Marijuana overdose? 5 common symptoms.

We hear how it’s a myth that you can overdose from marijuana, but is that true? In all truth weed is one of the safest drugs compared not only to the usual suspects such as heroin and other opioids, alcohol – whether beer, wine or liquor but even when compared to Tylenol. But can you overdose on marijuana?

First let’s start by defining a marijuana overdose as a person experiencing either life-threatening symptoms or death due to too much of the drug in the users system.

Can you die from an overdose of marijuana?

Let’s first answer a key – question – that is whether weed can kill you by overdose. While there are cases of death involving combination of cannabis and other drugs such as opioids, cocaine and alcohol. However neither in teens nor adults have there been any confirmed reports of death due to an overdose of cannabis or THC.

But this does not mean that some users do not sometimes suffer from severe, frightening and psychotic and hallucinogenic episodes.  This is in particular associated with higher levels of THC – which is occuring increasingly commonly due crossbreeding of strains.

overdose from marijuana - panic attack

What does an Overdose from Marijuana look like?

Weed overdose symptoms can include:

  • Anxiety and panic attacks (with shortness of breath and sometimes chest pain)
  • A feeling of impending doom or death
  • A feeling of extreme heat, or cold. Hot and cold sweats.
  • Paranoia
  • Psychotic reaction with delusions and hallucinations.

(I personally landed in the Emergency Room in NYC one time when a friend gave me a particularly high THC edible. I thought I was having a heart attack and that death was imminent. If only I’d had access to some CBD to help reduce the effects of the THC – read below).

Overdose from Marijuana is still dangerous

A 2014 report by Benno Hartung et al. (2014) estimated the dose required to kill 50% of humans is  that the lethal half dose 30 mg/kg. While this is 2 gm of pure THC (a nice joint is about 1 gram – but of flower not pure THC) – that does not seem to be a huge amount when you realize that many strains available these days are tested and found to have a THC level of 20% and higher. Also dabs can be 80% pure THC.

But even then – when you inhale you exhale a large portion of the THC and if you are smoking a pipe or a joint – much of the smoke carries away the THC.

But what can be dangerous is edibles because one can consume large amounts of edibles and due to the delay between ingestion and symptom onset – once can more easily have adverse reactions due to the ingestion of larger amounts of THC. In fact the rate of psychotic presentations to emergency rooms has increased dramatically over recent years and edibles are considered to be a major factor in the increasing numbers of psychotic episodes observed.

So be diligent.

What to do in case of a Overdose from Marijuana

  • Seek help and/or call 911 if severe and especially if mixing with other medications, drugs or alcohol.
  • Remain with the person who has overdosed and monitor symptoms
  • Sometimes taking the person to the nearest emergency room is fastest way to get help – but no intoxicated person should drive. An uber or a taxi is often a good choice.
  • Provide comfort and assurance especially if person is experiencing anxiety or paranoia
  • If victim is not breathing, administer CPR immediately and call 911
  • If you have a form of CBD without THC available the addition of CBD may help reduce your symptoms. The reason for this is that the CBD molecule competes with the THC at the receptor level.

Preventing Marijuana Overdose

Of course the simplest way of avoiding a marijuana or thc overdose is to abstain from it. But if that is not the choice – other things can be done such as simply

  • lowering the frequency and amount of cannabis smoked,
  • staying hydrated,
  • choosing weed strains with lower levels of THC
  • using CBD Hemp Flower which has a very low level of the psychoactive THC but a higher level of CBD which gives you the potential benefits of the cannabinoids and terpenes without getting stoned.
  • avoiding other drugs and alcohol
  • knowing the source of your cannabis is legal and not tampered with

In Summary

Marijuana is considered to be a very safe drug in that it is not believed to be responsible for any deaths and given the massive amounts of cannabis consumed worldwide – we would know if there was more than a very tiny increase in deaths. That said – that does not mean that you cannot have uncomfortable symptoms that can lead to you to even going to the hospital. Follow the advice above.

Related:

Related Products

Don't miss a beat

Sign-up for our newsletter

By clicking "subscribe" you agree to receive emails from Weed.com and accept our terms of use, privacy and cookie policy.

YOU MAY ALSO LIKE...

3 Comments

  1. Frank Gallagher on November 26, 2020 at 3:23 pm

    my sister bought me triple strength THC vape juice. last night I cained it with big full long breaths…i popped out of body and my sister saw I’d gone grey…i knew I wasn’t breathing and fought hard trying to get back into body to breathe this went on for 20mins while she called an nambulance…at this stage I was semi back in and unresponsive but vitals checked I was okay…i was fully conscious throughout even telling my large friend to slap me awake…it worked but then popped out again..what a ride. I could have died but rallied round. this vape juice is very strong DO NOT CAIN IT. RESPECT ITS POWER.

    0
    0
  2. Frank Gallagher on November 26, 2020 at 4:26 pm

    please kids be careful of the triple strength THC vape juice. I was drinking half bottle of brandy mixed with cocodamols ibrupron 10mg of ramapril blood pressure tabs 20mg depression meds 10mg nortripaline high strength lions mane…DONT MIX AND MATCH KIDS. I won’t be puffing that again. I’m 49 and should know better. I could have left 3 children.

    0
    0
    • Alex on November 26, 2020 at 6:20 pm

      Hi Frank and thanks for sharing your experience. I am glad you are well. You are correct in a couple of areas in that the ever increasing strength of THC in flower, vapes and edibles can definitely cause strong side-effects – especially if you are not accustomed to it. Also if you are taking meds it is important to be aware of potential side-effects. That said – even though I have also had some bad experiences I think that the literature makes it clear that death is not (currently) reported as a cause of marijuana (except maybe if the weed delivery vehicle crashes into you 😉

      Lastly – KIDS – should not consume THC products unless under doctors supervision. It can affect the long-term development of the brain and risks a higher level of addiction.

      Also note that if kids do consume THC – which is a particular risk as they might eat a whole chocolate bar – this is a good article to read.

      Help! My Child Ate an Edible!

      0
      0

Got Something To Say?

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *




Find what you're
looking for here