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Can You Overdose on CBD?

Jillian Jastrzembski

Ever heard the saying “the dose makes the poison?” How about “too much of a good thing?” For example, you can actually die from drinking too much water. So it stands to reason that you can overdose on CBD.

CBD stands for cannabidiol, one of the most potent bioactive compounds found in cannabis. Unlike its psychotropic counterpart, THC, CBD won’t get you high. It is also totally legal when extracted from hemp[JJ1] , thanks to the 2018 Agricultural Improvement Act.

It’s not just that CBD is considered harmless. CBD is widely thought to have healing powers. Many of these healing powers are substantiated by the scientific literature. CBD has been shown to have anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidation, analgesic, and psychologically soothing properties. As a result, there is a lot of interest in researching the benefits of CBD for a wide range of health issues. Some of these include insomnia, mood disorders, pain and musculoskeletal degeneration, and even cancer.

The reason CBD (or any drug for that matter) can have such powerful therapeutic effects is because it alters the normal functioning of your brain and immune tissue. Anything that disrupts the normal functioning of your system can also cause harm.

That’s why it’s so important to follow recommended dosing instructions, source third-party tested cannabis products, and educate yourself about potential contraindications for CBD use.

This article is your guide to CBD side effects. We’ll talk about what side effects that you might see in the short term, for example, from taking too high of a dose on one occasion. We’ll also discuss potential negative side effects from consumption of CBD over the long-term.

What are the Side Effects of CBD?

Side effects of consuming too much CBD in the short term may include:

·       Fatigue

·       Drowsiness

·       Diarrhea

·       Nausea

·       Abdominal discomfort

·       Increased anxiety

·       Hepatotoxicity (liver damage)

·       Reproductive harm

This might seem like a daunting list for a drug that is literally sold as candy. All of these side effects have been reported in clinical human trials, with the exception of reproductive harm, which has so far only been shown in animal trials.

Even so, there are several caveats to this list, which we’ll get into next. Remember, everything has a context. When we take scientific studies out of context, we can prove almost anything we want. So, let’s pay special attention to what other factors could be at play.

One important consideration is that so far, the only FDA-approved medical use of CBD is a drug called Epidiolex, which is used to treat epileptic seizures. Why is this important? Because most of the data we have on CBD side effects is in a very specific population: people with epilepsy.

More often than not, these patients are taking CBD concurrently with other anti-seizure medications, and its difficult to extrapolate whether the negative effects are coming from the CBD itself, some other drug, or an interaction between the two.

Also, these patients could be very young – as young as 1 or 2 years old. Because they are so small, they could be more susceptible to toxicity.

Other groups have also been studied, for example, people with mood disorders, like anxiety, or schizophrenia. Again, CBD is sometimes administered concurrently with other medications.

Side Effects of CBD Oil

Let’s talk about CBD oil side effects. Here’s something you may not have thought of – what if your side effects are coming from something other than the CBD? For example, if you exceed the recommended dosage of CBD oil, you are also consuming more of the carrier oil. This in itself could cause gastrointestinal discomfort if you are sensitive.

Although it’s unlikely, the same goes for any vehicle of CBD, including negative side effects of CBD gummies.

Drug-Drug Interactions

If you are already on medication, it’s a good idea to consult with your doctor before self-prescribing CBD.

CBD is thought to interact with multiple different receptors in the human body and brain. Compared to THC, CBD actually has relatively low affinity for the most famous receptors of the endocannabinoid system, CB1 and CB2. However, it could interact with many other receptors, including dopamine receptors, serotonin receptors, GABA receptors, and opioid receptors. These are all very central systems. These receptors are targets for lots of other medications. That means that anything CBD could potentially cross paths with could cause a drug-drug interaction.

CBD has been shown to have potential interactions with drugs like:

·       Theophylline

·       Caffeine

·       Bupropion

·       Efavirenz

·       Diflunisal

·       Fenofibrate

·       Gemfibrozil

·       Lamotrigine

·       Morphine

·       Lorazepam

What We Still Don’t Know About CBD Toxicity

It’s relatively easy to test short-term effects of CBD toxicity, but it’s more difficult to collect data on chronic use. That’s why we don’t know too much about long-term toxicity of CBD.

Additionally, research has to go through several stages before it can be tested in human clinical trials. That’s why sometimes we have data in animal studies that has not yet been tested in humans.

One of the most alarming results from animal trials has to do with potential reproductive harm from CBD toxicity. Oral CBD administration was shown to inhibit sperm production and decrease testicle size in Rhesus monkeys. In pregnant rabbits, oral CBD decreased fetal body weight and increased fetal structural variations.

CBD toxicity has also been shown to increase liver size in monkeys, which indicates liver disease.

The Importance of High-Quality CBD Products

CBD actually has a better safety profile than most other drugs. The thing that makes it more dangerous than it should be is that it is under-regulated and widely self-administered by a public who is constantly being fed marketing hype.

The dangers of CBD toxicity are exacerbated by:

·   Unsubstantiated claims by marketing campaigns

·   Ambiguous regulations

·   Lack of warnings on packaging

·   Availability as candies or gummies

·   Widespread use

·   Absence on traditional toxicology screens

One of the major issues stemming from the lack of regulation around CBD is that cannabis products are not always appropriately labeled.

Some academics have pointed out that the reported side effects of CBD look awfully similar to the side effects of THC. In fact, there are many cases where products labeled zero-THC were actually found to contain THC and other non-CBD cannabinoids.

There is also a slim possibility that CBD can be converted to THC. This could happen either in the body (although this has not been shown in vivo), or during processing and storage of cannabis products, which is slightly more likely.

Check out the image: see how the molecular structures of CBD and THC are very similar? To get to THC from CBD, all that needs to happen is a closing of the middle ring (the hexagon in the middle of the THC molecule).

That’s why it’s so important to make sure you source your cannabis products from high-integrity companies, so you can be sure the label matches the contents of the packaging. Look for third-party tested products.

At The Green Dragon CBD, we hand-pick only the highest quality, third-party tested hemp-derived CBD products.

What To Do if You Overdose on CBD

If you do find you are experiencing symptoms from consuming too much CBD, you can seek medical advice from your primary care physician. If you are experiencing difficulty breathing or losing consciousness, you should contact your local poison control or call 911.

In a Nutshell

The World Health Organization (WHO) says that CBD is “well-tolerated with a good safety profile.” However, that does not mean that CBD is without risks. It’s important to always source high-quality CBD products that are third-party tested, and follow dosing instructions.

Acute side effects of taking too much CBD include things like dizziness, nausea, gastrointestinal discomfort, and fatigue. Less is known about the effects of long-term CBD use. You should always consult with a medical professional before taking CBD, especially if you are already on other medications. If you are worried you’ve taken too much CBD, be sure to seek advice from a healthcare professional.

As always, please feel free to contact us at Green Dragon for a free consultation.

Can You Overdose on CBD?
Can you overdose on CBD? In this article we will discuss the side effects of taking too much CBD and how to safely consume CBD products. Read on to find out.
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The Green Dragon CBD
Can You Overdose on CBD?
January 5, 2024
CBD Education