Cannabidiol (CBD) has become one of the most popular products in the entire cannabis industry, showing up in local coffee shops, pharmacies, and legal marijuana dispensaries. Despite the explosive popularity of CBD, there is still a lot of confusion about what CBD is and how it affects humans. For example, some may wonder: Can you overdose on CBD?
In short, probably not, but there are associated risks. CBD is recognized as having a number of anti-inflammatory, anti-anxiety, and neuroprotective qualities, many of which can have positive effects on a broad range of health conditions. However, it's still important to fully grasp not only the positive ways CBD can affect you, but also any of the potential side effects that may accompany the cannabinoid.
Can CBD make you sick?
If you consume pure CBD, you are unlikely to get sick or experience unpleasant side effects. A 2017 World Health Organization (W.H.O.) report concluded that CBD is “generally well-tolerated with a good safety profile,” and further stated that “in humans, CBD exhibits no effects indicative of any abuse or dependence potential.”
However, people participating in CBD-related studies have at times reported several side effects, including extreme sleepiness, decreased appetite, diarrhea, fatigue, convulsions, vomiting, and some abnormal results on liver function tests.
One such study was published in 2013 in the journal Current Drug Abuse Review as researchers reported on a phenomenon called Cannabinoid Hyperemesis Syndrome. This newly identified clinical syndrome coincides with chronic cannabis abuse and frequent episodes of nausea and vomiting, according to the authors of the study, all of whom are physicians. The researchers classified the prevalence of the syndrome as unknown, so further studies are needed to understand if such side effects are rare.
Of course, other factors could complicate the effects of CBD and could be responsible for adverse reactions. For example, adverse effects could stem from an interaction between CBD and the patient's existing medications.
On a similar note, the Harvard Health Blog published a post in 2018 regarding adverse effects caused by impurities or contaminants in the CBD, which could exist given the largely unregulated status of cannabis products. Following the passage of the 2018 Farm Bill, hemp-derived CBD products were legalized and placed under the jurisdiction of the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
Can CBD oil kill you?
A 2017 review of clinical research published in Cannabis and Cannabinoid Research confirmed that CBD is generally very safe, particularly when compared to other drugs. In general, the biggest risk you likely run if taking a huge dose of CBD may be getting sleepy as the cannabinoid can have tranquilizing effects in large doses.
However, the journal Case Reports in Ophthalmological Medicine reported a CBD-linked fatality in 2019. According to the report, a 56-year-old woman presented with Stevens-Johnson Syndrome, a rare but serious disorder of the skin and mucous membranes. The patient had begun using a CBD extract spray one week prior to being admitted to a hospital emergency room, where she later died of septic shock.
The woman had reported consistent use of other CBD products over a 5-year period prior to this incident and it is unclear whether the new spray caused her to develop Stevens-Johnson Syndrome, though the authors of the report suspect that it did. The patient, however, had a complex medical history including coronary artery disease and hypertension, so linking her death directly to CBD may not illustrate the full picture.
The bottom line is that CBD appears unlikely to be fatal, but exceptions may exist and collaboration with your physician is essential before starting a regimen.
Can you overdose on CBD gummies?
Regardless of the CBD product you're taking, the answer is still the same. If you're wondering, “Can you overdose on CBD gummies?”, the answer is no. When you eat a CBD gummy, your body will metabolize the CBD differently than it will if you smoke or vape CBD. While this could change how long it takes the CBD to go into effect or how long the effects last, it won't change the toxicity of CBD.
Can a dog overdose on CBD oil?
Interestingly, CBD has made significant headway into pet products. According to a PR Newswire report that circulated in early 2019, pet and animal product sales are expected to reach $125 million by 2022, making the sector one of the fastest-growing in the CBD market.
Within the rapidly growing pet CBD market, products for our furry friends are especially popular, which has led many pet owners to wonder, can a dog overdose on CBD oil? According to the American Kennel Club, there is not a lot of definitive evidence on how CBD affects dogs.
Anecdotal evidence suggests that CBD oil can help treat pain and seizures in dogs, and that it has beneficial anti-inflammatory, anti-nausea, anti-anxiety, and anti-cancer properties, just as has been observed in humans. CBD may also help improve appetite and promote heart health in dogs, and many CBD-infused dog treats and CBD oil for dogs are readily available on the market.
So far, anecdotal evidence suggests that side effects of CBD overconsumption by dogs include dry mouth, lower blood pressure, and drowsiness. Without definitive evidence, it's hard to say whether dogs can overdose on CBD. Recognizing that “we do not know what size dosage would be toxic,” the American Kennel Club suggests “to start out with small amounts and then closely monitor the effects” to make sure you don't inadvertently give your dog too much CBD.
Can CBD oil lower your blood pressure?
Scientific studies to date have shown that CBD can help lower blood pressure. In a 2017 study conducted by the American Society for Clinical Investigation and published in the journal JCI Insight, researchers gave a group of subjects a dose of either 600 milligrams of CBD or a placebo. They then put subjects through a number of tests, analyzing blood pressure and other related body processes. Ultimately, they found that CBD reduced blood pressure levels compared with the placebo.
This could have some important implications on health, as a 2014 study published in the journal Current Hypertension Reports found that “high blood pressure is linked to higher risks of a number of health conditions, including stroke, heart attack and metabolic syndrome.”
What is the right amount of CBD?
So far, scientific research has not pinpointed any clear limits to how much CBD is too much. Dosages in studies cover a very broad range, from as little as 1 milligram to as much as 1,500 milligrams per day. Currently, no dosage has been identified as hazardous, but it is possible to abuse cannabis and you should seek medical intervention if CBD is interfering with how you function in daily life.
The key to dosing is figuring out how it affects your unique body. Every person is different, and since researchers have not identified any precise doses, the best thing to do is start slowly and pay attention to how your body reacts.
Fortunately, you can experiment with CBD confidently knowing you are unlikely to overdose or get sick from taking too much. Instead, you can focus on figuring out how much CBD will give you the type of experience and health benefits you seek.
First-time users should start with a minimal dose of CBD (as small as one drop of oil or 5 milligrams per day) and gradually increase the dosage over time, while paying attention to the effects of different amounts. This process should be continued until the most effective dosage for your specific condition or ailment is achieved.
If you reach a point where you don't feel significantly better by adding to your dosage, or you feel worse, then scale back the CBD and discuss your dosing options with your physician.