Is it possible to use too much CBD oil, and if so, what are the effects? Find the answers to these questions and more in this Secret Nature guide. Many people find CBD so effective for pain, anxiety and other health issues that they’re tempted to take higher doses. Learn why that’s a mistake.
What Happens If You Use Too Much CBD Oil?
CBD is generally regarded as a mild, practically harmless substance. Unlike THC, this hemp constituent is non-intoxicating, and unlike many mainline pharmaceutical treatments, CBD does not appear to have any serious side effects .
As with anything, however (you can even overdose on water ), there is a limit to how much CBD you can take safely. According to the available evidence, the toxicity threshold of CBD appears to be around 20,000mg or 20g.
If you have any experience using hemp, you know how incredibly difficult it would be to ingest this much CBD during the brief 24-hour time window necessary to induce toxic effects.
We’ve just covered the most important fact you need to know: CBD is only toxic in doses so large the average consumer will never come anywhere close to using too much CBD oil. Let’s flesh out the details surrounding CBD toxicity to help you choose an ideal dose and better understand how this cannabinoid affects the human body.
Is CBD toxic?
Pretty much everything on planet Earth is toxic in the right quantities. In human biochemical research, toxicity is defined as the amount of a substance that can cause bodily harm. There are no such things as inherently “toxic” substances — even cyanide, widely considered to be one of the most potent poisons, is not harmful in extremely low concentrations .
To judge the relative toxicity of CBD, therefore, it’s necessary to compare the concentration at which CBD is believed to be toxic with the toxicity threshold to similar substances. While hardly definitive, preliminary lab studies indicate that CBD may exert toxic effects in humans at concentrations of 20,000mg and above.
To be absolutely clear, this means you would need to ingest 20 full grams of CBD at once for this cannabinoid to exert toxic effects. Since CBD fully metabolizes in the human body within 8-32 hours , you would furthermore need to ingest these 20 grams of CBD within a single day for this cannabinoid to become toxic.
The cost of this experiment is prohibitive for most consumers. Even more importantly, the commonly reported mild side effects of CBD, such as sleepiness and nausea, would likely prevent you from ingesting such an incredibly large dose of CBD to begin with.
So, is CBD toxic? Hardly.
Reaching the toxicity threshold for CBD appears to be nearly impossible, and studies indicate that doses up to 1,500mg CBD are well-tolerated in human subjects. Turning CBD into a toxic substance by ingesting more than 20,000mg of this cannabinoid would require nearly superhuman feats of dedication and incredible economic expenditure.
Can you overdose on CBD?
We’ve established that CBD can only become toxic under the most extreme and absurd circumstances. Can you still take too much CBD, however, even if you don’t take enough to make this cannabinoid toxic?
Even without using more than 20g of this cannabinoid in a single day, your body may react negatively to extremely large doses of CBD. According to the available scientific evidence, however, using toxic concentrations of this cannabinoid will not result in the severe symptoms that are commonly associated with overdose.
For most people, the term “overdose” brings to mind horror stories set into motion when people ingest dangerous quantities of prescription or illicit drugs. It’s important to clarify that even when taken in quantities around 20,000mg, CBD will not cause heart failure, internal bleeding, or any of the other terrifying consequences of ingesting too much alcohol or overdosing on opioids or stimulants.
The hallmarks of overdose as they have been established in popular culture will not occur even if you take CBD in concentrations that have been established as toxic. In all likelihood, ingesting unreasonable quantities of CBD will only result in vomiting or diarrhea as your body purges itself of this mild, non-intoxicating substance. The main concern would be dehydration, which could easily be treated with basic hospital equipment.
What are the effects of taking too much CBD?
Even though scientific research has established the toxicity threshold of CBD at 20,000mg over the course of around 24 hours, the definition of “too much” CBD will vary from person to person. A variety of factors can affect the way that a person’s body interacts with CBD, and the threshold at which CBD’s effects become uncomfortable changes in response.
