Updated September 6th, 2020
Cannabidiol (CBD) has been scientifically accredited with a host of potential therapeutic qualities and health applications. However, as is the case for every consumable compound, it is crucial to understand if there are any potential dangers associated with accidental overdose. After all, even water can be lethal if too much is consumed within too short of a period. So what then is the case for CBD? Can you overdose on CBD oil?
Toxicity: A Brief Overview
It is essential first to have a general understanding of toxicity before discussing how it relates to CBD. Defined as the level in which a chemical compound becomes harmful to humans or animals, toxicity can be experienced in varying degrees:
- Acute toxicity: Harm caused to an individual through short-term exposure.
- Sub-chronic toxicity: Exposure that causes adverse effects lasting for over a year, but not lifelong.
- Chronic toxicity: Long-term adverse effects resulting from continuous exposure that often proves to be lifelong.
Is a CBD Overdose Fatal?
The term “overdose” is typically associated with dangerous effects and often deadly outcomes. While this is most definitely the case for pharmaceutical medications and illicit street drugs, overdosing on CBD merely entails administering a more than ideal dose. Fortunately, this rarely causes any adverse effect, and thus far, no deaths have ever been reported.
Optimum doses of CBD vary significantly from person to person, and even highly concentrated dosages are incredibly well-tolerated in a human model, as supported by a report published in 2017 by Cannabis and Cannabinoid Research. The review analyzed 132 different CBD-focused studies, in which researchers confirmed the compound’s promising safety profile and concluded, “Chronic use and high doses of up to 1500 mg per day have been repeatedly shown to be well tolerated by humans.”
Bear in mind that these highly concentrated doses were administered as a treatment to patients diagnosed with epilepsy. A typical CBD user will not consume anywhere near this daily amount, though they could do so safely if desired.
Can You Develop a Tolerance to CBD?
One primary reason for the dangers associated with virtually every pharmaceutical prescription medication is directly related to tolerance development. The human body quickly becomes accustomed to the drug’s presence. It adapts accordingly, making what was once an ideal dose no longer sufficient for therapeutic relief, resulting in self-increased dose strengths despite potential threats of lethality.
As it relates to CBD, very few consumers have claimed the need to increase dose strength due to the development of tolerance. However, most do not experience this problem, as supported by several CBD-focused studies. For instance, according to a clinical data review published by Cannabis and Cannabinoid Research, “none of the  studies reported tolerance to CBD.”
Is CBD Addictive?
Addiction can often rapidly escalate to substance abuse, which is a potentially deadly problem that must be taken seriously and addressed immediately. Therefore, concerns regarding the potential risk of developing an addiction to CBD are entirely justified, especially when considering the highly addictive characteristics associated with most commonly prescribed pharmaceutical medications.
CBD is a non-intoxicating compound with purely therapeutic effects and holds absolutely no recreational value. According to an international disclosure released by the World Health Organization (WHO) during the 39th Meeting of the Expert Committee on Drug Dependence (ECDD), “In humans, CBD exhibits no effects indicative of any abuse or dependence potential.”
Not only is CBD a non-addictive compound, evidence additionally suggests its potential use as an aid for those recovering from drug and/or alcohol addiction. A report published by the National Institute on Drug Abuse states, “…CBD appeared to be effective in reducing reinstatement of drug-taking [and is] considered a model of drug and alcohol relapse.”
Choose a Trustworthy CBD Brand
Bottom line, is a CBD overdose fatal? Considering that absolutely no cases have yet to be reported, it is highly unlikely. However, not every product or company is created equally, making it essential to shop with a reputable business that you can trust when searching for a high-quality product. Here at Pure CBD Vapors, we are working hard to be that company.
Joshua Willard (Freelance CBD Content Writer/Editor)
*These statements have not been evaluated by the food and drug administration (FDA). These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.