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. The FDA is working to answer questions about the science, safety, and quality of products containing cannabis and cannabis-derived compounds, particularly CBD. Overdosing on CBD is technically possible, but it's highly unlikely. It would require a dose of 15,000mg, or even more. Read more inside.
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.
What You Need to Know (And What We’re Working to Find Out) About Products Containing Cannabis or Cannabis-derived Compounds, Including CBD
The FDA is working to answer questions about the science, safety, and quality of products containing cannabis and cannabis-derived compounds, particularly CBD.
- Cannabis is a plant of the Cannabaceae family and contains more than eighty biologically active chemical compounds. The most commonly known compounds are delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD). THC is the component that produces the “high” associated with marijuana use. Much interest has been seen around CBD and its potential related to health benefits.
- Marijuana is different from CBD. CBD is a single compound in the cannabis plant, and marijuana is a type of cannabis plant or plant material that contains many naturally occurring compounds, including CBD and THC.
- The FDA has approved only one CBD product, a prescription drug product to treat seizures associated with Lennox Gastaut syndrome (LGS), Dravet syndrome (DS), or tuberous sclerosis complex (TSC) in people one year of age and older.
- It is currently illegal to market CBD by adding it to a food or labeling it as a dietary supplement.
- The FDA has seen only limited data about CBD safety and these data point to real risks that need to be considered before taking CBD for any reason.
- Some CBD products are being marketed with unproven medical claims and are of unknown quality.
- The FDA will continue to update the public as it learns more about CBD.
Potential harm, side effects and unknowns
- CBD has the potential to harm you, and harm can happen even before you become aware of it.
- CBD can cause liver injury.
- CBD can affect how other drugs you are taking work, potentially causing serious side effects.
- Use of CBD with alcohol or other drugs that slow brain activity, such as those used to treat anxiety, panic, stress, or sleep disorders, increases the risk of sedation and drowsiness, which can lead to injuries.
- Male reproductive toxicity, or damage to fertility in males or male offspring of women who have been exposed, has been reported in studies of animals exposed to CBD.
- CBD can cause side effects that you might notice. These side effects should improve when CBD is stopped or when the amount used is reduced.
- Changes in alertness, most commonly experienced as somnolence (drowsiness or sleepiness).
- Gastrointestinal distress, most commonly experienced as diarrhea and/or decreased appetite.
- Changes in mood, most commonly experienced as irritability and agitation.
- There are many important aspects about CBD that we just don’t know, such as:
- What happens if you take CBD daily for sustained periods of time?
- What level of intake triggers the known risks associated with CBD?
- How do different methods of consumption affect intake (e.g., oral consumption, topical , smoking or vaping)?
- What is the effect of CBD on the developing brain (such as on children who take CBD)?
- What are the effects of CBD on the developing fetus or breastfed newborn?
- How does CBD interact with herbs and other plant materials?
- Does CBD cause male reproductive toxicity in humans, as has been reported in studies of animals?
Unanswered questions about the science, safety, and quality
You may have noticed that cannabidiol (CBD) seems to be available almost everywhere, and marketed as a variety of products including drugs, food, dietary supplements, cosmetics, and animal health products. Other than one prescription drug product to treat seizures associated with Lennox Gastaut syndrome (LGS), Dravet syndrome (DS), or tuberous sclerosis complex (TSC) in people one year of age and older, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has not approved any other CBD products, and there is very limited available information about CBD, including about its effects on the body.
The FDA recognizes the significant public interest in cannabis and cannabis-derived compounds, particularly CBD. However, there are many unanswered questions about the science, safety, and quality of products containing CBD. The agency is working on answering these questions through ongoing efforts including feedback from a recent FDA hearing and information and data gathering through a public docket.
Despite the 2018 Farm Bill removing hemp — defined as cannabis and cannabis derivatives with very low concentrations (no more than 0.3% on a dry weight basis) of THC — from the definition of marijuana in the Controlled Substances Act, CBD products are still subject to the same laws and requirements as FDA-regulated products that contain any other substance.
