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Is There Such a Thing as CBD Overdose?

Green Shoppers Written by Green Shoppers
Updated on June 17, 2019

For new CBD users, there are always a lot of questions. What does CBD do? How will it make me feel? How do I choose which CBD product to buy?

Often, questions surrounding CBD don’t have a right answer. Just as with any other nutritional supplement, cannabidiol is going to be a personal experience that affects your body in a unique way. For some, CBD is a way to unwind, feel healthy, and promote wellbeing. For others, it is the perfect supplement to slot into a gym routine. There are even those who choose to use CBD bath salts and other unique products.

A particularly troubling question is usually the correct dosage. Since CBD is so unique to everybody, it is hard to know exactly what dosage to take – there are plenty of dosage guides out there. With CBD retailers selling bottles of CBD containing anywhere from 100 to 1000 milligrams of CBD, consumers are confused.

Dosing correctly can be scary – what if you accidentally overdose? But there is a more important question at play here: Is it actually possible to overdose on CBD?

Are Cannabis-Derived Products Ever Safe?

By now, most people are aware that CBD is a product of the cannabis plant; usually, it comes from hemp. Despite the fact that cannabidiol products in the UK are made from legal hemp, there are still people who worry about the safety of cannabis products – even those containing minimal THC.

Putting hemp to one side for a second, there is a member of the cannabis family capable of causing an overdose: Marijuana. Thanks to high quantities of the psychoactive ingredient THC, users can and often do overdose on marijuana if they have never taken the substance before. An overdose includes symptoms such as:

  • Rapid heart rate
  • Hallucinations
  • Confusion
  • Paranoia
  • Panic attacks

However, marijuana is extremely unlikely to cause a fatal overdose. According to the Centers for Disease Control and prevention, there have been no recorded deaths directly linked to marijuana use – none whatsoever. In “Weed: The User’s Guide”, author David Schmader consulted with experts who informed him that a fatal overdose would require the ingestion of 1,500 lbs of marijuana in 15 minutes.

To put this in perspective:

  • 88,000 people die from alcohol-related deaths every year
  • 28,000 Americans died from prescription opioids in 2014
  • 0 cases of deaths from the ingestion of marijuana have been recorded

To be clear, we aren’t saying that there are no deaths related to weed. Users who ingest marijuana and drive, for example, are obviously putting themselves at risk.

Remember, an overdose can still occur, but it probably won’t be lethal. You would just feel incredibly sick!

But these effects occur due to the THC found in marijuana. This compound is barely present in hemp or CBD oil; so can you still overdose on CBD?

Can You Overdose on CBD?

Experts have widely agreed that a CBD overdose is impossible. Even the World Health Organisation has published a report detailing the fact that CBD is safe and non-toxic. As a result, it can be concluded that an overdose on CBD alone is pretty unlikely. According to the National Cancer Institute: “Because cannabinoid receptors, unlike opioid receptors, are not located in the brainstem areas controlling respiration, lethal overdoses from Cannabis and cannabinoids do not occur.

Nevertheless, there are a few side effects to be aware of. Although not all users experience them, CBD does have side effects which include:

  • Dizziness
  • Lethargy
  • Nausea
  • Diarrhoea
  • Cottonmouth

These side effects are minor and non-fatal, but you should still exercise caution. If CBD makes you feel dizzy and fatigued, for example, you should not be driving or operating heavy machinery.

As mentioned, these side effects are not experienced by everyone. Those who do experience side effects will usually see them disappear within a few days. Regardless, you should monitor your own CBD use closely and consult with a medical professional if you have any questions about using CBD.

How to Avoid Any Side Effects

Even if you can’t overdose on CBD, it is worth knowing how to mitigate the side effects. While short-lived and not fatal, the side effects can still be annoying and unpleasant.

According to the experts in CBD, it is best to start out with a very small dose of CBD oil, taking only a few milligrams each day. If you notice no benefits but also no side effects, slowly increase the amount of CBD you take until you reach a level that works for you – this is known as the minimum effective dose.

But if you cannot overdose, why not take hundreds of milligrams of CBD every time just to make sure it works? Well, your body can build up a tolerance to cannabidiol if you take it too much, and there is also an increased risk of side effects. Just as with everything else in life, CBD is simply better if it is enjoyed in moderation.

Does This Mean CBD Oil is Safe?

Given that CBD oil is both non-addictive and non-toxic, you might think you have the green light to try it for yourself with absolutely no qualms. It’s true that CBD is generally safe, but do not log in to Amazon and buy the first CBD oil you see.

Sadly, the CBD market is still unregulated in Britain. This puts the responsibility with the consumer to buy safe, legal CBD oil. Remember that it is only legal if it comes from hemp and contains less than 0.3% THC. This can be verified by searching for third-party lab reports.

When shopping for CBD online, be sure to check out reviews from other customers, and always do thorough research on the brand. You can also buy from reputable high street sellers such as Boots or Holland & Barrett.

Fortunately, the majority of CBD sellers are reputable and trustworthy. Nevertheless, it is better to be safe than sorry when it comes to your health. If you have any doubts, feel free to check out our tips for buying CBD online.