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Can You Overdose on CBD Oil? Ask a Pharmacist

Posted by Dr. Leslie Mudd, PharmD on Apr 10th 2020

Can You Overdose on CBD Oil? Ask a Pharmacist

Worried About Overdosing on CBD? Don't be.

After numerous reports that some people in legal marijuana states have gone to the Emergency Room after overdosing on THC-rich edibles, some people worry that CBD might have a similar effect. It has led many people to ask: Can you overdose on CBD? What happens if you take too much CBD? How much CBD should I take? This post will answer these questions.

First, let’s define a few CBD terms. The term “overdose” can have a few different meanings. To begin with, some types of drug overdose can result in death, like with heroin, cocaine, sleeping pills, or prescription opioids.

Also, overdose can just mean accidentally taking two doses instead of one, or when a person’s body has a bad reaction and they assume it was because they took too much. When someone asks about an overdose, it helps to know their definition of the term in order to give the best possible answer.

And even more, to know what CBD actually is in the first place.

Overdose Potential of CBD Oil — by the Data

Is there such a thing as CBD oil overdose? Let’s look at the data.

After the passage of the Farm Bill that legalized hemp, the FDA approved a pharmaceutical preparation of cannabidiol. This preparation is indicated for the treatment of particular types of seizures in patients 2 years old or older. That drug is made from a plant-derived pharmaceutical grade cannabidiol (CBD) isolate.

The label says that adverse events are mild: diarrhea, sleepiness, and nausea. Researchers found no untoward safety signals in the trials leading to its approval by the FDA.

Last year, a group of physicians in the UK performed a retrospective analysis of over 35 studies of CBD use in a medical context. Doses ranged from less than 1 mg/kg of body weight to more than 50 mg/kg of body weight. Other than sedation, the doctors saw no serious adverse events in the data, even at high doses. 1

Earlier this year, a group in Denmark performed a look-back at clinical trials using CBD oils. Most of the studies reported no adverse effects with acute administration and only mild to moderate adverse effects with chronic administration. Anecdotal case reports show various degrees of efficacy of CBD and have not reported any serious adverse effects.

Studies on CBD in the United States have been limited due to federal drug laws, further clouding our ability to better understand CBD overdose and toxicity level. Cornbread Hemp advocates for less federal restrictions on studying cannabis in America.

Is CBD Oil 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 CBD overdose.2 People with a history of substance abuse are not likely to take too much CBD.

A study from 2017 concluded that CBD oil “does not produce a signal for abuse liability” and that CBD was “placebo-like on all measures collected.”3 That means that while CBD may have great wellness and health benefits, it is not habit-forming with little risk that someone might overdose on CBD oil.

Can You Build a Tolerance to CBD Oil?

It does not appear that people develop a tolerance for CBD. 4 When people develop a tolerance for a drug, it compels them to take more of it to get the same effect. That can lead to toxicity if they take too much.

According to this 2011 study of human subjects published in Current Drug Safety, “In human studies… tolerance to CBD did not develop.”5

Anecdotally however, some people claim that CBD has less an effect on them as it did previously, which could be an indication of tolerance. This issue can often be resolved by taking CBD at a different time of day, taking a short break, or only taking CBD periodically to address a specific issue.

This could be different for someone using full-strength cannabis products or a history of marijuana use. These sorts of cannabis experiences can change how cannabidiol products work for you. By ingesting any sort of cannabinoid, whether it be rich in CBD or THC, the regular use of a cannabis product may begin to build a tolerance that would be different than that of a first time CBD user. This of course can effect if you get the desired effect from your CBD product, or not.

can you overdose on CBD oil
No, you can’t overdose on CBD oil!

Can Humans Overdose on CBD Oil?

No, it is doubtful that you can die from an overdose on CBD. You can accidentally take more that the recommended dose, and you might be sleepy as a result. If you have a sensitive stomach, CBD could give you a tummy ache or even diarrhea. 6 That’s as bad as a CBD overdose can get.