The FDA is concerned that people may mistakenly believe that using CBD “can’t hurt.” The agency wants to be clear that we have seen only limited data about CBD’s safety and these data point to real risks that need to be considered. As part of the drug review and approval process for the prescription drug containing CBD, it was determined that the risks are outweighed by the benefits of the approved drug for the particular population for which it was intended. Consumer use of any CBD products should always be discussed with a healthcare provider. Consumers should be aware of the potential risks associated with using CBD products. Some of these can occur without your awareness, such as:
- Liver Injury: During its review of the marketing application for Epidiolex — a purified form of CBD that the FDA approved in 2018 for use in the treatment of two rare and severe seizure disorders — the FDA identified certain safety risks, including the potential for liver injury. This serious risk can be managed when an FDA-approved CBD drug product is taken under medical supervision, but it is less clear how it might be managed when CBD is used far more widely, without medical supervision, and not in accordance with FDA-approved labeling. Although this risk was increased when taken with other drugs that impact the liver, signs of liver injury were seen also in patients not on those drugs. The occurrence of this liver injury was identified through blood tests, as is often the case with early problems with the liver. Liver injury was also seen in other studies of CBD in published literature. We are concerned about potential liver injury associated with CBD use that could go undetected if not monitored by a healthcare provider.
- Drug Interactions: Information from studies of the FDA-approved CBD drug Epidiolex show that there is a risk of CBD impacting other medicines you take – or that other medicines you take could impact the dose of CBD that can safely be used. Taking CBD with other medications may increase or decrease the effects of the other medications. This may lead to an increased chance of adverse effects from, or decreased effectiveness of, the other medications. Drug interactions were also seen in other studies of CBD in published literature. We are concerned about the potential safety of taking other medicines with CBD when not being monitored by a healthcare provider. In addition, there is limited research on the interactions between CBD products and herbs or other plant-based products in dietary supplements. Consumers should use caution when combining CBD products with herbs or dietary supplements.
- Male Reproductive Toxicity: Studies in laboratory animals showed male reproductive toxicity, including in the male offspring of CBD-treated pregnant females. The changes seen include decrease in testicular size, inhibition of sperm growth and development, and decreased circulating testosterone, among others. Because these findings were only seen in animals, it is not yet clear what these findings mean for human patients and the impact it could have on men (or the male children of pregnant women) who take CBD. For instance, these findings raise the concern that CBD could negatively affect a man’s fertility. Further testing and evaluation are needed to better understand this potential risk.
In addition, CBD can be the cause of side effects that you might notice. These side effects should improve when CBD is stopped or when the amount used is reduced. This could include changes in alertness, most commonly experienced as somnolence (sleepiness), but this could also include insomnia; gastrointestinal distress, most commonly experienced as diarrhea and/or decreased appetite but could also include abdominal pain or upset stomach; and changes in mood, most commonly experienced as irritability and agitation.
The FDA is actively working to learn more about the safety of CBD and CBD products, including the risks identified above and other topics, such as:
- Cumulative Exposure: The cumulative exposure to CBD if people access it across a broad range of consumer products. For example, what happens if you eat food with CBD in it, use CBD-infused skin cream and take other CBD-based products on the same day? How much CBD is absorbed from your skin cream? What if you use these products daily for a week or a month?
- Special Populations: The effects of CBD on other special populations (e.g., the elderly, children, adolescents, pregnant and lactating women).
- CBD and Animals: The safety of CBD use in pets and other animals, including considerations of species, breed, or class and the safety of the resulting human food products (e.g., meat milk, or eggs) from food-producing species.
Unproven medical claims, unsafe manufacturing practices
Some CBD Products are Being Marketed with Unproven Medical Claims and Could be Produced with Unsafe Manufacturing Practices
Unlike the FDA-approved CBD drug product, unapproved CBD products, which could include cosmetics, foods, products marketed as dietary supplements, and any other product (other than Epidiolex) making therapeutic claims, have not been subject to FDA evaluation regarding whether they are effective to treat a particular disease or have other effects that may be claimed. In addition, they have not been evaluated by the FDA to determine what the proper dosage is, how they could interact with other drugs or foods, or whether they have dangerous side effects or other safety concerns.
Misleading, unproven, or false claims associated with CBD products may lead consumers to put off getting important medical care, such as proper diagnosis, treatment, and supportive care. For that reason, it’s important to talk to your doctor about the best way to treat diseases or conditions with available FDA-approved treatment options.
