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With each new cannabis legalization measure, customers enter the market eager to try out all that cannabis has to offer. But, despite this eagerness, the everyday public still doesn’t have the cannabis information they need to safely and confidently enjoy their products. Thus, many people are left wondering, can you overdose on marijuana? 

Here at Elevate Holistics, we have the answers to all of your marijuana safety questions and inquiries. So, is it possible to overdose on marijuana? Let’s find out. 

Marijuana Addiction and Abuse

The health benefits of marijuana are beyond doubt; after all, the 36 states and DC that legalized it for medical use can’t be that far off. However, to get the benefits of cannabis, you have to consume it appropriately, whether you are using it medically or recreationally. When you don’t use it responsibly, you abuse it, and abuse has consequences.

It’s not cannabis itself; it’s how you consume it.

Currently, the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5) defines cannabis use disorder as a medical condition. 

According to the Center For Disease Control, users can develop marijuana use disorder. This means that they cannot stop using marijuana even when it’s causing them health and social problems. Three in ten people who use marijuana develop marijuana use disorder.

People who start using marijuana at a young age and use it frequently are at greater risk of developing marijuana use disorder.

Abuse turns into addiction when you can’t stop using the drug even though you can see how it negatively affects your life and relationships. More so, users who are addicted to marijuana desire to use more significant quantities of marijuana or marijuana with greater potency to achieve a “high” because frequent consumption has reduced the effects of regular doses on their system.

Cannabis over-consumption can lead to uncomfortable, potentially dangerous side effects you’ll want to avoid.

Signs and Symptoms of Marijuana Addiction

  • You can’t stop: You may find that excessive usage of marijuana has adversely impacted your life and relationships. You also encounter problems at home, school, or work, it causes social and relationship problems, but you prefer to consume marijuana rather than spend time with friends and family. All these problems make you want to quit, but you can’t stop.
  • You need more to get high: When you need to consume more marijuana to experience the same effects, your tolerance level has risen — one of the signs of addiction and dependence.
  • Lack of interest in activities you used to enjoy: Marijuana addiction can cause you to lose interest in occupational, social, and recreational activities like hanging out with friends, setting and achieving goals, and exercising.
  • You will do anything to get marijuana: This is a sure sign that you have lost control because nothing appears too extreme to you so long as it means you can get your supply.
  • You need marijuana to feel normal: Healthy consumption of weed means you can lead a normal life, and you don’t feel the need to stay high all the time. If this happens, you’re addicted.
  • You develop withdrawal symptoms: An addiction is not easy to kick, and when you stop feeding it, your body reacts with withdrawal symptoms. Withdrawal symptoms of marijuana addiction include depression, anxiety, irritability, restlessness, sweating, chills, and tremors.

Is It Possible to Overdose on Marijuana?

The average marijuana user has a ton of questions, and one that keeps coming up is, “can you get an overdose from weed?” 

No, you cannot overdose on cannabis the same way you can with opioids or other harmful drugs. But, this doesn’t mean that you can’t over-consume cannabis. Cannabis overconsumption can lead to uncomfortable, potentially dangerous side effects that you’ll want to avoid. 

A letter published in The New England Journal of Medicine in 2019 reported a case of marijuana “overdose,” though the use of this term is debatable.  A 52-year-old man undergoing treatment for a brain tumor injected himself with marijuana to stimulate his appetite. He sought emergency care after he experienced restlessness, speech problems, and confusion for two days. 

Investigations revealed that he had injected about 330mg of marijuana, 30 times the typical dose of 10mg. This degree of overdose can lead to death with many drugs, but thankfully, the patient recovered. 

If we consider this an overdose, then experiencing one with marijuana is highly unlikely and even more unlikely to kill you. (In fact, death by cannabis over-consumption has never happened). But, this kind of over-consumption puts you in a confused and disoriented state of mind that makes you likely to harm yourself if you’re not under watch and care.

LEARN MORE: How Long Does Marijuana Stay in Your System? | How Long Does a THC High Last?

