Overdosing on CBD is highly impropable, however, taking too much can cause adverse reactions and side effects. We answer all your questions. Taking too much CBD may cause some discomfort, but it won't result in an overdose or death. This article discusses the effects of taking too much CBD. Many people find CBD so effective for pain, anxiety and other health issues that they’re tempted to take higher doses. Learn why that’s a mistake.
Can You Overdose on CBD?
According to current drug experts and top CBD researchers in the United States, the answer is no. With CBD being the rage across the nation, the question, “can you overdose on CBD” arises often. This is often due to the number of news stories reported about THC overdose and emergency room visits in America. Still, unlike THC, taking too much CBD does not get you high or cause an overdose. However, it may cause side effects if you take too much.
The main active compound in cannabis used to get people high is Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). Reported studies have disclosed that hemp-derived CBD products contain less than .03 percent THC; therefore, overdosing on CBD is highly unlikely. Although CBD products (cannabidiol CBD) show therapeutic promise for many, more research on humans’ effects still needs FDA approval.
To discover the potential overdosing effects of CBD on humans who take too much, keep reading to see what is possible and currently known about people who overdose on CBD.
Can You Overdose on CBD Products With THC?
No, not necessarily because CBD products can contain a maximum of 0.3% THC since the passing of the 2018 Farm Bill, allowing CBD products to be sold and shipped across the nation if it meets certain criteria. One of which is the THC potency in the products.
Can there be side effects if you take too much? Yes, that is possible, but if you plan to take less than 100mg at once, you don’t have anything to worry about. Still, no one really needs 100mg of CBD to take at once.
If you’re talking about cannabis products that are high in THC, then there is a possibility you can overdose or cause you to end up in the emergency room. THC is the cannabinoid that can cause adverse reactions such as anxiety or panic attacks and a faster heart rate.
If you’re worried about consuming CBD products that may have too much THC levels, then we recommend going with Broad Spectrum CBD products as they are THC-Free.
Other types of CBD products are Full Spectrum, which contains up to 0.3% THC, or CBD Isolate, which is also THC-Free. However, CBD Isolate does not contain other essential compounds such as other cannabinoids and terpenes.
Proper Dosage of CBD Oil
CBD oil’s proper dosage varies from person to person as everyone’s body reacts differently to CBD. We dive deep into the specifics in our CBD dosing guide, but we always recommend people to start low and go up.
We don’t recommend starting low and going up because of side effects, but because it’s all about finding the optimal dose. If you have a light to medium case, we recommend starting with 10mg to 20mg of CBD for the first 3-5 days. See how CBD makes you feel after you take it. Are you calmer and more relaxed? Are you sleeping much easier and getting better quality sleep? Or do you simply not feel it enough?
If you feel it great, then you’re probably taking the optimal dose that your body needs. If you don’t feel it much, increase your dose by 5mg to 10mg every 2-3 days. If you come to the point that you don’t feel CBD’s effects the same, then your body built a tolerance, and you should take a 3-5 day break or cut your dose in half, so your tolerance levels reset.
The image you see below shows a clear representation of why we tell people to start low and go up. This is called the Biphasic Effect, meaning that the effects don’t necessarily improve as the dose increases.
Symptoms and Signs of Overdosing on CBD
Although rare, an overdose of CBD may still be possible, especially if the product is mislabeled. Many factors impact overdosing like the amount of CBD dose, first-time use, use of a contaminated CBD product, body weight, expired CBD, and more.
Symptoms and signs of CBD overdose may include:
- Panic attacks or extreme anxiety.
- Psychotic reactions where one becomes paranoid or loses touch with reality or becomes paranoid.
- Decreased coordination, judgment, perception, leading to injuries or even death.
- Chest pain, a fast heart rate, or heart attack.
- Uncontrollable seizures or shaking.
- Unresponsiveness or delusional effect.
- The pale skin color on the body.
- Sudden high blood pressure with a headache.
For an accidental CBD overdose due to mislabeled CBD, get help by calling 911 or go to the closest emergency room for immediate help.
