Can You Overdose From Marijuana?
The topic of marijuana overdoses can be mind boggling for some people and the truth can be both simple and complexed. The quick and short answer is NO, you cannot overdose on marijuana. Because it has been classed by the federal government as a Schedule-1 drug, cannabis has been put in the same category as drugs such as heroin and this is a common misconception people have regarding this so called “drug”.
First off, let’s talk about what an overdose means. For the context of this article I refer to it simply as a lethal or toxic amount of a drug. For example, if you were to do too much heroin you could overdose and die. However according to studies and a ZERO track record of deaths caused by cannabis overdose, so it’s not possible to die from weed and here’s why.
How Your Body Reacts to Marijuana
Each substance affects the body differently. More specifically, different drugs are received through different parts of the body. For example, opioid drugs like heroin and morphine are absorbed through receptors in the brainstem. This is also the part of the body that controls essential functions like breathing. This causes people who take too much heroin to stop breathing and die.
Cannabis (more specifically THC and other cannabinoids) is absorbed through cannabinoid receptors which aren’t located in the brain stem meaning a lethal dose is not possible. While the receptors don’t occur in the brainstem they do appear throughout most of our bodies – the brain, organs, tissues and more. The important thing is that they aren’t affecting any essential functions like breathing.
Is There Such Thing As Too Much?
Now, this certainly doesn’t mean that there hasn’t been death associated with marijuana. It also doesn’t mean that you can’t take in too much cannabis and experience an unpleasant experience. As Dr. Sunil Aggarwal explains in the following video, large doses of marijuana can lead to negative symptoms, such as agitation and paranoia.
This occurs more often in novice users who are unfamiliar with dosing. Taking marijuana in the form of edibles also poses a greater risk, since the effects are delayed and thus harder to predict. But with all that said, the negative symptoms of a cannabis overdose are only temporary and should wear off within 24 hours. Unlike other drugs, taking too much THC won’t cost you your life.
Now that you know you can't die from consuming cannabis, doesn't mean that you shouldn't be cautious when taking it. Always remember that depending on how much THC you ingest and how potent the quality of the strain, the results can end in major paranoia and the feeling that you could die.
So, if you don't want to experience this intense feeling, then just be careful with how much you are ingesting, particularly if you are taking edibles. But don't worry, if you do take too much and you start heading to that scary place, then it's just important to remember to stay calm and that nobody in history has died from cannabis and you probably won't be the first one.
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