People who are new to CBD, for instance, have not built up any tolerance to this cannabinoid, and there’s also some evidence that it takes multiple doses for your endocannabinoid system to become accustomed to CBD. For new CBD users, therefore, even reasonably small doses of CBD, such as 50-100mg may be “too much.”
The most commonly reported negative effects of CBD are sleepiness, nausea, and dry mouth. When you take too much of this cannabinoid, it’s reasonable to expect these negative effects to intensify.
New CBD consumers may note negative effects at lower doses. Ffor CBD users who have become accustomed to this cannabinoid, negative effects may only set in at higher doses.
Most studies agree that doses up to 1500mg CBD per day are well-tolerated in humans. Especially if you’ve used CBD for a while, it’s highly unlikely that you’ll experience any negative effects when ingesting this cannabinoid in concentrations under 1500mg CBD.
Regardless of how accustomed to CBD your body may be, the worst effects you should expect from taking too much of this cannabinoid are nausea, diarrhea, dry mouth, fatigue, or sleepiness. In cases of extreme overdose, CBD may cause tremors, convulsions, trouble breathing, slow heart rate, and other serious negative effects. You would need to significantly exceed the 20,000mg/day toxicity threshold of CBD, however, to experience these severe side effects.
Can CBD be lethal?
Lethal doses of CBD have been achieved in animal studies . In most cases, CBD achieved lethal results in animals via cardiac failure.
Due to obvious ethical concerns, similar experiments have not been conducted in humans. It is difficult to say whether CBD is lethal in people and at which concentrations this cannabinoid would achieve human lethality.
Even though CBD becomes toxic at concentrations of 20,000mg per day, this concentration is not considered to be a lethal dose. Rather, this is simply the threshold at which CBD predictably exerts negative effects in human subjects.
While the lethal dose of CBD in humans has not been established, it’s likely that cannabidiol’s toxicity threshold would need to be significantly exceeded before lethal effects ensued. In short, CBD is a remarkably mild substance that is incapable of becoming lethal at concentrations an average consumer could use.
Pharmaceutical drugs commonly become lethal at surprisingly low concentrations. CBD appears to be significantly safer for both this cannabinoid’s intended consumers and for any children or pets who accidentally get their hands or paws on CBD tinctures, capsules, edibles, vapes, or flower.
Differences between CBD and THC toxicity
While THC is highly intoxicating and can cause anxiety or paranoia, CBD is only mildly psychoactive and does not cause any significant “head changes.” THC can also be habit-forming while CBD does not appear to cause dependency of any form.
It comes as no surprise, therefore, that the toxicity of THC is significantly different than that of CBD. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), the median lethal dose of THC is 4,000mg (4g), which this prestigious medical organization assures us is still “very low compared to most other recreational and pharmaceutical drugs.”
Let’s take a look at these THC toxicity figures in comparison to the toxicity of CBD. Recall that the 20,000mg toxicity threshold reported for CBD is not this cannabinoid’s lethal dose — lab studies indicate you would need to ingest significantly more than 20g of pure CBD to die from this substance.
A mere 4g of THC, however, is enough to kill an average 150lb person, making THC at least 5 times more toxic than CBD.
The WHO and other authorities assure us it would be extremely hard to ingest more than 4g of pure THC. It’s now reasonably common among heavy THC users, however, to vaporize dabs of THC concentrate larger than 1g that contain more than 60% THC. As a result, a “gram dab” can contain nearly a quarter of the fatal dose of THC.
Why CBD quality matters
Cannabidiol appears to be safe even if you routinely ingest quantities of 1500mg CBD or higher per day. The CBD industry is anything but perfect, however. Depending on the CBD products you ingest, the cannabidiol concentration in your system might be the least of your worries.
Many CBD producers fail to practice basic quality control oversight over their production processes. While CBD-rich hemp is often grown using safe, organic, and sustainable methods, just as much hemp on the market is contaminated with heavy metals, pesticides, fertilizers, and other substances that are hundreds of times more toxic than CBD.
