Can You Overdose on CBD Oil? Ask a Pharmacist

Updated: April 1, 2022

In December of 2018, the Farm Bill legalized cannabis plants with less than 0.3% THC, otherwise known as hemp. This change in federal law was the beginning of the cannabinoid boom in the United States. Since then, CBD sales have taken off and now you can find CBD in dedicated stores and boutiques, health food and supplement stores, and even gas stations and truck stops.

 

In 2019, a group of physicians looked at over 35 studies of CBD products being used in a medical context. The dose of CBD for the studies ranged from less than 1 mg/kg of body mass to more than 50 mg/kg of body mass. Despite the large doses of CBD in the studies the doctors saw no serious adverse effects of CBD. People who did take the larger doses did not become sick in any way. They did show some signs of sedation or calm.

 

The World Health Organization (WHO) has decided that CBD is safe for human consumption and does not cause overdose or addiction. But the FDA has not agreed with the WHO's assessment. The US federal government has continued to place limits on CBD studies via federal drug laws.

 

Can CBD Oil be Addictive?

No, CBD is not addictive, and that lowers the risk of taking too much. CBD does not produce the euphoric “high” associated with THC-rich marijuana, which further lowers the risk of overdosing on CBD.2 People with a history of substance abuse are not going to get the same "high" feeling or experience with CBD as with hard substances. It is very unlikely that even people who have addiction issues will become dependent on CBD.

 

While CBD has wellness and health benefits, it is not habit-forming with little risk that someone might overdose on CBD.

 

Can You Build a Tolerance to CBD?

It does not appear that people develop a tolerance for CBD, but more research is needed.4

 

Anecdotally, however, some people claim that CBD has less of an effect on them than it did previously, or that it took longer to work, which could be an indication of tolerance. An easy way to address this issue is to begin taking your CBD at a different time of day, taking a short break, or consuming CBD less regularly and only to address a specific issue.

 

If you are a regular user of marijuana products, you might experience CBD differently. There is a possibility you could build a tolerance under those circumstances.

 

If you've been using CBD isolate or broad spectrum CBD products you may find an improved experience when switching over to a full spectrum CBD product made from Flower-Only™ hemp extract. These contain the entire field of cannabinoids and terpenes, many of which work best when they work along side CBD and THC.

 

Can Humans Overdose on CBD Oil?

The term “overdose” can have a few different meanings. Some types of drug overdoses can result in death, like heroin, cocaine, sleeping pills, or prescription opioids. However, the term "overdose" can also mean simply just taking more of a substance than originally intended or as directed, no matter what the substance is.

 

The research is very clear. The clinical trials on CBD users used different doses and different forms of CBD (oils, gummies, etc). They took into account several variables in the results including weight, diet, sex, and age. No overdoses occurred. Much more study of CBD and its properties is needed.

 

You can accidentally take more than the recommended dose, but the side effects of such a mistake are very minimal. You might find yourself more sleepy than usual. If you have a sensitive stomach, CBD could give you an upset stomach ache or even diarrhea.6

 

Can Animals (Dogs or Cats) Overdose on CBD?

Research indicates that our pets respond to CBD in much the same way we do. All animals have cannabinoid receptors in their endocannabinoid systems.7 Most animals require a smaller dose than humans do (although there are some massive dogs that outweigh people), but even if you get the dosage wrong the worst side effects of CBD include an upset stomach and sedation.

 

CBD dosage is based on the bodyweight of your pet. So it would not be recommended to give a Great Dane and a small house cat the same dose of CBD. The Great Dane won't get the desired effects of CBD, and the cat will probably be extra sleepy and lethargic.

 

Pets who use CBD might experience all sorts of benefits including relief from conditions like aches and pains, daily stress, and a poor sleep cycle8. Aging dogs and cats can try oil for their joints. It's a low-risk option to increase their quality of life. CBD oil could also be great for animals with stress or anxiety issues. Try it out during the next thunderstorm or fireworks show.

 

If a pet consumes too much CBD oil the most likely adverse effects include: lethargy, vomiting, and incontinence. For an ideal dosage for CBD pet products to avoid these side effects, visit Cornbread Hemp’s CBD dosage guides for dogs pet owners of dogs, and CBD guide for cats. The best practice for giving your pet CBD is buying a CBD oil that was made for animals in mind. These have an adjusted strength and flavor that will appeal to your pet.

