Taking Too Much CBD - Is It Possible To Overdose?

You may have heard your buddies talk about CBD already. Maybe you even know someone who is really into it and talks about its great benefits every chance they get.

Maybe (although we hope that this is not the case) you have a friend or family member with a more serious condition where they have been prescribed CBD as a way to ease their symptoms.

But do you know what CBD actually is? Well, CBD is a chemical that is derived from the Sativa plant. This can be either a cannabis plant or a hemp plant, although only hemp is currently federally legal in the United States. It is a kind of cannabinoid called cannabidiol.

While it is related to the better-known THC chemical, CBD does not produce any of the psychoactive effects of delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol, yet it still can give you the physical health benefits often associated with THC. Let us look further into it.

Will CBD Get Me High?

The short answer is no, not really. As we mentioned above, CBD products (such as CBD gummies and vapes) do not possess any of the psychoactive qualities that THC does, meaning that you are not likely to experience any of the “high” symptoms.

Man holds bottle of marijuana oil in his hand

There is, however, a small subset of people (around five percent) that have reported feeling slightly altered after taking CBD oil, although it is unclear why. It is also unclear whether this may be due to its association with THC in the minds of consumers. There is also a chance you might buy a CBD product that has more THC than is legally allowed, which will then likely get you high.

In order to avoid this, you must look for state-certified shops and products that contain the right certifications, so you can make sure they only feature trace amounts (less than 0.3 percent) of THC. A dietary supplement claiming to contain CBD is also likely not a certified product.

What Are Some Of The Health Benefits Of CBD?

As it stands right now, the only medication that incorporates CBD in it that is approved by the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) is Epidiolex. This is a medication that aims to treat different kinds of epilepsy disorders.

This is the only health benefit that has been confirmed and backed by the FDA, although there are several other studies that provide evidence into a myriad of other benefits and very little adverse effects.

CBD has been shown to help reduce pain, lower blood pressure, and have anti-inflammatory properties, as well as the side effects (such as nausea) from treatments such as chemotherapy. There are also claims that it helps reduce anxiety and depression (and other mental health issues) and even helps reduce acne, as well as other physical health conditions.

Although all of these effects of CBD have not been confirmed due to a lack of study in this area, since pure CBD is widely considered an extremely safe drug with close to zero likelihood for addiction, if you are experiencing any of the issues mentioned above, then it might be worth it to give CBD a try. There are also almost no side effects of CBD.

If you live in a state where its recreational use is legal, then you might not even need to go through a doctor to obtain it. If you do not, however, live in a state where you can get it recreationally, then you can talk to your doctor about whether it would be an appropriate way of treatment and symptom management for you.

If your issues are severe enough, they should not have a problem recommending it to you.

How Do I Buy CBD Products?

The first thing to watch out for when buying CBD products is whether they have been tested through a third party. You should be able to find this information right on the label and if you do not, then their website should say so. If you do not find this information, it is probably better to keep looking.

If they make any kind of claims on the label, then they are also not likely trustworthy. Proper sources know not to make unfounded or uncertain claims. Also, if there are other things in the product - such as melatonin - then you may not be getting the best value for your money.

Typically, unless you find a website that you absolutely trust, it is better to go and purchase CBD in person, if anything just so you can clarify any doubts you might have with the people at the store before you buy their products.

Is CBD Legal?

It is important to understand the history of CBD in America to understand what the laws are now. Unsurprisingly, US legislation can be a bit tricky at times. CBD is derived from industrial hemp. Industrial hemp was completely legal until 1937 when the Marihuana Tax Act was passed.

This made hemp farming illegal, along with cannabis and its wacky friend, marijuana. It took almost eighty years until laws started changing and although marijuana remains illegal in most states, hemp and hemp farming were made legal federally by the 2018 Farm Bill.

Although this still leaves the regulation and the discussion of the details up to the individual states, from a federal perspective, hemp is legal, and consequently so is CBD. If you happen to live in one of the states that still completely bans its farming and use (such as Idaho, Nebraska, and South Dakota) however, then you are unfortunately out of luck.

However, if you currently live in Alaska, California, Colorado, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Nevada, Oregon, Vermont, Washington, and Washington D.C., then you will have no restrictions on using it both medically or recreationally.

There are also 23 other states in which CBD is legal in some form or another (usually medicinal). Check your local laws before purchasing anything online, so you do not get yourself into trouble.

Can You Travel With CBD Products?

With the passing of the 2018 Farm Bill, you as a CBD user should be completely okay to travel with CBD products legally between states. However, you should probably check the local laws of the places you are traveling to just to make sure you will not run into any unnecessary issues.

Also, if you are traveling by plane and taking tincture, you should make sure that you are complying with the TSA limits on the amount of liquid that you can carry on your travels.

Will CBD Show Up On My Drug Test?

This will mainly depend on whether or not you are buying reputable CBD products. Every CBD product on the market today has to have less than 0.3 percent THC (trace amounts), meaning that if this is true, then nothing will show up on your drug test, as CBD will not appear regardless.

