Can You Overdose on Cannabis? No, You Cannot!
Can you overdose on cannabis? Ask someone this particular question and you’re bound to get caught in an age-old debate. Some say you can overdose on cannabis. Others argue you won’t. But before this question sparks a social media war, let’s first define what an overdose is.
What exactly is an overdose?
Meriam-Webster defines overdose as “too great a dose” and “an excessive quantity or amount.”
For some people though, overdose means someone died or nearly died from an illicit substance. We can’t blame society for defining overdose this way. After all, it’s what we see and hear when opioid-related overdose and death are discussed. Someone took some drugs, overdosed on it, and died. Society sees overdose and death as closely related.
But this isn’t what overdose basically means. Simply put, overdose is consuming more than the amount you needed to and developing a negative reaction to it.
The Opioid Crisis
A recent report on the opioid crisis revealed that accidental opioid overdose claimed the lives of 733 people last year. Just this year alone, 355 people died due to opioid overdose. According to statistics, opioid-related fatalities make up 78% of all deaths due to alcohol and drug poisoning.
With these many deaths, some people are concerned that cannabis legalization will only increase the number of deaths caused by drugs. They assume that consuming too much cannabis might also result in an overdose.
So this prompts the question: Can you overdose on cannabis?
Can you overdose on cannabis?
There has never been a recorded death due to cannabis use. And no, there is no such thing as a cannabis overdose.
You can take a bit too much and feel some negative side effects. But no, you will never overdose on cannabis and die. And even if you consumed a high amount, you will never be able to reach cannabis’ lethal dose.
Wondering what the lethal dose of cannabis is? For cannabis to be lethal, you need to consume 1,500 pounds in the span of 15 minutes. That’s about 20,000 to 40,000 times the average dose in one sitting!
So, can you overdose on cannabis? The answer is: No, you cannot!
Science’s Answer to Can You Overdose on Cannabis?
You can’t die from cannabis; science says so.
The brain stem houses the systems that modulate heart and lung functions. Now, these systems contain opiate receptors. When you take opiate or opioid-based drugs, the molecules bind to the receptors located in the cardiopulmonary systems. In addition to sedation and analgesia, the molecules also reduce the neural activity of your cardiopulmonary systems. This reduction in neural activity slows down your heart rate and breathing. So an overdose on opioid stops your lungs from breathing and heart from beating.
Cannabis doesn’t depress the cardiopulmonary systems. There are little to no cannabinoid receptors found in these systems. You’ll probably develop some adverse side effects from consuming too much cannabis, but it’s not lethal. Besides, these side effects usually go away after some time.
The next time someone asks, “can you overdose on cannabis?”, Tell them no.