A bottle filled with CBD oil sits on a table with a hemp leaf in the background.

Can You Overdose On CBD? What You Need To Know

CBD may help to treat inflammation, chronic pain, sleeplessness, and other common issues. It’s also considered to be safe. The World Health Organization (WHO) says “CBD is generally well tolerated with a good safety profile.”

However, what happens if you take too much? Can you overdose on CBD?

This is an important health-related question, so we want to be as clear as possible. You can take too much CBD, and it can cause an unpleasant experience or clearly negative side effects. It may also interact with certain medications and cause more serious side effects in that context.

Let’s take a closer look at CBD, its potential for overdose, and how to use it safely.

What is CBD? Source, Intended Effects, Legality and More

CBD is a chemical compound that naturally occurs in both cannabis and hemp plants. It’s classified as a cannabinoid because it has specific effects on the human body. CBD acts on the body’s natural endocannabinoid receptors.

However, CBD is much different than the majority of other cannabinoids, or at least the ones normally available for purchase. CBD does not cause changes in perception or sensation. Nor does it cause elevated mood and other effects commonly included when defining a “high.”

For that reason, CBD is seen as not addictive. It doesn’t create the positive or pleasurable feelings that often lead to psychological addiction. It also doesn’t create the withdrawal symptoms associated with physical addiction.

So, why do people use CBD products? These following benefits are not fully confirmed by research. However, user reports and early studies reviewed by Cedars Sinai Medical Center indicate that CBD may help to treat:

  • Anxiety
  • Insomnia
  • Inflammation
  • Chronic pain

CBD also has certain side effects, including drowsiness, diarrhea, and dry mouth. These are unpleasant, but relatively mild.

However, CBD can interact with other substances, including certain prescription medications. You should always consult with your doctor if you:

  • Currently take medication and plan to start using CBD.
  • Currently use CBD and have a new medication prescribed by a physician.

Is CBD Legal?

CBD extracted from hemp plants is federally legal. The 2018 Farm Bill allowed for the cultivation and sale of hemp plants containing no more than 0.3% Delta 9 THC.

On the state level, Leafwell explains that Idaho and Nebraska have laws restricting or outlawing CBD. Other states place some restrictions on the sale of CBD. Always check out your local laws before purchasing any CBD products.

The structural formula of CBD displayed in front of a hemp plant.

Can You Overdose on CBD?

“Can you overdose on CBD oil?” and similar questions sound like simple queries that have yes-or-no answers. However, the truth is more complex.

You can define the term “overdose” in more than one way. In some contexts, overdosing refers to life-threatening or seriously dangerous overconsumption of a medication or drug.

With this life-threatening definition in mind, CBD does not generally lead to overdoses. Wondering if you can overdose on CBD or THC, for that matter? In the context of extreme medical reactions and legitimate risk of death, it’s incredibly rare.

However, there are a few examples of what could be notably threatening reactions to CBD, as Healthline points out. However, there are a few key pieces of context to keep in mind:

  • It has not been determined if CBD by itself was the cause of these reactions. The products may have contained contaminants or other substances.
  • Such instances are very rare compared to the size of the CBD industry and estimates of how many people use CBD.

With these instances in mind, let’s look at another common definition of overdose. Specifically, consuming more than the recommended dose of a drug or medication. This can and often does, but does necessarily have to, lead to negative reactions and unpleasant side effects.

Under this definition, you can overdose on CBD. The unwanted side effects of CBD seem to be more common at high doses. Large doses seem to increase the risk of experiencing them. Experiencing those side effects is a sign of overdose in this context.

Now, let’s review some other common questions related to CBD and overdosing.

Can You Overdose on CBD Gummies?

Yes, at least in the context of taking an excessive dose and having to deal with disruptive side effects. You can take too many CBD gummies and end up with issues like diarrhea, drowsiness, or irritability.

Can You Overdose a Dog on CBD?

CBD for dogs is an increasingly popular option for many pet owners. Similar to humans, there isn’t conclusive evidence for its effects. However, pet owner reports and early research indicate that it may help with anxiety, pain, inflammation, and other conditions.

Just like humans, dogs can experience side effects from high doses of CBD. If you choose to give CBD treats or CBD oil to your dog, be sure to determine the correct dosage. In general, take a careful approach.

How Can You Avoid Overdosing on CBD?

CBD overdoses can be unpleasant and, in rare cases, dangerous. However, you can avoid overdosing on CBD, or causing dangerous drug interactions between a medication and CBD, by:

  • Speaking with your doctor about potential interactions between prescribed medications and CBD.
  • Following the CBD dosage instructions on the CBD products you use. These are generally listed on the package for CBD oils and tinctures as well as CBD gummies. If you use a CBD vape cart that doesn’t list a recommended dose, start small and watch your consumption.
  • Watching out for signs of milder CBD side effects, like drowsiness and dry mouth. If these occur, don’t take any more CBD and wait for them to subside.
  • If more serious side effects occur, get in touch with your local Poison Control Center by dialing 1‑800‑222‑1222.
  • Use CBD products that offer independent lab testing results, so you can be sure the label matches the actual contents. At Delta 8 Resellers, we share lab reports for our products on our website.

CBD is generally safe, but excessively high doses can lead to overdoses. Following the steps above and taking a careful approach overall can help you use CBD effectively, safely, and responsibly.

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