If you are wondering whether one can overdose on weed, the answer is yes. However, the term “overdose” in this context is not the same as when you use it in the context of other drugs, whether illicit or legal.
This simply means that while it is possible to consume way too much cannabis than necessary or to experience a bad kind of high, you cannot die from it. In fact, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, as well as the Drug Enforcement Administration, there are zero cases of fatal marijuana overdose.
The National Cancer Institute explained that lethal overdoses from marijuana and cannabinoids do not happen because cannabinoid receptors aren’t found in the areas of our brainstem that control breathing. To put it simply, it is impossible for cannabis to kill you or to even cause damage to your organs because of the way our brain works.
When you consume cannabis, its chemicals ride the nervous system then latch onto cannabinoid receptors that are present in our brain. These are molecules that influence memory, pleasure, cognition, coordination, and other functions. This is the reason why getting high affects one’s behavior and thinking.
How much cannabis is considered lethal?
For you to die, you will have to ingest about 1,500 pounds of weed within 15 minutes. That means taking 40,000 times the normal amount of marijuana, or smoking 40,000 joints of .9 grams of pot. And this is basically impossible for any human being.
There is, however, such thing as too much weed. Consuming too much cannabis can affect you negatively, like make you more nauseous, more agitated, and more paranoid. There will be a point when you are already miserable or uncomfortable. You may also see your motor skills affected, your heart rate increased, or your short-term memory slipping.
These symptoms will start to show sooner when you’re still not as tolerant or as experienced as other regular users. But as long as you rest it out and calm down, these symptoms will eventually wear off on their own.
A few deaths have been reported to be THC-induced, but not directly caused by cannabis overdose. In one case, an inexperienced user had an overdose of edible cannabis, became confused and agitated, then jumped to his death. The death was indirectly caused by severe intoxication and not by THC overdose.
There was also a case of a person passing out after consuming a potent cannabis extract and then hitting his head.
Drinking too much alcohol before smoking cannabis can also lead you to “green out.” This term is used when you experience nausea and dizziness, get sweaty, go pale, and start vomiting.
It should be noted that when THC, which is the active component in cannabis, interacts with your body’s natural cannabinoid receptors, it produces a psychoactive yet relaxing effect. Alcohol, meanwhile, is a depressant and it impacts motor skills and affects the nervous system.
When cannabis activates your cannabinoid receptors, it affects how quickly alcohol is absorbed by your body. Alcohol, meanwhile, also has an effect on how quickly THC is absorbed. Studies have shown that in cases where people smoke marijuana first before drinking alcohol, or when they do it simultaneously, THC levels in the body are higher. On the other hand, drinking alcohol first before smoking a joint causes THC to be absorbed faster. This is because alcohol opens the blood vessels and THC gets into the blood stream faster. And when THC is absorbed into the blood quicker, the effects can be unpredictable.
So, in most cases, it is just a matter of whether you smoked a joint first before drinking alcohol or you drank alcohol first before smoking a joint. Different kinds and different amounts of alcohol, as well as different methods of ingesting cannabis, may also have different effects on the body. So the important thing is to just be responsible and smart about consuming cannabis and alcohol together in order to avoid greening out.