Can You Overdose on Marijuana?

Marijuana is the most widely used illegal drug around the world, be it for medicinal or recreational purposes. However, fatally overdosing on marijuana is something which has never been heard of. Why? Simply because the presence of cannabinoid receptors in the medullary nuclei is scarce, hence eliminating the probability of marijuana affecting any cardiovascular and respiratory functions to such a significant impact. Still, there is a possibility of overdosing on marijuana which can result in negative but non fatal consequences.

Here is an explanation of what marijuana actually is and what overdosing on marijuana can do to you:

What Is Marijuana and How It Works

Marijuana or cannabis is a type of drug that comes from the seeds, leaves, and flowers of the Indian hemp or cannabis plant. Marijuana is classified as a hallucinogen drug, which can distort your mental perception abilities. The drug contains a chemical substance known as THC, which is responsible for causing this distortion. The extent of mental distortion you might experience depends on the amount of THC found in a given batch of marijuana, which can vary significantly.

The drug is usually smoked in a cigarette, cigar, or pipe. In some rare cases however, it is also eaten mixed with food or brewed as tea. Right after it is consumed, the users experience increased heart beat, an unreal state of mind, and loss of coordination and balance. While these effects wear off in a few hours, frequent use of marijuana has long-lasting health effects including damage to the respiratory system, increased risk of lung cancer, decline in mental aptitude, and poor memory.

Marijuana Overdose – What It Feels Like

Ingesting too much of marijuana can result in a temporary overdose that is known as “greening out”. While it does feel like dying at the time of overdose, it does not cause any permanent disability or death, even if a large amount of the drug has been consumed. Overdosing is usually common in people who don’t use the drug often and then suddenly consume a large amount of it. People who use marijuana regularly on the other hand, are less likely to experience an overdose situation since they have a higher resilience against the effects of marijuana on the mind and body.

Marijuana Overdose Conditions

Panic reactions accompanied by delusions and hallucinations are the most common symptoms to occur in case of a marijuana overdose. Anxiety, fear, paranoia, loss of self-control, wild racing thoughts, and disorientation are the conditions experienced by users who have overdosed but all these symptoms can easily subside after a few hours without needing any medical treatment. However, to keep these individuals from harming themselves, it is important to reassure them that their discomfort would be brief. They would usually go through an alternative cycle of experiencing both pleasant and unpleasant reactions.

In addition to these mental symptoms, physical discomfort is also experienced to quite an extent. Increase in heart rate, shortness of breath, shaking and shivering, feeling cold, pupil dilation, and vomiting and nausea are the most common types of physical conditions which occur after a marijuana overdose. Just like the mental condition, these symptoms also subside within a few years without needing medical intervention. However, there are rare cases when some physical conditions might become severe, requiring medical attention to avoid complications and side effects.

In cases when the overdose is severe, medical personnel give out medicines to relieve anxiety and control the heart rate of the person. However, death by marijuana is highly unlikely unless there is some other underlying health condition which can trigger a fatal reaction to the drug usage. Marijuana can only prove to be fatal when taken in an impossibly large quantity, which is 40,000 times more THC component than the amount required to get someone high in the first place. The probability of overdosing is less likely when marijuana is smoked compared to when it is eaten.

Can It Get Dangerous?

While a marijuana overdose in itself isn’t dangerous, there can be certain conditions which amplify its impact. People who have respiratory or cardiovascular health conditions might be at a high risk of dangerous consequences if they overdose. Also, if marijuana is used with other drugs or chemical substances, an overdose could be dangerous and the person might need immediate medical attention. Even then, cases of marijuana overdose going fatal are extremely rare, and are even almost close to non-existent.

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