How Much CBD Is Too Much?

By Josh Hall

A quick search around the Internet couldn’t uncover any definitive proof, but there’s a good chance “You can never have too much of a good thing” is in the annals of famous last words. Truthfully, we’ve all probably had that thought before polishing off another couple of cookies (or drinks) only to pay for it later in the form of a stomachache (or hangover). As with most things in life, the key to knowing your limits is in education — and sometimes a little trial-and-error.

For people who are just dabbling in Cannabidiol (also known as CBD), one of the most common questions they have is, “Can you take too much CBD?” It’s a great question, but researching the answer can be a bit confusing for some. Fortunately, we’ve got the answer below and all the information you need as you start to hone in on the right dose for you.

Can you take too much CBD?

The answer is no; you can’t take too much CBD — at least not in a life or death sense. As you may know (or are learning as you continue to research), a lot of what’s out there about CBD is relatively new and still evolving.

But there are some published studies that support our stance on taking too much CBD. First, a 2011 review of the safety and side effects of CBD had this to say: “Several studies suggest that CBD is non-toxic in non-transformed cells and does not induce changes on food intake, does not induce catalepsy, does not affect physiological parameters (heart rate, blood pressure and body temperature), does not affect gastrointestinal transit and does not alter psychomotor or psychological functions. Also, chronic use and high doses up to 1,500 mg/day of CBD are reportedly well tolerated in humans.” Those findings were confirmed years later in 2017 in an update to the original study.

Of note, one CBD study performed on rats in 2019 did point out the possibility of liver damage, though it made particular mention of CBD interacting poorly with other drugs. Our recommendation is always to consult with your physician before beginning to dose CBD, but especially if you are taking other medications. 

It bears mentioning that the World Health Organization has reported that CBD “exhibits no effects indicative of any abuse or dependence potential.” So, even if someone does begin to take higher doses, that should have no impact on becoming addicted to the compound.

What happens if you take too much CBD?

Since we’ve already established that the worst possible scenario (death) is highly unlikely, let’s talk about what can happen if you take more CBD than you probably should. CBD is not without side effects, so you should be aware of how your body might feel in this case.

You can expect discomfort in a number of different ways, but the most common sensations you might feel include fatigue or sluggishness, diarrhea, changes in appetite, nausea, and dry mouth. While not fun to experience, those feelings should subside in a matter of hours. 

Finding the right CBD dosage

After “Can you take too much CBD?” the next question on your list is likely, “How much CBD should you take?” The answer to that question is also a bit fuzzy as it depends on many different factors. Some of the variables that can influence how much CBD to take include your body weight, what you’re trying to treat (pain, anxiety, sleeplessness, etc.), the delivery mechanism (oil, gummy, vape, cream), and the strength of the product you’re using.  

We always advise newcomers to CBD to start with a low dose and to take it slow. Your best bet is to evaluate how you feel after that first modest dose. Did you achieve what you were hoping to get out of the product? If the answer is no, try a little more the next day until you do. Once you find an amount where you can dose as little as needed to ease your pain, anxiety, or whatever ailment you’re trying to treat, that means you’ve found your sweet spot. 

Final thoughts on taking too much CBD

As we said, research informs us that CBD would require a significantly high amount of the compound in a noticeably short window to inflict harm — and even then, you’re likely only to have some tummy troubles. The key is to speak with your doctor before starting any products and to go slow with dosing until you find what works best for you. If you’re interested in reading up on products ranging from CBD oils and gummies to topicals and capsules, be sure to check out our reviews.

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