If you appreciate the benefits of CBD, you probably consume it frequently. But you might have wondered to yourself whether there’s such a thing as taking too much CBD, and precisely how it can affect your health. While CBD is safe and there is no known lethal dose for the compound, if you take too much there's a higher 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.
What Happens When You Take Too Much CBD?
If you appreciate the benefits of CBD, you probably consume it frequently. But you might have wondered to yourself whether there’s such a thing as taking too much CBD, and precisely how it can affect your health.
While CBD is safe and there is no known lethal dose for the compound, if you take too much there’s a higher possibility of experiencing adverse effects. This article breaks down what excessive CBD looks like and how to take high doses of CBD safely.
What is Considered Too Much CBD?
Too much of anything can quickly become a bad thing.
How much is too much CBD will look different to everyone, as CBD affects individuals differently. Luckily, if you accidentally take too much CBD, the side effects are considered mild and temporary.
You’ll know you’ve taken too much CBD if you start to feel uncomfortable moments after taking your dose. Ingesting a large amount of CBD in a short time frame may cause adverse effects such as, diarrhea, fatigue, vomiting, and somnolence .
The tricky thing about CBD is that the effects don’t always kick-in right away, and depending on your method of consumption, the effects may take up to 45 minutes.
Factors that Determine the Appropriate CBD Dosage:
- Reason For Taking CBD: People may turn to CBD for many different reasons from supporting healthy stress levels, sleep, or for more sustained energy throughout the day. Those who want to take CBD for sleep will take higher doses (50MG +) versus someone who uses it in the day to support productivity and energy levels (15–25MG).
- Genetics: CBD oil may not work the same for everyone. Genetic variations, including your metabolism, could factor in how CBD impacts you.
- Body mass: CBD oil is typically dosed based on body weight. A low dose is considered 1 mg per 10 lb of body weight and a high strength dose is around 5-6 mg per 10 lb.
- Extract type: There are 2 popular types of CBD extract—full-spectrum and isolate. Full-spectrum CBD contains a diverse cannabinoid and terpene range that work in synergy with CBD to produce more profound and well-balanced effects (entourage effect). Compared to CBD isolate, which only contains one active ingredient, CBD, you may find that you need higher doses of CBD isolate to achieve the same level of effects as you would in a full-spectrum CBD product .
- Tolerance: Just like any compound that effects your mood, you can develop a tolerance. This is when your body becomes accustomed to the supplemented compound and requires higher doses to achieve the same level of effects. If you find yourself reaching a high tolerance to CBD, it might be practical to take a 2-week break to re-set your tolerance.
Can You Overdose On CBD?
It’s possible to take dangerous amounts of virtually any substance, even water.
The FDA requires medicinal compounds to provide their LD50. The LD50 is the lethal dose at which half the test subjects would be killed when given the compound. Researches investigated the LD50 for CBD in rhesus monkeys to be around 212MG/kg CBD administered intravenously. In other words, if you weighed 150 lbs, you would need 14,424MG of CBD for a potentially lethal dose when administered directly into the bloodstream without the liver and digestive system breaking down some of the compounds .
This isn’t anywhere near standard doses of CBD oil (25–50 mg), and it would take an extreme amount of effort and money to reach an overdose on CBD products. As of writing this article, there hasn’t been any reported lethal overdoses of CBD, but it is possible to take an overdose—which would mean more than the standard dose—and feel negative consequences like mild discomfort.
What Does Taking Too Much CBD Feel Like?
If you ingest more CBD than your body can handle or you’re on a medication prescribed by your doctor, you’re more likely to experience side effects and negative drug interactions.
Some of the side effects of taking too much CBD include:
- Dry mouth
- Vomiting (rare)
- Changes in appetite
- Migraines and headaches
For most healthy people, these side effects are short-lived and you can avoid them by sticking to a lower dose of CBD .
Can You Get High from Taking Too Much CBD?
CBD is a cannabis derivative, but it doesn’t have psychotropic properties, meaning CBD doesn’t cause euphoric feelings that lead to intoxication.
The psychotropic main compound in marijuana is THC, and while it’s present in hemp strains (up to 0.3%), this isn’t enough to get most people high—even if they were to take a high dosage of CBD.
Different people have different reactions to CBD. Some people might experience a deep sense of calm and relaxation, which may lead them to feel like they’re high, but this is very different from the effects of a marijuana high.
