Is Marijuana Overdose Death Possible?

Dying from marijuana overdose alone is not likely.  Some stats site zero known overdose deaths from marijuana alone.  Marijuana overdose rates are in no way similar to opioid overdose rates.  A marijuana overdose is of far less medical severity most of the time than an opioid overdose, which can have a high fatality rate.

The most concerning possible side effects of marijuana are:

  1. Increasing susceptibility to psychotic disorders in teenagers.
  2. Increasing susceptibility to cardiovascular organ failure (kidneys) due to high blood pressure.
  3. Causing an individual to panic and make bad decisions, have fallen, or experience accidents.

 What does a marijuana overdose look like?

A person may exhibit the following signs after an overdose of marijuana:

  • Anxiety
  • Confusion
  • Delusions or hallucinations,
  • Fast heart rate,
  • Increased blood pressure,
  • Panic
  • Paranoia,
  • Severe nausea or vomiting
  • Pale skin
  • Psychosis
  • Tachycardia, chest pain, heart attack

Signs of marijuana use & abuse

These are some signs that one’s use of marijuana may be becoming problematic:

  1. Forgetfulness
  2. Dry eyes
  3. Dry mouth
  4. Being high at work
  5. Interference with work-life
  6. Interference with family life
  7. Paranoia and panic attacks
  8. Chest pain
  9. Depersonalization
  10. Vomiting
  11. Relationship issues (spouse complaining)

If you develop any of these signs and symptoms, this may be a clue that you are indulging in too much cannabis use too frequently.  You should take an inventory of your life and find out why you might be overindulging.  Chronic stress, chronic pain, or not being where you want to be in life could cause you to seek an escape habitually, rather than facing your problems.  If you find you are using marijuana as an emotional crutch, seek professional psychotherapy services to get your usage under control.

How Much marijuana is too much?

Any usage that causes interference with major life areas like school and work can be problematic.  Taking a clue from alcohol use parameters, one might try to use 2 to 4 doses (maybe 2 to 4 joints) per day as the upper limit for daily usage.  Anything above that or anything that interferes with major life processes may become a problem for you or your loved ones.

The higher overdose risk of edibles

If you are consuming edibles, you may have a higher risk of experiencing an uncomfortable overdose.  The reason for this is because it is harder to know what dose of THC you are getting with an edible.  So, if you bought the edible at an outlet, it should have the THC level printed on the label.  Read the label and plan accordingly.  After you have a sufficient dose of a THC edible, you should wait for 1 to 2 hours for the effects to come on without re-dosing.  Most overdoses happen because the user ate an edible, didn’t feel anything immediately, and so had another and another.  By the time they feel the effects, they are high out of comprehension and often call the police on themselves, leading to hilarious clips played over the internet for years to come.

Can marijuana cause a heart attack?

Marijuana has been linked to an increased risk of cardiovascular events, but a link to a heart attack had to wait till after legalization allowed for further study.  A report in the New York Times revealed a study that showed that for a person in his middle-aged years, the hour after smoking weed gives him a five-fold increase in heart attack risk.  This suggests that after your youth, your heart can not as easily keep up with the demands of a stimulant which raises blood pressure and heart rate.  Smoking weed increased heart rate by 44 beats per minute in the study (Noble).

The relative risk of heart attack increased 4.8 times within the first hour but dropped to 1.7 times higher in the second hour, suggesting a rapid decline in the acute cardiac effects, the researchers said.”

A link to stroke has been reported (Marijuana Linked to Increased Stroke Risk – TIME.com).  Marijuana may raise the risk of cardiovascular events other than a heart attack.  This includes a risk of stroke, kidney, liver, or pulmonary dysfunction.  Anything that reliably raises blood pressure and heart rate is going to increase health events in a large population sample.

The effect of increased marijuana use

Are you becoming concerned with your own or someone else’s marijuana use?  Do you feel like people are downplaying the side effects?  In our enthusiasm to embrace marijuana, its shortcomings are easily overlooked.  We had always known that marijuana is going to raise your heart rate and blood pressure.  It’s only reasonable to assume that this effect may not be good for people at risk of cardiovascular events.

Marijuana Overdose FAQ

Q: How many people died from smoking weed?
A: Unlike with drugs such as cocaine and heroin, overdosing on cannabis alone does not appear to be capable of causing death.  That just means if I kept giving you regular strength cannabis via regular weed smoking, at no point would you die solely from the effects of cannabis.  Whereas, if I kept giving you heroin, or Oxycontin, fentanyl, or cocaine, one would be dead within the hour from dosages which are easy to consume by the usual means.  These drugs all on their own over-activate receptors in the nervous system to the point of mortality.  Marijuana does not appear to work in his way in its herbal form.

Q: How long do edibles last in your system?
A: Edibles will come on over the course of one to two hours.  Then the effects may last from 2 to 4 hours.

