Is It Possible To Overdose On Marijuana?
Marijuana is one of the most commonly used recreational drugs in the United States and all around the world. Typically smoked or eaten, marijuana’s effects can last for several hours or more depending on the potency of the strain. A marijuana overdose can occur when a person takes too much of the drug, often due to the inhibited reasoning that marijuana can bring on. Marijuana overdose results in a variety of symptoms that may or may not appear in an individual user, including:
- Feelings of paranoia or fear
- Nausea and vomiting
- An increased heart rates
- Hallucination and disorientation
Marijuana overdose is not thought to cause serious symptoms that can result in the death of the user, and in fatal cases, death is usually due to other drugs or a medical condition of the patient. In fact, the few cases in which marijuana overdose was named as the primary cause of death are highly contested and controversial. This is mostly due to the nature and potency of marijuana. At levels where death due to an overdose of THC (the primary active chemical in marijuana) is thought to be possible, a user would have to take enormous amounts of the drug, far past what is taken for recreational purposes.
Nevertheless, marijuana overdose can cause some potentially serious and very unpleasant symptoms, and while overdose from marijuana alone is unlikely, it can occur even in experienced users.
Signs Of Marijuana Or Weed Overdose
The symptoms of marijuana overdose are similar to the standard symptoms of the drug’s use. An overdose occurs when these symptoms become physically unpleasant and unmanageable.
Marijuana users will often smell strongly of the drug and may have dilated pupils. They may seem slightly unresponsive. In severe cases of marijuana overdose, a panic attack may occur. During this panic attack, the marijuana user may have trouble breathing and may feel extremely paranoid.
After a marijuana overdose, a user may feel the effects of the drug for a day or more after user (though reasoning skills will return and the sensory effects of the drug will be less pronounced). Some marijuana users report a hangover similar to the hangover experienced after binge drinking.
Overdose may be more likely when taking large amounts of marijuana or hashish, which is a concentrated form of the THC that creates the psychedelic effects of marijuana. Some inexperienced marijuana users may overdose accidentally, especially when eating the drug, as they may not realize how much they’re taking and may be unaware of how the drug will affect them.
Treatment For Marijuana Overdose Symptoms
Doctors will take a symptomatic approach when dealing with a marijuana overdose. If a user’s heart rate is too fast, for instance, medication or relaxation techniques may be used to keep the patient safe until the effects of the drug wear off. Medications may be used to relieve the panic attacks caused by marijuana use.
It’s important to seek treatment for a marijuana overdose if the drug was combined with other drugs or if you have reason to believe that the marijuana was “laced” with another drug. Other drugs can amplify the effects of marijuana and vice-versa, leading to potentially dangerous or even fatal consequences. It’s particularly important to seek medical treatment if a marijuana user loses consciousness or if breathing becomes shallow and labored. You should also seek treatment for a marijuana overdose if symptoms become severe and if you fear for the health of the person who has taken the drug.