How much CBD do I take? Because CBD is so new, this simple question is more common than many think. Dr. Leslie Mudd, PharmD is here to help! Overdosing on CBD is highly impropable, however, taking too much can cause adverse reactions and side effects. We answer all your questions.
Can You Overdose on CBD Oil? Ask a Pharmacist
In December of 2018, the Farm Bill legalized cannabis plants with less than 0.3% THC, otherwise known as hemp. This change in federal law was the beginning of the cannabinoid boom in the United States. Since then, CBD sales have taken off and now you can find CBD in dedicated stores and boutiques, health food and supplement stores, and even gas stations and truck stops.
In 2019, a group of physicians looked at over 35 studies of CBD products being used in a medical context. The dose of CBD for the studies ranged from less than 1 mg/kg of body mass to more than 50 mg/kg of body mass. Despite the large doses of CBD in the studies the doctors saw no serious adverse effects of CBD. People who did take the larger doses did not become sick in any way. They did show some signs of sedation or calm.
- 1) Can CBD Oil be Addictive?
- 2) Can You Build a Tolerance to CBD?
- 3) Can Human Overdose on CBD Oil?
- 4) Can Animals (Dogs or Cats) Overdose on CBD?
- 5) Effective Dosing of CBD for People
- 6) Does CBD Oil Have Side Effects?
- 7) Effective Dosing of CBD for People
- 8) Does CBD Oil Have Side Effects??
- 9) Choosing a CBD Oil Brand You Can Trust
- 9) Why Cornbread Hemp?
The World Health Organization (WHO) has decided that CBD is safe for human consumption and does not cause overdose or addiction. But the FDA has not agreed with the WHO’s assessment. The US federal government has continued to place limits on CBD studies via federal drug laws.
Can CBD Oil be 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 overdosing on CBD.2 People with a history of substance abuse are not going to get the same “high” feeling or experience with CBD as with hard substances. It is very unlikely that even people who have addiction issues will become dependent on CBD.
While CBD has wellness and health benefits, it is not habit-forming with little risk that someone might overdose on CBD.
Can You Build a Tolerance to CBD?
It does not appear that people develop a tolerance for CBD, but more research is needed. 4
Anecdotally, however, some people claim that CBD has less of an effect on them than it did previously, or that it took longer to work, which could be an indication of tolerance. An easy way to address this issue is to begin taking your CBD at a different time of day, taking a short break, or consuming CBD less regularly and only to address a specific issue.
If you are a regular user of marijuana products, you might experience CBD differently. There is a possibility you could build a tolerance under those circumstances.
If you’ve been using CBD isolate or broad spectrum CBD products you may find an improved experience when switching over to a full spectrum CBD product made from Flower-Only™ hemp extract. These contain the entire field of cannabinoids and terpenes, many of which work best when they work along side CBD and THC.
Can Humans Overdose on CBD Oil?
The term “overdose” can have a few different meanings. Some types of drug overdoses can result in death, like heroin, cocaine, sleeping pills, or prescription opioids. However, the term “overdose” can also mean simply just taking more of a substance than originally intended or as directed, no matter what the substance is.
The research is very clear. The clinical trials on CBD users used different doses and different forms of CBD (oils, gummies, etc). They took into account several variables in the results including weight, diet, sex, and age. No overdoses occurred. Much more study of CBD and its properties is needed.
You can accidentally take more than the recommended dose, but the side effects of such a mistake are very minimal. You might find yourself more sleepy than usual. If you have a sensitive stomach, CBD could give you an upset stomach ache or even diarrhea. 6
Can Animals (Dogs or Cats) Overdose on CBD?
Research indicates that our pets respond to CBD in much the same way we do. All animals have cannabinoid receptors in their endocannabinoid systems. 7 Most animals require a smaller dose than humans do (although there are some massive dogs that outweigh people), but even if you get the dosage wrong the worst side effects of CBD include an upset stomach and sedation.
CBD dosage is based on the bodyweight of your pet. So it would not be recommended to give a Great Dane and a small house cat the same dose of CBD. The Great Dane won’t get the desired effects of CBD, and the cat will probably be extra sleepy and lethargic.
Pets who use CBD might experience all sorts of benefits including relief from conditions like aches and pains, daily stress, and a poor sleep cycle8. Aging dogs and cats can try oil for their joints. It’s a low-risk option to increase their quality of life. CBD oil could also be great for animals with stress or anxiety issues. Try it out during the next thunderstorm or fireworks show.
If a pet consumes too much CBD oil the most likely adverse effects include: lethargy, vomiting, and incontinence. For an 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. The best practice for giving your pet CBD is buying a CBD oil that was made for animals in mind. These have an adjusted strength and flavor that will appeal to your pet.