CBD extracts are sometimes combined with dangerous ingredients, such a PG, VG, artificial flavors, and chemical preservatives, that could also overshadow the benefits of CBD and cause contamination hazards.
While the toxicity of CBD itself hardly seems to be cause for concern, some of the sub-par ingredients in CBD products could be extremely dangerous. To protect yourself from contaminants in CBD products, choose hemp brands that use hemp and other ingredients that are organic and non-GMO.
Enjoy CBD safely
CBD is only toxic in extremely large doses and the lethality of CBD still hasn’t been established in humans. Still, that doesn’t mean you have to go overboard with this cannabinoid.
The results are still out regarding the ideal dose of CBD for adults. The evidence we’ve accumulated so far, however, seems to indicate that using more than 1,000mg of CBD per day fails to provide any increased benefits.
In fact, most CBD users report find their ideal dose of this cannabinoid is around 100-250mg per day. Feel free to experiment with CBD to your heart’s content safe in the knowledge that this cannabinoid is remarkably non-toxic.
Just remember — moderation is the key to success with any substance.
CBD overdose FAQ
Anything else you’d like to know about the toxicity and overdose potential of CBD?
1. Can CBD oil kill you?
The simple answer is no. Anything — including oxygen and water — can kill you at the right concentrations, however.
In studies, CBD has been well-tolerated even at extremely high doses . Experts suggest that doses of CBD as high as 1500mg per day may be safe, but there isn’t enough evidence to draw conclusions.
Compared to substances like opioids, which are fatally toxic at remarkably low doses, it looks like you would have to try extremely hard to kill anyone with CBD.
2. Can you take too much CBD before bed?
Some users report grogginess the next morning when they use unusually high doses of CBD the night before. Taking too much CBD before bed does not appear to be harmful in any other way, however.
If a small dose of CBD is not enough to provide the bedtime effects you’re looking for, don’t be afraid to use a little bit more.
3. Can CBD oil make you jittery?
CBD is only known to cause tremors, jitters, or shakiness at extremely high doses. This cannabinoid must be administered in concentrations well exceeding 1500mg per day to result in these extremely rare CBD side effects.
4. How much CBD is OK per day?
In clinical studies, doses of CBD as high as 1500mg per day have been shown to be safe . These results need to be corroborated with further research, but it appears that even very large doses of CBD remain unable to cause any major side effects. To strike a balance with your body’s endocannabinoid system, consider sticking with a daily CBD dose between 50 and 200mg.
5. What happens if you take CBD oil every day?
Scientists have not come across any information indicating that taking CBD oil on a daily basis is dangerous. As with any substance, though, contaminants in CBD oil can make this substance dangerous even if it is perfectly safe on its own. Therefore, you should only use high-quality CBD products that come with third-party lab reports proving they don’t contain any harmful contaminants.
6. Is 70mg of CBD a lot?
Within the spectrum of common CBD doses, 70mg is neither a lot nor a little. Taken all at once, 70mg CBD might provide very strong effects, but spread out over the course of a day, this dose won’t affect you very profoundly.
The way 70mg of CBD affects you changes significantly depending on the way you use this cannabinoid. Ingested orally, 70mg of CBD won’t knock your socks off even if you take it in a single dose. Smoked or vaporized, though, CBD becomes much more potent, making a dose of 70mg capable of providing intensely relaxing effects.
7. Can you get addicted to CBD oil?
Despite extensive research, CBD has not been revealed to have any addictive properties whatsoever. In fact, the opposite might be true: quite a few studies have been published regarding the potential usefulness of CBD as an addiction treatment .
Even though CBD doesn’t appear to have any addictive properties, it’s still possible to become psychologically dependent on any substance. Make sure to use CBD responsibly despite the fact that this compound appears to be remarkably safe.
8. Can too much CBD make you dizzy?
Dizziness is an uncommon but known side effect of using CBD. Generally only occurring when you use more than 200mg CBD at once, dizziness after using CBD can usually be remedied by sitting down for a while and drinking some water. The vast majority of people who use CBD, though, never become dizzy.
