Can You Overdose on Weed?

Can You Overdose on Weed

Understanding the Forms of Marijuana Overdose and Prevention

An estimated 147 million people around the world consume marijuana every year, more than every other illicit substance. In the United States, it’s not uncommon for it to be used at social gatherings, for relaxation, and even for its medical benefits.

But when you consume too much marijuana, you may experience symptoms like sweating, heart palpitations, impaired coordination, hallucinations, and paranoia.

These adverse effects are incredibly unpleasant. But can you overdose on weed?

It is possible to overdose on marijuana. Even hitting a joint a few times at a party or eating a single edible can make your palms sweat, increase your heartbeat, and cause anxiety. Even experienced cannabis users can overdo it and experience these symptoms.

Below, we will review more about what marijuana overdose feels like, managing symptoms, and when you need to go to the hospital. We’ll also touch on when it might be a good idea to reach out to Purpose Healing Center if you need help evaluating marijuana use after an overdose.

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How Much Marijuana Does it Take to Overdose?

Marijuana intoxication can happen after a few hits of a joint or 1-2 gummies. Some people can consume much more than this and still not feel “too high”. The amount of THC (the primary psychoactive component in marijuana) that it takes to overdose depends on your individual tolerance level.

Factors like how long it has been since you last smoked, the potency, and the method of ingesting marijuana all play a role in the adverse effects you may experience.

Can You Overdose from Smoking Marijuana?

It is possible to overdose from smoking too much weed, however, it is less common than consuming too much THC from edibles. When smoking, marijuana’s effects are felt almost immediately.

This makes it easier to control how much you are smoking because you can stop when you feel too high.

Can You Overdose on Marijuana Edibles?

Marijuana Edibles

One of my own personal worst experiences with feeling “too high” was after eating marijuana gummies (from a recreational dispensary no less). I felt sweaty, my heart was racing, and I eventually threw up. Then, I lay in my bed, hoping the room would stop spinning enough for me to eventually sleep.

Many people across the United States find themselves in this predicament after consuming marijuana edibles. You can buy gummies, rice crispy treats, candy-like ‘Nerds’ rope, chocolate bars, brownies- you name it. Unfortunately, it’s easy to consume too many of these tasty treats and end up overdosing.

Cannabis overdose risks are greater when you consume edibles than when you smoke. It takes longer for your body to fully process the edibles. Some people also feel like they “aren’t working”, eat more, and then later realize they have made a mistake.

Can You Overdose on Weed: Is Cannabidiol the Same as Marijuana?

Cannabidiol (CBD) is not the same as marijuana, though they both work with cannabinoid receptors in the brain. Weed contains several active components, including tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol.

CBD is known for its medical benefits such as relaxing the body, depressing the central nervous system, stimulating appetite, and treating pain. THC is the psychoactive ingredient in marijuana that produces the mental effects.

However, it’s worth noting that CBD sold at smoke shops and gas stations is not regulated by the FDA. Some people have a bad reaction to the other ingredients in CBD products.

What Should I Do if I Overdose on Weed?

Come down from a weed overdose

The symptoms most people experience after overdosing on THC are incredibly uncomfortable. In most cases, though, they are not life-threatening and subside with time. The CDC (Centers for Disease Control) research suggests that motor vehicle crashes, falls, and other accidents are the most likely cause of injury or death when you overdose on marijuana.

It’s best to come down from a marijuana overdose in a safe environment. Use television, music, or something else to distract yourself from the discomfort. Try taking small sips of water, pat your face with cool water if you feel hot, and wait out the symptoms.

If you do need to seek medical attention, call 911 or have a trusted friend or family member bring you to the emergency room. Do not try to get there yourself.

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Do I Need to Go to the Hospital for Weed Overdose? 3 Factors to Consider

Some people wonder if they will die after excessive marijuana use and if they should seek medical treatment. Fatal overdose from marijuana alone is highly unlikely.

It is not typically a medical emergency, but you should go to the hospital if you have any doubts.

1) Synthetic Cannabinoids and Using Substances In Addition to Cannabis

Weed and other cannabis products are not regulated by the FDA and there is no guarantee of their safety. Synthetic cannabinoids like those in “K2” or “Spice” are also dangerous. The synthetic compounds found in spice can vary and are unknown. According to the Centers for Disease Control, this comes with a higher risk of overdose and unknown health effects.

According to the National Institute of Health, overdose symptoms for synthetic cannabinoids are severe. Symptoms include heart arrhythmias, loss of consciousness, altered mental state, tachycardia, high blood pressure, and even heart attack. Synthetic weed overdose results in many medical emergencies.

