Overdosing on CBD is highly impropable, however, taking too much can cause adverse reactions and side effects. We answer all your questions. CBD has a good safety profile, but can you overdose on it? What are the side effects of taking too much CBD? 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.
Can You Overdose on CBD?
According to current drug experts and top CBD researchers in the United States, the answer is no. With CBD being the rage across the nation, the question, “can you overdose on CBD” arises often. This is often due to the number of news stories reported about THC overdose and emergency room visits in America. Still, unlike THC, taking too much CBD does not get you high or cause an overdose. However, it may cause side effects if you take too much.
The main active compound in cannabis used to get people high is Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). Reported studies have disclosed that hemp-derived CBD products contain less than .03 percent THC; therefore, overdosing on CBD is highly unlikely. Although CBD products (cannabidiol CBD) show therapeutic promise for many, more research on humans’ effects still needs FDA approval.
To discover the potential overdosing effects of CBD on humans who take too much, keep reading to see what is possible and currently known about people who overdose on CBD.
Can You Overdose on CBD Products With THC?
No, not necessarily because CBD products can contain a maximum of 0.3% THC since the passing of the 2018 Farm Bill, allowing CBD products to be sold and shipped across the nation if it meets certain criteria. One of which is the THC potency in the products.
Can there be side effects if you take too much? Yes, that is possible, but if you plan to take less than 100mg at once, you don’t have anything to worry about. Still, no one really needs 100mg of CBD to take at once.
If you’re talking about cannabis products that are high in THC, then there is a possibility you can overdose or cause you to end up in the emergency room. THC is the cannabinoid that can cause adverse reactions such as anxiety or panic attacks and a faster heart rate.
If you’re worried about consuming CBD products that may have too much THC levels, then we recommend going with Broad Spectrum CBD products as they are THC-Free.
Other types of CBD products are Full Spectrum, which contains up to 0.3% THC, or CBD Isolate, which is also THC-Free. However, CBD Isolate does not contain other essential compounds such as other cannabinoids and terpenes.
Proper Dosage of CBD Oil
CBD oil’s proper dosage varies from person to person as everyone’s body reacts differently to CBD. We dive deep into the specifics in our CBD dosing guide, but we always recommend people to start low and go up.
We don’t recommend starting low and going up because of side effects, but because it’s all about finding the optimal dose. If you have a light to medium case, we recommend starting with 10mg to 20mg of CBD for the first 3-5 days. See how CBD makes you feel after you take it. Are you calmer and more relaxed? Are you sleeping much easier and getting better quality sleep? Or do you simply not feel it enough?
If you feel it great, then you’re probably taking the optimal dose that your body needs. If you don’t feel it much, increase your dose by 5mg to 10mg every 2-3 days. If you come to the point that you don’t feel CBD’s effects the same, then your body built a tolerance, and you should take a 3-5 day break or cut your dose in half, so your tolerance levels reset.
The image you see below shows a clear representation of why we tell people to start low and go up. This is called the Biphasic Effect, meaning that the effects don’t necessarily improve as the dose increases.
Symptoms and Signs of Overdosing on CBD
Although rare, an overdose of CBD may still be possible, especially if the product is mislabeled. Many factors impact overdosing like the amount of CBD dose, first-time use, use of a contaminated CBD product, body weight, expired CBD, and more.
Symptoms and signs of CBD overdose may include:
- Panic attacks or extreme anxiety.
- Psychotic reactions where one becomes paranoid or loses touch with reality or becomes paranoid.
- Decreased coordination, judgment, perception, leading to injuries or even death.
- Chest pain, a fast heart rate, or heart attack.
- Uncontrollable seizures or shaking.
- Unresponsiveness or delusional effect.
- The pale skin color on the body.
- Sudden high blood pressure with a headache.
For an accidental CBD overdose due to mislabeled CBD, get help by calling 911 or go to the closest emergency room for immediate help.
What Does the FDA Say About CBD Overdose?
