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Can You Overdose on Weed?

Can you overdose on weed?

With weed being more accessible than ever these days for new users and seasoned veterans alike, a question that often arises is “can you overdose on weed?”.  We’ve all seen the copious amounts of weed the Snoop Doggs of the world can smoke, but is it possible to smoke too much?  How much is too much and what exactly happens if you consume too much weed?

What Does it Mean to Overdose

Defined in the Merriam-Webster dictionary, an overdose is:

  • Too great a dose (as of a therapeutic agent)

Also: a lethal or toxic amount (as of a drug)

  • An excessive quantity or amount

By this definition, referring to weed an overdose would mean “a lethal or toxic amount”.  According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) ingesting enough marijuana to be lethal is highly unlikely.  However, it is possible to consume a toxic amount of weed, but the quantity can vary quite significantly depending on the person.

What Happens if I Overdose on Weed?

Most cases where consuming cannabis has resulted in hospitalization have been a result of consuming too many edibles (especially by inexperienced users).  Edibles can take up to four hours before effects can be felt.  The mistake many new and impatient users make is consuming more marijuana during this period, so when the effects finally kick in, they have consumed far too much.  CDC lists the effects of overdosing weed as: extreme confusion, anxiety, paranoia, panic, fast heart rate, delusions or hallucinations, increased blood pressure, and severe nausea or vomiting.


How Much Weed is too Much?

The quantity of weed you can consume depends on your preference and tolerance.  We are not all built the same and so there is no “one size fits all” answer to this question.  If you are unsure of how a specific strain will affect you, make sure you consume a very small amount to begin with.  Once you have a better understanding of the effects, you can slowly up your dosage until you’ve reached a high that you’re comfortable with.  Save the experimenting for when you have some time to decipher the portion that suits you best.


Is There Any Amount of Weed That Would Kill Me?

The quantity of weed it would take to kill a person is so enormous that it would be physically impossible to consume it.  The author of “Weed: The Users Guide, David Schmader calculated the quantity of weed you would need to consume for it to be lethal at fifteen hundred pounds in fifteen minutes.  That’s a whole lot of weed!  It is an impossibility for the direct consumption of weed to be fatal.  However, as THC is a very strong psychoactive, the effects it creates on the brain may cause behaviour and alter decision making which may ultimately lead to a fatality.  If you plan on consuming a large amount of weed, make sure you’re in a safe area to do so and with friends or family who can help ensure you stay safe.


How to Counteract the Effects of a Weed Overdose

If you’ve consumed too much weed, more commonly known as a “greenout”, there are a few things you can do to help you get through it and sober up a little bit quicker.

  1. The first thing you need to do is ensure you don’t panic!Consuming too much weed can feel overwhelming, and can be a very unpleasant experience.  Just remember, you will sober up and your current state is only temporary.  Take deep breaths and repeat to yourself “Everything is ok”.
  2. Drink lots of water and if possible, eat some food.It’s important to hydrate yourself and help your body to flush out the THC.  Drinking water will help sooth any dry-mouth you’re experiencing, and the familiar motion of sipping will help keep your mind focused.
  3. Chewing on or sniffing black peppercorns has been known to help eliminate the effects of overdosing on weed.It sounds like a strange solution, but many claim that it is very effective.  If you’d like to read more about how peppercorns can help reduce the effects of a weed overdose, The Growth Op wrote a great article on it.  Just click this link.
  4. Close your eyes and rest.One of the best ways to get through a weed overdose is to let your body rest and recover.  Find a comfortable, dark room to lie down and put on some soothing music or a guided meditation to help your mind stop racing.  Even if you aren’t able to fall asleep, a little “time out” can go a long way when you’re trying to come down from consuming too much weed.
  5. Distract yourself.Whether its taking a nice relaxing bath, playing some games, watching a movie or just listening to music, try to find an activity to focus on which will distract you as you move through your high.  An audio book can be an excellent choice.

If none of the above suggestions help, you may decide to seek medical attention and let your doctor or nurse know the quantity and type of marijuana you consumed.

While there have not been any fatalities directly connected to consuming weed, it is very possible to consume more than your body can comfortably handle.  The amount each person can manage varies greatly on their size, weight, chemical balance and so on.  What may be a casual Thursday night dosage for one person, may cause severe anxiety and paranoia for another person.  Overdosing on weed is not a fun experience and one that can easily be avoided by easing into a new strain or edible.  By starting off small and incrementally increasing your dosage to a level you’re comfortable with, you will be able to find a dosage that suits you best.  If you’re consuming cannabis for recreational uses, you want to have an enjoyable time, so learn what your threshold is responsibly and you’ll be able to have a great high and get the most out of your weed experience.