How Much Weed Does It Take To Overdose?
People do not overdose on weed the way that they do on other substances, such as heroin or morphine. While those substances can kill you if you ingest too much, marijuana has never been lethal. The reason for this lies in how different drugs are absorbed by the body. Opiates are absorbed by the brain stem, which controls key functions such as breathing. If the brain stem stops working because the person has ingested too many opiates, they will stop breathing and die without medical attention.
Marijuana’s active ingredients, notably THC and CBD, are absorbed through cannabinoid receptors. These receptors are located throughout the body, but not in the brain stem. Therefore, a lethal overdose from marijuana is simply not possible.
That’s not to say that there is no danger at all in smoking weed. Because cannabinoid receptors are found throughout the body, cannabis has the potential to harm many different parts of the body. According to the United States National Cancer Institute, cannabis may cause the following adverse effects:
- Decreased gastrointestinal motility
- Conjunctival injection
In addition, marijuana smoke contains many of the same harmful components as tobacco smoke. Heavy use may lead to lung complications.
Although there have been no lethal overdoses from marijuana use, there have been deaths related to use of the drug. Driving while under the influence of marijuana, for example, can be lethal. There have also been very rare incidences of deaths related to the effects of too much weed, including suicide due to anxiety and paranoia, or accidental death relating to loss of motor skills. These deaths are often related to edibles, which are extremely difficult to portion control without the guidance of a professional.
Though the risks of dying because of too much weed are very slim, you may still have an unpleasant time if you ingest too much of the drug. Smoking or eating too much weed can lead to:
- Panic attacks (especially among people prone to anxiety)
- Paranoia, anxiety, or fear
- Short-term memory loss
- Low energy
- Lack of focus
- Loss of motor skills
- Dry mouth
- Slurred speech
- Increased heart rate
- Sweats, chills, and shakiness
- Upset stomach or vomiting
- Shortness of breath
In short, indulging in too much cannabis is simply not pleasant. Everyone, and especially new users, should be careful about their portions in order to have a good experience with weed. People should be especially careful with edibles, as it is difficult to know how much THC is in an edible. Moreover, the effects of edibles may not be fully felt for hours after ingesting it, so people are prone to taking more doses before the first has fully kicked in.
If you or a friend has smoked too much weed, there is little that you can do other than wait until the effects dissipate. Keep the person comfortable, relaxed, and hydrated. Call 911 or go to the emergency room if there seems to be an emergency.
Note that synthetic marijuana (sometimes called K2, skunk or spice) has been known to cause death.Back To FAQ