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Ask A Doctor : CBD, THC – Overdosing, Pregnancy, Stroke, Psychosis, Epilepsy and Inflammation

Ask a doctor
Written by Dr. Leah Zachar

What about people who want the medicinal and wellbeing from cannabis, but can’t function properly with the high? That’s where CBD comes into its own. But what about correct dosing and other issues?

Question: How high of a dose of CBD has been studied?

Answer: Chronic use and high doses of up to 1500 mg per day of CBD have been repeatedly shown to be well tolerated by humans. However, for must people who use CBD, the doses they will use will be 1/4 or this amount. Bottom line – CBD is safe.

Question: I use THC. I am concerned that if I use CBD I can harm myself or “overdose”. Is that a concern?

Answer: No. THC and CBD work at different areas of the brain. They do not “cross-react”. You have no cause for concern. You will not harm yourself or “overdose”.

Question: Could you please tell me more about the effect of the dosages of THC or CBD on the person who takes it?

Answer: Single dose administration of THC and CBD were evaluated in human studies. An oral dose of 600 mg of CBD did not cause any effects that were different from the placebo when given to healthy adults. In contrast, a 10-mg dose of THC produced intoxication, euphoria, and hallucinogenic activity. THC also increased psychotic symptoms, increased anxiety, and increased the heart rate. When CBD was given, none of this occurred.

Question: How does CBD work in conditions such as stroke?

Answer: CBD is a neuroprotective agent. When the cells of the body undergo hypoxic or ischemic insult such in seen in cerebral or cardiac ischemia (i.e. stroke or heart attack), CBD inhibits the uptake of adenosine. As a result, adenosine levels are increased. Increased adenosine protects against the cell damage that occurs in ischemic heart and brain injury, seizures, and inflammation.

Question: How does CBD work in problems that result in swelling or inflammation?

Answer: CBD inhibits COX-2, which is the main enzyme the initiates inflammation. When the COX-2 gene is activated the hormones, which cause inflammation are released. These hormones are the cytokines (histamine and interferon) which produce the inflammation and aching pain at the site of injury, and chemokines, which recruit the white blood cells to the area of injury, and through them, mediate the rest of the inflammatory response.

Question: Does CBD have a role in epilepsy? And if so, how?

Answer: CBD has an important role in the treatment of epilepsy. CBD decreases glutamate release which results in raising of the seizure threshold in the epileptic focus located in the hippocampus. CBD is an approved effective treatment for Lennox-Gastaut syndrome (LGS) in children and adults and Dravet syndrome in children.

Question: Is CBD safe in pregnancy?

Answer: CBD has no effect on embryonic development, thus preliminary studies suggest it is safe in pregnancy. Unlike THC, which has been shown in human studies to result in physical dependence (withdrawal & tolerance), human studies have revealed no physical dependence when using CBD.

Question: Does CBD have a role in the treatment of psychosis?

Answer: Yes. CBD has a pharmacological profile very similar to atypical antipsychotic drugs. CBD also prevents the psychotic symptoms induced by high doses of THC.


As per your request, we are moving the weekly In-house doctor session from Thursday at 1 pm EST, to Thursday at 3 pm EST (That’s UK’s 20:00, NYC’s 15:00 and LA’s 12:00)

If you want to read more from Dr Zachar, check out: ‘Ask A Doctor – THC VS. CBD – Addiction, Dependence and Abuse.

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About the author

Dr. Leah Zachar

Dr. Leah Zachar, M.D. is a physician who worked for nearly thirty years in Internal Medicine.
She currently is a scientific adviser to CBD Testers. Dr. Zachar believes that there is much that medical cannabis, and cannabidiol in particular can offer to traditional medicine.