CBD overdose: Can you take too much CBD?

CBD overdose: Can you take too much CBD?


  • It is possible to overdose on CBD, but the tolerance threshold will differ for each person.
  • While a CBD overdose is unlikely to have serious consequences, taking high doses increases the risk of unpleasant side effects.
  • To get the most out of CBD and minimise the risk of side effects, it’s best to use high quality products and a safe dosage that works for you.

CBD has enjoyed a meteoric rise in popularity in recent years. But the speed with which it has leapt out of obscurity and onto the virtual shelves of companies across the world has left many customers groping for answers to basic questions about how it works and should be used.

Simple questions like “How much CBD should I take?” and “Can you overdose on CBD?” are littered across the digital landscape of the wellness world, and while the answers to such questions do exist, they’re not as straightforward as one might hope.

CBD is a natural compound which can affect everyone differently, so there are no one-size-fits-all rules when it comes to matters such as dosage and product choice. Instead, these depend to a large extent on individual factors, including weight, height and reasons for use.

If you’ve ever wondered whether it’s possible to take too much CBD, and what the effects of doing so might be, then look no further – you’ve come to the right place. In this article, we’ll address the most common questions on the theme of CBD overdose, equipping you with all the knowledge you need to use CBD safely and effectively.

What is CBD?

CBD, or cannabidiol, is one of 100 compounds known as cannabinoids found in the cannabis plant. Unlike its cousin THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), CBD is a non-intoxicating cannabinoid, which means that it does not produce a “high” or negatively affect your thinking.

CBD can be taken in various forms, including oils, capsules, balms, edibles and vape juice. While research is still in its infancy, early studies suggest that CBD may offer a range of potential benefits, including reduced perceptions of pain, reduction in inflammatory markers, help with stress and improved sleep. However, more clinical research is needed to support these initial findings.

CBD overdose: Can you take too much CBD?

Yes, it is possible to take too much CBD, but what constitutes “too much” will differ from person to person. While a CBD overdose is unlikely to have serious consequences, taking very high doses increases the risk of experiencing unpleasant side effects, such as nausea, vomiting and diarrhoea. To minimise one’s chances of experiencing these side effects, it’s important to find a daily dosage that’s tailored to one’s physiology and needs.

How much is too much?

As explained above, CBD can affect everyone differently, and some people have a higher tolerance than others. Indeed, some studies looking at medical use have found doses as high as 1,500mg to be well-tolerated, although these effects can differ from person to person. 

Moreover, for most users, such high doses are simply not necessary in order for them to reap the potential benefits of CBD, and many find doses under the maximum recommended dose to be very effective for most common health complaints.

In the UK, the FSA (Food Standards Agency) recommends a maximum total daily dosage of 70mg CBD. This amount is considered high enough to allow the average customer to reap the potential benefits of CBD and low enough to minimise the risk of side effects.

How much is too much? CBD overdose

Is CBD toxic?

No, CBD is not a toxic substance. The word toxic means “poisonous”, and is often used to refer to hazardous chemicals, heavy metals, and intoxicating substances, such as alcohol and THC.

It’s worth remembering that anything can be toxic – and indeed lethal – when taken in excess. For CBD, some older animal studies showed that the LD50 (the lethal dose which can kill 50% of the test animals) was between 50mg/kg to 254mg/kg when administered intravenously into different animal groups.

But while CBD itself is not toxic, there are other substances within the raw material which may be harmful. For example, if the hemp is contaminated with pesticides, heavy metals and microbiologicals, or if the product is not purified adequately to remove traces of THC, these substances will form part of the finished product.

Therefore, providing a product which has stringent cultivation, purification and testing criteria is of far more concern when it comes to safety and toxicity than CBD itself.

Is CBD safe?

Yes, CBD is generally considered to be safe when taken as recommended and at the correct dosage, although long-term research is needed in this area. According to a critical review by the World Health Organisation, CBD is considered well-tolerated with a good safety profile, and not associated with abuse or dependency potential.

It’s worth noting that the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the European Medicines Agency (EMA) and other regulatory agencies have approved certain medicinal CBD products, such as Epidiolex, but these are for limited clinical indications due to CBD still being a relatively new product and research being in the early stages.

What is a safe dosage?

As explained above, CBD dosage varies from person to person, depending on individual factors. For people new to CBD, it’s recommended to start with a low daily dose, such as 10mg, and increase this gradually over several days until the desired effects are felt. 

Alternatively, you can use our CBD dosage calculator to find a dosage that’s tailored to your physiology and needs.

By finding a dosage that works for you, you minimise the risk of experiencing any unpleasant side effects, while saving money by not taking more CBD than you need.

What is a safe dosage?

The importance of using quality CBD

Another way to minimise the risk of CBD side effects is to use high quality CBD products from a well trusted brand like Naturecan. Such products will be quality tested by independent laboratories to verify label claims and ensure they don’t contain toxic ingredients like heavy metals, microbials, pesticides and THC.

High quality CBD will also be more potent and effective than a low quality or contaminated product, so your chances of benefitting from it will likely also increase.

CBD overdose: The takeaway

In summary, it is possible to overdose on CBD, but what constitutes “too much” will vary from person to person, depending on their physiology and how long they have been using CBD.

However, regardless of your personal tolerance threshold, taking excessively high doses does increase your risk of experiencing unpleasant side effects, such as nausea, vomiting and diarrhoea.

Therefore, it’s recommended to find a safe dosage that matches your needs by starting low and increasing it slowly over time (while staying below the maximum recommended daily dosage), or by using our CBD dosage calculator. This will enable you to reap the full potential benefits of CBD while minimising any chances of experiencing adverse side effects.

Disclaimer: There is currently insufficient evidence to support the use of CBD in the condition(s) mentioned above and this text by no means reflects recommended uses. Always seek the advice of your healthcare professional if you are taking prescribed medication or are thinking of using CBD for your condition.

Written by Alex Coughlan and reviewed by our compliance experts, Pippa Lindsay-Murray, Head of Regulatory Affairs at Naturecan, BSc Hons Biology, and Imogen Blackshaw, Senior Regulatory Compliance Officer at Naturecan, BSc Public Health Nutrition and Registered Associate Nutritionist (ANutr)