Depending on the part of the world or the state that you live in, marijuana may be used for recreational or medicinal purposes. Although it is a legal drug, it is still possible to overdose on marijuana. This drug is produced from the cannabis plant. Typically smoked or eaten, it can have short-term or long-term effects depending on the strain. If you ingest or smoke too much marijuana, it is possible to overdose on the drug.
Can You Overdose on Marijuana?
In slang terms, overdosing on marijuana is known as “greening out”. A temporary overdose will generally not cause any long-term disability or death, but it can cause a number of unpleasant side effects. If you have overdosed on marijuana, your heart rate may speed up or you may develop a heart arrhythmia. You may feel disorientated, paranoid or suffer from hallucinations. It can cause you to feel unexplained fear or anxiety. In addition, overdosing can cause symptoms like vomiting, a hangover, feeling cold, trembling, shortness of breath, nausea or pupal dilation.
Normally, these side effects will go away within a few minutes or hours of using marijuana. If these symptoms are severe or you have another medical condition, you may want to seek medical help to make sure that there are not any complications. You should be especially careful when purchasing marijuana on the street because it could contain other chemicals, pesticides or drugs that could cause you to become severely ill. When mixed with another drug or pesticide, you may develop more dangerous side effects. This drug is also easier to overdose on if you have a previous medical condition or are allergic to the drug.
Treating the Symptoms of a Marijuana Overdose
For most people, an overdose on marijuana will resolve naturally within a few hours. When smoked, the drug only works for a few hours, so you should return to feeling like normal within a short period of time. To make sure that you are protected, make sure to watch for symptoms like unresponsiveness, pale skin, problems breathing and a faster heart rate. As long as the person does not exhibit these symptoms, allow them to rest and drink plenty of water. If you do see signs of more serious side effects, the individual should go to the emergency room or call 911.
Once at a hospital, medical professionals will work to treat the symptoms of a marijuana overdose. They may provide anti-anxiety medication that helps to lower the heart rate and the blood pressure. If the individual is unable to consume liquid, they may be hooked up to intravenous fluids while the marijuana works its way out of their system.
Is It Possible to Die From a Marijuana Overdose?
There are very few cases where someone had a marijuana overdose and died. For most of these individuals, a pre-existing condition was partially at fault. Marijuana is generally not responsible for fatalities in a normal, healthy adult. For marijuana to be fatal, a very large amount would need to be smoked or consumed.
As a rule, it would take roughly 40,000 times the amount of THC (the active chemical in marijuana that causes you to get high) that normally would get you high to make you have an overdose. If you normally require three inhalations to get high, you would need to take 120,000 inhalations to have a fatal amount. Due to this, it would be almost impossible to have an overdose that causes your death. In comparison, it only takes five to ten times the alcohol needed to get drunk to have a fatal reaction.
Scientific Studies of Marijuana
Over the past few years, there have been more studies of THC. Israel is actually one of the world leaders in researching the medical benefits and side effects of this drug. According to most research, THC is a psychoactive drug that causes a high, but is not known to be toxic for the human body.
Normally, scientists use a formula called the “lethal dosage” to show how dangerous a drug is. This designation is created by figuring out the amount of a substance that is need to kill 50 percent of test animals in a laboratory. Due to this, drugs have a designation for their LD-50 (Lethal Dosage- 50 percent). Small mice need about 1,000 milligrams for every kilogram of their body weight before they die. For larger animals, the LD-50 is as much as 3,000 milligrams for every kilograms of their body weight. For humans, this means that a 140 pound person would need to use four pounds of marijuana before they reached the level that caused larger animals in the study to die. In addition to this amount being nearly impossible to take in a short period of time, it has still not been proven to be a fatal dosage for humans. Studies on this drug have been going on for the last 30 years, but there are still very few deaths that have been attributed exclusively to marijuana. Most marijuana-related deaths are also caused by other factors instead of just marijuana usage.
What Are Some of the Short-Term and Long-Term Dangers of Using Marijuana?
There are generally very few side effects of marijuana that you have to worry about. Marijuana can make some people uncomfortable, and there are short-term side effects that can be annoying. In the short-term, you may have slowed muscle responses and poor coordination. You may have driving impairments for up to 24 hours after using it, memory loss and panic attacks. While using marijuana, you may have slowed judgment, poor thinking skills, anxiety or memory loss. People with heart disease or blood pressure conditions may develop cardiac problems.
Over the long term, marijuana is connected to just a few side effects. Long-term users may have problems with learning and their memory. Marijuana can decrease your sperm count, so it may result in lowered fertility. There is also a correlation between long-term marijuana use and an increase in mental illness.