What is going to happen if your dog ingests too much CBD oil? Can a dog overdose on CBD oil and is it a big deal? Keep reading to find out. Medically speaking, you can’t give your dog too much CBD. Of course, there are exceptions to every rule but an overdose won't be lethal.
Can A Dog Overdose On CBD Gummies
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Can a Dog Overdose on CBD Oil?
No, dogs can overdose on hemp CBD oil, at least not in the traditional, effective way. However, high doses of dog CBD oil can result in adverse side effects. The good news is that dogs are likely to sleep off these effects. Namely, CBD does not react with brainstem receptors and does not cause respiratory depression. Plus, dogs can only utilize so much CBD, and the rest will remain a waste.
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In a 2018 critical review report by the World Health Organization, it is explained that large doses of CBD top out in lethargy, stomach upset, extreme drowsiness, and diarrhea. In another WHO article , “Safety and side effects of cannabidiol, a Cannabis sativa constituent,” conducted on humans and animals, researchers found out that CBD products have “no significant effects unless extremely high doses are administered…in excess of 30 mg per kg of body weight.” A 2019 study , “Cannabinoid treats as adjunctive therapy for pets: gaps in our knowledge,” stated that cannabinoids have a “favorable safety margin when administered orally.”
Bottom line, based on current information derived from these studies, it is safe to assume that CBD overdoses in dogs are possible in theory, but they rarely occur in practice. As long as pet parents stick to the general guideline and recommended dosage, the use of CBD oil and CBD dog treats are perfectly safe.
Dog Overdose Versus Toxicity, What’s the Difference?
Overdosing happens when a safe substance is given in excess, while toxicity happens due to unsafe substances even if given in minimal doses to dogs. In more practical terms, what dog owners should know is that CBD can cause an overdose while THC toxicity. Let’s take a closer look into the difference between overdose and toxicity.
An overdose occurs when a dog is given more than the recommended amount of some otherwise safe and beneficial medication, supplement, or natural substance. In such a case, the pet’s metabolism cannot detoxify the substance fast enough, causing unintended side effects.
Pet poisoning or toxicity is different from an overdose. Toxicity occurs when a dog ingests a drug that has no benefit in any dose but holds toxic potential. This poison could be a human medication, a plant in your home, marijuana products, wild mushrooms, or more.
Therefore, when it comes to CBD for dogs, pet owners should only buy hemp-derived CBD products. The hemp-derived CBD extract contains trace amounts of THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), the psychoactive plant compound that society associates with getting high. To avoid THC toxicity in your pet, choose hemp-derived CBD with less than 0.3% THC and prevent any exposure to marijuana.
Can You Give too Much CBD Oil to Dogs?
Yes, you can give your dog too much CBD oil. However, giving a full dropper of CBD oil instead of half a dropper is not a dangerous situation. Following an excess CBD dose, the most common sign is sleeping off the adverse effects.
This is because CBD has a good safety profile and is unlikely to cause serious effects even in large doses. In addition to the potential benefits of CBD, the wide safety margin is the second best thing about high-quality CBD oil.
Can CBD Kill a Dog?
No, hemp CBD oil will not kill a dog. In theory, since pet CBD products are allowed to contain trace amounts of THC (less than 0.3%), and THC is toxic, consuming a significant amount of CBD pet treats and oils can result in toxicity. However, this is highly improbable in practice, as it would take your dog eating an enormous amount of CBD.
However, CBD products and marijuana edibles like brownies and chocolates for medicinal purposes and recreational use in people contain high levels of THC and can toxicity in dogs. The ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center , Pet Poison Helpline, and CBD companies receive frequent calls about THC exposure in companion animals.
THC toxicity symptoms in dogs include vomiting, ataxia, slow heart rate, urinary incontinence, anxiety , hyperesthesia like sensitivity to loud noises, light, and touch, dilated pupils, and extreme lethargy. Dogs with THC toxicity need to be promptly and adequately treated by a veterinarian. Depending on the dog’s condition, the vet will recommend hospitalization to ensure proper treatment, injection of IV fluids (intravenous fluids), and supportive care.
So, the answer two the question “Can CBD oil kill a dog” depends on the cannabis plant. CBD extracts made from hemp plants cannot kill a dog while CBD extracts from marijuana plants can kill a dog. Another issue with CBD treats for humans is they often contain artificial sweeteners, and some of them, like xylitol are toxic to dogs. Even a small amount of xylitol causes severe cases of intoxication in dogs.
