Ever had too much of a good thing? If you’ve overeaten or overslept, you probably know the feeling. Similarly, it is possible to have too much weed and overdose. Weed acts like any other drug and can cause a number of irritating and unpleasant side effects if taken in very large amounts. You need to know how much.
Fortunately, overdosing on weed is not as dangerous as most other drugs. Studies on marijuana overdoses are still ongoing. From the results so far, experts claim that marijuana overdoses are rarely life-threatening. In fact, marijuana is less dangerous than substances with widespread use such as tobacco or alcohol. Therefore, you don’t have to worry about taking a big risk every time you light up or munch on an edible.
How Much is Too Much?
While overdosing on marijuana is not extremely dangerous, it is still very unpleasant. The sensations can leave you disabled in pain. In some cases, the symptoms were severe enough that people have needed a visit to the emergency room.
As a drug, it is remarkably easy to build up a tolerance to marijuana. Some users stop feeling the ‘high’ after the first few uses. In order to feel it again, they need to use a progressively larger and larger amount of weed, which can lead to a situation where they overdose.
Some overdoses come from people who have never done weed in their life before. If they suddenly breathe in too much smoke by accident or eat a lot of edibles without realizing what they are, they can overdose. It is possible for even people with some tolerance to weed to overdose in this way too. That’s why you should always be careful about where they smoke up and what edibles they leave lying around.
Weed is not usually consumed by itself. Many people will combine weed with other drugs such as opioid painkillers such as Vicodin and Xanax to enhance the effect. Other people will also drink alcohol at the same time. Even though overdosing on weed by itself is not overly dangerous, the combination of THC or CBD and the other substances present in these drugs can produce a fatal combination. In fact, every death ever caused by marijuana overdose had other multiple drugs involved.
Symptoms of Overdosing
There are a large number of different symptoms from overdosing on marijuana. They include:
- Finding it difficult to coordinate.
- Feeling lethargic, weak and unsteady.
- Slowed reaction speed.
- Red or bloodshot eyes.
- Difficulty and slurring in speech.
- Blood pressure falling when sitting or standing up.
- Inability to concentrate.
- Nausea and vomiting
These symptoms are easily noticeable. If you or someone you know experiences several of these while consuming marijuana, it is very likely they have overdosed and should see immediate medical attention. Some of these symptoms are severe in younger people, especially in children under 12. These more severe symptoms include shortness of breath and hyperventilation, extremely high heart rate and weak and involuntary muscle movement. Children should be kept away from sources of marijuana at all costs.
Overdosing also has further effects. These are experienced mainly by long term, extremely heavy users, particularly those who use strains containing a high amount of CBD. Chronic overdosing can lead to bouts of paranoia, panic and fear, and psychotic episodes. These can be accompanied by visual hallucinations and delusional behavior. These stimulations, in turn, can cause increased heart rates and accompanying chest pains.
None of these symptoms is directly fatal. The symptoms of chronic overdosing and in young children can be dangerous especially when combined with pre-existing lung or heart conditions. However, all of these symptoms are manageable so long as one receives medical care as soon as possible.
There is no specific treatment for overdosing on marijuana. Medical professionals will attempt to reduce specific symptoms such as nausea, heart rates and low blood pressure and help the patient get through the rest of the symptoms.
How to Avoid Overdosing
Prevention is the best cure. The ideal way of avoiding overdosing is to know your limits and try to avoid going over it. However, there are two issues with this method. The first is that it can be hard to remember to limit your consumption. If you’re smoking it, you can take a really big whiff without realizing or spend too much time breathing it in. Edibles, on the other hand, take time to affect you. It’s possible to overdose by eating too much at this time.
The potency of a strain of cannabis can also vary a lot. Different sources and strains will contain varying levels of THC, CBD or other chemicals. These chemicals give marijuana it’s unique effects. When you buy licensed marijuana from a legitimate dealer, you know exactly what you’re getting. However, many unlicensed dealers will sell weed with an unknown level of potency. Without knowing how much THC you’re taking in, it’s easy to overdose.
The best practice, therefore, is to maintain responsibility when settling down to consume weed. You can use progressively larger amounts of weed if you want to. If you do, try to increase it in small increments only. Avoid smoking in an enclosed area. Try to be careful about the amount of edibles you eat.
When consuming weed, never mix it with other drugs. Overdosing on just marijuana is irritating and unpleasant, but not extremely dangerous to most people. But the combination of weed and other drugs can lead to life-threatening situations.
Users should be aware of any pre-existing conditions they have. Someone with any kind of heart condition or problems with blood pressure should be very careful of overdoses. Health issues with your lungs and muscles also make it dangerous to consume a large amount of weed. If a person has any mental disorders such as anxiety, paranoia or psychosis, they should avoid Sativa strains at all costs. Overdosing on weed high on CBD can greatly exacerbate those conditions.
Finally, always make sure to buy your marijuana from a licensed dealer who can tell you exactly what the weed is composed of and how potent it is. Responsible buying practices will help minimize the risks of overdosing.
Using weed can be a great way to pass the time, as well as treat a lot of issues such as pains, inflammations, and depression. Like everything else, it should be taken in moderation. Too much can lead to overdosing. We’ve talked about the myriad problems caused by overdosing, but also about how to avoid it.
By being responsible and following the ways of avoiding overdoses, users can stay safe the next time they light up.