The Effects of CBD in Excess and Can You Overdose on CBD Oil?

When you start using CBD, you might have several questions, one of which we hear a lot is “can you overdose on CBD oil?” The short answer is that, NO, you can’t lethally overdose on it. However, if you take excessive amounts, you might feel some discomfort amongst the effects of CBD.

This article explains more about the science behind those statements. You will also find advice on how to reduce the effects of too much CBD.

Why Can’t CBD Cause a Lethal Overdose?

Now you know the answer to “can you overdose on CBD oil?” is no, let’s look at why that is. We’ll begin by talking about drug overdoses in general. An overdose is when you take more than the recommended amount of a particular drug. This might be a prescription drug but could also be a recreational drug too.

Here are some symptoms of an overdose, although they will vary between different drugs

  • Breathing problems
  • Changes to the breathing patterns
  • Adjustments in rhythm of the heart, either speeding up or slowing down
  • Intense headaches
  • Changes to skin colour
  • Chest pain
  • Vomiting
  • Severe anxiety
  • Agitation

In some cases, an overdose can also lead to the subject falling into a coma and even dying.

This is often due to the fact the substance contains opioids or another agent. These can affect the brainstem which controls heart, blood and breathing functions. But CBD does not inhibit the brain stem. In fact, it houses only minimal amounts of cannabinoid receptors. Therefore, the effects of CBD are very different. Even in large amounts.

What are the Effects of CBD in Excess?

An overdose of CBD does not cause death, but there are effects of CBD in excess. Thankfully, they are much less severe than with substances like cocaine and heroin.

You might find these effects of CBD if you take too much:

  • Dry mouth. Also known as ‘cotton mouth.
  • Drowsiness.
  • Dizziness. This is maybe due to CBD  relaxing the walls of blood vessels and lowering blood pressure.
  • Diarrhoea
  • Changes in your appetite
  • Nausea.

If you take medication for another condition, you should consult your doctor before using CBD oil. It can interact with other drugs and can either increase or decrease their effectiveness.

For example, excess CBD can boost the effect of blood thinner warfarin and increase the potency of antiepileptic medication, such as phenytoin.

Your GP will advise you on the effects of CBD oil with other drugs.

What Counts as Too Much CBD?

When it comes to too much CBD, studies suggest you would have to take a gigantic amount to be counted as ‘toxic’. Current Drug Safety found in 2011 that you would need to take 20,000 mg of CBD almost all at once to become toxic. Considering the suggested starting dose for most conditions is somewhere around 5-20 mg per day, this is incredibly unlikely.

In addition, even the effects of CBD oil in these amounts are unlikely to be lethal. However, you would certainly feel some discomfort and one or more of the side effects listed above.

Is CBD Safe?

In 2018, the World Health Organisation (WHO) looked into the effects of CBD. It concluded “CBD alone produced no significant psychoactive, cardiovascular or other effects.” WHO found CBD had none of the psychoactive effects of THC, which is the main psychoactive compound in cannabis.

CBD and Nausea

One of the strange coincidences about CBD is to do with nausea. A usual dosage of CBD can prevent nausea. But too much CBD and you might develop nausea and vomiting. In this case, the symptoms may last for a couple of hours, but will subside.

How Long Do the Effects of CBD Last?

There are a number of factors that determine how long the effects of CBD last. It could be anything from a couple of hours to around eight hours. But you need to take these things into account:

1.    Administration Method

If you used a CBD oil or inhaled a CBD vape, you might find the effects of CBD last less than four hours. With CBD edibles, it could be up to eight hours.

2.    Your Age and Metabolism

Generally, your metabolism slows as you age. A slow metabolism means you process the CBD more slowly and the effects stick around. However, it is possible to have a fast metabolism for your age, so this is only a rough guide.

3.     How Often You Use CBD and How Strong it Is

The stronger the CBD, the longer it stays in the body. In addition, if you take CBD often, it builds up, especially if you don’t give it time to completely leave your body.

How to Reduce the Effects of CBD

As explained, it takes a lot of CBD to produce side effects. But if you do ever find yourself in discomfort, these tips will help.

  1. Rest up, especially if you are feeling dizzy. Let that blood circulate more easily.
  2. Drink fluids, this will help that cotton mouth
  3. Take CBD oil with food in the future. Taking it on an empty stomach can increase your chances of side effects.

Of course, if symptoms persist, see your doctor. It might be that they are unrelated to the CBD. It is essential to look after yourself.

A Word of Caution

Millions of people take CBD safely. But there are some conditions that might not work well with it. If you suffer from the following, take medical advice before starting with CBD

1)    Low Blood Pressure

The relaxing effects of CBD can lead to a drop in blood pressure. If you already have low blood pressure, you could feel drowsy or dizzy after taking CBD.

2)    Liver Complaints

As your liver processes all the drugs that enter the body, you do not want to overload it. For those with liver complaints, large doses of CBD would not be helpful.

3)    Pregnant and Breastfeeding Women

CBD like other cannabinoids can pass through the placenta or breast milk and affect the baby. During pregnancy and breastfeeding, you should only use CBD on medical advice.

Cut the Risks of CBD

CBD is very safe, and that includes in large doses, but there are effects. In order to reduce your chances of suffering side effects, take this advice.

  1. Always ask your doctor if you have underlying medical conditions or are taking other medication
  2. Pick high quality CBD products from a reputable source like
  3. Begin with low doses and build up. If you feel side effects of CBD, drop back down.

So, Can You Overdose on CBD?

You cannot overdose on CBD in the traditional meaning of a drug overdose. But there are side effects of CBD if you take very large doses. These may last for a few hours, but you can take our advice to minimise them and even avoid them. CBD is a safe addition to your wellbeing and can enhance your life in many ways. Check out the benefits of CBD today.