The clinical trials mentioned above used different doses and different dosage forms. What might have been an effective dose in one trial could be too large of a dose in another. The variables involved in determining ones dose include weight, diet, sex, and age. To learn more about correct dosing, check out our dosage guide.

Can Pets Overdose on CBD Oil?

Again, the answer is no. Mammalian pets respond to CBD in much the same way as humans. That’s because all mammals have cannabinoid receptors. 7 The primary difference in administering CBD to pets for their health conditions is a matter of dosage. CBD dosage is based on body weight.

Like humans, pets who use CBD can find relief from all sorts of conditions including aches and pains, mild anxiety, 8 and supporting a healthy sleep cycle. If you’ve got an aging pup or cat, giving CBD oil a try can certainly be a low-risk option to increasing their quality of life.

If a pet consumes too much CBD oil, what can happen? The most likely side effect from a dog or cat overdosing on CBD include: lethargy, vomiting, and incontinence. For 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.

If you’re still wondering where to start with your pet and CBD oil, look for the nearest holistic veterinarian in your area, as they’d be the most likely to have information about pets and CBD.

Is CBD overdose possible
Pets can’t overdose on CBD either!

Effective Dosing of CBD for People

The real question is not about overdose—but about effective dose. How much do you need to take to achieve the outcome you desire? What is the best 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 looking for the answers to these questions and more.

Follow the instructions on the label of the CBD oil. 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 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 be able to 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, our four equal parts at 12.5mg of CBD.

CBD overdose chart serving sizes
Cornbread Hemp CBD Dosing Chart

Does CBD Oil Have Side Effects?

What are the side effects of CBD? 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 or blood circulation, be sure to consult your doctor.

To date, we have not received any reports of side effects from our USDA organic CBD products other than the rare few listed above. Cannabis products should be considered to be safe and effective methods of alternative treatments to prescription drugs.

It’s important to understand that CBD is not a drug, and is considered by most health care practitioners to be a health supplement, much like fish oil.

Choosing a CBD Oil Brand You Can Trust

There have been zero reports of a person overdosing on CBD. But that doesn’t mean that CBD is totally harmless. Some disreputable CBD brands have been shown to contain dangerous contaminants like pesticides and heavy metals. One report suggests that 70% of all CBD products contain dangerous contamination.11

The only way to ensure that a CBD oil is free of pesticides, heavy metals, solvents, and microbial contaminants is to look for CBD oils that are certified organic and third-party lab tested like the CBD oils made by Cornbread Hemp. This is not only better for you, but better for our environment, too.

Organic farming requires a  crop rotation that usually consists of three to four different organic crops. These crops regenerate the nutrients in the soil, which gives us a much better yield in the long run. Hemp is a natural bio-accumulator, meaning is absorbs much of the nutrients, toxins, and other elements within the soil that surrounds it.

Why Cornbread Hemp?

Because of that, it’s extremely important to not only grow the hemp without the use of pesticides, but to also regenerate the nutrients that are essential to growing the most CBD-rich hemp genetics in the world. That’s what we refer to as “regenerative agriculture.”

By committing ourselves to using only the highest quality, pesticide-free organic hemp, and by administering third party lab tests that we teach you to understand, we ensure that our customers receive the safest and most effective organic CBD oil available on the market, or your money back.

Ready to shop? Browse our selection of USDA organic CBD oils and CBD topicals here in our CBD online shop. At Cornbread Hemp, we never let a customer go unsatisfied. Every single order is packed and shipped directly from our headquarters in Kentucky. And our customer service team is available nearly around the clock to answer your questions and concerns about CBD oil. You can email us at support@cornbreadhemp.com or call our customer service line at 502-289-1552, from 9AM to 6PM Monday through Friday.

FDA Statement

These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. Products discussed are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. We recommend that you do your own research on CBD products, in part by reading the 300+ reviews about CBD on the Cornbread Hemp website.

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: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK230721/. 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. https://cbsaustin.com/news/nation-world/the-risk-... Sentence 20.

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