What Does the FDA Say About CBD Overdose?
The only CBD drug approved and evaluated by the Food & Drug Administration (FDA) is called Epidiolex, which is used to treat two rare forms of epilepsy. Therefore, all other CBD products are not designed to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.
7 Frequently Asked Questions About CBD
If you’ve never used CBD, it’s wise to find out everything you can before taking your first dose. Whether you’re worried about side effects or concerned about building a tolerance to cannabidiol, you can rest assured that someone else has shared your concerns in the past. You can use the answers below to make a more informed decision about whether it’s right for you or not?
#1: Can You Overdose on CBD Oil?
If you buy a high-quality brand name CBD oil, the odds that it could cause an overdose are almost nonexistent. However, the first time you consume contaminated CBD oil, depending on the ingredients used, it could cause an overdose on CBD oil.
#2: Can CBD Make You Sick?
In short, the answer is yes. To avoid the effects of feeling sick, make sure to check the expiration date of the CBD oil. Expired CBD oil can make you sick; therefore, to get maximum health benefits and avoid bad CBD oil’s ill effects, always buy CBD from a reputable vendor.
#3: Can CBD Oil Kill You?
If you take too much CBD, there’s a chance you may wind up experiencing unpleasant side effects and harm to your liver, but it won’t kill you. There have been no studies showing that taking CBD at any dose could be fatal to date. However, since the Food and Drug Administration does not regulate cannabis sales, you could wind up with tainted products if you aren’t careful, which could be dangerous.
#4: What to Do if You’ve Had Too Much CBD?
The first thing to do is remind yourself that there is no chance of a cannabis overdose becoming fatal. The side effects of taking too much hemp-based CBD are less severe than those associated with marijuana. You should stay hydrated, make yourself comfortable, and let some time pass to feel better.
If you feel very unpleasant effects, then we highly recommend that you reach out to your doctor, call 911, or have someone take you to the emergency room to get checked up.
#5: Can You Build a Tolerance to CBD Oil?
Yes, you certainly can build a tolerance to CBD, and it’s quite common, especially to those who think consuming more will be more effective. Above in the CBD dosing section, we talked about the Biphasic Effect of CBD and explained how when you take too much, you may not feel CBD the same as before. That’s because you simply built a tolerance for CBD.
How to reset your tolerance levels, so CBD works as it did before?
We recommend taking a 3-5 day break from consuming any CBD to reset it and starting back at a lower dose fully. If you really want to continue taking CBD, then just cut your dose in half and wait for the effects of CBD to come back. However, the best option would be to take a minimum of 1-2 days off CBD and start back at a lower dose.
#6: How Much is Too Much CBD?
The average person doesn’t have to worry about taking too much CBD? Although there is no study conducted on “how much CBD is too much,” anything over 100-200mg of CBD is unnecessary. As we mentioned above, after a certain point, your body builds a tolerance and doesn’t produce the same effects.
Most people start with low doses of CBD, usually between 10mg and 20mg per day, and slowly increase them. Since it’s rare for even large amounts of CBD to cause side effects, it’s a safe way to find your lowest effective dose.
#7: Where to Buy Lab-Tested CBD?
There are a lot of companies and places where you can purchase lab-tested CBD products. A great place to start is a nearby CBD shop, but before heading over, make sure the people who run the place are highly educated about CBD and not selling only their own branded products.
Or you can purchase from a reputable company like Colorado Botanicals where we have a reputation for integrity and transparency. Our products are first tested in-house after each batch using the same chromatography machines licensed third-party labs have, and then we send it to a lab to get an honest, non-biased, transparent third-party lab report.
The Bottom Line
The odds of you overdosing on CBD products are improbable, even taking very high doses. However, consuming too much and going overboard can cause adverse reactions, including liver damage. So start at a low dose of 10mg to 20mg in a day and see how your body reacts to CBD. If you have a more serious case, then, by all means, you can start at a higher dose.
Don’t forget, more does not mean more effective! It’s all about finding your optimal dosage.
