Can You Overdose on CBD?

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, no. 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 it.

Can CBD Make You Sick?

If you consume pure CBD, you are unlikely to get sick or experience unpleasant side effects. A 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.

People participating in CBD-related studies have at times reported several side effects, including extreme sleepiness, decreased appetite, diarrhea, fatigue and others.
Photo by: Gina Coleman/Weedmaps

Researchers were careful to note that other factors likely complicated the effects of CBD, and could have been responsible for adverse effects. For example, the reported adverse effects could stem from an interaction between CBD and the patient's existing medications. 

Similarly, there have been some concerns that adverse effects could also be 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 2011 study analyzed the outcomes of a number of CBD doses, and even the study's highest doses of 1,500 milligrams per day showed no signs of toxicity. But what if you go beyond that 1,500 milligram mark — can you overdose on CBD? According to research, the biggest risk you run if taking a huge dose of CBD is getting sleepy.

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 report that circulated in early 2019, pet and animal product sales are expected to reach $125 million by 2022, making it one of the fastest-growing sectors 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. 

CBD may 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.
Photo by: Gina Coleman/Weedmaps

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 by the American Society for Clinical Investigation, 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 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 milligram per day. So far, none have been identified as hazardous.

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 slow and pay attention to how your body reacts.

Fortunately, you can test CBD confidently since you know you can't really overdose or get sick from taking too much of it. Instead, you can focus on figuring out how much CBD will give you the type of experience and health benefits you're after. 

CBD oil drop
CBD oil usually comes with a dropper to allow consumers and patients to measure out their dose.
Photo by: Gina Coleman/Weedmaps

It's recommended that first-time users start with a small dose of CBD and gradually increase the dosage over time, while paying attention to the effects produced by different amounts. This process should be continued until the most effective dosage for your specific condition or ailment is achieved. 

If you hit a point where you don't feel significantly better by adding to your dosage, or you feel worse or experience fatigue, then stop there and scale back your dosage a bit and you should be at your optimal dosage. 

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The information contained in this site is provided for informational purposes only, and should not be construed as medical or legal advice. This page was last updated on March 17, 2020.