Like any medicine or recreational activity, consuming cannabis poses a certain amount of risk.
You cannot overdose on marijuana or CBD products in the same way you can with opioids, alcohol, or other hard drugs.
However, this does not mean you can’t overdo marijuana consumption.
Safety Tips for Cannabis Consumption
When consuming marijuana, take it slowly and give it time to allow the full effects to kick in.
There is a low chance of “greening out” (overdoing it) while smoking a joint, as the levels of THC you consume are typically lower.
While taking edibles, however, it can be pretty easy to over-consume. Start by taking small doses, wait at least 45-60 minutes before thinking about taking more, and don’t consume high amounts in one session.
Can you Overdose on Marijuana?
No, not in the way that you can on, say, opioids.
There has never been a death caused solely by marijuana, to our knowledge. This is because marijuana doesn’t affect the body in the way that opioids or alcohol do.
For instance, when an opiate overdose occurs, the body depresses or slows breathing down significantly, resulting in a lack of oxygen to the brain.
Death is a distinct possibility with opioid overdoses.
However, consuming too much cannabis does not have the same effect on the body.
When you ingest too much THC, you may feel an increase in heart rate and nausea, and you may vomit, but death or severe injury will not occur.
A reason for this impossibility is the way the brain works. Cannabinoid receptors are not found in the brain stem areas that control breathing. Thus, lethal overdoses of cannabis do not occur.
Again, this isn’t to say you can’t overdo marijuana, though. Overdoing weed, or “greening out,” is quite common, especially when consuming edibles.
It is crucial to consume marijuana safely, to reduce the risks and achieve an overall better experience.
What Does Greening Out Feel Like?
We have all heard stories of greening out and can safely say it sucks. You may feel an increase in heart rate, anxiety, paranoia, and nausea. You may also feel sweaty and dizzy, and vomit.
The high THC levels in edibles can make it relatively easy to over-consume, especially if you don’t consume cannabis often.
If you’re a novice smoker or haven’t consumed cannabis before, low doses of edibles are ideal, and smoking concentrates like dabs, hash, etc., is not recommended.
Sometimes, when you feel like you’ve overdone cannabis consumption, your anxiety gets the best of you and you may feel like there is a possibility of a fatal overdose.
To put it into perspective, for someone to die from smoking weed, they’d have to smoke 1,500lbs in 15 minutes.
Some advice when you feel like you’re greening out: Drink plenty of water, have a snack, and make yourself comfortable. If you can manage it, breathing exercises can help reduce anxiety, and closing your eyes and taking a nap can also be the cure to it all!
So, Is Smoking Weed Safe?
You cannot overdose from marijuana, but the effects of weed can vary, and you can overdo the consumption if you aren’t careful.
While it is nearly impossible to overdose, it’s never fun to feel out of control and like you’ve overdone any substance.
A few strategies to reduce a too-strong high are eating a snack, drinking plenty of water, and taking ibuprofen (it appears to counteract the intoxicating effects of cannabis).
Safe consumption of cannabis is essential and eliminates the chance of greening out or feeling unwell.