9. Can CBD oil cause breathing problems?
CBD is not known to cause breathing problems. Since this cannabinoid has a relaxing effect, though, it’s conceivable that CBD could make it harder to breathe if you already have a pulmonary impairment.
Always consult with a doctor if you have any questions about how CBD might impact your medical conditions. CBD is known to interact negatively with certain common prescription drugs, making a physician’s advice even more important.
10. Can CBD oil cause heart palpitations?
CBD is not known to cause any cardiovascular conditions, making it different from THC, which appears to make cardiac arrhythmia worse in some patients . If you want to use THC but are concerned about heart palpitations, CBD might be a viable alternative.
11. Why does CBD oil make me feel weird?
While it doesn’t make you high, CBD has a strong relaxing effect that might feel “weird” to some users. Give CBD a proper chance, but if you continue to feel weird when you use this non-intoxicating cannabinoid, stop using CBD, and get a doctor’s opinion.
12. Is CBD oil safer than ibuprofen?
Generally considered to be safe, synthetic NSAID drugs like ibuprofen are known to cause stomach ulcers and digestive bleeding in some people who use these common over-the-counter medications. CBD is not known to cause any digestive or bleeding conditions, partially explaining why so many people who used to rely on OTC painkillers are switching to all-natural CBD.
13. What happens when you stop using CBD?
When you stop using CBD, you shouldn’t feel any withdrawals or significant negative symptoms. CBD is not believed to be chemically addictive, so it’s very unlikely you’ll find yourself enduring cravings or other symptoms of withdrawal if you stop using CBD. The only negative consequence will be the disappearance of any benefits you enjoyed while using CBD.
14. What are some common cannabinoid toxicity symptoms?
In the case of THC, common signs of cannabinoid toxicity include increased anxiety, rapid heart rate, nausea, and mental confusion. Toxicity is practically unheard of in the case of CBD, but examples of negative effects that can occur when you use this cannabinoid are sleepiness and mild gastrointestinal distress.
Cannabinoid toxicity is extremely rare and usually does not occur unless you have cannabinoid hyperemesis syndrome (CHS) , a rare condition that involves strong negative reactions to cannabinoid ingestion. Used in normal or even quite high concentrations, cannabinoids like THC and CBD usually do not cause serious negative effects.
15. Can CBD side effects include tingling?
Tingling is not a common side effect of CBD. Some conditions, such as diabetic neuropathy, can cause tingling in extremities like your fingers and toes. If you experience tingling after using CBD, you should consult with a doctor immediately.
16. Can too much CBD make you drowsy?
Yes, taking a dose of CBD that’s higher than what you’re used to has a tendency to make you drowsy. CBD doesn’t get you high, but it does relax you, and many users report that CBD makes them sleepy.
If you want to avoid getting sleepy when you use CBD, keep your doses low, and choose CBD products that have been infused with sativa terpenes. Sativa strains are believed to be energizing, which might counteract the soporific effects of CBD to some degree.
17. How much does it take for CBD to kick in?
You most likely won’t feel the effects of CBD unless you take at least 10mg. A dose of 5mg is too small for the average person to feel CBD’s effects, but if you take at least 10-20mg, you should start to feel CBD kick in within the expected activation time of the product type you chose.
Some users find that taking larger doses of CBD allows this cannabinoid to kick in faster. You might feel the effects of 50mg of CBD faster than the effects of 25mg, for instance.
18. Is 25mg CBD enough for anxiety?
Many users indicate that 25mg of CBD is an ideal dose for anxiety. For context, 25mg is about the amount of CBD included in an average gummy or capsule. It’s also the equivalent of a small bowl of hemp flower, a few hits of a CBD joint, or 1-2 draws from a CBD vape.
People with anxiety commonly rely on inhalable CBD products that kick in quickly once an anxiety attack hits. These products also deliver relatively high concentrations of CBD per dose.