However, you must make sure you are getting proper products from trusted sources, otherwise, you could be being lied to and face unwarranted problems through no fault of your own.

If you are an athlete, however, you should be even more careful, as the drug tests that are given to athletes are often more sensitive and may detect even really small amounts of THC. So you should proceed with caution, and possibly talk to your doctor (and possibly even your coach)

Can I Give It To My Dog?

If you do not have a pet, you might find this question quite strange. However, if you do have a pet (especially an anxious one, or an old one that may have some sort of chronic pain condition), your local CBD-loving friend has probably already told you about this possibility.

Dog Taking CBD Hemp Oil Tincture

And the answer is - we believe so. As with most other answers about CBD, it requires more research to say for sure, but CBD is generally considered safe for dogs to consume. However, if you are planning on doing this to your four-legged friend, it is probably a good idea to run it by your vet first, just to make sure.

How Much Is Too Much CBD?

Now, this is something that is hard to study - both because since CBD was made illegal for so long, if people did experience issues from too much CBD, they would more than likely not show up at the emergency room, much less disclaim what and how much they had used.

Secondly, it would also be absolutely not okay to approve a study to find out how much CBD dosing you can give a person until it goes bad. That is a whole load of ethics violations. For these reasons, understanding where the barrier is for toxicity can be surprisingly difficult.

Now, even though there is no set number or figure that represents a toxic CBD dosage, researchers seem to place it around the 20,000 mg mark. This number only represents an amount taken all at once. It is unclear the timespan in which 20,000 mg of CBD would not be considered the toxic dose. As we said earlier - complicated stuff.

Whether you are taking CBD recreationally or without a doctor’s prescription or you are taking it for a specific condition, your dose should not vary from lower doses of around 5 to 20 mg per day, to higher doses of 1500 mg per day on the higher end of the spectrum.

As you can see, this puts you absolutely nowhere near the toxic dose at 20,000 mg. In order to get to the toxic dose, you would need to get through between 13 to 200 (depending on the CBD concentration) full bottles of CBD tincture all within a very short timespan.

This would be so hard to do that you can pretty much rule out accidentally reaching that toxic dose.

Is A Toxic Dose Of CBD Lethal?

Contrary to what the name might suggest, it seems that a toxic amount of CBD (around 20,000 mg) is not actually considered lethal. Although overdosing on CBD is not possible, this is not to say that you will not experience any symptoms.

If you (accidentally) ingest a toxic amount of CBD, you are likely to feel extremely drowsy, lethargic, feel nauseated, have diarrhea, and feel generally disoriented. However, the consensus seems to be that you are not in direct danger of death by ingesting this much CBD.

Additionally, it is also a consensus within the medical community that CBD is generally a very safe drug and poses no risk of dependency. This is the position of the World Health Organization (WHO). So you should feel secure in using this chemical, especially if you have been recommended to do so by a licensed professional.

Even when CBD is prescribed in high doses, none of them would ever reach anywhere close to the toxic dose of 20,000 mg. If you still experience the symptoms mentioned above, you might need to adjust your dose as you might be taking too much for your body weight still.

Although it is absolutely not the same substance, it is still important to talk about THC and its toxicity potentials. If you happen to buy CBD from a non-trusted source (which you should absolutely not do) you might find that it actually has more than trace amounts of THC in it, so we will leave you with a list of possible side effects of THC too:

  • Hypotension
  • Panic and anxiety
  • Muscle spasms
  • Dry mouth
  • Respiratory depression and distress
  • Reduced memory function
  • Delirium
  • Ataxia
  • Drowsiness
  • Increased risk of heart attack
  • Lethargy
  • Hyperkinesis

Although similarly to CBD, there are no conclusive studies that let us know the toxicity threshold for THC, it is thought that symptoms will start appearing if you ingest more than 7.5 mg/m2 if inhaled and 5-300 mg if taken orally (this number also includes pediatric patients, so it is a wide range).

The important thing to remember is that you should make sure you purchase your CBD products from trusted sources, so you can make sure that the THC levels are as low as they can be and you are ingesting the safest product that you can.

You can even ask for a Certificate of Analysis, or COA, which confirms that the product has been tested by a third party and is up to all standards.

Final Verdict

For us, the biggest takeaway here is that if you clicked on this article, we know that you are playing it safe and have strong attention to detail and safety that will keep you secure on the journey towards understanding CBD. If you are informing yourself and making sure you are safe, then you will more than likely be safe.

It is not possible to have a CBD overdose and even if you take too much, the symptoms are often mild and most definitely not deadly. The only issue that can arise is if you purchase it from non-licensed sources, but if you are here, we know that you will not do that, and you will be able to enjoy CBD as you absolutely should be able to.

Finally, do not forget the bottom line - if you or your loved one do find yourselves feeling the symptoms of too much CBD, you can always contact your local hospital if you are unsure how to proceed.

A healthcare professional will be able to direct you with your next steps and make sure you come out the other side completely unscathed.

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