In addition to safety risks and unproven claims, the quality of many CBD products may also be in question. The FDA is also concerned that a lack of appropriate processing controls and practices can put consumers at additional risks. For example, the agency has tested the chemical content of cannabinoid compounds in some of the products, and many were found to not contain the levels of CBD they claimed. We are also investigating reports of CBD potentially containing unsafe levels of contaminants (e.g., pesticides, heavy metals, THC).
CBD products are also being marketed for pets and other animals. The FDA has not approved CBD for any use in animals and the concerns regarding CBD products with unproven medical claims and of unknown quality equally apply to CBD products marketed for animals. The FDA recommends pet owners talk with their veterinarians about appropriate treatment options for their pets.
The FDA’s top priority is to protect the public health. This priority includes making sure consumers know about products that put their health and safety at greatest risk, such as those claiming to prevent, diagnose, treat, mitigate, or cure serious diseases. For example, the agency has warned companies to stop selling CBD products they claim are intended to prevent, diagnose, treat, mitigate, or cure serious diseases such as cancer, Alzheimer’s disease, psychiatric disorders and diabetes. While we have focused on these types of products, we will continue to monitor the marketplace for any product that poses a risk to public health, including those with dangerous contaminants, those marketed to vulnerable populations, and products that otherwise put the public health at risk.
Evaluation of the regulatory frameworks
The FDA is Continuing to Evaluate the Regulatory Frameworks for Products Containing Cannabis and Cannabis-Derived Compounds
The FDA continues to believe the drug approval process represents the best way to ensure that safe and effective new medicines, including any drugs derived from cannabis, are available to patients in need of appropriate medical therapy. The agency is committed to supporting the development of new drugs, including cannabis and cannabis-derived drugs, through the investigational new drug and drug approval process.
We are aware that there may be some products on the market that add CBD to a food or label CBD as a dietary supplement. Under federal law, it is illegal to market CBD this way.
The FDA is evaluating the regulatory frameworks that apply to certain cannabis-derived products that are intended for non-drug uses, including whether and/or how the FDA might consider updating its regulations, as well as whether potential legislation might be appropriate. The information we have underscores the need for further study and high quality, scientific information about the safety and potential uses of CBD.
The FDA is committed to setting sound, science-based policy. The FDA is raising these safety, marketing, and labeling concerns because we want you to know what we know. We encourage consumers to think carefully before exposing themselves, their family, or their pets, to any product, especially products like CBD, which may have potential risks, be of unknown quality, and have unproven benefits.
Our Consumer Update includes a practical summary of what we know to date. As we learn more, our goal is to update you with the information you need to make informed choices about CBD products. Also, as the regulatory pathways are clarified we will take care to inform all stakeholders as quickly as possible.
Can You Overdose on CBD?
Can you overdose on CBD? If you take a far larger than normal dose of it, what happens? Is it toxic if you overdo it?
CBD stands for cannabidiol, and it’s one of several phytocannabinoids (plant chemical) within cannabis.
It appears to be safe unless you are extremely reckless with it, and even then, you’ll likely be ok. You might have a pretty bad headache, or experience fatigue, but you’ll be ok. Usually, it does not lead to any side effects, and if side effects do occur, they likely won’t put you in the hospital.
TL;DR – While it’s technically possible to overdose on CBD, it’s extremely unlikely. Toxic CBD doses are around 15000 to 20000mg.
Before we begin, if you are looking for medical or legal advice specific to you or your own specific scenarios, it’s always best to consult health care practitioners. They understand your unique scenario better than any online blog ever will.
A person can take many times more than an effective dose of CBD without experiencing anything worse than some temporary and unpleasant side effects.
Has Anyone Ever Taken Too Much CBD?
Even according to the world health organization, which is extremely cautious about declaring that a drug or supplement is safe, hemp derived CBD products will not kill you. Massive doses of CBD products will make you sick, but they will not kill you. If there is a lethal dose, it is not easy to find a clear case of anyone taking a lethal dose.
However, you can make yourself temporarily sick by taking far too much CBD oil. There could even be a dangerous or lethal dose of CBD, but people would never need to take such a high dose, so we don’t know how much CBD a lethal dose is.
Research is being done as we speak to figure out things like lethal doses, and liver toxicity levels (if there are any with CBD oil) for many different cannabinoids, like CBD, within the cannabis plant.
Many commonly used, over-the-counter medications are more dangerous than CBD products are.
