated that CBD doesn’t negatively impact our physiological parameters and may even have an opposite influence on THC’s psychoactive effects .
Can CBD Make Me Sick?
CBD won’t make you sick, but it can trigger some nausea and cause you to vomit in high doses. However, these are common high CBD dose side effects that typically go away after several hours.
Although rare, some people also develop allergies after taking CBD, so if you’re allergic to cannabis and pollen, you should be careful in using any cannabinoid-based product, including CBD.
How Long Does CBD Effects Last?
The effects of CBD can last anywhere from two to eight hours, but this depends on many factors.
Method of Administration
Sublingual CBD, like oils and tinctures, and inhalable forms like CBD flowers and vapes have a shorter duration than CBD edibles. The former typically lasts about two to four hours, while the latter lasts about six to eight hours.
Age and Metabolism
Your age and metabolism also affect how long CBD stays in your system. The older you are and the slower your metabolism is, the harder it will be for your body to process and get rid of CBD.
CBD Potency and Frequency of Use
The higher the potency and frequency of use, the longer you’ll feel the CBD effects since CBD builds up in the system.
How to Get Rid of CBD Side Effects
The side effects of CBD are generally mild and tolerable, but if they become too uncomfortable, then follow these tips:
- Drink plenty of fluids to help relieve dry mouth and satiate your thirst.
- Rest if you’re feeling lightheaded and dizzy. These side effects may be due to the lowered blood pressure, and sitting or lying down helps improve blood circulation in the brain.
- Take your CBD oil with food. Using CBD on an empty stomach increases the chances of negative side effects.
Should the side effects continue or even worsen, see your doctor. There may be some other underlying medical problems causing these issues, and these need to be addressed first before you can take CBD.
Contraindications to Taking CBD
It’s safe to take CBD daily, but you may want to rethink your decision to use CBD if you have the following conditions.
Hypotension or Low Blood Pressure
CBD dilates and relaxes the blood vessel walls, resulting in a drop in blood pressure.
If you’re hypotensive, high CBD doses can further lower your blood pressure and trigger drowsiness and dizziness.
The liver processes and metabolizes the drugs we take, including CBD.
If you have liver problems, high doses of CBD and its accumulation in the bloodstream may be taxing to the liver. The unnecessary demand on the liver may even trigger some unwanted effects.
Pregnant and Breastfeeding Women
Cannabinoids, including CBD, can cross the placental barrier and negatively impact the growing fetus’s development. It can also be passed through the breastmilk and affect the baby .
Again, we emphasize the importance of seeing your doctor before taking CBD, especially if you have chronic health problems and are taking maintenance medications.
How to Minimize CBD Risks
CBD may have a good safety profile, even in very high doses, but there are ways to reduce the risk of developing side effects.
- Always choose quality CBD products — look for their certificate of analysis or laboratory test results. This shows you the potency and purity of the product. The COA also shows proof that it’s free from contaminants.
- Start low and go slow, especially if you’re new to CBD — Listen to your body as well, and reduce the dosage if you develop some adverse side effects. Be patient, and you’ll soon find the best dosage.
- Ask your doctor first if you’re taking any medications or have underlying medical conditions.
Final Thoughts: No, You Won’t Overdose on CBD
In summary, CBD won’t cause an overdose even if you take a higher dose since few cannabinoid receptors in the lower brainstem. CBD won’t slow down your breathing or affect your heart rhythm.
CBD is a safe and effective cannabinoid, and even if you do develop some side effects, these are generally mild and well-tolerated.
While there are ways to minimize CBD’s side effects, know that these usually resolve on their own once the effects of CBD wore off. However, if you have some chronic health problems, are on maintenance medications, or begin experiencing severe side effects on CBD, then we recommend seeking your doctor’s advice.
Have you tried high-dose CBD? How was it?
We’d love to hear about your experience, so leave your comment below!
References Used In This Article
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- Zlebnik, N. E., & Cheer, J. F. (2016). Beyond the CB1 Receptor: Is Cannabidiol the Answer for Disorders of Motivation?. Annual review of neuroscience, 39, 1–17.
- Zlebnik, N. E., & Cheer, J. F. (2016). Beyond the CB1 Receptor: Is Cannabidiol the Answer for Disorders of Motivation?. Annual review of neuroscience, 39, 1–17.
- Prestifilippo, J. P., Fernández-Solari, J., de la Cal, C., Iribarne, M., Suburo, A. M., Rettori, V., McCann, S. M., & Elverdin, J. C. (2006). Inhibition of salivary secretion by activation of cannabinoid receptors. Experimental biology and medicine (Maywood, N.J.), 231(8), 1421–1429.
