Can You Take Too Much CBD? What Happens Next?

Cannabidiol (CBD) has the potential to treat a plethora of health conditions and diseases. Since CBD is derived from cannabis plants like marijuana and hemp, many have concerns about its safety and the possibility of overdose. Although many believe that CBD is generally safe for consumption, CBD overdose is still an intriguing topic for a large audience.

Key takeaways:

Here, we provide a comprehensive understanding of the realities and implications based on scientific research and evidence, and we explore the dosage considerations and potential risks associated with CBD consumption. By addressing common misconceptions and shedding light on the existing knowledge, we aim to provide clarity regarding CBD overdose and its significance in health and wellness.

How much CBD is too much?

CBD is generally well-tolerated, but it is important to find the right dosage for your individual needs.

A study reported that, in general, 1500 mg/day of CBD is well-tolerated in humans. However, there is a lack of research on the effects of exceeding this dose. Higher doses may be tolerated by some people, but it is always best to start with a lower dose and increase gradually as needed.

Currently, there is no universally defined threshold for an excessive amount of CBD. Factors such as body weight, metabolism, tolerance, and the specific CBD product can influence the ideal dosage.

What happens when you overdose on CBD?

CBD is generally considered to have a relatively low risk of overdose or severe adverse effects. There is also no evidence that has been reported about CBD's lethal dose. More research is required to conclusively determine the effects of CBD consumption at large doses. However, if CBD overdose indeed happens, it is possible to experience extreme sedation, gastrointestinal issues, or liver injury.

Symptoms of CBD overdose

Although generally safe, taking extremely high doses of CBD can still lead to certain negative consequences. Therefore, always follow the indicated product guidelines and consult your doctor when adding a new supplement to your routine. It is also safer to start with low dosages to test your tolerance before trying the recommended dosages.

Symptoms of CBD overdose may include:

  • Lethargy
  • Drowsiness
  • Fatigue
  • Dizziness/lightheadedness
  • Dry mouth
  • Diarrhea
  • Nausea
  • Stomach discomfort
  • Decreased appetite
  • Irritability
  • Agitation
  • Fluctuation in blood pressure
  • Changes in liver function

Can you overdose on all types of CBD?

CBD products typically do not contain a dose higher than the documented well-tolerated dosages in adult, healthy humans (1,500 mg/day), but it is more recommended to follow the general dosages as instructed by the specific brand/product.

When it comes to different types of CBD products (full-spectrum CBD, broad-spectrum CBD, and CBD isolate), the risk of overdose remains similar. The primary concern is the dosage of CBD rather than the specific type of CBD product. Whether it's CBD gummies, oil, tinctures, or any other form, the key factor is the amount of CBD consumed.

Note that CBD itself does not have any known toxic dose that can lead to a fatal overdose, but full-spectrum CBD products may contain trace amounts of THC, the psychoactive compound in cannabis, although the concentration is typically very low (less than 0.3% in compliance with legal limits). In theory, consuming extremely high amounts of THC could lead to intoxication or adverse effects, but reaching such levels with high-quality and hemp-derived CBD products is highly unlikely.

Meanwhile, it is important to note that individual responses to substances can vary, and some people may be more sensitive to CBD or have specific medical conditions that could interact with it. For instance, in a case report, a 56-year-old man who consumed two packages of CBD gummies (total dose of 370 mg of CBD) experienced significant neurologic, cardiovascular, and respiratory depression, and was brought to the emergency room due to a potential overdose.

Who to contact for help

If you suspect a CBD overdose or experience severe discomfort after consuming CBD, it is advisable to seek immediate medical attention.

In the event of a potential CBD overdose or adverse reaction, you can contact:

  • Emergency medical services (911 in the United States). If you are experiencing severe symptoms or if you are unsure about the severity of your condition, contacting emergency services is the best course of action. They can provide immediate assistance and connect you with medical professionals.
  • Poison Control Center. Contact your local Poison Control Center, which can provide guidance in cases of CBD overdose or poisoning. They have trained professionals available to assess your situation and provide advice on the appropriate steps to take.
  • Healthcare professional. Reach out to your primary care physician or healthcare provider for guidance. They can assess your symptoms, provide personalized advice, and recommend the appropriate course of action based on your specific situation.
Note
In cases where an individual consumes excessive amounts of CBD gummies, it is recommended to seek immediate medical attention.

While CBD is generally considered safe, consuming a large number of gummies may lead to unwanted or adverse side effects depending on other factors influencing its effects.

The medical professionals in the emergency room will assess the situation and provide appropriate care based on the individual's symptoms and needs.

How to stay safe

Consult with your doctor to learn how CBD may affect your body and to determine the appropriate dosage and usage for your personal needs before consuming any CBD products.

To ensure a safe experience with CBD use, consider the following guidelines:

  • Research reputable brands. Purchase high-quality CBD products from trusted and reputable companies that provide third-party lab test results to ensure purity and avoid contaminants.
  • Start with low doses. Begin with a low CBD dosage and gradually increase it over time while observing how your body responds. Do not exceed 1,500 mg/day.
  • Be aware of potential drug interactions. If you are taking any medications, consult with your healthcare provider to ensure CBD will not interact adversely with them.
  • Follow product instructions. Read and follow the instructions provided by the manufacturer regarding dosages, administration methods, and storage recommendations.
  • Monitor your body's response. Pay attention to how your body reacts to CBD, and if you experience any adverse effects, discontinue use and consult a healthcare professional.
  • Be cautious during pregnancy/breastfeeding. It is recommended to avoid CBD use during pregnancy or while breastfeeding due to limited research on its effects.
  • Store properly. Keep CBD products in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight to maintain their potency and freshness.

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