Can You Overdose on CBD?

Sep 14, 2019

You pick up the dropper, sunlight gleaming off the shining golden oil. The familiar, earthy smell permeates your senses, overriding your nervous system with fond memories and building anticipation. Excitement grows within and as your body anticipates the soothing relief of your favorite CBD tincture, your hands begin to shake. You intend to add one or two drops of the precious liquid into your mouth but in your stimulated state you squeeze hard and the filled dropper jettisons entirely into your mouth.

That was over 300mg of CBD. Is that too much? Can you take too much and overdose on CBD? To answer these questions, let's start with the basics.

What is CBD?

Cannabidiol, better known as CBD, is one of many naturally occurring molecular cannabinoids found within the cannabis plant. While similar in appearance and origin to THC, CBD does not produce any of the psychoactive effects, which creates the well-known "high" for consumers. Alternatively, CBD has come to be lauded for its calming effects, pain relief properties and medical applications.

Today, numerous scientific studies have been carried out on the effects of CBD on the human body, with the compound being praised for its numerous uses and ability to replace certain pharmaceutical drugs. The FDA has even approved drugs derived from CBD to treat severe forms of epilepsy as well as to reduce pain in cancer patients.

How Much CBD Should I Take?

Before we go any further, let's be clear. We are not doctors, and this information should not be taken in lieu of professional opinion from a licensed physician. If you are looking for an exact dose to treat a specific ailment, seek a professional opinion for the most accurate advice on dosage. The information or suggestions supplied here are simply broad guidelines that typically work for most people and should be taken as such.

Currently, there is no scientific data on CBD dosage or use and many factors come into play as it relates to health habits, body weight, whether there's THC present in the body, etc. In general, the strategy should be to start with small amounts, then work your way up. If you have never taken CBD before, start yourself off with 1-5 mg and go from there. If you don't feel anything, wait a few hours before taking more as the effects can sometimes be delayed.

Can You Get High Off CBD Oil?

No. CBD comes from the non-psychoactive part of the cannabis plant, meaning it won't give you a mental "high." Unlike THC, feelings like paranoia or euphoria are highly unlikely. If you are looking to get the giggles from that CBD brownie you just bought, you may want to search elsewhere for products high in THC.

Can you Overdose on CBD Oil?

If you accidentally drank an entire bottle of CBD oil that recommends starting with only 2 drops, what happens if you take too much CBD oil?

According to the National Cancer Institute, a CBD overdose, or even a THC overdose, is virtually impossible. Unlike opioids and other prescription medication, cannabinoid receptors are not located in the areas of the brainstem controlling respiration, so "lethal overdoses from Cannabis and cannabinoids do not occur."

If you're wondering how much CBD is too much, it mostly depends on your tolerance. You will survive after accidentally downing that whole bottle of CBD oil, although you will likely need a nap.

Is CBD Addictive?

While you may personally fall in love with all the added health benefits of CBD, studies have shown that CBD is not addictive. An in-depth study into CBD effects by the World Health Organization concluded that "there is no evidence of recreational use of CBD or any public health-related problems associated with the use of pure CBD." Meaning that while amazing, CBD is non-habit forming and does not create any form of physical dependence on the compound after extended use.

The beneficial and non-habitual effects of CBD have even aided those seeking to quit drugs like nicotine, with studies proving CBD is helpful in quitting illicit drugs.

Tolerance to CBD

Unlike THC, taking a regular supplement of CBD will not create a tolerance to the compound in your body. CBD binds differently to cannabinoid receptors and promotes the creation of new endocannabinoids in the body, unlike THC which decreases endocannabinoid levels. This means  that regular use of CBD will create new receptors in the brain, allowing a higher % of the CBD to be absorbed every time, while THC will reduce this amount therefore creating a tolerance. Studies on the prolonged use of different CBD dosage levels have shown tolerance development in none of the subjects.

Due to the creation of new endocannabinoids in the body with every use, CBD can actually create a "reverse tolerance." Essentially over time, users can reduce their dose while still receiving the same effects.

CBD Hemp Oil Side Effects

Over 60% of CBD users report they take the substance on a regular basis to treat a medical condition. Regular use of the hemp-derived oil has been thoroughly studied by researchers, and the compound has been FDA approved for the treatment of multiple conditions.

The side effects of hemp oil are limited in range, with studies showing CBD to have no effect on hormonal regulation in the body or physiological processes. Prolonged use of CBD was shown to have no effect on the behavior of the individual unless taken in excess of 150mg per kilogram of body weight. For example, if you weigh 150 pounds, you would need to take over 10,200 mg of pure CBD to experience any behavioral changes.

Unless you plan to take massive amounts of CBD, side effects from regular use are not something you should likely worry about. However, if you are unsure, check with your doctor regularly to ensure that CBD is right for you.

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