Can you overdose on CBD? If you take a far larger than normal dose of it, what happens? Is it toxic if you overdo it?
CBD stands for cannabidiol, and it’s one of several phytocannabinoids (plant chemical) within cannabis.
It appears to be safe unless you are extremely reckless with it, and even then, you’ll likely be ok. You might have a pretty bad headache, or experience fatigue, but you’ll be ok. Usually, it does not lead to any side effects, and if side effects do occur, they likely won’t put you in the hospital.
TL;DR – While it’s technically possible to overdose on CBD, it’s extremely unlikely. Toxic CBD doses are around 15000 to 20000mg.
Before we begin, if you are looking for medical or legal advice specific to you or your own specific scenarios, it’s always best to consult health care practitioners. They understand your unique scenario better than any online blog ever will.
A person can take many times more than an effective dose of CBD without experiencing anything worse than some temporary and unpleasant side effects.
Has Anyone Ever Taken Too Much CBD?
Even according to the world health organization, which is extremely cautious about declaring that a drug or supplement is safe, hemp derived CBD products will not kill you. Massive doses of CBD products will make you sick, but they will not kill you. If there is a lethal dose, it is not easy to find a clear case of anyone taking a lethal dose.
However, you can make yourself temporarily sick by taking far too much CBD oil. There could even be a dangerous or lethal dose of CBD, but people would never need to take such a high dose, so we don’t know how much CBD a lethal dose is.
Research is being done as we speak to figure out things like lethal doses, and liver toxicity levels (if there are any with CBD oil) for many different cannabinoids, like CBD, within the cannabis plant.
Related: Is CBD Bad For You?
Many commonly used, over-the-counter medications are more dangerous than CBD products are.
An Effective Dose of CBD Oil is Harmless
The amount of CBD gummies (as an example) you need to take to calm down, focus, or sleep is low, far lower than what could make you sick or even cause some moderately unpleasant side effects. Taking higher than a necessary dose is also usually harmless.
There is a large variance between an effective dose of CBD oil, and a dose that makes you sick; this makes CBD a safe option. Dangerous drugs have a smaller difference in variance between an effective dose, and a harmful dose.
Related: How Does CBD Oil Work?
With illicit drugs, for example, you can go from being not very affected to being overly affected by only doubling your dose the illicit drugs. The difference between the dose necessary to get the effect you want and a harmful dose is minimal.
This is also why many pharmaceutical drugs should be carefully considered before using to help treat health conditions.
With things like pure CBD oil, there is a huge difference between the dose necessary to treat your anxiety to the dose necessary to make you sick to your stomach.
As a therapeutic dose, most people use between 5mg to 20mg to help feel relief from things like high blood pressure, or panic attacks. Many people then bump it up another 20-30mg if they don’t feel relief. Some people need more of it than others, but a lot of symptoms can be addressed by using around 20mg of CBD oil, or other CBD products.
A review of scientific research shows us that a person can usually tolerate up to 1500mg per day without experiencing adverse reactions, but an effective dose might be around 20mg.
I want to be very clear here: 1500mg of CBD oil per day is an extremely large dose. You likely need no where near that much.
For example, pure CBD oil drops by New Phase Blends contain 1000mg or 2000mg of CBD in the 30mL tincture. This is normally enough to last people one month.
Don’t take much more CBD than is necessary to treat your condition. While CBD is not addictive, you can build up a tolerance to it if you take a lot of it for a long time.
Contaminated CBD Products Can Hurt You
Rare cases of someone ending up in the hospital after taking CBD is likely because of contaminated CBD products, not the CBD itself. There are reports of a man who ended up in the emergency room with nausea, vomiting, and slurred speech who may have eaten contaminated CBD gummies.
However, we do not know what happened to make him require medical attention. The amount of CBD he took, 370mg, is many times higher than an effective dose but is usually safe. Did he simply take CBD isolate? Was it really THC? We just don’t know.
Some people are also unable tolerate high doses of CBD than others. The bottom line is we just don’t know enough information about this CBD overdose, and why exactly this man ended up in the hospital.
Another report of a possible CBD oil overdose involved a child ending up in the hospital and needing artificial respiration after taking CBD oil earlier in the day.
While the CBD they tested contained almost no CBD, urine tests showed that the child had taken a large amount of THC.
Unlike THC, CBD can not make you feel high – at all. It’s just not possible.
These are only two examples of scenarios where people should have looked for scannable QR codes to a third party lab analysis. These lab analysis will show you things like heavy metals content, cannabinoid profiles, and other useful information about your CBD product.
If you do not see a QR code on a CBD product, DO NOT TAKE IT.
It is not clear that these are good examples of someone being poisoned by a high dose of CBD. Even if CBD is not always harmless, it is safer than many over-the-counter medications.
Is it Easier to Overdose if You Use CBD Pills?
CBD pills are also mostly harmless. With pills, you could choose to consume a very large amount of CBD in a short period of time.
However, clinical data shows CBD appears to be too mild for this to be dangerous. Even if you use pills to take a huge amount of CBD all at once, you probably won’t do any real harm.
A normal dose of CBD oil products is between 5mg and 20mg. Higher doses can exceed 80mgof CBD. A dose most people can tolerate using often is 1500mg. A CBD overdose is around 20,000mg of CBD, and even this dose will not require immediate medical attention.
