Can you really have too much of a good thing?

  • Discover how drug safety is assessed – it’s quite lethal 
  • Could this newsagents favourite be a real hidden danger 
  • This is why you can’t overdose on CBD

Calculating the safety of medicines is a rather crude science.

Effectively they work out the effective dose as being that which cures 50% of those that take it (ED) and the lethal dose as that which kills 50% of those that take it (LD).

The multiplication of the safe dose to get to the lethal dose is then known as the Therapeutic Index (TI).

Thus those with bigger TI’s are safer as you would have to take more of them to get a toxic let alone lethal response.

You might think that most commonly used medications would have high levels of safety, but it might surprise you that some of those that you can buy in your corner shop have very small margins of safety.

In the case of a drug such as Valium you might be forgiven to think it has a low level of safety but in fact you would need to take several hundred times the ED before it causes problems… whereas paracetamol has an index in single figures!

A drug you can buy alongside your weekly shopping has a much lower level of safety than one that is very tightly controlled – how can that be?

The reason for sharing this with you is to try to answer a very common question we get asked about CBD – how much can I safely take?

Safety in numbers

Knowing that Cannabidiol is extracted from cannabis might make some people worried about the safety of using CBD.

After all why would so many countries make cannabis illegal if it was safe to use?

Well the truth is that even cannabis isn’t particularly dangerous, however, for all sorts of reasons the authorities have seen fit to ban it – but even the most draconian states have allowed CBD to be used.

Because the potentially addictive compound (THC) has been removed many of the problems associated with cannabis disappears too.

But is it safe?

CBD has an effective dose of between 20-70mg per day and 2011(1) study stated that the dose at which you would see undesirable side effects in 50% of users (known as the toxic dose or TD) is in the order of 20,000mg per day.

This means you would have to take nearly three hundred times our recommended dose to even get to a level where you might see a side effect!

The lethal dose would be much higher than this.

If we were being flippant we would say that the only way our CBD oil could hurt you was if the truck carrying it ran over you! But this is too serious a topic for such comments!

The all important summary

Like many food supplements, vitamin pills and prescribed medicines care needs to be taken with whatever we choose to take, CBD is no different.

However, you would need to consume a huge amount of any of our CBD products before you placed yourself in any form of danger.

Please use these carefully selected products with care, but without any worry.


  • Machado Bergamaschi, M., Helena Costa Queiroz, R., Waldo Zuardi, A., & Crippa, A. S. (2011). Safety and side effects of cannabidiol, a Cannabis sativa constituent. Current drug safety, 6(4), 237-249.