Marijuana Overdose: Learn to Spot It
Millions of people use marijuana as a recreational drug, while others seek relief from ailments they are dealing with. In either case, a thing that is otherwise good can quickly turn bad in high doses.
Marijuana Overdose: The Highlights
- Uncommon to popular belief, marijuana can cause an overdose.
- Marijuana is one of the most used and abused drugs in America.
- Edibles are the most commonly overused form of marijuana.
- Overdosing on marijuana can be treated.
- No one has ever died from a marijuana overdose.
Is A Marijuana Overdose Possible?
According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, in the year of 2015, marijuana was the most commonly used illicit drug. And perhaps more interesting was the fact that it was fancied more by men than women. But that really has nothing to do with the effect it can have on the body.
Known botanically as cannabis sativa, marijuana also comes with a bevy of street names like weed, bud, ganja, Mary Jane, and pot. Suffice it to say, the popularity of this recreational drug does not show any sign of slowing down.
In fact, with all the states that are now legalizing it, you can expect its use to be on the uptick. With this being the case, and more people dabbing their toes in these waters, there is an equal chance for overdosing.
So to answer the question of is it possible to overdose on marijuana, the answer is, yes.
It’s possible to overdose on baby spinach and kale too. Simply put, too much of a good thing can turn into a bad thing. Baby spinach and kale and even marijuana can be good for you to an extent. But once you cross a certain line, the good can become ugly.
Is Greening Out An Overdose?
Cannabis plants are green, and that’s where the association with marijuana being green comes from. You can clearly see this when you walk through a farm at a dispensary or buy a bag of weed. You either see bright green or dull green.
Now on to “greening” out. Have you ever “blacked” out? It’s not a very fun experience. You become confused, bewildered and when you come to, wonder what the heck happened.
Often times, it feels like a ton of time went by and only a few seconds transpired.
And on the flipside, you feel like you were out for a mere few seconds and a few minutes went by. Neither scenario is one to write home about.
Greening out is not the exact same, but it does have some similarities. You do not technically pass out, but you do end up feeling a heaping helping of weirdness. At the top of this list would be massive anxiety. It’s kind of ironic that people often use marijuana to treat this condition.
But when you green out, you’ve gone too far and taken too much, which can turn the volume knob on the anxiety level up to ten. Additionally, you can suffer some physical effects like shortness of breath, trembling, dilated pupils, extremely dry eyes and stomach discomfort.
And needless to say, your coordination and motor skills will be taxed to the max. Way beyond the normal altering you get from a small dose of weed.
So to put all of this into perspective, greening out is in fact overdosing.
How Much Marijuana Is Too Much?
The true answer to this question really boils down to a judgment call. Much like no two human beings are the exact same, no two humans react the same to marijuana intake. Someone who’s a seasoned veteran will be able to tolerate a lot more than someone who is just taking weed for the first time.
The bottom line is, it will take more for subject A to go too far and experience an overdose than it would subject B. So in your case, you have to monitor how you feel.
If you are suffering any of the effects mentioned above after taking in a certain amount of marijuana, then you’ve likely had too much and you best think about cutting back.
Is Marijuana Overdose Lethal?
Here’s a staggering statistic. It would take 40,000 times the amount of marijuana that has an effect on you to cause death. This is what’s known as the lethal dose (LD).
The effective dose (ED) is the amount it takes just to get a reaction. In other words, in order to technically die from marijuana, you’d have to smoke about 40,000 joints.
But, you can still run into problems if you have too much. Especially if you have too much, too soon. This is the problem with edibles. The good news about edibles though, is they make life really convenient for those looking to get high that want to preserve their lungs.
However, you can really jack yourself up if you’re not careful when you use weed in general. Chances are really slim that you can end up dying because there has never been a known report of this happening.
But you can get yourself in a very uncomfortable situation. The likes of which you can avoid completely if you play it smart.
Signs And Symptoms Of Marijuana Overdose
CBD, or cannabidiol, does, in fact, have an effect on the body, but it does not have an intoxicating effect as THC does. That’s the main difference.
This being said, if you push your luck too far and get intoxicated with marijuana, signs, and symptoms can set in. Here is a quick list so you know what to look for.
- Racing heart rate
- Extreme vomiting
Regardless if you want to call it an overdose or greening out, the last thing you want to do is find yourself sick from taking in too much marijuana.
The signs and symptoms might go away in due time, but having to wait them out can be taxing on your mind and body. And it’s never a good thing to be in this situation.
Marijuana Overdose Risk Factors
As defined by the World Health Organization, a risk factor is any exposure of an individual that increases the likelihood of developing an injury or disease. Smoking cigarettes, for example, is a major risk factor for lung cancer because of the carcinogens that come along with them.
Risk factors for overdosing on marijuana are narrower.
They are quite simply, taking in more than your body is able to process in too short of a time span. It would be the equivalent of slugging down multiple shots of whiskey in a matter of minutes. Your body can only process so much.
The way you take in marijuana has a say in the matter as well. You’d have to take a lot of hits from a bong or bowl to get to a high level of intoxication. And the same can be said with just smoking joints. Edibles, on the other hand, are a bit of a wildcard.
Are Edibles A Risk Factor?
The resounding answer to this question is “YES!”
To get you up to speed, edibles are products you can eat that are infused with marijuana. Back in the day, brownies were all the rage and the most popular form of edibles.
But over the course of time, and as people got more crafty, they started to make edibles in multiple forms, such as gummies, ingestible oils, butter, lollipops, hard candies, chocolate bars, and the list goes on and on. These make it possible to get high without inhaling any smoke or vapors.
That’s good news. The bad news is, edibles don’t hit you like smoking a bud or smoking via a vape. They take time to release into your blood stream. And that’s the exact problem they produce.
One may eat a square of chocolate and not get any effect after a few minutes. So they go back to the bar and down another square, and another and another. About an hour later, they are as high as a kite and start to experience feelings of an overdose.
That’s because they weren’t patient and didn’t just allow enough time for the edible to kick in.
Marijuana Overdose Treatment
If you witness someone who has definitely gone overboard and is suffering severe symptoms of overdose, call 911. The next step would be to have them seek rehab, or if you are the party who has overdosed, consider getting the same treatment. There are both inpatient and outpatient options available.
How to Avoid Marijuana Overdose
You know better than anyone how your body reacts to certain stimuli. If you realize you have an addiction to weed, you best get help ASAP.
Although overdosing has not been known to be lethal, you can continually put yourself at risk of dying from some other means when you are too far out of control or make irrational decisions.