Individuals under the influence of other drugs or alcohol should also seek treatment. Severe symptoms of marijuana intoxication are more likely after alcohol or drug abuse. While fatal overdoses from marijuana alone are extremely rare, mixing substances has the potential to be dangerous.

2) Pre-Existing Conditions Aggravated by Marijuana

Finally, if you have pre-existing health risks or mental disorders, there is a greater risk of overdose symptoms. You should seek immediate medical attention for marijuana toxicity. The psychoactive effects of marijuana lead to an increased risk of panic attacks and can trigger psychotic episodes in clients with bipolar or schizophrenia.

3) Will I Get in Trouble for Drug Abuse if I Go to the Hospital?

You should never let possible consequences stop you from seeking medical attention if you need it. Many hospitals have policies in place protecting patients seeking treatment for a drug overdose. Additionally, while it is not legal in all areas, smoking cannabis or consuming edibles is not a serious crime, particularly if they are no longer in your possession.

What Does a Marijuana Overdose Feel Like?

Marijuana overdose symptoms

Marijuana overdose symptoms vary depending on factors like how much weed you’ve ingested, the THC levels, and individual tolerance. Some of the common symptoms of marijuana overdose include:

  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Heart palpitations and rapid heart rate
  • Chest pain
  • Increased blood pressure
  • Dry mouth
  • Dizziness
  • Impaired coordination
  • Anxiety and panic attacks
  • Hallucinations, paranoia, and other psychoactive symptoms
  • Sweating or feeling clammy
  • Having a pale color or feeling faint

The panic and irregular heartbeat associated with cannabis overdose can even make you feel like you are having a heart attack.

With so many unpleasant symptoms, it is no surprise that people seek medical attention after smoking or otherwise consuming too much marijuana.

Is Marijuana Overdose the Same as Cannabinoid Hyperemesis Syndrome?

Marijuana overdose is not the same as cannabinoid hyperemesis syndrome (CHS). CHS is a condition that happens after years of chronic marijuana use. It causes you to have abdominal pain and discomfort, nausea, and vomiting after smoking weed, usually for a period lasting a few weeks to a few months.

It is caused by heavy, long-term marijuana use rather than consuming too much marijuana at once.

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How to Prevent Marijuana Overdose

It would be easy to tell you to just “not smoke”. Realistically, however, there are things that you can do to prevent marijuana overdose. Be sure you have eaten, hydrated, and adequately rested before marijuana use, and know your limits.

Addressing Marijuana Addiction After Cannabis Overdose

While weed is one of the most widely used drugs and it is even legal in some places, like with alcohol, it is possible to overdo it. According to the American Psychiatric Association Diagnostic and Statistical Manual, cannabis use disorder is defined by patterns in areas like social impairment, lower levels of control and inhibitions, risky behavior, and psychological dependence.

Some signs that marijuana dependence or addiction may be a problem in your life include:

  • Social or relationship problems
  • Loved ones being concerned with your cannabis use
  • Financial problems from buying marijuana
  • Eating or sleeping changes
  • Difficulties at work
  • Avoiding situations where you can’t be high
  • Using marijuana in situations it isn’t safe like while driving or at work
  • Experiencing withdrawal symptoms after you quit
  • Feeling agitated or on edge when you cannot be high

Following a cannabis overdose, it can be helpful to evaluate the negative consequences of chronic marijuana use. Purpose offers inpatient and outpatient treatment options for marijuana detox and addiction.

They have customized, flexible treatment plans, and convenient locations in Phoenix and Scottsdale, and work with private and public health insurance, including AHCCCS, so nothing holds you back from seeking addiction treatment.

Get Help for Issues with Marijuana at Purpose Today

Marijuana Overdose Treatment at Purpose

Purpose Healing Center believes that chronic marijuana use disorders should be taken as seriously as other substances. Like with alcohol, not everyone uses marijuana in moderation. It’s easy to fall into the cycle of getting high “only on the weekends”, then “only at night”, and then throughout the day. Like any substance, repeated use causes a chemical dependence that contributes to addiction.

If you are struggling with marijuana dependence, reach out to Purpose. They offer a wide range of inpatient and outpatient addiction services, are Joint-Commission Accredited, and work with public and private insurance coverage to make getting effective help for cannabis easier.

Make the confidential call now and stop letting a marijuana use disorder hold you back today!

References

  1. https://www.who.int/teams/mental-health-and-substance-use/alcohol-drugs-and-addictive-behaviours/drugs-psychoactive/cannabis
  2. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK549915/
  3. https://www.cdc.gov/marijuana/faqs.htm
  4. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3470439/
  5. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK538131/