The only CBD drug approved and evaluated by the Food & Drug Administration (FDA) is called Epidiolex, which is used to treat two rare forms of epilepsy. Therefore, all other CBD products are not designed to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.
7 Frequently Asked Questions About CBD
If you’ve never used CBD, it’s wise to find out everything you can before taking your first dose. Whether you’re worried about side effects or concerned about building a tolerance to cannabidiol, you can rest assured that someone else has shared your concerns in the past. You can use the answers below to make a more informed decision about whether it’s right for you or not?
#1: Can You Overdose on CBD Oil?
If you buy a high-quality brand name CBD oil, the odds that it could cause an overdose are almost nonexistent. However, the first time you consume contaminated CBD oil, depending on the ingredients used, it could cause an overdose on CBD oil.
#2: Can CBD Make You Sick?
In short, the answer is yes. To avoid the effects of feeling sick, make sure to check the expiration date of the CBD oil. Expired CBD oil can make you sick; therefore, to get maximum health benefits and avoid bad CBD oil’s ill effects, always buy CBD from a reputable vendor.
#3: Can CBD Oil Kill You?
If you take too much CBD, there’s a chance you may wind up experiencing unpleasant side effects and harm to your liver, but it won’t kill you. There have been no studies showing that taking CBD at any dose could be fatal to date. However, since the Food and Drug Administration does not regulate cannabis sales, you could wind up with tainted products if you aren’t careful, which could be dangerous.
#4: What to Do if You’ve Had Too Much CBD?
The first thing to do is remind yourself that there is no chance of a cannabis overdose becoming fatal. The side effects of taking too much hemp-based CBD are less severe than those associated with marijuana. You should stay hydrated, make yourself comfortable, and let some time pass to feel better.
If you feel very unpleasant effects, then we highly recommend that you reach out to your doctor, call 911, or have someone take you to the emergency room to get checked up.
#5: Can You Build a Tolerance to CBD Oil?
Yes, you certainly can build a tolerance to CBD, and it’s quite common, especially to those who think consuming more will be more effective. Above in the CBD dosing section, we talked about the Biphasic Effect of CBD and explained how when you take too much, you may not feel CBD the same as before. That’s because you simply built a tolerance for CBD.
How to reset your tolerance levels, so CBD works as it did before?
We recommend taking a 3-5 day break from consuming any CBD to reset it and starting back at a lower dose fully. If you really want to continue taking CBD, then just cut your dose in half and wait for the effects of CBD to come back. However, the best option would be to take a minimum of 1-2 days off CBD and start back at a lower dose.
#6: How Much is Too Much CBD?
The average person doesn’t have to worry about taking too much CBD? Although there is no study conducted on “how much CBD is too much,” anything over 100-200mg of CBD is unnecessary. As we mentioned above, after a certain point, your body builds a tolerance and doesn’t produce the same effects.
Most people start with low doses of CBD, usually between 10mg and 20mg per day, and slowly increase them. Since it’s rare for even large amounts of CBD to cause side effects, it’s a safe way to find your lowest effective dose.
#7: Where to Buy Lab-Tested CBD?
There are a lot of companies and places where you can purchase lab-tested CBD products. A great place to start is a nearby CBD shop, but before heading over, make sure the people who run the place are highly educated about CBD and not selling only their own branded products.
Or you can purchase from a reputable company like Colorado Botanicals where we have a reputation for integrity and transparency. Our products are first tested in-house after each batch using the same chromatography machines licensed third-party labs have, and then we send it to a lab to get an honest, non-biased, transparent third-party lab report.
The Bottom Line
The odds of you overdosing on CBD products are improbable, even taking very high doses. However, consuming too much and going overboard can cause adverse reactions, including liver damage. So start at a low dose of 10mg to 20mg in a day and see how your body reacts to CBD. If you have a more serious case, then, by all means, you can start at a higher dose.
Don’t forget, more does not mean more effective! It’s all about finding your optimal dosage.
Another important point to always remember is to always purchase from a reputable company to avoid an expired or contaminated CBD product.
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.
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!
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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.