Weed is one of the most popular drugs in use, and many people never worry about marijuana overdose. It’s used by people from teens to seniors and all ages in between. Since it’s become legal in many states, including the state of Washington, more people are experimenting even though they aren’t sure how much to use or what risks come with use. Even though they have heard about the dangers of other drugs and overdose, marijuana users aren’t sure about what happens when you smoke too much weed.
Marijuana, or cannabis as it’s known when used for medical purposes, isn’t seen as a dangerous drug like many other substances. However, there is still some concern for those who use pot for recreational purposes about overdosing. As an evidence-based program, we don’t advocate for any use of mind-altering substances, including weed. It’s especially dangerous for those who are prone to addiction.
If you wonder if you can overdose on weed, you will want to find out the latest information on the subject. It’s also important to know the answer to “Can you overdose on weed edibles” since many people like to add pot to brownies and other recipes.
What Happens When You’re Greening Out
Greening out refers to what happens to your body when you smoke too much pot at once or in a short amount of time. While the effects may not be deadly, they can be uncomfortable and even embarrassing.
The term, greening out, is slang for overdosing, but it isn’t the same thing as when a person overdoses on a drug like heroin, which can be quite serious. In fact, people may use this term when someone seems out of touch or even sleepy after smoking pot. They may say the person is greening out because they aren’t involved in conversation or the group’s activities.
One of the reasons several states have legalized pot use for recreational and medical purposes is because it is considered to be a safe drug in most instances and you don’t have to worry about your friend dying if they’ve smoked more than they should. However, numerous other consequences can result of consuming weed in any form. These include medical concerns, psychosis and even having a bad trip.
Has Anyone Died from Using Marijuana?
According to an article by the Huffington Post which cited figures from the Centers for Disease Control, no deaths in 2015 or the previous year resulted from marijuana overdose. In fact, compared to other drugs, including prescription medications, pot seems a much safer alternative.
In 2015, over 25,000 people died from an overdose of prescription drugs while another 17,000 deaths were attributed to illicit drugs such as heroin. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, the trend of drug overdose from cocaine, heroin and other drugs is increasing every year while marijuana-related deaths haven’t gone up despite the increasing number of states legalizing pot.
Dangers Do Exist with Pot
To say no one has ever died from smoking pot might be an overreach because you won’t know about all the circumstances for every use. You must consider other situations where pot use was a contributing factor or secondary to other dangers. However, statistics show that even overdosing on weed isn’t as dangerous or as deadly as with other illegal drugs and prescription medications.
Information available about pot use shows that it’s almost impossible for a marijuana overdose to directly lead to death. Marijuana affects different areas of the body than other drugs such as opioids. For instance, heroin goes directly to the receptors in the brain. These same receptors also control the person’s ability to breathe. An overdose of heroin can lead to the person not breathing and ultimately death.
Marijuana doesn’t go to the same receptors, so they cannot stop breathing from smoking pot. It doesn’t matter how much they use. For this reason, you can consider pot a safer drug.
If Weed Doesn’t Kill You, Can You Use Too Much?
Even though it’s unlikely that you will die from smoking too much pot, you can overdose. Symptoms of pot overdose include the following:
- Shortness of breath
- Increased heart rate
- Hallucinations or paranoia
- Unable to move
As you can see from this list, it’s still uncomfortable to smoke too much pot. People end up in the emergency room because of an overdose on weed even if it’s not a risk to be fatal. They may get frightened or wonder why the symptoms won’t go away after several hours or even the next day.
In most cases, overdose symptoms of marijuana use last only a few hours. However, they can persist for several days before you start to feel better. Studies show that most overdose cases come from those who are inexperienced with smoking pot, such as in situations where a state has recently legalized marijuana. If you aren’t aware of what to expect, you may get scared and seek out medical help.