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Nina created CFAH.org following the birth of her second child. She was a science and math teacher for 6 years prior to becoming a parent — teaching in schools in White Plains, New York and later in Paterson, New Jersey.
Can You Overdose On CBD? Here’s What Happens If You Take Too Much
Is CBD overdose a real thing? This article explains the possible consequences of taking large amounts of CBD.
Emergency room visits caused by THC overdoses aren’t uncommon. People who take THC in doses that surpass their tolerance and sensitivity threshold may experience unpleasant side effects, from paranoia to increased heartbeat to a drop in blood sugar levels.
Greening out from THC-rich cannabis is totally possible — although a fatal overdose isn’t — but does the same apply to CBD?
Can you overdose on CBD oil?
What happens if you take too much CBD at a time?
Can You Overdose on CBD?
Before we elaborate on CBD and overdoses, let’s define the meaning of “overdose.” The term “overdose” can mean a few different things. Some types of overdose are more severe than others, like taking a potentially lethal amount of a drug; other times, it just means accidentally taking a higher dose than planned, or when a person’s body experiences adverse reactions.
A lethal overdose won’t happen with CBD oil because there are no cannabinoid receptors in the brain stem area responsible for respiratory function (1). However, that doesn’t mean you can’t go overboard with cannabidiol.
Here’s what we know so far about overdosing on CBD.
Can Humans Overdose on CBD?
To date, no study has reported an overdose on CBD oil. However, it is possible to accidentally take too much CBD than recommended and experience some mild side effects. For this reason, Gold Bee CBD oils come with graduated droppers that make it easy to measure the proper amount of CBD. What we mean by “too much CBD” is the amount that goes beyond your therapeutic dose and causes discomfort.
There is no universal “overdose threshold” for every individual; the factors involved in determining your proper dosage of CBD include age, sex, diet, weight, metabolism, and previous experience with CBD.
Can Pets Overdose on CBD?
Again, no reports in the United States have covered information about pets being injured by overdosing on CBD oil. Pets respond to CBD oil in much the same way as humans. Pet parents just have to be more cautious about the dosage for their pet’s weight, as even the largest pets are three times smaller than humans.
Pets that use full-spectrum CBD may find significant health benefits in hemp compounds. These products also contain a trace amount of THC (below 0.3%), which isn’t enough to get your pet high — but it’s enough to make full-spectrum extracts more effective than CBD isolate.
If you’re not sure where to start with your pet and CBD oil, we encourage you to find a holistic veterinarian near you. Also, steer clear of large marketplaces like Amazon if you’re shopping for CBD for the first time. Places like this only sell hemp seed oil, mislabeling these products as “hemp oil” or “hemp extract,” which is true from the linguistic point of view, but not from the customer experience perspective.
What Are the Side Effects of Taking Too Much CBD?
CBD is generally well-tolerated in pets and humans. Studies looking at the efficacy and safety of CBD have concluded that CBD doesn’t cause severe side effects at repeated doses of 1,500 mg (2). Most people don’t take more than 50 mg of CBD daily, so it’s difficult to imagine how much CBD you’d need to take in order to experience any unpleasant side effects.
Speaking of which, possible adverse reactions to extreme doses of CBD include:
- Dry mouth
- Changes in appetite
- Potential CBD-drug interactions
The dry mouth effect is uniform among all cannabinoids; it results from their interaction with the cannabinoid receptors located in the salivary glands. When you take a cannabis product, the cannabinoids will bind to these receptors, inhibiting the secretion of saliva. It’s a good idea to stay hydrated before and after taking CBD oil, capsules, or gummies.
When you overdose on CBD, it can cause you to feel dizzy due to a temporary drop in blood pressure. People often report feeling sleepy after taking too much CBD oil; for some, it may be the desired effect, but for others, it can make them want to take a nap during the day.
Changes in appetite aren’t as common as the two above, and researchers are yet to determine the reason why some users experience a boost in appetite, while others report feeling less hunger after taking CBD oil.
Diarrhea may occur as the side effect of consuming too much of the carrier oil in which the CBD extract has been suspended.
Finally, there are CBD-induced drug interactions that users should be aware of, especially those who take any medications. CBD is known to compromise the liver’s ability to metabolize pharmaceutical compounds. It works in a similar way to grapefruit juice, so if your medication has a grapefruit warning on it, you shouldn’t take at the same time you take CBD oil. Again, we suggest that you consult a doctor to avoid these interactions.
How Much CBD Is Too Much?
As mentioned, there aren’t many studies done on the toxicity of CBD. That would be difficult to test from an ethics standpoint. However, a 2011 study published in Current Drug Safety, established the “toxic” dose of CBD at around 20,000 mg of CBD, taken almost all at once (3).