CBD products are not supposed to get you high, but some people have experienced euphoric effects after consuming them, how is this possible?
It may be that they consumed substandard products. The FDA doesn’t have a tight hold on the CBD industry. Thus, anyone can set up a website and start selling inferior products made of God-knows-what and that contain prohibited levels of THC.
And so, we cannot stress enough the importance of researching products and making sure you’re buying premium, top-shelf CBD oil made from Farm Bill-compliant hemp.
What Happens When You Take CBD Oil Every Day?
You’ll see the most benefits from your CBD products if you take it consistently, as it works by supporting the endocannabinoid system, which is tasked with regulating some of our most vital systems for optimal function.
If you have underlying health conditions or are on medication, you’ll have to speak with your doctor to see if taking CBD every day is appropriate for you.
Why It’s Important to Shop for Quality CBD Oils
Because CBD is a relatively new in the health and wellness space, it’s hard to find reliable sources of products and information. There is an alarming amount of CBD products online, even from big-name shopping platforms like Amazon, that sell fake and potentially even dangerous CBD products.
When it comes to the safety of CBD oil, the compound CBD itself is considered quite safe. It’s the other ingredients and contaminants within the product you have to worry about.
It’s important to know what to look for when shopping for CBD to avoid negative consequences. Here are a few tips to keep you on the right track:
1. Shop For Hemp-Derived CBD
To ensure your CBD product is federally legal, and to avoid any intoxicating effects, make sure your CBD oil comes from hemp crops and not marijuana, which contains high levels of THC.
If you’re consuming quality hemp-derived CBD products, you’re unlikely to experience any THC-related complications.
The source of hemp is also a huge indicator of the quality of your CBD oil. We recommend shopping from American-grown hemp crops as the USA has high standards when it comes to agricultural practices, and it requires much less transportation with chances for contamination to get to processing facilities to make extracts.
2. Read The Certificate Of Analysis By A Third-Party Lab
Unfortunately, we can’t always take the manufacturer’s word for what’s in the product as CBD is still a relatively new market with loose FDA regulations. The only way to know for sure what’s in the CBD extract is with a Certificate of Analysis (CoA).
Getting a CoA by a non-biased third-party lab isn’t a standard practice, but reputable brands will opt for these tests to give their customers peace of mind. The CoA will show you the cannabinoid and terpene profile, as well as substances like pesticides, heavy metals, and mold that could reduce the quality of the CBD product.
3. Look For Quality Ingredients
If you’re taking CBD gummies, capsules, oils, or topicals, make sure that the other ingredients in the formula make sense. You don’t want to take a CBD sleep gummy if it contains high amounts of sugar or artificial ingredients that could keep you awake or cause stomach irritation.
How To Enjoy CBD Safely
Doing your research is a huge part of learning how to consume CBD safely. You want to make sure that cannabidiol is right for you and that you shop for quality CBD oil that reduces your chances of experience side-effects symptoms.
Here are some other tips for enjoying CBD safely.
- Start with a low dosage. If you’re new to CBD, it’s a good idea to start low to give your body time to process and adjust to the levels of introduced cannabinoids. Taking too much at once can result in a bad experience.
- Keep track of your doses and symptoms. Keep track of your doses and how you’re feeling either in a journal or an app on your phone. This will give you a more accurate picture of what doses work best for you and if the product is truly providing benefits to your lifestyle.
- Read the product instructions and recommended doses. Cannabidiol comes in all sorts of different forms and potencies. Read the product instructions carefully to avoid misuse and potential side effects.
- Take CBD alongside other wellness practices. Unfortunately, there is no one compound that can solve all your problems. CBD is a supplement that many people turn to for supporting their wellness journey, but it’s most effective with other healthy habits like prioritizing sleep quality, managing stress levels, and eating nutrient-dense food.
The Takeaway: Can You Take Too Much CBD?
Many people are shifting to CBD products as they are popular for wellness. But one of the questions that keep coming up is whether there’s such a thing as taking too much CBD.
It’s critical to stick to dosage guidelines, but surpassing the dosage limits may cause adverse side effects. Overall, CBD is still considered generally safe and the effects should wear off in 5–6 hours. Before you start taking large doses of CBD—upwards of 50MG—you should speak with your health care professional, especially if you have an underlying health condition or are on prescription medication.
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.