An entire bottle of CBD pills contains a few hundred to a few thousand milligrams of CBD. While we strongly advise against taking an entire bottle of CBD pills at once, it would probably not make you sick for very long.
CBD oil is not the sort of supplement that can hurt you if you take only a few times more than a normal dose. A toxic dose of 20,000mg is a thousand times an effective dose. A person can tolerate taking 1500mg of CBD (as discussed earlier). This is about 75 times more than they need.
Many Common Medications are More Dangerous than CBD
CBD oil looks particularly harmless if you compare it to medications people consider safe. For example, current drug safety reports show sleeping pills can be dangerous and have a risk of overdose.
Mixing sleeping pills with alcohol, in particular, is dangerous and can lead to an overdose. Many over-the-counter and prescription drugs alike have the potential for adverse effects.
Common over-the-counter painkillers can also be dangerous. It is possible to overdose on Tylenol. In fact, it is almost common to end up in the hospital after a Tylenol overdose. This is because of how toxic it is to your liver and kidneys.
Cannabis products don’t seem to be liver toxic. Cannabinoid research and clinical trials from Valid Care shows that CBD is not liver toxic, even at large doses.
Tylenol overdoses are largely accidents and not caused by abuse of the drug. A person may take more Tylenol than recommended and end up in the hospital.
Prescription drugs that contain a mix of Tylenol and another substance are often abused and can lead to overdose. Tylenol is just harmful to the liver, and you need to be careful when taking it.
CBD seems to be very safe compared to Tylenol. While Tylenol is responsible for tens of thousands of hospitalizations per year, CBD hardly seems to hurt anyone. The overdose potential for Tylenol is quite high.
We Do Not Yet Know Everything About CBD and Safety
We’ve discussed a proper dosage of CBD earlier. As long as you stick to an amount near this, you’ll be ok.
All things considered, a lot of anecdotal evidence shows that CBD seems to have very little potential for harm so far. A lot of people have been taking CBD for a long time, especially since it has become legal in many places.
This implies that if CBD had much potential for harm, we would know about it already.
However, we do not know everything about CBD, and there might be some potential for harm that we still don’t know about. There could be some medical conditions that make CBD unsafe, or some medications that CBD should not be combined with.
CBD seems to be harmless, but we might discover that it is harmful in certain circumstances. Always consult a health care professional if you’re worried, or have specific questions about your scenario.
Don’t Take CBD if You Have a Cannabis Allergy
Some people are allergic to cannabis, including CBD. Sometimes, these allergic reactions can be serious.
How much CBD can cause an allergic reaction? It depends on the severity of the allergies. A tiny amount could cause poor safety and side effects, or a large dose could.
Hemp and marijuana both fall under the cannabis plant species. Most people think that marijuana is cannabis. While this is true, industrial hemp is also considered cannabis.
As you can see in the cannabis species chart above, both marijuana and hemp make up cannabis.
Most allergic reactions to cannabis are mild and not dangerous. If you want to be as careful as possible, you might use only a small amount of CBD the first time you try it.
Related: How Long Does CBD Stay in Your System?
What Side Effects Does CBD Have?
Just because the side effects of CBD are not harmful doesn’t mean they are not unpleasant. Some people experience extreme drowsiness if they take too much CBD. This can make it hard to function for the rest of the day.
Related article: CBD Effects
Even larger doses may result in diarrhea, nausea, and vomiting. You can usually take significantly more than your usual dose without experiencing these side effects.
As a general rule of thumb, the more your body weight, the more CBD you might need. This is only a general rule, though, and you should always take the least amount of CBD needed to feel relief.
The Low Side Effects Make CBD a Prime Choice
I’m confident that the benefits of CBD outweigh the small risks of taking it. People find that CBD works for all sorts of physical and mental health disorders.
It’s also a non intoxicating substance, which makes medical professionals interested in it. Products that don’t make you feel high have a much lower propensity for abuse. There are no intoxicating effects felt from using CBD.
Research backs up much of what CBD is believed to treat. Several studies (and even relevant animal studies) prove that CBD has many health benefits, which are not limited to calming you down or helping you sleep.
Science also understands the basics of how CBD works. CBD can act as a substitute for serotonin. People with depression/anxiety often have low serotonin, which CBD can help with.
CBD also stimulates the endocannabinoid system. If a person is deficient in natural cannabinoids, CBD can replace them. CBD improves people’s health by being a substitute for natural chemicals that many people are deficient in.
CBD also works as an anti-inflammatory. Many physical/mental health issues seem to go away if you address inflammation problems. Other substances that help with inflammation are liver toxic, where as CBD is not.
CBD is often used as a substitute for more dangerous pharmaceutical drugs. It can help people who have chronic pain, so it can potentially replace opioids. It can also help people quit anti-depressants, and it is often more effective than the SSRIs it replaces.
The likelihood of you ending up in the emergency room from using CBD oil is almost nil.
Compared to the great health benefits of CBD, the risks are small. There’s no need to be overly cautious with CBD oil. There probably won’t be any real side effects, as long as you aren’t taking hundreds of MG of CBD per day.
As more FDA approved research comes out, many factors that contribute to how CBD helps us will be published.
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