 

Still concerned about getting the dose right for your furry friend? Look for the nearest holistic veterinarian in your area. They'll be able to give you more specific information about your pet and CBD.

 

Effective Dosing of CBD for People

In the end, we want to know how to get the most out of our CBD. Researchers are still searching for answers to all of these questions. There are several things to consider when trying to figure out the right dose.

 

One of the things to consider is how you are taking CBD. If you are taking gummies or capsules those are ingested and must pass through portions of your digestive system before taking effect. There are some preparations of CBD that work best this way, especially accompanied by a high-fat meal.

 

Another thing to consider is your own personal history with CBD, THC, and cannabis. If you don't have any experience whatsoever, start slow. First-time users of CBD should start with a lower dose, we recommend 25mg per serving. If you are more experienced with CBD and THC you may already know how CBD makes you feel and might be tempted to be more generous with the amount of CBD, but keep in mind the quality of CBD you have experience with. If you were using a CBD isolate for years and are now considering switching to Full Spectrum CBD or Whole Flower CBD to get a better result, we recommend you reduce your dose slightly the first few times, then adjust as needed.

 

Best practice is to always follow the instructions on the label of the CBD product. To learn more about specific dosing, check out our CBD dosage guide. CBD has no intoxicating effects, so there is no reason to take more than indicated.9

 

Effective Dosing of CBD for People

The real question is not about overdose—but about an effective CBD dose. How much CBD do you need to take to achieve the outcome you desire? What is the best CBD dosage? CBD taken orally is subject to digestion. Does it matter if CBD is taken with or without food? Some CBD preparations are better absorbed with a high fat meal. Is there anything else in the CBD that might affect how it works or how CBD makes you feel? Researchers are still looking for the answers to these questions and more.

 

Follow the instructions on the label of the CBD product. CBD has no intoxicating effects, so there is no reason to take more than indicated.9 If you are taking the product on the advice of a healthcare provider, follow those orders. If you are concerned about the safety and side effects of other medications taken with CBD, make sure to contact your pharmacist for a drug interaction evaluation.

 

We recommend to most CBD first timers to start with a daily dose of 25mg of CBD per day. Our products are designed to easily measure 25mg per serving, with a graduated glass dropper that has four equal parts with coinciding lines. With the addition of our 1,500 mg CBD oils, Cornbread Hemp customers can now enjoy a 50mg CBD serving size per dropper of CBD oil, or four equal parts at 12.5mg of CBD.

 

Does CBD Oil Have Side Effects?

Similar to the side effects of the cannabis plant, using too much CBD can cause dry mouth and sleepiness. In the worst cases, it can result in a stomach ache or incontinence.10 If you notice any change in your heart rate, lowered blood pressure, or blood circulation, or if you develop headaches, be sure to consult your doctor.

 

It’s important to understand that full spectrum CBD extract is neither a drug nor candy. CBD is considered by many health care practitioners to be a dietary supplement, much like fish oil. Please also note that full spectrum CBD does contain THC, meaning you can test positive on a drug test. and employers can still choose to fire you for a positive result.

 

Choosing a CBD Oil Brand You Can Trust

High-quality, trustworthy CBD can be difficult to find. Some CBD brands sell products that have contain dangerous contaminants like pesticides and heavy metals. One report suggests that 70% of CBD products contain dangerous contamination.11

 

Trustworthy CBD brands will be USDA certified organic and have their third-party lab tests easy to find. Avoid any company that isn't transparent about product quality. All oils made by Cornbread Hemp come with a QR code on the box that will take you directly to the lab results of your specific product batch.

 

Quality CBD oil comes from quality organically farmed plants. Hemp is a natural bio-accumulator, meaning it naturally absorbs much of the nutrients, toxins, and other elements in the soil that surrounds it. This is why keeping it in a crop rotation and avoiding all pesticides is important. This not only makes it a better product for you to consume, but it's great for the environment too.

 

Why Cornbread Hemp?

Since the Farm Bill of 2018 passed Congress, you can find CBD products everywhere from gas stations to health food stores and pharmacies. Many of these products were rushed into production without regard to quality but with so many brands it's hard to tell which one to trust.

 

By committing ourselves to using only the highest quality, pesticide-free organic Flower-Only hemp extract, and by administering third-party lab tests, Cornbread Hemp ensures that our customers receive the safest and most effective organic CBD oil available on the market, or your money back. We recommend that you do your own research on CBD products, in part by reading the over 3,000 reviews about CBD on the Cornbread Hemp website.