Q: How long do hard candy edibles take to kick in?
A: Hard candy edibles will take 30 minutes to two hours to kick in.  Therefore, don’t re-dose under the impression that it’s not working until you have waited 2 hours.

Q: Does marijuana cause high blood pressure?
A: Unfortunately, marijuana will raise your blood pressure immediately after consuming it.  It will also raise the heart rate.  Usually, these changes are transient. However, recent studies show the risk of heart attack, stroke, and cardiovascular event organ damage is raised after consuming cannabis.  Anyone with heart disease or high blood pressure should be aware of these risks.

Q: Is CBD Oil Overdose possible?
A: People who take CBD as an antipsychotic has been prescribed up to 1.3 grams of CBD in divided doses.  However, at a high dose, CBD has been shown to raise liver enzymes.  There are no psychological overdose cases of CBD known.  CBD may cause drowsiness and dry mouth at high doses.

Q: Can marijuana cause a heart attack?
A: Although it is unlikely one will have a heart attack due to marijuana use alone, marijuana use can be the trigger to a heart attack.  Marijuana will raise blood pressure and heart rate.  This can lead to a heart attack in susceptible persons.

Q: Can you overdose on edibles?
A: Yes, but you won’t likely die or suffer serious health problems.  Edibles are usually what people accidentally overdose on.  They expect the effects to come on immediately like with smoked marijuana.  When after an hour they don’t feel anything, they may eat more of them edible.  They may eat the whole pan of brownies before it kicks in and they realize they’ve taken way too much.  Instead, pace yourself by taking an amount equal to how much you would normally smoke, then wait two hours before redosing.

Q:  How Much Weed Would it Take to Overdose?
A: It is said you would have to consume 40,000 times a normal dose to die from an overdose.  It is not possible to get this much through herbal marijuana.  However, high powered concentrates like shatter or THC crystal will cause unwanted overdose symptoms at lower doses than herbal weed.  Those with health problems like heart disease and high blood pressure should seek a doctor’s supervision if considering using marijuana.

Marijuana Overdose Information

Preventing an Overdose

Since there is no direct link between increased consumption of cannabis and death, there are no specific measures one can take to prevent an overdose. Indirect causes of death involving marijuana consumption can result from chronic cough and respiratory infections that can come about due to regular heavy marijuana usage. An overdependence on marijuana can also risk depression and suicidal thoughts. This will be discussed in the ‘Marijuana Abuse and Mental Health’ sub-section below.

Overdose Facts and Statistics

It is virtually impossible to overdose on marijuana although technically there is an ‘overdose level’ with that being an extraordinary 1,500 lbs of weed in a 15 minute period. This is of course not a fear-based in reality since no human being could consume that much weed. There are no known cases of someone dying as a direct result of cannabis overdose. However, marijuana abuse can still lead to health problems which either can be indirectly fatal or more commonly can lead to other non-fatal but nonetheless serious physical and mental health problems in a user.

Marijuana Abuse and Mental Health

While marijuana is not directly deadly, it can still result in a variety of health problems if abused. Addiction can be caused by the emergence of psychological dependency on the plant. Some of the symptoms of marijuana addiction are as follows;

  • Memory Impairment
  • Weight Gain
  • Lack of Motivation
  • Dry Mouth
  • Dizziness
  • Anxiety
  • Slow or poor coordination

Of course, memory impairment and a dry mouth among other symptoms for marijuana addiction can arise even if you are not addicted. What distinguishes marijuana addiction from regular non-addicted consumption is largely down to whether or not you feel dependent on weed. Other problems that an overdependence on hash can lead to include a degree of brain damage. Permanent IQ loss of up to 8 points (if marijuana is consumed from a young age) can result from overconsumption. There are studies that link weed to a range of mental health problems including psychotic episodes, paranoia (particularly during a high) and suicidal thoughts. Another possible outcome of marijuana dependency is that it could become costly for you financially. You also need to be cautious of any potential legal ramifications for marijuana possession if it is outlawed in your region/territory.

Bibliography

Marijuana Linked to Increased Stroke Risk – TIME.com. n.d. 10 2 2020. http://healthland.time.com/2013/02/08/marijuana-linked-to-increased-stroke-risk/#ixzz2TmRWjqKa

Noble, Holcomb B. Report Links Heart Attacks To Marijuana. n.d. 10 2 2020. https://www.nytimes.com/2000/03/03/us/report-links-heart-attacks-to-marijuana.html

Promises Treatment Center How Many People Died From Weed. 11 2 2020. https://www.promises.com/about-promises-treatment-centers/addiction-treatment-resources/many-people-died-weed/

Saba, Rosa. What are the mental health risks of marijuana use? 11 2 2020 https://toronto.citynews.ca/2018/09/17/mental-health-risks-marijuana-use/

This article about Medical Marijuana was published on and updated on February 12, 2020 . Medical facts in this article was checked and article was medically reviewed by our . Author of this checked article is
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