Another important point to always remember is to always purchase from a reputable company to avoid an expired or contaminated CBD product.
Can You Overdose on CBD Oil? How Much Is Too Much?
It’s natural for people new to CBD to ask this question. After all, anyone who wants to try CBD will want to know if it’s really safe (even in large doses), as studies and many consumers say.
So, to answer the question — no, you won’t lethally overdose on CBD, but it is possible to take too much and feel uncomfortable for a few hours.
This article talks about the safety of CBD, what happens when you’ve taken too much, and what you can do to relieve some of the discomforts.
Why Can’t CBD Cause a Lethal Overdose?
Overdose is when you’ve taken more than the recommended dosage of a drug or a medication. If the signs of a drug overdose are ignored, it can lead to comatose or death.
The symptoms of an overdose vary, depending on the drug you’ve taken. These include:
- Changes in breathing pattern with difficulty breathing
- Changes in heart rhythm (cocaine increase heart rate, while opioids decrease heart rate)
- Severe headaches
- Nausea and vomiting
- Chest pain
- Severe anxiety
CBD doesn’t significantly inhibit the brainstem like opioids, for example. The brainstem is the part of the brain that houses the control centers for our heartbeat, blood pressure, breathing, body temperature, and digestion.
High amounts of opioid-based drugs can cause an overdose since the brainstem contains many opioid receptors. Overstimulation of these receptors slows down our breathing and heartbeat.
Now, cannabinoid receptors are also abundant in the brain and the spinal cord, but studies show that the lower brainstem contains only a few cannabinoid receptors. So, even if you take high CBD doses, there won’t be enough cannabinoid receptors to activate and significantly affect our physiological parameters .
This is one of the reasons why high concentrations of CBD (and even THC) won’t result in an overdose.
CBD also has a weak affinity for the CB1 receptor to trigger any hallucinogenic or psychoactive effects like THC . CBD has not been shown to increase anxiety or cause delusion, paranoia, and other adverse side effects associated with THC.
Instead, CBD works on other receptors such as the serotonin and vanilloid receptors and helps modulate these negative reactions from THC .
What are the Effects of Too Much CBD?
Taking too much CBD may not result in fatal overdose and death, but it doesn’t mean that it won’t cause any discomfort.
CBD, just like any other drug, also has some side effects.
Taking too much CBD may cause:
- Dry mouth. When CBD activates the cannabinoid receptors found in the mouth, it decreases saliva secretion .
- Drowsiness, lightheadedness, and dizziness. These may be caused by CBD lowering the blood pressure since it relaxes the blood vessel walls.
- Loose bowel movements or diarrhea
- Appetite changes
- Nausea and vomiting, especially on high CBD doses.
CBD also interacts with other drugs and may either increase or decrease their effectiveness.
Take warfarin, a common blood thinner medication, for example. CBD boosts warfarin’s effect . It binds to the enzymes that break down warfarin, allowing the drug to stay in the system longer.
CBD may also enhance the effects of antiepileptic drugs like phenytoin as well as clobazam.
If you’re taking maintenance medications, we recommend speaking with your doctor about using CBD. Your primary care physician can give you advice on CBD use and whether or not it will have an impact on your other medications.
Your doctor can also help you manage your CBD use, including its dosage and frequency of use.
How Much CBD is Too Much CBD?
What’s the lethal or toxic dose of CBD?
Well, there’s no clear-cut answer to this yet.
However, a 2011 study showed that chronic CBD use of 1,500 mg per day — this is equivalent to taking a whole bottle of high potency CBD — was well-tolerated by patients with treatment-resistant schizophrenia . The patients also reported no significant side effects while on this high CBD dose.
In 2018, a study was also conducted on CBD’s tolerability and safety. It showed that CBD at increasing doses between 1,500 and 6,000 mg was still well-tolerated by the participants .
Some side effects were noted, like diarrhea, drowsiness, headache, and nausea, but these were pretty mild and tolerable.
Is CBD Safe?