19. How long does a 50mg gummy last?
You should feel the effects of a 50mg CBD gummy for around 2-3 hours. If you use CBD gummies on a daily basis, you may need to take more every 1-2 hours to continue feeling the desired effects. Users with lower tolerances may feel the effects of a single 50mg CBD for as long as 3-4 hours.
20. How long do CBD gummies take to start working?
CBD gummies and other oral CBD products generally kick in within 20-30 minutes. Like tinctures, it’s possible to hold CBD gummies in your mouth for a while before swallowing.
Take some time to thoroughly chew your gummies to improve their activation time and effectiveness. If your CBD gummies still haven’t kicked in after 45 minutes to an hour, take a larger dose.
21. Are 500mg CBD gummies strong?
If a single CBD gummy were to contain 500mg total cannabinoids, it would certainly be quite strong. Thankfully, in most cases in which CBD gummies are referred to as “500mg,” that number refers to the total milligrams of CBD per bottle, not per gummy.
From there, you’ll need to determine how many gummies are in the bottle to conclude if 500mg gummies are strong or not. If there are 100 gummies in the bottle, they’ll only contain 5mg CBD each, which isn’t much. If there are only 10 gummies, though, each one will contain 50mg CBD, which is a large dose.
22. How long will 500mg CBD gummies stay in your system?
If you consume 500mg of CBD in the form of gummies, CBD will remain detectable in your system for between five and 30 days depending on the rate at which you consumed your CBD gummies. When you use them in low doses over a spread-out period of time, cannabinoids are removed from your system relatively quickly.
Used in high doses or all at once, however, cannabinoids remain detectable in your system considerably longer. This is mainly a moot point in regards to CBD, which isn’t usually a target of drug testing.
23. Why do I feel weird after taking a CBD edible?
You shouldn’t feel weird after taking CBD in the form of an edible or any other type of product. Users almost universally describe the effects of CBD as mild and pleasant, and taking CBD in an edible shouldn’t change this cannabinoid’s inherent effects in any way. CBD doesn’t even get you high, the type of “weird” that people conventionally associate with edibles.
If you still feel uncomfortable for a while after taking an orally ingested CBD product, seek medical attention. It’s possible that a non-cannabinoid ingredient in the product you used is responsible for your discomfort.
Can You Overdose on CBD?
Cannabidiol (CBD) oil is growing in popularity, mostly due to recent legalization and its frequently touted effectiveness in treating common ailments. CBD is used as treatment for a wide range of illnesses and ailments. Unfortunately, most people are unaware of which dose is best. The responsible use of CBD oil to achieve the best possible results requires awareness of its composition and proper dosage so that too much CBD is not ingested.
Can You Overdose on CBD?
The answer to this question is likely a version of “yes,” although an overdose is not life-threatening as it can be with other substances. It is estimated that an average male who weighs 180 lbs would need to ingest more than 33 tablespoons of CBD oil in one sitting to qualify as “overdosing” on CBD. As further perspective, a typical dose is 1/8 of a teaspoon.
That said, while it may be hard to overdose on CBD, this should not be misconstrued as meaning that high amounts of CBD are somehow harmless. (After all, as with any medicinal substance, the packaging directions regarding recommended dosage are not arbitrary: They are there for a reason.) If you experience severe effects after taking an inordinate amount of CBD, seek immediate medical attention.
Anyone who regularly uses CBD for pain or other issues needs to know they are taking a correct and safe, therapeutic dose of CBD, based on factors such as:
- Body and Weight. Appropriate CBD levels are partly based on metabolism and body weight.
- Biphasic Action. Lower doses of CBD have certain effects and higher doses have other effects. It is important to consider what ailments the CBD is intended to treat to identify the correct dosage.
- Form of CBD. The most common form is CBD oil or tincture, but other forms such as gummies and vape juice are also used. Dosage depends on the form of CBD consumed.
The Effects CBD Can Have on the Body
Although CBD is one of 100 chemical compounds found in the cannabis plant, it is not psychoactive, like THC. This quality makes CBD a promising option for chronic pain relief and anxiety. CBD works by changing the receptor activity of the body’s endocannabinoid system (ECS), which regulates functions such as sleep, pain response, and the immune system.