What Happens When a Dog Takes too Much CBD Oil?
If a dog takes too much CBD oil, it will become sleepy. This adverse reaction is the result of drowsiness, light-headedness, and low blood pressure. To understand the consequences, pet owners must be familiar with how CBD oil products work.
Namely, CBD exhibits its health benefits and effects by interacting with the endocannabinoid system (ECS). The ECS consists of endocannabinoids, cannabinoid receptors, and enzymes. The ECS is responsible for maintaining homeostasis, a state of balance and health by regulating many functions and processes like pain, inflammation, body temperature, appetite, sleep, mood, memory, etc.
CBD binds with these cannabinoid receptors, thus modulating the ECS. In case of giving too much CBD oil, the cannabinoid receptors will quickly saturate. Then, the excess CBD amount will be simply flushed out from the body. High doses of CBD can be the result of a miscalculated pure CBD dosage. It can also happen if your dog found a way to reach its favorite CBD peanut butter or, for example, cleaned out the jar or if your dog ate a whole bag of CBD dog treats .
In such mild cases, chances are your dog will sleep the CBD effects off and be fine within a few hours. It is a good idea to give your pet some water and allow it to rest. Also, keep in mind that harmless symptoms are possible.
Signs You Have Given Your Dog too Much CBD Oil
The telltale sign you have given your dog more CBD than necessary is sleepiness. Other signs include lack of appetite and vomiting, while in rare cases, dogs may develop diarrhea as well.
High doses of CBD are also linked with an increased risk of potential side effects. The risk of cannabis use side effects depends on two factors including dose and oil quality, with CBD oils of good quality being less likely to trigger adverse effects. Also, there is the individual factor with some dogs being more sensitive than others. Below is a list of the Side Effects of CBD Oil in Dogs :
- Dry Mouth
- Lowered Blood Pressure
- Liver Enzyme Alterations
What to Know About Treating CBD Overdoses in Dogs
Considering the benign nature of the so-called hemp CBD overdoses in dogs, more often than not, there is no need for treatment. As mentioned, just make sure your dog has access to drinking water and let it sleep off the effects.
On the other hand, if dealing with THC toxicity, seek veterinary attention as soon as possible. The faster you react, the better the outcome for your pet. Mild cases can be treated on an outpatient basis, while more severe cases require hospitalization. Prompt stabilization, followed by supportive care and extra love, are vital for a speedy recovery.
When to go to the Vet for a Dog CBD Overdose
If you have some doubt or it seems like your dog is too sleepy after being dosed with CBD oil, it is advisable to call the veterinarian and consult. If your dog is prone to the mentioned side effects and the increased lethargy is starting to affect its everyday activities, you need to talk with the vet about dosage modification. Finding the right CBD dosage for your dog takes time, experimentation, and patience.
When a Dog CBD Overdose is an Emergency
Dog CBD overdoses are considered an emergency if the ingestion involves THC, which is found in human CBD products and marijuana.
A 2016 study , “Marijuana for pets?” states that despite the limited research and the “less than 60 papers in PubMed on marijuana in dogs,” the toxic effects are well-confirmed. The study mentions that dogs are sensitive to THC because they have a “higher number of cannabinoid receptors in the brain compared with humans.”
Therefore, if your dog ate THC-containing CBD oil or treats, call the Pet Poison Helpline or head toward the nearest emergency clinic.
Can I give my dog too much CBD oil? Overdosing canine CBD
While there are exceptions to every rule, cannabidiol (CBD) doesn’t interact with receptors in the brainstem, or areas controlling respiration. This means that lethal overdoses from cannabis, especially CBD extracts, are statistically nil.
At the same time, dogs can only absorb so much CBD, so giving them too much will be a waste.
Even in extremely large doses, pure CBD is unlikely to cause any serious symptoms.
According to a 2018 critical review report by the World Health Organization, any negative effects from large doses of CBD are likely to top-out in extreme drowsiness, lethargy, upset stomach, and in some cases, diarrhea.
Another WHO study on CBD in both humans and animals found “no effect on a wide range of physiological and biochemical parameters or significant effects on animal behavior unless extremely high doses are administered…in excess of 30 mg per kg of body weight given orally daily for 90 days.”
From your dog’s perspective, however, the answer is likely, yes—they do have an upper tolerance for CBD dosage.
Beyond a certain level, dogs may begin to feel sluggish, sleepy, nauseous, and generally off-color.