An Effective Dose of CBD Oil is Harmless
The amount of CBD gummies (as an example) you need to take to calm down, focus, or sleep is low, far lower than what could make you sick or even cause some moderately unpleasant side effects. Taking higher than a necessary dose is also usually harmless.
There is a large variance between an effective dose of CBD oil, and a dose that makes you sick; this makes CBD a safe option. Dangerous drugs have a smaller difference in variance between an effective dose, and a harmful dose.
With illicit drugs, for example, you can go from being not very affected to being overly affected by only doubling your dose the illicit drugs. The difference between the dose necessary to get the effect you want and a harmful dose is minimal.
This is also why many pharmaceutical drugs should be carefully considered before using to help treat health conditions.
With things like pure CBD oil, there is a huge difference between the dose necessary to treat your anxiety to the dose necessary to make you sick to your stomach.
As a therapeutic dose, most people use between 5mg to 20mg to help feel relief from things like high blood pressure, or panic attacks. Many people then bump it up another 20-30mg if they don’t feel relief. Some people need more of it than others, but a lot of symptoms can be addressed by using around 20mg of CBD oil, or other CBD products.
A review of scientific research shows us that a person can usually tolerate up to 1500mg per day without experiencing adverse reactions, but an effective dose might be around 20mg.
I want to be very clear here: 1500mg of CBD oil per day is an extremely large dose. You likely need no where near that much.
For example, pure CBD oil drops by New Phase Blends contain 1000mg or 2000mg of CBD in the 30mL tincture. This is normally enough to last people one month.
Don’t take much more CBD than is necessary to treat your condition. While CBD is not addictive, you can build up a tolerance to it if you take a lot of it for a long time.
Contaminated CBD Products Can Hurt You
Rare cases of someone ending up in the hospital after taking CBD is likely because of contaminated CBD products, not the CBD itself. There are reports of a man who ended up in the emergency room with nausea, vomiting, and slurred speech who may have eaten contaminated CBD gummies.
However, we do not know what happened to make him require medical attention. The amount of CBD he took, 370mg, is many times higher than an effective dose but is usually safe. Did he simply take CBD isolate? Was it really THC? We just don’t know.
Some people are also unable tolerate high doses of CBD than others. The bottom line is we just don’t know enough information about this CBD overdose, and why exactly this man ended up in the hospital.
Another report of a possible CBD oil overdose involved a child ending up in the hospital and needing artificial respiration after taking CBD oil earlier in the day.
While the CBD they tested contained almost no CBD, urine tests showed that the child had taken a large amount of THC.
Unlike THC, CBD can not make you feel high – at all. It’s just not possible.
These are only two examples of scenarios where people should have looked for scannable QR codes to a third party lab analysis. These lab analysis will show you things like heavy metals content, cannabinoid profiles, and other useful information about your CBD product.
If you do not see a QR code on a CBD product, DO NOT TAKE IT.
It is not clear that these are good examples of someone being poisoned by a high dose of CBD. Even if CBD is not always harmless, it is safer than many over-the-counter medications.
Is it Easier to Overdose if You Use CBD Pills?
CBD pills are also mostly harmless. With pills, you could choose to consume a very large amount of CBD in a short period of time.
However, clinical data shows CBD appears to be too mild for this to be dangerous. Even if you use pills to take a huge amount of CBD all at once, you probably won’t do any real harm.
A normal dose of CBD oil products is between 5mg and 20mg. Higher doses can exceed 80mgof CBD. A dose most people can tolerate using often is 1500mg. A CBD overdose is around 20,000mg of CBD, and even this dose will not require immediate medical attention.
An entire bottle of CBD pills contains a few hundred to a few thousand milligrams of CBD. While we strongly advise against taking an entire bottle of CBD pills at once, it would probably not make you sick for very long.
CBD oil is not the sort of supplement that can hurt you if you take only a few times more than a normal dose. A toxic dose of 20,000mg is a thousand times an effective dose. A person can tolerate taking 1500mg of CBD (as discussed earlier). This is about 75 times more than they need.
Many Common Medications are More Dangerous than CBD
CBD oil looks particularly harmless if you compare it to medications people consider safe. For example, current drug safety reports show sleeping pills can be dangerous and have a risk of overdose.
Mixing sleeping pills with alcohol, in particular, is dangerous and can lead to an overdose. Many over-the-counter and prescription drugs alike have the potential for adverse effects.
