CBD (cannabidiol) is a naturally occurring chemical compound derived from cannabis (marijuana and hemp) plants. The over-the-counter CBD supplements most people encounter are made from legal industrial hemp.
CBD is touted to provide relief for a host of health conditions. But, as CBD’s popularity continues to grow, so do safety concerns — and for a good reason. With CBD appearing in everything from food to deodorant, you start to wonder whether CBD is safe and about the possibility of CBD overdose.
In brief, CBD is safe and non-addictive and has no potential for dependence. And while there’s no possibility for a dangerous overdose, it is possible some people may experience unpleasant side effects.
If you want to learn more, in this article, we’re going to explore everything you need to know about the possibility of a “CBD overdose.” Read on.
CBD is safe and non-addictive
In 2017, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared CBD to be safe with no potential for abuse or dependence. The authors of the report ruled that “In humans, CBD exhibits no effects indicative of any abuse or dependence potential.”
The same report also outlines that CBD oil has many potential health benefits. Epidiolex, a prescription drug derived from psychoactive cannabis, has been approved as an effective treatment for rare epilepsy forms in young children.
Since CBD is a derivative of the cannabis plant, it is understandable for users to have concerns about overdose on CBD. CBD is one of over 100 already identified cannabinoids present in the cannabis plant. Apart from CBD, THC is another famous cannabinoid.
Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is responsible for the high associated with psychoactive cannabis (a.k.a. “marijuana”). Unlike THC, CBD won’t cause mind-altering effects. One recent study suggests that CBD may help people recover from addictions, such as opiates, by reducing anxiety and cravings associated with drug withdrawal symptoms.
Read on to find out.
Is it possible to overdose on CBD oil?
In one study, a group of researchers examined regular use of CBD. They gave CBD to both healthy volunteers and epileptic patients with 200-300mg of CBD administered daily for 30 days. Researchers found that all the patients and volunteers tolerated CBD very well with no signs of toxicity or severe side effects.
Research shows CBD to be safe even at doses far higher than typical consumer use.
Another 2006 study published by the Brazilian Journal of Medical and Biological Research investigated the effects of acute CBD administration on healthy volunteers. After 30 days of CBD’s chronic administration, a daily dose ranging from 10-400mg did not induce any form of toxicity.
A 2018 study determined CBD’s safety and tolerability in healthy adult volunteers with doses ranging from 1500-6000 mg. This is far more than almost anyone would take in normal use. Even at these extreme dosess, CBD was generally well tolerated with a few common side effects, including diarrhea, nausea, and headache.
What happens if you take too much CBD?
CBD is well tolerated by the majority of the people and doesn’t lead to any fatal overdose. It is, therefore, considered a safe dietary supplement.
- Dry mouth
- Changes in appetite and weight
- Nausea and vomiting
Like any other dietary supplement, everyone reacts to CBD uniquely to different amounts of doses. Besides, factors such as body weight and body chemistry contribute to CBD’s amount a person should take. Another factor is how you take the product: you might react differently to a dose depending on whether you take a tincture, or eat an edible CBD product such as a CBD gummy. In general, the CBD found in topical products is unlikely to cause side effects, though your skin could still react to other ingredients in the product.
It’s best to follow the recommended serving size or start slow and work your way up until you find a dose that works for your needs.
Consult your doctor before starting CBD, especially if one of your prescription medications requires you to avoid eating grapefruit.
What about drug interactions?
The liver breaks down medications with the help of a family of enzymes called cytochrome P450, which converts foreign substances for easy elimination from the body. The CY450 enzyme is responsible for metabolizing several cannabinoids, including THC. However, some medications may speed up or slow drug metabolism.
Some drugs come with a “grapefruit warning” because the fruit can interfere with the metabolism of the drug, the rate which it passes from your body. Some research suggests that CBD could affect the same enzyme for drugs containing a grapefruit warning on the label.
Conclusion: No, you can’t overdose on CBD
Bottom line, can you overdose on CBD? The short answer is no.
However, not all products are created the same. If you’re looking for top-shelf CBD products, be sure to shop from a reputable brand. One thing we’ve heard from consumers is that side effects are more common with poor quality CBD.
As always, we recommend you “start low and go slow”: begin with a lower dose of CBD and slowly adjust it over time. If you follow these simple steps and use high quality CBD, you’re unlikely to experience any side effects.