The World Health Organization stated in a 2018 report that CBD is a non-psychoactive cannabinoid that’s generally well-tolerated by consumers and has a good safety profile. The report also stated that CBD doesn’t negatively impact our physiological parameters and may even have an opposite influence on THC’s psychoactive effects .
Can CBD Make Me Sick?
CBD won’t make you sick, but it can trigger some nausea and cause you to vomit in high doses. However, these are common high CBD dose side effects that typically go away after several hours.
Although rare, some people also develop allergies after taking CBD, so if you’re allergic to cannabis and pollen, you should be careful in using any cannabinoid-based product, including CBD.
How Long Does CBD Effects Last?
The effects of CBD can last anywhere from two to eight hours, but this depends on many factors.
Method of Administration
Sublingual CBD, like oils and tinctures, and inhalable forms like CBD flowers and vapes have a shorter duration than CBD edibles. The former typically lasts about two to four hours, while the latter lasts about six to eight hours.
Age and Metabolism
Your age and metabolism also affect how long CBD stays in your system. The older you are and the slower your metabolism is, the harder it will be for your body to process and get rid of CBD.
CBD Potency and Frequency of Use
The higher the potency and frequency of use, the longer you’ll feel the CBD effects since CBD builds up in the system.
How to Get Rid of CBD Side Effects
The side effects of CBD are generally mild and tolerable, but if they become too uncomfortable, then follow these tips:
- Drink plenty of fluids to help relieve dry mouth and satiate your thirst.
- Rest if you’re feeling lightheaded and dizzy. These side effects may be due to the lowered blood pressure, and sitting or lying down helps improve blood circulation in the brain.
- Take your CBD oil with food. Using CBD on an empty stomach increases the chances of negative side effects.
Should the side effects continue or even worsen, see your doctor. There may be some other underlying medical problems causing these issues, and these need to be addressed first before you can take CBD.
Contraindications to Taking CBD
It’s safe to take CBD daily, but you may want to rethink your decision to use CBD if you have the following conditions.
Hypotension or Low Blood Pressure
CBD dilates and relaxes the blood vessel walls, resulting in a drop in blood pressure.
If you’re hypotensive, high CBD doses can further lower your blood pressure and trigger drowsiness and dizziness.
The liver processes and metabolizes the drugs we take, including CBD.
If you have liver problems, high doses of CBD and its accumulation in the bloodstream may be taxing to the liver. The unnecessary demand on the liver may even trigger some unwanted effects.
Pregnant and Breastfeeding Women
Cannabinoids, including CBD, can cross the placental barrier and negatively impact the growing fetus’s development. It can also be passed through the breastmilk and affect the baby .
Again, we emphasize the importance of seeing your doctor before taking CBD, especially if you have chronic health problems and are taking maintenance medications.
How to Minimize CBD Risks
CBD may have a good safety profile, even in very high doses, but there are ways to reduce the risk of developing side effects.
- Always choose quality CBD products — look for their certificate of analysis or laboratory test results. This shows you the potency and purity of the product. The COA also shows proof that it’s free from contaminants.
- Start low and go slow, especially if you’re new to CBD — Listen to your body as well, and reduce the dosage if you develop some adverse side effects. Be patient, and you’ll soon find the best dosage.
- Ask your doctor first if you’re taking any medications or have underlying medical conditions.
Final Thoughts: No, You Won’t Overdose on CBD
In summary, CBD won’t cause an overdose even if you take a higher dose since few cannabinoid receptors in the lower brainstem. CBD won’t slow down your breathing or affect your heart rhythm.
CBD is a safe and effective cannabinoid, and even if you do develop some side effects, these are generally mild and well-tolerated.
While there are ways to minimize CBD’s side effects, know that these usually resolve on their own once the effects of CBD wore off. However, if you have some chronic health problems, are on maintenance medications, or begin experiencing severe side effects on CBD, then we recommend seeking your doctor’s advice.
Have you tried high-dose CBD? How was it?
We’d love to hear about your experience, so leave your comment below!
