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Can You Overdose on Marijuana?

Can You Overdose on Marijuana?
Photo Gracie Malley for Cannabis Now


Can You Overdose on Marijuana?

Whether it’s CBD or THC, ingesting or smoking cannabis is never fatal.

If you are an avid cannabis enthusiast who clicked to read this piece after being filled with an overwhelming sense of rage by a headline that even dares suggest it is possible for a person to overdose on marijuana, what can we tell you, this article might not be for you. We understand that there are some hardcore cannabis purists out there who have a tendency to get riled up when they hear borderline blasphemous statements made about their precious plant. These are the folks who have a propensity for the ballistic when pot is referred to as a “drug” or when it is associated, in any way, with the throes of addiction. So the concept of a “marijuana overdose” can be a touchy subject.

Listen, we sympathize, really we do. But it needs to be recognized that there is a whole new legion of marijuana consumers emerging onto the scene now that weed is being made legal in more parts of the world. Some of these people are just starting to get interested in the various facets of the cannabis culture and they need legitimate answers to all-important questions, like “what is this stuff going to do to me and can it kill me dead?” Therefore, it is for those curious cannabis newbies scrolling through this page trying to get comfortable with weed that we dedicate this article.

Is Marijuana Overdose Real?

While it would be easy for us to double-talk our way through the science behind getting way too freaking high, we feel it is best to just cut to the chase. YES, it is possible to overdose on marijuana. But the repercussions are nowhere even close to the overfeeding of the brain that comes from consuming too much cocaine or heroin. First of all, it is impossible to suffer a fatal overdose on weed. Let’s just get that out on the table right now. Even the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration admits, “No deaths from overdose of marijuana have been reported.” And you had better believe the agency would have publicized the heck out of it if, somewhere along the way, at least one person would have dropped dead from the doobie. But here’s the thing: Marijuana is one of the safest drugs in the world. A recent WHO report calls it “a relatively safe drug” that seems to only bring about “euphoria, laughter and talkativeness.”

Nevertheless, it is still possible (and fairly easy) to ingest too much of the herb’s intoxicating compound tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) – especially when cannabis edibles are involved. It is important to learn how to use them properly. An overdose on weed, or as it has been called “greening out,” can bring on fierce bouts of paranoia, shortness of breath, increased heart rate and genuinely make an inexperienced user fear for their life. In this situation, the user can sometimes experience a cannabis-induced panic attack, which is essentially a pure, unadulterated freak out that has been known to inspire the afflicted to find religion and call to 911 in a last-ditch effort to keep from swallowing their tongue.

But medical attention is not necessary. The only treatment an emergency room staff can provide a marijuana overdose victim is a sedative and time. Experienced cannabis users say consuming CBD-only products can help ease the effects of a total green out.

What About CBD, Can I Overdose On It?

Chances are if you Googled this topic, the Internet spit out a variety of articles about CBD oil causing mass overdoses across the United States. And if you are new to the medical marijuana discussion, you might be really wigged out and more apprehensive than ever. We understand this concern. But it is important to point out that those stories are based on a report that was released over the summer by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that documents at least 50 cases in which people in Utah were poisoned by “fake CBD oil.” There were a few reports suggesting that these faux products were showing up in other areas, but most of the incidents were concentrated to that one state.

The oil causing consumers to experience “altered mental status, seizures, confusion, loss of consciousness, and hallucinations,” was not legitimate CBD. Laboratory testing found these products were made with materials commonly referred to as “synthetic marijuana.”

Of course, this substance, also known as K2 and Spice, is nothing like the oil pressed from the cannabis plant. Just like we mentioned above, marijuana is one of the safest inebriating substances on the planet. It has been shown to prevent seizures, not cause them.

But a lack of federal regulations on cannabis-related products, especially the ever-so-popular hemp-based CBD oils that are supposedly legal in all 50 states, has given some less than scrupulous individuals a criminal license. It is for this reason that we recommend using only CBD products purchased from a reputable dealer, avoiding, at all cost, products sold in convenience stores, truck stops and smoke shops. It’s not that the CBD products being sold by these businesses are, in fact, “synthetic marijuana,” but with so many legitimate, safe options available, why take any chances?

Real CBD, regardless of whether it is made with hemp or cannabis, is perfectly safe for human consumption. These products are often touted for their many therapeutic powers — even if, in some cases, the claims are hyped up and exaggerated. But they are in no way dangerous.

This part of the cannabis plant, which is still considered to have psychoactive properties, does not produce any stoned effects like its THC counterpart. Since this particular component of the flower does not have the ability to get the user high, there really is no motivation for the user to consume an overabundance of it in pursuit of a better buzz. In short, a CBD overdose is impossible. Perhaps the only way it could become a hazard is if someone (and we’re talking about a complete lunatic) insisted on swallowing CBD oil by the glass full. We imagine this might cause a stomachache and maybe a wicked case of the back door trots. But that’s about the extent.

TELL US, do you know someone who is scared of overdosing on marijuana?



  1. Michael Martin

    July 25, 2019 at 1:42 am

    First and for most..Marijauna is SAFE.
    All though in a sense it can kill you. I was hospitalized for about a month because I as a POT HEAD made the simple mistake of not feeling like I was getting high enough. So I did what any one would do who is searching for that HIGH feeling and kept ingesting it.
    Well “it” was RSO. Ok now THC was not the problem here. It was the fact that our bodies can not break down the thick oil as fast as we can consume it. That shit is thick and after eating about 3.5 grams of the stuff it starts to back up inside ur body. For a week straight I was throwing up every 20 mins only because nothing would make it passed the RSO that had accumelated in my stomach. There are no warnings out there about this and it is more common then one thinks. So YES YOU CAN DIE. Only if you are a complete ass and think you need more. Yes I know where i was wrong and do not blame nobody or thing other then my self.

  2. Joel Walbert

    September 7, 2018 at 4:46 pm

    If by over dose, one means eating the entire junk food aisle at a grocery store, then most certainly yes. If you mean a fatal one, never. Not even possible with marijuana in its natural form.

    • Chris

      August 6, 2019 at 8:57 am

      Can it kill you? Technically anything can kill someone in the right instance as too much water can poison you. Some people actually have allergic reactions to either the plant or something that a particular grower used in the process of growning the plant or something it was around a wheat field ect. Smoking it most will pass out or get a big headache trying to smoke copious amounts in a session with a tolerance. No tolerance it’s like not having tolerance for beer you can spin and get sick or freak out. Edible ingestion of too much can make you feel like you are going to die. Yes panicking can make things worse so maybe with a bad heart and right circumstances it may kill a person. But it wasn’t the Marijuana it was the panick attack and increased heart rate ect. So yes people with allergies should know how it was handled and others be cautious take baby steps for newbies don’t try to be like Chong it’s unrealistic and will probably make you sick. It also ruins the experience to get too high for new users right away small amounts see how you feel.

  3. Rosemarie aliberto

    August 31, 2018 at 7:00 pm

    Just started using thc/cbd infused balm for extreme pain due to critical COPD and coughing uncontrollably. I was on oxycodene and a cough syrup called Hydromet..which worked. But since those were taken off the market I was told about the balm. My state does not allow illegal medicine do I must travel 5 hours to purchase my medication.
    Pharmacy drugs are expensive and they don’t care.

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