Does Taking More CBD Reduce Anxiety Even More?
Anxiety and depression are devastating mental health disorders that are all too common. People who have sought treatment for anxiety but are not comfortable with pharmaceutical drugs have turned to CBD oil as a promising treatment. CBD has also been used to treat addiction.
A Brazilian study set out to measure anxiety levels when 57 men received either oral CBD or a placebo— 90 minutes before participating in a simulated public speaking contest. The results revealed that a 300-mg dose of CBD significantly reduced the men’s anxiety. Interestingly, both the placebo, a 150-mg dose of CBD, and a 600-mg-larger dose of CBD had little to no effect on anxiety.
This study and others like it reveal that more is not necessarily better when it comes to CBD. Identifying the proper dose is imperative for achieving the desired results. Different individuals can react to different doses in varying ways.
CBD and Pets
While there is no definitive research that shows how CBD affects dogs and other pets, pet owners have plenty of anecdotal evidence based on treating their animals for pain, seizures, and even depression. The AKC Canine Health Foundation is currently sponsoring research into the effects of CBD for treating epilepsy in dogs and is hopeful that beneficial discoveries will come of this effort.
CBD Is Becoming Popular for Pets – Why and How It Works
CBD works the same on a dog’s ECS as it does on a human. Pet owners who have struggled to find a viable remedy for their pets’ ailments have turned to CBD. Although the safety and risks of using CBD for dogs have not been researched, it is known to have the following side effects:
- Dry mouth. CBD decreases the production of saliva which causes increased thirst.
- Lowered blood pressure. Temporary drops in blood pressure can occur when doses are too high.
- Drowsiness. The calming effect of CBD helps with anxiety but can also cause drowsiness.
Can Pets OD on CBD?
A commonly asked question is “What happens if my dog eats CBD?” The truth is that the safety and risks associated with dogs ingesting CBD have not been researched. The FDA has not approved CBD for dogs, so there is no regulated dosing. It’s not known exactly how much CBD is toxic for dogs. If a dog accidentally ingests any amount of CBD oil, it is best to seek treatment from a vet.
CBD and Children
Parents will go above and beyond for their children, especially when their children are in pain or suffering from other ailments. Although some doctors recommend CBD oil for children, citing numerous benefits, it is important to understand that a child’s body can react differently to a substance that works well for an adult.
Not only are dosages different to account for a child’s smaller and less developed body, but the manner in which CBD is ingested is different as well. Children obviously will not be vaping or dabbing CBD concentrates, so other methods of ingestion, such as gummies or placing CBD oil under the tongue are necessary.
If your child has consumed too much CBD and you are concerned, contact poison control immediately. CBD is a legal compound that can be toxic in large doses, similar to soap or toothpaste. Erring on the side of safety is best, especially considering that there is still much to learn about the potentially harmful properties of CBD taken in high quantities.
How Long Do the Effects of CBD Take to Wear Off?
The answer to this question depends on many factors such as the dose and a person’s metabolism. In general, it can take 5-20 minutes for the effects of CBD to manifest and these can last 2-4 hours. A big factor affecting how long CBD’s effects last is the method of ingestion and whether a CBD user ingests edible gummies, a capsule, a tincture, or a food product laced with CBD. Vaping, the most common way to consume CBD, begins to work within five minutes, but also subsides fairly quickly. The effects of topical CBD can take longer to kick in but also tend to last longer.
CBD oil has been studied for its potential role in easing symptoms of many common health issues in adults, including anxiety, depression, acne and heart disease. However, not much research exists addressing the toxicity of CBD or whether adults, children, or pets can overdose on CBD. Research on the potential health benefits and risks of CBD oil is ongoing. While CBD is generally regarded as a safe and effective way to manage pain and anxiety, CBD is still a medicinal substance that should be taken according to the dosing instructions on the packaging label.