References Used In This Article
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- Zlebnik, N. E., & Cheer, J. F. (2016). Beyond the CB1 Receptor: Is Cannabidiol the Answer for Disorders of Motivation?. Annual review of neuroscience, 39, 1–17.
- Zlebnik, N. E., & Cheer, J. F. (2016). Beyond the CB1 Receptor: Is Cannabidiol the Answer for Disorders of Motivation?. Annual review of neuroscience, 39, 1–17.
- Prestifilippo, J. P., Fernández-Solari, J., de la Cal, C., Iribarne, M., Suburo, A. M., Rettori, V., McCann, S. M., & Elverdin, J. C. (2006). Inhibition of salivary secretion by activation of cannabinoid receptors. Experimental biology and medicine (Maywood, N.J.), 231(8), 1421–1429.
- Grayson, L., Vines, B., Nichol, K., Szaflarski, J. P., & UAB CBD Program (2017). An interaction between warfarin and cannabidiol, a case report. Epilepsy & behavior case reports, 9, 10–11. 
- Bergamaschi, M. M., Queiroz, R. H., Zuardi, A. W., & Crippa, J. A. (2011). Safety and side effects of cannabidiol, a Cannabis sativa constituent. Current drug safety, 6(4), 237–249. 
- Taylor, L., Gidal, B., Blakey, G. et al. A Phase I, Randomized, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled, Single Ascending Dose, Multiple Dose, and Food Effect Trial of the Safety, Tolerability, and Pharmacokinetics of Highly Purified Cannabidiol in Healthy Subjects. CNS Drugs 32, 1053–1067 (2018). 
- World Health Organization. (2018). Cannabidiol (CBD): Critical Review Report. Expert Committee on Drug Dependence Fortieth Meeting Geneva, 4-7 June 2018.
- Davis, E., Lee, T., Weber, J. T., & Bugden, S. (2020). Cannabis use in pregnancy and breastfeeding: The pharmacist’s role. Canadian pharmacists journal: CPJ = Revue des pharmaciens du Canada: RPC, 153(2), 95–100. 
Nina created CFAH.org following the birth of her second child. She was a science and math teacher for 6 years prior to becoming a parent — teaching in schools in White Plains, New York and later in Paterson, New Jersey.
Can You Overdose on CBD?
Cannabidiol (CBD) oil is growing in popularity, mostly due to recent legalization and its frequently touted effectiveness in treating common ailments. CBD is used as treatment for a wide range of illnesses and ailments. Unfortunately, most people are unaware of which dose is best. The responsible use of CBD oil to achieve the best possible results requires awareness of its composition and proper dosage so that too much CBD is not ingested.
Can You Overdose on CBD?
The answer to this question is likely a version of “yes,” although an overdose is not life-threatening as it can be with other substances. It is estimated that an average male who weighs 180 lbs would need to ingest more than 33 tablespoons of CBD oil in one sitting to qualify as “overdosing” on CBD. As further perspective, a typical dose is 1/8 of a teaspoon.
That said, while it may be hard to overdose on CBD, this should not be misconstrued as meaning that high amounts of CBD are somehow harmless. (After all, as with any medicinal substance, the packaging directions regarding recommended dosage are not arbitrary: They are there for a reason.) If you experience severe effects after taking an inordinate amount of CBD, seek immediate medical attention.
Anyone who regularly uses CBD for pain or other issues needs to know they are taking a correct and safe, therapeutic dose of CBD, based on factors such as:
- Body and Weight. Appropriate CBD levels are partly based on metabolism and body weight.
- Biphasic Action. Lower doses of CBD have certain effects and higher doses have other effects. It is important to consider what ailments the CBD is intended to treat to identify the correct dosage.
- Form of CBD. The most common form is CBD oil or tincture, but other forms such as gummies and vape juice are also used. Dosage depends on the form of CBD consumed.
