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What Happens When You Take Too Much CBD?

Date 27th Oct 2021

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 [1].

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:

  1. 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).
  2. Genetics: CBD oil may not work the same for everyone. Genetic variations, including your metabolism, could factor in how CBD impacts you.
  3. 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.
  4. 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 [2].
  5. 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 [1].

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)
  • Nausea
  • Fatigue
  • Drowsiness
  • Changes in appetite
  • Migraines and headaches
  • Dizziness

For most healthy people, these side effects are short-lived and you can avoid them by sticking to a lower dose of CBD [3].

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.

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.  

Resources:

  1. Huestis, M. A., Solimini, R., Pichini, S., Pacifici, R., Carlier, J., & Busardò, F. P. (2019). Cannabidiol adverse effects and toxicity. Current neuropharmacology, 17(10), 974-989.
  2. Ferber, S. G., Namdar, D., Hen-Shoval, D., Eger, G., Koltai, H., Shoval, G., ... & Weller, A. (2020). The “entourage effect”: terpenes coupled with cannabinoids for the treatment of mood disorders and anxiety disorders. Current neuropharmacology, 18(2), 87-96.
  3. Iffland, K., & Grotenhermen, F. (2017). An update on safety and side effects of cannabidiol: a review of clinical data and relevant animal studies. Cannabis and cannabinoid research, 2(1), 139-154.
Nicklas Brandrup
Nicklas Brandrup

Nicklas is a co-founder of Neurogan and a serial entrepreneur in the health and wellness space who has generated over $250M in sales on Amazon. Nicklas is passionate about the environment, animal sanctuaries, and supporting his local community and aspiring entrepreneurs. In his spare time, Nicklas enjoys cooking, playing soccer, or enjoying San Diego’s vibrant craft beer scene.