In other words, you’d need to swallow approximately 300 ml of CBD oil that contains 2000 mg per bottle. This translates into 10 full bottles of full-spectrum CBD oil. To understand this, it’s important to remember that the suggested starting dose for most users is somewhere between 5–20 mg per day. While studies have tested dosages up to 1500 mg per day, most CBD oils contain between 100 and 2500 mg in an entire bottle.
When taken at recommended doses, or even above the suggested daily serving, the average user doesn’t have to worry about a CBD overdose.
Effective CBD Dosage for People
Okay, so you can’t fatally overdose on CBD, and probably won’t experience any side effects when you take it in normal doses — but what is the best dosage for daily use? Does it matter if you take CBD with food or on an empty stomach? Is there anything else that can affect the way CBD makes you feel?
For now, CBD isn’t regulated by the FDA. The agency has yet to analyze the efficacy and safety of hemp-derived products, so for the time being, there are no official dosage guidelines.
That being said, many brands provide their own recommendations based on a single serving of their products. When you take our CBD oil for the first time, we recommend starting out with half the dropper of our formula. Our products are designed to provide 40 mg of CBD per milliliter, so the said amount should be enough, to begin with.
According to different studies and experts, it’s best to take 2–5 mg of CBD for every 10 pounds of body weight. Be sure to monitor the effects and write down how you feel after each dose. Doing so will help you minimize the amount of trial and error on your way to finding the best dose of CBD.
Can CBD Make Me Sick?
Pure CBD oil sourced from organic hemp and extracted without aggressive solvents shouldn’t make you sick. CBD is known to reduce physical discomfort, but no studies have found that it can cause one. If you feel sick after taking CBD oil, this could be due to the presence of unwanted additives or contaminants in your product.
You can take the following steps to ensure you’re getting a high-quality product:
- Choose CBD oils made from organic hemp
- Make sure the oil is extracted with CO2 (or alcohol)
- Read third-party lab reports
- Check the company’s reputation before buying
Third-party lab reports are particularly important for determining the quality of a CBD product, as they analyze its potency, chemical makeup, and look for potentially dangerous ingredients. This is the only way to verify the credibility of your supplier in this unregulated market.
Is CBD Oil Addictive?
Studies haven’t found a positive correlation between the use of CBD and addiction. CBD doesn’t have abuse and dependence potential. Research also shows that CBD is a non-intoxicant, meaning it can’t produce the euphoric high associated with high-THC cannabis strains, which further lowers the chance of forming negative habits around it.
In fact, preclinical studies indicate that CBD is a promising compound for targeting withdrawal symptoms in cocaine, alcohol, and opiate users. However, more research is needed to determine the efficacy of CBD oil on large population samples (4).
Can You Build a Tolerance to CBD?
When you develop a tolerance for a particular substance, it means that your body gets used to the compound, which requires you to increase the dose if you want to achieve the same effects — like needing an extra cup of coffee to boost energy. This could cause you to take more of it to get the same feeling, resulting in unwanted effects from CBD overdose.
According to some anecdotal evidence, CBD may have less of an effect on the user as it did previously, or it may take longer to work. Although these could be the indicators of tolerance, other factors are at play too. The issue of inconsistency in the effects could be caused by different times of the day or the changing sensitivity of your cannabinoid receptors.
The latter is especially true for long-term marijuana users who supplement CBD. Since they have been previously introduced to cannabinoids, this experience can change how hemp-derived products work for them.
As a matter of fact, the cannabinoid receptors may become desensitized after prolonged use of THC, which may change the way CBD makes you feel — especially if you’re looking for the effects that are dependent on the cannabinoid receptor pathways.
If you use CBD isolate, switching to broad-spectrum or full-spectrum CBD may prove effective. Whole-plant extracts contain other cannabinoids, terpenes, and trace amounts of THC, all of which influence the effectiveness of CBD. Full-spectrum CBD creates entourage effects, where all the cannabis compounds work synergistically to amplify their health benefits. Isolates do not evoke this effect.
Final Thoughts on CBD Overdose
The bottom line is this: CBD, even in very high doses, is safe. Like anything, if ingested in extreme amounts, it could have negative side effects, although they are pale in comparison to other substances, even the more potent cannabinoids. The good news is that you can’t fatally overdose on CBD, and in order to reach a toxic dose, you’d need to drink 10 bottles of highly-potent CBD oil in a row — which isn’t possible under normal conditions.
However, if you want to achieve optimal results with CBD and avoid any unwanted reactions, we recommend that you start low and go slow, gradually increasing the initial dose until you reach the point where you experience desired effects.
Always make sure to purchase your CBD products from trustworthy suppliers who can prove the quality of their products with batch-specific certificates of analysis from third-party laboratories.