The Effects CBD Can Have on the Body
Although CBD is one of 100 chemical compounds found in the cannabis plant, it is not psychoactive, like THC. This quality makes CBD a promising option for chronic pain relief and anxiety. CBD works by changing the receptor activity of the body’s endocannabinoid system (ECS), which regulates functions such as sleep, pain response, and the immune system.
Does Taking More CBD Reduce Anxiety Even More?
Anxiety and depression are devastating mental health disorders that are all too common. People who have sought treatment for anxiety but are not comfortable with pharmaceutical drugs have turned to CBD oil as a promising treatment. CBD has also been used to treat addiction.
A Brazilian study set out to measure anxiety levels when 57 men received either oral CBD or a placebo— 90 minutes before participating in a simulated public speaking contest. The results revealed that a 300-mg dose of CBD significantly reduced the men’s anxiety. Interestingly, both the placebo, a 150-mg dose of CBD, and a 600-mg-larger dose of CBD had little to no effect on anxiety.
This study and others like it reveal that more is not necessarily better when it comes to CBD. Identifying the proper dose is imperative for achieving the desired results. Different individuals can react to different doses in varying ways.
CBD and Pets
While there is no definitive research that shows how CBD affects dogs and other pets, pet owners have plenty of anecdotal evidence based on treating their animals for pain, seizures, and even depression. The AKC Canine Health Foundation is currently sponsoring research into the effects of CBD for treating epilepsy in dogs and is hopeful that beneficial discoveries will come of this effort.
CBD Is Becoming Popular for Pets – Why and How It Works
CBD works the same on a dog’s ECS as it does on a human. Pet owners who have struggled to find a viable remedy for their pets’ ailments have turned to CBD. Although the safety and risks of using CBD for dogs have not been researched, it is known to have the following side effects:
- Dry mouth. CBD decreases the production of saliva which causes increased thirst.
- Lowered blood pressure. Temporary drops in blood pressure can occur when doses are too high.
- Drowsiness. The calming effect of CBD helps with anxiety but can also cause drowsiness.
Can Pets OD on CBD?
A commonly asked question is “What happens if my dog eats CBD?” The truth is that the safety and risks associated with dogs ingesting CBD have not been researched. The FDA has not approved CBD for dogs, so there is no regulated dosing. It’s not known exactly how much CBD is toxic for dogs. If a dog accidentally ingests any amount of CBD oil, it is best to seek treatment from a vet.
CBD and Children
Parents will go above and beyond for their children, especially when their children are in pain or suffering from other ailments. Although some doctors recommend CBD oil for children, citing numerous benefits, it is important to understand that a child’s body can react differently to a substance that works well for an adult.
Not only are dosages different to account for a child’s smaller and less developed body, but the manner in which CBD is ingested is different as well. Children obviously will not be vaping or dabbing CBD concentrates, so other methods of ingestion, such as gummies or placing CBD oil under the tongue are necessary.
If your child has consumed too much CBD and you are concerned, contact poison control immediately. CBD is a legal compound that can be toxic in large doses, similar to soap or toothpaste. Erring on the side of safety is best, especially considering that there is still much to learn about the potentially harmful properties of CBD taken in high quantities.
How Long Do the Effects of CBD Take to Wear Off?
The answer to this question depends on many factors such as the dose and a person’s metabolism. In general, it can take 5-20 minutes for the effects of CBD to manifest and these can last 2-4 hours. A big factor affecting how long CBD’s effects last is the method of ingestion and whether a CBD user ingests edible gummies, a capsule, a tincture, or a food product laced with CBD. Vaping, the most common way to consume CBD, begins to work within five minutes, but also subsides fairly quickly. The effects of topical CBD can take longer to kick in but also tend to last longer.
CBD oil has been studied for its potential role in easing symptoms of many common health issues in adults, including anxiety, depression, acne and heart disease. However, not much research exists addressing the toxicity of CBD or whether adults, children, or pets can overdose on CBD. Research on the potential health benefits and risks of CBD oil is ongoing. While CBD is generally regarded as a safe and effective way to manage pain and anxiety, CBD is still a medicinal substance that should be taken according to the dosing instructions on the packaging label.