So while too much CBD isn’t going to hurt your pet in the same way that too many painkillers might, it’s important to start low, go slowly when increasing your dose, and work up to a CBD dosage that most benefits your pet’s quality of life.
That’s the most important piece of information in this article, so feel free to stop here!
But before you go, here’s a question for you: What’s the motivation behind your search query?
Is your pup currently taking CBD oil? Or are you looking for the best CBD oil for dogs and wondering whether this new product is really as safe as people are claiming?
If you’re querying the upper limits of CBD dosing, it’s likely you’ll benefit from some info on exactly how CBD functions inside the body at high concentrations, as well as advice on dosing practices according to size, breed, and intended use. So, here’s a bunch of content on both of those topics!
What happens when your dog takes (loads of) CBD?
Say your dog gets into the CBD treats while you were at work, and scoffs the whole lot at once—what would happen? Here’s how huge intakes of CBD have been known to affect the body’s biology, as well as people’s subjective experiences.
While studies on CBD’s effects on humans and dogs are still being consolidated, researchers generally agree that cannabidiol is a highly safe substance at almost any concentration. CBD interacts with dogs through the endocannabinoid system, a series of receptors found throughout the body that deals in cannabinoids—molecules found in CBD and produced naturally, which affect bodily homeostasis, reduce inflammation, and induce relaxation.
The exact manner in which CBD interacts with endocannabinoid receptors is still unknown, though some believe CBD inhibits the degradation of a natural cannabinoid called anandamide. Others point to antioxidizing properties or an as yet unknown set of cannabinoid receptors.
However, we know CBD functions molecularly, flooding the body with cannabidiol is unlikely to affect the endocannabinoid system. When amounts of CBD exceed usable levels, the compound is simply flushed from the body, causing some of the mildly unpleasant symptoms listed in the next section.
What your dog is likely to experience
First up, there are few (and minor) side effects for dogs taking CBD oil. Obviously, eating a whole bag of treats or a bottle of oil is not a recipe for a happy stomach, so your dog is likely to feel pretty ill from ingesting large amounts of CBD all at once, especially at the beginning of a CBD regimen.
Aside from that, CBD is a non-toxic, non-psychoactive cannabis derivative, meaning it’s not going to produce any kind of upsetting high or psychedelic effect. Nevertheless, at intense concentrations, CBD may produce some unwanted reactions. If your dog does develop symptoms, they’re likely to include:
- Urinary incontinence
- Ataxia (coordination issues / drunkenness)
- Hyperesthesia (hyper-sensitivity / overwhelming sensations)
Given the current research on CBD’s astronomical upper toxicity limits, many believe these symptoms actually derive from impurities in CBD products, rather than the CBD itself. Another possibility for these symptoms could be an intolerance to the carrier oil used with the CBD – MCT oil, for example, can cause temporary gastrointestinal issues in some.
For now, CBD remains a federally unapproved ingredient in pet products, meaning there’s little oversight of its production. So, careful purchasing choices are essential in making sure no unwanted or potentially harmful ingredients have been used in the production of your dog’s CBD.
Read – Top 10 CBD Oils for Dogs (tested & safe for dogs)
Again, serious cases of these symptoms are unlikely, but the ASPCA’s Animal Poison Control Center has reported an increase in calls about CBD and other cannabis consumption by dogs. If your dog is showing any signs of illness following an overly large dose of CBD, always take them immediately to the vet. They may require IV fluids, antiemetics, or specialist nursing care.
Is there such a thing as a CBD overdose?
Talking to VICE, Joshua Kaplan, a cannabis neuroscientist at the University of Washington says that CBD dosing can be highly specific. “At the dose that’s required to treat epilepsy, you often lose [CBD’s] effects at treating anxiety or depression.”
So while there may not be such a thing as a clinically defined ‘CBD overdose’, there definitely is such as thing as taking too much CBD for your intended purpose. When it comes to cannabidiol, it’s definitely not ‘the more, the better’ route.
Other derivates of the cannabis plant can be toxic to dogs. THC (marijuana’s main psychoactive component) should never be given to dogs, as even small doses may cause feelings of confusion, anxiety, or paranoia. So while CBD by itself is safe and well-tolerated, be sure that your CBD products contain very low (ideally zero) amounts of THC.
**CBD Tip** When shopping for zero THC CBD oils, look for the word ‘isolate’ which will let you know that that product is simply CBD that has been isolated from the cannabis plant.