 

Browse our selection of USDA organic CBD oils, CBD capsules, CBD topicals, and pet oil!

 

About the Author

Dr. Leslie Mudd, PharmD

A board certified oncology pharmacist with 25 years experience at the James Graham Brown Cancer Center in Louisville, Kentucky, Dr. Leslie Mudd now serves as the Cornbread Hemp resident pharmacist and medical expert. Read Dr. Mudd's full author bio here.

Does CBD Get You High FAQ's

Can CBD oil get you high?

No, CBD oil does not get you high. Full spectrum CBD oils contain trace amounts of THC that must be below 0.3% by law. That's not nearly enough THC to get you high. However, you might notice that you feel less stressed when taking CBD, or that you fall to sleep easier at night.

How does CBD oil make you feel?

Most people who take CBD report being less stressed out in everyday situations, having a healthier sleep cycle, and even relief from aches and pains. However, this is dependent upon what type of CBD oil you are taking, and if it contains a full spectrum of cannabinoids, or just CBD isolate.

How much CBD is too much?

Most people take between 25mg and 100mg of CBD per day, but it's safe to take as much as 3-4mg per 10 pounds of body weight. Depending on your health issues, you will need to experiment with different doses of CBD to find the one that works best for your needs.

References

1) Millar SA, Stone NL, Bellman ZD, Yates AS, England TJ, O’Sullivan SE. A systematic review of cannabidiol dosing in clinical populations. Br J Clin Pharmacol. 2019;85(9):1888-1900. doi:10.1111/bcp.14038. Table 1, Table 2, and Table 3.

2) Devinsky O, Cilio MR, Cross H, et al. Cannabidiol: pharmacology and potential therapeutic role in epilepsy and other neuropsychiatric disorders. Epilepsia. 2014;55(6):791‐802. doi:10.1111/epi.12631. 5th paragraph

3) Babalonis S, Haney M, Malcolm RJ, et al. Oral cannabidiol does not produce a signal for abuse liability in frequent marijuana smokers. Drug Alcohol Depend. 2017;172:9-13. doi:10.1016/j.drugalcdep.2016.11.030. Under “Discussion” heading 2nd paragraph.

4) Iffland K, Grotenhermen F. An Update on Safety and Side Effects of Cannabidiol: A Review of Clinical Data and Relevant Animal Studies. Cannabis Cannabinoid Res. 2017;2(1):139-154. Published 2017 Jun 1. doi:10.1089/can.2016.0034. Under the heading “Acute Clinical Data,” 1st paragraph

5) Bergamaschi 2011. Page 3, paragraph 8

6) Iffland K, Grotenhermen F. An Update on Safety and Side Effects of Cannabidiol: A Review of Clinical Data and Relevant Animal Studies. Cannabis Cannabinoid Res. 2017;2(1):139-154. Published 2017 Jun 1. doi:10.1089/can.2016.0034. In the “Results” section of the abstract.

7) Institute of Medicine (US); Joy JE, Watson SJ Jr., Benson JA Jr., editors. Marijuana and Medicine: Assessing the Science Base. Washington (DC): National Academies Press (US); 1999. 2, Cannabinoids and Animal Physiology. Available from: Under the heading “Value of Animal Studies,” 1st paragraph

8) Silver RJ. The Endocannabinoid System of Animals. Animals (Basel). 2019;9(9):686. Published 2019 Sep 16. doi:10.3390/ani9090686. Under the heading “The Endocannabinoid System,” 4th paragraph

9) Iffland K, Grotenhermen F. An Update on Safety and Side Effects of Cannabidiol: A Review of Clinical Data and Relevant Animal Studies. Cannabis Cannabinoid Res. 2017;2(1):139-154. Published 2017 Jun 1. doi:10.1089/can.2016.0034. Under “Introduction” heading, 1st paragraph

10) Millar SA, Stone NL, Bellman ZD, Yates AS, England TJ, O’Sullivan SE. A systematic review of cannabidiol dosing in clinical populations. Br J Clin Pharmacol. 2019;85(9):1888-1900. doi:10.1111/bcp.14038. Table 1, Table 2, and Table 3

11) Fletcher 2019. Sentence 20.


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