Menu Close

Rehab Blog

Providing Trusted, Evidence-Based
Treatment for Three Decades and Counting

If you or a loved one is experiencing addiction, we’re here to help.

Is it Possible to Overdose on Marijuana?

a person lies sadly on a couch thinking about the possibility to overdose on marijuana

There is an ongoing debate over the dangers of marijuana. Some people believe that the drug is harmless and that its use can never be addictive or cause an overdose (OD). However, the fact is that research has documented the addictive nature of marijuana and identified it as a contributor to overdose fatalities caused by drug use. An overdose on marijuana is possible, according to this research, especially when in combination with other drugs.

There’s no way around it—even though marijuana may be less dangerous statistically as compared to some other substances, it’s dangerous enough to avoid its use entirely. If it becomes intrusive in your ability to manage your life from day to day, a marijuana addiction treatment program may be necessary.

Marijuana in All Its Forms

Though there is no documented evidence of a death caused by smoking marijuana, it’s important to note that growers are growing increasingly more potent plants all the time. Only time will tell how these high-THC plants will impact the health of users and whether or not overdose on marijuana will become an issue.

Additionally, in 2014, two deaths were directly caused by marijuana edibles—products like cookies or candies that have THC baked or cooked into them. These people did not die due to medical emergencies caused by the drug as in typical drug overdose deaths. Rather, these deaths were caused by erratic behavior under the influence of a significant amount of marijuana that resulted in dangerous situations.

This number doesn’t include the loss of life caused by driving after smoking the drug or making other poor choices that endanger oneself or others. No matter how you frame it, marijuana is extremely dangerous when taken in large amounts and should be approached with caution.

Synthetic Marijuana Overdose

The term “synthetic marijuana” encompasses a range of substances that are designed to mimic the effects of marijuana. Sold in shady shops and online, these drugs are often touted as a “legal high” because they haven’t been around long enough to be officially banned by law. However, they are still extremely dangerous, and the cause of a number of lives lost, according to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).

Some of the common names for synthetic marijuana include:

  • K2
  • Spice
  • Bliss
  • Black Mamba
  • Joker
  • Lava Red

Synthetic marijuana is much more potent than natural marijuana and can cause severe overdose symptoms, including vomiting, confusion, blurred vision, seizures, and even death in some cases. The effects of synthetic marijuana can last up to six hours or longer.

The dangers of synthetic marijuana are often much greater than in other forms. Since they are often unregulated and come without dosing instructions or warnings, users can easily take too much and suffer an overdose. It is essential to be aware of both the risks associated with marijuana use and the potential for overdosing, especially when it comes to synthetic varieties.

Marijuana OD Is Often a Contributing Cause

Marijuana use is often a contributing factor in drug-related deaths for a number of different reasons. In combination with other substances, it can contribute to acute medical emergencies that end in death. Additionally, marijuana, in combination with other drugs or alcohol, can make it difficult for the person to make good choices and can increase their chances of ending up in dangerous situations.

Using marijuana, which is a depressant, in combination with other drugs may cause:

  • Uncontrollable shifts in mood and behavior
  • Difficulty regulating emotions
  • Impairment in cognitive skills, coordination, and motor abilities
  • Impaired judgment that could lead to high-risk activities like driving under the influence or engaging in other dangerous behaviors

Even when the drug is solely involved, a non-fatal overdose on marijuana can still result due to inadvertent overconsumption. The effects of an overdose can include confusion, agitation, anxiety, and hallucinations. As with any drug, it is important to be aware of the dangers associated with its use and to always practice moderation when using any substance.

Mitigating the Marijuana Overdose Risk

Like alcohol, many people will be able to use the drug in moderation, determining what works for them when it comes to quantity and frequency in the states where it’s legal for recreational use. However, an estimated nine percent of those who try the drug will develop a dependence that becomes debilitating, and they will need professional treatment to safely and effectively stop using the substance and start a healthy new life.

If you are in need of assistance in stopping the use of marijuana, contact Michael’s House now by calling 760.548.4032 and learn more about our integrative treatment program and how it can help you start over.