Can You Overdose on Marijuana?

Though it has been legalized for medical use in some states, marijuana use has its risks. The drug derived from the Cannabis sativa plant is one of the most commonly abused in the United States, and its risk of dangerous overdose is often underestimated.

Risks of Marijuana Use

Marijuana is most often smoked, though edibles that allow users to ingest it with food are growing in popularity. One of the risks of marijuana use is the difference in its effects depending on the method of administration. When smoked, the effects of marijuana can be felt within minutes. However, when ingested orally in edibles, the onset of intoxication can be delayed for several hours. This increases the risk that an individual will consume toxic amounts of THC because they don’t feel the effects right away. In addition to delayed onset, the effects of marijuana eaten as edibles last for up to 12 hours.

Some side effects of marijuana use include dry mouth, drowsiness, impaired motor skills, increased appetite, impaired judgment and memory, altered perception of reality, dry mouth, and blood-shot eyes. Though these may not be directly dangerous to health, they can indirectly lead to injury or death when performing certain tasks such as driving under the influence.

When marijuana is consumed in large quantities, more severe side effects may emerge including psychosis, delusions or hallucinations, anxiety or panic, rapid heart rate, nausea and vomiting, and dangerous respiratory depression. These side effects may be exacerbated if the drug is cut with other unknown and potentially toxic substances in production.

Long-Term Effects of Marijuana

Long-term marijuana use increases the likelihood of dependency. Dependency develops with the presence of tolerance and withdrawal. Tolerance occurs as a result of frequent use and prompts the use of more and more of the drug to achieve the same effects. Withdrawal is the presence of unpleasant side effects when marijuana use is reduced or discontinued. Together, these features form the basis of addiction, impeding an individual’s ability to quit.

Withdrawal symptoms may include:

  • Irritability
  • Anxiety
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Weight loss
  • Loss of appetite
  • Depression

Long-term smoking also comes with respiratory risks including chronic respiratory illness and lung disease. Research has also shown that frequent marijuana users are at risk for long-term cognitive and memory impairments. These can include reduced motivation and reduced prosocial activity, impacting productivity in school or work and interfering with personal relationships. Because of its psychoactive properties, marijuana can also exacerbate certain psychological disorders like schizophrenia.

Can You Overdose on Marijuana?

Lethal overdose on marijuana alone is not likely and may not even be impossible. The National Institute on Drug Abuse reports no deaths linked to marijuana alone. However, toxic amounts of marijuana can lead to unpleasant side effects such as psychotic symptoms or anxiety that can lead people to seek emergency medical attention. Though it may not be fatal, marijuana overdose can be extremely unpleasant.
Marijuana Overdose Risk Factors

Marijuana overdose may be possible because its effects can be unpredictable depending on its potency, its method of administration, and personal factors. Different strains can have different chemical properties and higher levels of THC and other cannabinoids. This can make marijuana use unpredictable even for seasoned users.

When eaten as an edible, marijuana can also produce powerful and unpleasant effects if taken at toxic doses. This can lead to hallucinations, delusions, and risky behaviors that can lead to accidental injury or death. These risks are particularly high for children who may consume edibles because they look like candy.

Marijuana Overdose Symptoms

Marijuana overdose can be a distressing experience. It is characterized by a variety of potential side effects including:

  • Impaired motor coordination
  • Decreased strength
  • Slowed reaction time
  • Slurred speech
  • Confusion
  • Memory loss
  • Lethargy
  • Hand tremors
  • Headache
  • Elevated heart rate and blood pressure
  • Anxiety
  • Panic
  • Paranoia
  • Hallucinations or delusions
Using Marijuana Safely And Responsibly

Marijuana can be used medically to help individuals suffering from cancer, Alzheimer’s disease, glaucoma, epilepsy, and immune system diseases. However, self-medicating with marijuana puts you at risk of developing addiction. Marijuana should only be used when prescribed by a medical doctor and as recommended. This includes abstaining from other substances while using and avoiding certain activities while under the influence.

It’s important to know the signs of tolerance and understand the risks of overconsumption due to increased tolerance. Dosage and use should be guided by medical advice according to your needs and individual risk factors.

Marijuana Overdose FAQs

Marijuana Overdose Recovery at Riverwalk Ranch
A Dallas-Fort Worth Metropolitan Area Addiction Treatment Center

At Riverwalk Ranch, we can help you manage marijuana overdose as part of our comprehensive addiction treatment services. Our professionals in the Dallas-Fort Worth area employ only effective and research-based treatments to help you safely and comfortably eliminate marijuana from your system. In conjunction with the addiction experts at Riverwalk, you will find like-minded peers with a common goal that make this an encouraging and safe haven to detox.

If you or a loved one is at risk of marijuana overdose or is suffering from marijuana abuse or addiction, contact our addiction treatment center today at (877) 863-3869. Whether you live in Texas or you’re looking for a fresh start in a new environment, Riverwalk Ranch can provide a therapeutic and supportive home for you. Everyone deserves a happy and healthy life free from addiction, and overcoming marijuana overdose is the first step in getting there.

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