We know that, in some cases, too much of a good thing is bad for you, but what about CBD? Will taking too much do more harm than good and how much is too much?
Every chemical substance has a toxicity level, which means they all have the potential of becoming lethal if taken in high enough doses. With CBD, being a chemical substance, you would expect that this fact applies without a doubt, but, surprisingly, not in this case.
Here is where things get a bit complicated.
What Does Research Say?
First of all, toxicology studies are still in preclinical stages, meaning before any human tests are done, animals are the primary subjects. In one such study, researchers administered various dosages of CBD to 8-week old mice to investigate the chemical’s toxicity in the liver. Here are some excerpts from the report:
These doses were the allometrically scaled mouse equivalent doses (MED) of the maximum recommended human maintenance dose of CBD in EPIDIOLEX® (20 mg/kg)…
In this study, we demonstrated that CBD, when delivered orally to mice in the form of a concentrated CBD-enriched Cannabis extract, has the potential to cause liver injury. In the acute toxicity study, the highest CBD dose (2460 mg/kg), exhibited clear evidence of hepatotoxicity…
Although 2460 mg/kg (MED 200 mg/kg CBD) is not applicable to most real-life scenarios, it does provide critical information regarding the potential consequences of CBD overdose as well as for doses needed for further sub-chronic and chronic toxicity studies…
The 10 day sub-acute study also revealed that CBD doses above 50 mg/kg MED, although well tolerated after single administration, were toxic when repetitively delivered.
Also, according to a 2019 report, there have been many adverse effects recorded in animals:
- Possible defects – even death – in developing embryo/fetus
- Potential depressant and neurotoxicant
- Liver damage
- Potential male infertility
- Organ weight alterations
The human studies performed were associated with the development of Epidiolex, an FDA-approved CBD-based pharmaceutical used in treating severe forms of epilepsy in children. These studies showed mild and infrequent adverse effects of somnolence (drowsiness), decreased appetite/weight, and diarrhea in epileptic patients.
According to an article from Medical News Today, liver damage was a common side effect in clinical trial participants and was the most common reason people discontinued using the drug. More information on the drug can be found at the link above.
Clinical trials still need to be performed to obtain valid information on the effects of high doses of CBD in humans, ideally involving different participants of various backgrounds and longer periods of CBD administration.
How Much Is Too Much CBD?
CBD products are relatively new in the market, hence, adequate information on its toxic levels is still underway. A 2019 article summarily reported, “Cannabidiol doses up to 300 mg/d have been used safely for up to 6 months and doses of 1200 to 1500 mg/d were used in a study by Zuardi et al for up to 4 weeks.”
Additionally, according to a recent report via the National Cancer Institute, fatal overdoses from both cannabis and cannabinoids seem pretty impossible: “Because cannabinoid receptors, unlike opioid receptors, are not located in the brainstem areas controlling respiration, lethal overdoses from Cannabis and cannabinoids do not occur.”
But, there was a CBD overdose incident involving a child according to a report in November 2019. The child was found unresponsive after ingesting a dose of CBD oil and showed continued deterioration of his mental status and respiratory drive. CBD products containing synthetic components or cannabinoids have shown to exhibit adverse effects which may lead to hospitalization after ingestion. This may be the case here with the child in the overdose incident. On product labeling, CBD is spotlighted while THC is in the shadows, sometimes completely unlabeled. This highlights the need for more regulation in the market.
In terms of dosage, everyone is different. There is no precise dose or limit – unless otherwise advised by a licensed health professional – so the best way is to pay attention to how your body reacts to different doses to find the most effective for your specific needs.
So far, the good outweighs the bad in CBD effects. There is no scientific evidence on the limit of how much is too much CBD. In 2018, the World Health Organization (WHO), declared CBD was “generally well tolerated with a good safety profile.” However, due to hemp’s recent legalization, there aren’t many studies or researches done to acquire sufficient accurate and practical information on the plant itself and its derivative, CBD. Nonetheless, there are a few authentic studies out there, and with the sudden deluge of hemp products in the market, the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) is scrambling to get enough information on CBD to remedy product mislabeling and misleading and unproven medical claims.
With the influx of CBD products in the market and the demand for an increase in FDA regulation, it is crucial to pay attention to product labels to check ingredients and to only purchase products from reputable companies with COAs (Certificates of Analysis) to guarantee the product’s concentrations and components.
This is not to be used as medical advice. Please speak to a licensed medical professional before using CBD as a daily supplement.
Information sourced from the links above.
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