Understanding dosing of cannabidiol (CBD)
“Can you take too much CBD,” is a common question. Cannabidiol, aka CBD, the non-psychoactive cannabinoid found in cannabis, is one of the fastest growing and most studied molecules in the world today. Still, because research into CBD’s effects on humans has begun only recently, there is still a lot more to learn about this amazing compound especially when it comes to dosing.
We do have some idea how it works though. For example, we know that CBD, a phytocannabinoid (those produced by a plant) can mimic an endocannabinoid (those produced by our own bodies). Specifically, an endocannabinoid known as anandamide helps to regulate the production and uptake of serotonin. Often referred to as the “bliss molecule,” this hormone is known to bring about feelings of safety and contentment. Researchers suspect that CBD’s ability to mimic the effects of anandamide accounts for its ability to reduce anxiety and improve mood.
But can you take too much CBD?
You’ve probably heard the claims that CBD is completely non-toxic, with no danger of overdose, and zero side effects. It is true that CBD is non-toxic and very well tolerated. And it is true that there have been no known cases of overdoses as a result of taking too much CBD. But CBD can have some unwanted side effects in some users especially if the dose is wrong.
CBD has what is known as biphasic properties. This simply means that it can have different effects depending on the dosage. A perfect example of a biphasic drug is alcohol. In small doses, alcohol can reduce anxiety, but in large doses, it can knock you out cold.
As an example of taking too much CBD having unwanted side effects, small doses of CBD are known to reduce anxiety, but, in some users, large doses can cause lethargy. This is evident in marijuana smokers. There are two types of cannabis plants used to produce marijuana — sativa and indica. While sativa strains are known to increase energy and focus, indica strains, which are higher in CBD, are known to cause “couch lock.”
Possible side effects of too much CBD.
There might also be more subtle side effects to taking too much CBD or using more than needed. CBD has powerful effects on a variety of systems and cell types in the human body aside from the central nervous system. For example, CBD is known to affect the human immune system. Regulating the immune system might be good for someone with an autoimmune condition, but might not benefit everyone.
Also, CBD is believed to help regulate the production of endocannabinoids. Taking too much CBD might change your body’s natural balance of cannabinoids and cannabinoid receptors. Much more research needs to be done in this area.
There exists scientific research which suggests that patients do not build up a tolerance to CBD. However, these studies have only focused on neuropathic pain, and often times involve mice rather than humans. On the other hand, there are numerous examples of CBD users who claim that they needed to increase their dosage over time to get the same results. However, this is non-scientific, anecdotal evidence and could be due to a number of factors including changes in products and delivery methods rather than actual physiological changes within the body.
The best advice is to take only as much CBD as you need and no more.
If you’re using CBD as a dietary supplement for general health maintenance and mood support it’s a good idea to stick with lower doses. For an adult, this could range from 10 to 150 milligrams a day depending on the method of consumption as well as your size, physical condition, and level of activity. Much higher doses, might be well tolerated, but might also provide no additional benefits and simply result in a waste of money.
One important factor when considering dosage is bioavailability. In this case, this refers to the amount of CBD that actually makes its way into the bloodstream. Some products, such as certain edibles, have a very low bioavailability, while others, such as vaping, have a much higher bioavailability. Therefore, one product that contains 10mg of CBD might have different effects than another product with the same dosage. For this reason, it’s a good idea to stick with one product and find the dosage that works for you.
If you’re using CBD to treat an actual ailment rather than simply as a dietary supplement, you might benefit from high doses. But then again you might not. It’s important when treating any disease to consult with a qualified medical professional who is knowledgeable in the use of CBD as a therapeutic agent.
Written by, Rick Schettino