Common over-the-counter painkillers can also be dangerous. It is possible to overdose on Tylenol. In fact, it is almost common to end up in the hospital after a Tylenol overdose. This is because of how toxic it is to your liver and kidneys.
Cannabis products don’t seem to be liver toxic. Cannabinoid research and clinical trials from Valid Care shows that CBD is not liver toxic, even at large doses.
Tylenol overdoses are largely accidents and not caused by abuse of the drug. A person may take more Tylenol than recommended and end up in the hospital.
Prescription drugs that contain a mix of Tylenol and another substance are often abused and can lead to overdose. Tylenol is just harmful to the liver, and you need to be careful when taking it.
CBD seems to be very safe compared to Tylenol. While Tylenol is responsible for tens of thousands of hospitalizations per year, CBD hardly seems to hurt anyone. The overdose potential for Tylenol is quite high.
We Do Not Yet Know Everything About CBD and Safety
We’ve discussed a proper dosage of CBD earlier. As long as you stick to an amount near this, you’ll be ok.
All things considered, a lot of anecdotal evidence shows that CBD seems to have very little potential for harm so far. A lot of people have been taking CBD for a long time, especially since it has become legal in many places.
This implies that if CBD had much potential for harm, we would know about it already.
However, we do not know everything about CBD, and there might be some potential for harm that we still don’t know about. There could be some medical conditions that make CBD unsafe, or some medications that CBD should not be combined with.
CBD seems to be harmless, but we might discover that it is harmful in certain circumstances. Always consult a health care professional if you’re worried, or have specific questions about your scenario.
Don’t Take CBD if You Have a Cannabis Allergy
Some people are allergic to cannabis, including CBD. Sometimes, these allergic reactions can be serious.
How much CBD can cause an allergic reaction? It depends on the severity of the allergies. A tiny amount could cause poor safety and side effects, or a large dose could.
Hemp and marijuana both fall under the cannabis plant species. Most people think that marijuana is cannabis. While this is true, industrial hemp is also considered cannabis.
As you can see in the cannabis species chart above, both marijuana and hemp make up cannabis.
Most allergic reactions to cannabis are mild and not dangerous. If you want to be as careful as possible, you might use only a small amount of CBD the first time you try it.
What Side Effects Does CBD Have?
Just because the side effects of CBD are not harmful doesn’t mean they are not unpleasant. Some people experience extreme drowsiness if they take too much CBD. This can make it hard to function for the rest of the day.
Even larger doses may result in diarrhea, nausea, and vomiting. You can usually take significantly more than your usual dose without experiencing these side effects.
As a general rule of thumb, the more your body weight, the more CBD you might need. This is only a general rule, though, and you should always take the least amount of CBD needed to feel relief.
The Low Side Effects Make CBD a Prime Choice
I’m confident that the benefits of CBD outweigh the small risks of taking it. People find that CBD works for all sorts of physical and mental health disorders.
It’s also a non intoxicating substance, which makes medical professionals interested in it. Products that don’t make you feel high have a much lower propensity for abuse. There are no intoxicating effects felt from using CBD.
Research backs up much of what CBD is believed to treat. Several studies (and even relevant animal studies) prove that CBD has many health benefits, which are not limited to calming you down or helping you sleep.
Science also understands the basics of how CBD works. CBD can act as a substitute for serotonin. People with depression/anxiety often have low serotonin, which CBD can help with.
CBD also stimulates the endocannabinoid system. If a person is deficient in natural cannabinoids, CBD can replace them. CBD improves people’s health by being a substitute for natural chemicals that many people are deficient in.
CBD also works as an anti-inflammatory. Many physical/mental health issues seem to go away if you address inflammation problems. Other substances that help with inflammation are liver toxic, where as CBD is not.
CBD is often used as a substitute for more dangerous pharmaceutical drugs. It can help people who have chronic pain, so it can potentially replace opioids. It can also help people quit anti-depressants, and it is often more effective than the SSRIs it replaces.
The likelihood of you ending up in the emergency room from using CBD oil is almost nil.
Compared to the great health benefits of CBD, the risks are small. There’s no need to be overly cautious with CBD oil. There probably won’t be any real side effects, as long as you aren’t taking hundreds of MG of CBD per day.
As more FDA approved research comes out, many factors that contribute to how CBD helps us will be published.
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