Another issue with too much weed is you may have difficulty thinking clearly. Studies show that students who engage in regular pot use have lower grades because they aren’t able to learn or retain information as easily. While this side effect isn’t technically dangerous, it’s one you should consider if you like to smoke a little weed with your friends.
What About Eating Edibles and Feeling High?
Many people add pot to recipes instead of smoking it. Their concern may be if you can overdose on weed edibles. Regardless of how you consume pot, it’s still not as dangerous as other drugs. It will have the same impact on your body in any form you use it. Just as you cannot die from smoking pot, you don’t have to worry about edible overdose death.
The main difference in smoking pot and eating weed edibles is in how much you consume and how long it takes to feel the effects of the pot. When you smoke pot, it reaches your system quickly, usually within a short time. When you eat a brownie or cookie that contains pot, it takes longer to experience that “high” you associate with marijuana. A person may think it’s not doing anything so they take another brownie or cookie. If you’ve heard of edible overdose stories, sometimes it happens because the person wasn’t aware that they were anything other than ordinary brownies so they ate several of the tasty treats.
The risk here is that when the weed reaches the system later, the person may have more edible overdose symptoms or they may be stronger and more uncomfortable. However, they are still not deadly and will subside in time. To avoid this issue, it’s best to limit your intake of the pot edibles until you know how you’re going to react and how long it will take for you to get high.
What Happens When You Use Too Much Weed?
If you have smoked too much weed or eaten too many edibles, it’s important not to panic. Realize that if you or a friend are experiencing the symptoms of a marijuana overdose, they will subside in a few hours. In some cases, they may last longer but they aren’t fatal.
To get through this unpleasant situation, someone should stay with you or at least check in from time to time. Don’t move too fast and find a safe place until you or your friend start to feel better. You may discover that moving is difficult because it makes you dizzy.
Drink plenty of water to stay hydrated, especially if you’re vomiting. Don’t smoke any more weed or use any other drugs or alcohol until the pot is out of your system and you’re back to normal. Try to remember that you will feel better soon.
If the symptoms continue for a long time or they get worse, you should seek out medical attention. Even though you won’t die from smoking too much weed, the symptoms could cause other complications. For instance, you can have serious issues if you’re dehydrated.
If you experience severe dizziness or it won’t go away, you can fall and hit your head. It’s better to be safe if you’re worried about yourself or a friend who has smoked too much pot.
When is Smoking Too Much Weed Dangerous?
Even though you don’t have to worry about dying from smoking too much weed or eating too many of those delicious brownies, you do have to be careful in some situations. For instance, a person who is using pot may be more likely to get in an accident when driving or at work while using machinery.
A study of postal workers who had positive results when being tested for marijuana showed that they had 85 percent more injuries and an increase of accidents by 55 percent. Pot can continue to affect a person’s memory for several days even after other effects have diminished.
A moderate amount of pot can increase your reaction time and lead to car crashes or accidents at work. You’re more likely to fall because your perception is off. You may have difficulty remembering things because it can impact your short-term memory.
Those who smoke pot can harm their lungs just like with regular cigarettes. While this side effect doesn’t impact you in the short-term, it can cause long-term damage. It’s important to know what happens if you smoke too much weed over time.
One good thing for people who engage in recreational marijuana use is most effects are temporary. If someone stops smoking weed, their cognitive abilities can return to normal. This is not always the case with other drugs, especially with illicit substances or even prescription medications.
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Think Before You Use
In answer to the question, “can you ever overdose on weed?” the short answer is “yes.” However, the results aren’t fatal, and the risk isn’t the same as with other drugs. On the other hand, smoking weed or eating pot edibles can cause discomfort with too much of the product.
You should be aware of the symptoms of weed overdose and know your limits. It’s better to use pot in moderation rather than overdoing it. If you do, know that you’ll feel better soon. Also, realize that long-term use does carry other risks. Armed with all this information, you can decide whether you want to smoke weed with your friends and how to do so responsibly.