Still concerned about getting the dose right for your furry friend? Look for the nearest holistic veterinarian in your area. They’ll be able to give you more specific information about your pet and CBD.
Effective Dosing of CBD for People
In the end, we want to know how to get the most out of our CBD. Researchers are still searching for answers to all of these questions. There are several things to consider when trying to figure out the right dose.
One of the things to consider is how you are taking CBD. If you are taking gummies or capsules those are ingested and must pass through portions of your digestive system before taking effect. There are some preparations of CBD that work best this way, especially accompanied by a high-fat meal.
Another thing to consider is your own personal history with CBD, THC, and cannabis. If you don’t have any experience whatsoever, start slow. First-time users of CBD should start with a lower dose, we recommend 25mg per serving. If you are more experienced with CBD and THC you may already know how CBD makes you feel and might be tempted to be more generous with the amount of CBD, but keep in mind the quality of CBD you have experience with. If you were using a CBD isolate for years and are now considering switching to Full Spectrum CBD or Whole Flower CBD to get a better result, we recommend you reduce your dose slightly the first few times, then adjust as needed.
Best practice is to always follow the instructions on the label of the CBD product. To learn more about specific dosing, check out our CBD dosage guide. CBD has no intoxicating effects, so there is no reason to take more than indicated. 9 CBD works best when taken consistently, if you need help keeping track try out this free CBD Relief Journal!
Effective Dosing of CBD for People
The real question is not about overdose—but about an effective CBD dose. How much CBD do you need to take to achieve the outcome you desire? What is the best CBD 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 still looking for the answers to these questions and more.
Follow the instructions on the label of the CBD product. 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 safety and 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 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, or four equal parts at 12.5mg of CBD.
Does CBD Oil Have Side Effects?
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, lowered blood pressure, or blood circulation, or if you develop headaches, be sure to consult your doctor.
It’s important to understand that full spectrum CBD extract is neither a drug nor candy. CBD is considered by many health care practitioners to be a dietary supplement, much like fish oil. Please also note that full spectrum CBD does contain THC, meaning you can test positive on a drug test. and employers can still choose to fire you for a positive result.
Choosing a CBD Oil Brand You Can Trust
High-quality, trustworthy CBD can be difficult to find. Some CBD brands sell products that have contain dangerous contaminants like pesticides and heavy metals. One report suggests that 70% of CBD products contain dangerous contamination. 11
Trustworthy CBD brands will be USDA certified organic and have their third-party lab tests easy to find. Avoid any company that isn’t transparent about product quality. All oils made by Cornbread Hemp come with a QR code on the box that will take you directly to the lab results of your specific product batch.
Quality CBD oil comes from quality organically farmed plants. Hemp is a natural bio-accumulator, meaning it naturally absorbs much of the nutrients, toxins, and other elements in the soil that surrounds it. This is why keeping it in a crop rotation and avoiding all pesticides is important. This not only makes it a better product for you to consume, but it’s great for the environment too.
Why Cornbread Hemp?
Since the Farm Bill of 2018 passed Congress, you can find CBD products everywhere from gas stations to health food stores and pharmacies. Many of these products were rushed into production without regard to quality but with so many brands it’s hard to tell which one to trust.
By committing ourselves to using only the highest quality, pesticide-free organic Flower-Only hemp extract, and by administering third-party lab tests, Cornbread Hemp ensures that our customers receive the safest and most effective organic CBD oil available on the market, or your money back. We recommend that you do your own research on CBD products, in part by reading the over 3,000 reviews about CBD on the Cornbread Hemp website.
About the Author
Dr. Leslie Mudd, PharmD
A board certified oncology pharmacist with 25 years experience at the James Graham Brown Cancer Center in Louisville, Kentucky, Dr. Leslie Mudd now serves as the Cornbread Hemp resident pharmacist and medical expert. Read Dr. Mudd’s full author bio here.
Does CBD Get You High FAQ’s
Can CBD oil get you high?
No, CBD oil does not get you high. Full spectrum CBD oils contain trace amounts of THC that must be below 0.3% by law. That’s not nearly enough THC to get you high. However, you might notice that you feel less stressed when taking CBD, or that you fall to sleep easier at night.
How does CBD oil make you feel?
Most people who take CBD report being less stressed out in everyday situations, having a healthier sleep cycle, and even relief from aches and pains. However, this is dependent upon what type of CBD oil you are taking, and if it contains a full spectrum of cannabinoids, or just CBD isolate.
How much CBD is too much?
Most people take between 25mg and 100mg of CBD per day, but it’s safe to take as much as 3-4mg per 10 pounds of body weight. Depending on your health issues, you will need to experiment with different doses of CBD to find the one that works best for your needs.
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: 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
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.