Although marijuana has been legalized in a number of states in recent years, it remains illegal on a federal level in the United States. Under the Controlled Substances Act, marijuana is classified as a Schedule I drug that has no accepted medical use. 

Despite its status as an illegal substance in many parts of the United States, weed is the most commonly used addictive drug in the country after tobacco and alcohol. If you or someone you love is struggling with marijuana abuse, it’s important to be aware of the potential risks this drug can create, such as overdose.

How Much Weed Is Too Much?

Each person is affected by weed differently, and what is considered to be “too much” for one person may be a different amount for someone else. Additionally, this amount can vary based on the strain of weed, frequency of use and method of ingestion (smoking, vaping, eating/drinking or using resin). For these reasons, there is no universally accepted amount of weed that is considered to be “too much,” and the amount can vary widely for each individual.

Symptoms of Being Too High

Symptoms of overconsuming marijuana, especially over a long period of time, can include

  • Breathing problems
  • Increased heart rate
  • Child development problems during and after pregnancy
  • Intense nausea and vomiting

How Long Does a Marijuana High Last?

A marijuana high can last anywhere from minutes to hours, depending on the type of marijuana and method of ingestion. Typically, ingesting marijuana in the form of edibles will result in the longest high, while smoking it will result in a quicker high.

Can You Overdose on Weed?

For an overdose to occur, enough of a drug must be taken to result in life-threatening symptoms or death. While it is possible to overconsume weed and experience severe reactions, there are only case reports of teens or adults dying from marijuana on its own. Weed overdose is not routinely associated with death. However, there are many reports that products with higher THC levels can cause uncomfortable side effects. 

How Much Weed Does It Take To Overdose?

The amount of weed needed to overdose is unclear. There have been increasing amounts of THC in marijuana in recent years, which could result in higher chances of accidental overconsumption. While there is not a specific amount of marijuana reported to cause an overdose in humans, lethal doses in animals range from 40mg/kg to 130mg/kg.

Can You Overdose on Edibles?

In recent years, the amount of THC in marijuana has been increasing. This has led to more potent weed that can be more likely to cause an unwanted reaction in those new to the drug. With regular use, this higher THC content is also more likely to result in dependence. 

Edibles, in particular, can take longer to be felt while your body is digesting the marijuana contained in them. During this time, some people take more in an effort to get high, but this can lead to potentially dangerous side effects or even hospitalization. Additionally, because edibles often look like typical baked goods or other products, they can be taken accidentally by children and others. 

Can You Die From Weed?

While there are only isolated reports of teens or adults dying from marijuana on its own, there are concerning reports related to vaping. The FDA recently alerted the public about the dangers of vaping after reports of hundreds of serious lung illnesses associated with vaping. In some of these instances, death was reported. 

The FDA cautions people not to modify any store-bought vaping solution and not to vape anything purchased on the street. To date, no specific compound has been identified in these cases.

Symptoms of Marijuana Overdose

Taking too much weed can lead to a variety of unpleasant symptoms. These may include:

  • Anxiety
  • Changes in mood
  • Difficulty concentrating 
  • Extreme confusion 
  • Hallucinations and delusions 
  • High or low blood pressure
  • Memory problems
  • Nausea and vomiting 
  • Panic attack
  • Rapid heart rate
  • Poor coordination

Treatment for Marijuana Overdose

In cases where patients visit the hospital with symptoms related to marijuana overdose, the most common treatment is supportive care. This often includes observation overnight or until symptoms stabilize, IV fluids for patients who are dehydrated and medications to treat symptoms. For example, benzodiazepines are sometimes used for patients with anxiety, and antipsychotics can help reduce psychosis. 

Some chronic marijuana users develop cannabinoid hyperemesis syndrome. This is a condition that causes repeated nausea and vomiting, and it often requires hospitalization. Commonly, treatment for this condition includes antiemetic medications to control nausea and vomiting, hydration with IV fluids and a proton-pump inhibitor to protect the stomach. After a patient takes supportive measures and stops marijuana use, the condition often resolves in 24 to 48 hours. 

Marijuana Addiction Treatment in Ohio

The Recovery Village Columbus offers a full continuum of treatment for marijuana addiction, including medical detox, inpatient treatment and outpatient care. Our licensed experts can work with you to treat your marijuana addiction and any underlying conditions that may have led you to substance use. 

If you or someone you love is struggling with marijuana abuse and addiction, The Recovery Village Columbus can help you begin the path to a healthier, drug-free future. Contact us today to learn more about marijuana addiction treatment programs that can work well for your situation. 

Jonathan-Strum
Editor – Jonathan Strum
Jonathan Strum graduated from the University of Nebraska Omaha with a Bachelor's in Communication in 2017 and has been writing professionally ever since. Read more
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Medically Reviewed By – Leila Khurshid BCPS, PharmD
Sources

National Institute on Drug Abuse. “Cannabis (Marijuana) DrugFacts.” December 2019. Accessed May 23, 2022.

Turner, A.R., Spurling, B.C., Agrawal, S. “Marijuana Toxicity.” StatPearls, May 15, 2022. Accessed May 23, 2022.

Medical Disclaimer

The Recovery Village aims to improve the quality of life for people struggling with a substance use or mental health disorder with fact-based content about the nature of behavioral health conditions, treatment options and their related outcomes. We publish material that is researched, cited, edited and reviewed by licensed medical professionals. The information we provide is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. It should not be used in place of the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare provider.