Symptoms of Cannabis Over-Consumption

Some of the signs and symptoms you’ll experience if you consume too much marijuana include nausea and vomiting, panic attacks, poor coordination, fatigue, dizziness, headaches, increased heart rate, anxiety, high or low blood pressure, hallucinations, and paranoia.

What to Do if You Consume Too Much

The FDA has not approved any drug for treating a marijuana “overdose.” Typically, the feeling wears off after a while, but if you experience or witness someone undergoing side effects, here are some things you could do to help.

  • Relax: Don’t freak out. You may find yourself feeling weird or maybe a bit unsettled. Don’t worry; it’s all in your mind, so try not to react. Don’t allow yourself to be overwhelmed by anxiety, and reassure yourself that the feeling will pass. You just have to wait it out.
  • Eat: If you feel nausea and tremor, have something to eat. It may be difficult for you to do, but it makes a difference. If your mouth is dry, drink water.
  • Sleep It Off: Yes, the feeling will pass, but you could make it gentler on yourself if you just sleep while waiting for it to pass. You will wake up, and it’s all behind you.
  • Call Someone Trust: When you take too much marijuana, the confusion can cause you to harm yourself. Call someone you trust to stay with you until it passes.

Tips to Avoid Overconsumption

Can you overdose on marijuana? No, not in the traditional sense. But, consuming more than your body is comfortable with is more common than you’d think. Everybody has their limit — it just depends on the person.

Even if you’re not addicted to the substance but have a high tolerance, a certain dose might still be too much for you to handle. Here are some tips to help you stay within your limits.

Watch your edibles

If you’re health-conscious and don’t want to have lots of smoke in your lungs, but you still want to get your marijuana high, edibles are a favorable option. However, be careful how you take them

Can you overdose on marijuana edibles? Out of all the products on the market, edibles are easiest to over-consume and have a bad reaction. This is because they take longer to hit – up to two hours long. 

As you wait for the hit, you may think you need to eat more for the effects to come on faster. The result is that you eat much more than your body can handle, and when you begin to feel the effects, your system is overwhelmed. 

Because of this, always start a small amount, then wait for at least two hours before deciding if you need more to feel the effects. Just be patient! The results will come eventually. 

Start small

If you’re consuming marijuana for the first time, it is best to start with a low dosage and find the level best suited to your system. Consume a small amount of marijuana with a low potency and wait for it to kick in before consuming more.

Pick products with low THC

Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is the compound responsible for the ‘high’ feeling you get from marijuana. If you’re sensitive to the effects of cannabis or you are a new user, pick a product with low THC or a high CBD:THC ratio.

According to marijuana consumption statistics, no one has ever died from an overdose. However, it is possible to have a bad trip when consuming too much — especially with edibles and products with high THC.

Let Elevate Guide You On Your Marijuana Journey

Do you have questions about marijuana consumption, safety, or regulations? Well, you’ve come to the right place. At Elevate Holistics, we make it our business to keep you well informed on all things cannabis. From inquiries about consumption to getting your MMJ card, we’ve got you covered.

Please note that cannabis has different laws per state. We don’t want you to get in trouble because you don’t know certain regulations, so we aim to give you the guidance you need on your marijuana journey. Check out our state FAQ pages for more!

If you’re in one of the many states that Elevate Holistics services, we can help you get the medical recommendation necessary for your state medical marijuana card. Simply start by pressing the button down below and see if you qualify.

Get Your MMJ Card Right From Home

Elevate Holistics’ process is quick, affordable, and done entirely online. It’s never been so easy.

About the author

Michael Lawal is a seasoned content writer with specialized expertise in the medical cannabis industry. With a background that blends journalism and health sciences, Michael has a knack for translating complex medical cannabis research into accessible and engaging content. His writing portfolio showcases a range of work from informative articles and research summaries to patient education materials. Committed to raising awareness about the benefits and responsible use of medical cannabis, Michael's work is a valuable resource for both consumers and professionals in the field.
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