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Cannabis Overdose? 6 Things to Do if You or Someone You Know Eats Too Much Marijuana

Can you overdose on edibles?  Is there such a thing as a “cannabis overdose?”  If so how much THC does it take to overdose? 

The answer will depend on what exactly you mean by the word “marijuana overdose.”

No, you are never going “overdose” in the sense of shutting down your organs.  You won’t cease breathing either.  Cannabis simply does not work that way in the body.  Nor is it ever the cause of death.  Again, it just does not function that way physiologically. 

That said, you can “overdose” on cannabis in the sense that you can get more THC than your body needs. 

So when we are talking about a “marijuana overdose,” what we are really talking about is someone ingesting too much THC, the psychoactive cannabinoid in marijuana responsible for many of its medicinal effects, but also responsible for making you feel high.  

If this happens you might experience some less-than-desirable side effects such as nausea, disorientation, imbalance, and sometimes even vomiting.  These may or may not be accompanied by a hefty dose of paranoia.

But beyond this discomfort, too much cannabis is not inherently dangerous.

Too Many Edibles

There is no easier way to ingest too much cannabis than by eating it.  Unlike inhalable cannabis that you feel effects from nearly instantly, it can be 1 1/2 hours or more to feel the effects of edible cannabis. 

A common mistake people make is thinking it’s not working, eating more, then by the time it all hits they find out the hard way that they ate too much.

Another reason edibles can be so tricky is because everyone’s dosing needs are highly individual.  An amount that puts one person under the table might be just barely enough for someone else. 

If you want to have good experiences with edibles, it’s important to determine how much you need in order feel good and consume accordingly.  And the amount that’s right for you may be significantly different than the amount you friend, or spouse, or family member needs.

6 Things To Do If You Eat Too Much Cannabis

What if you or someone you know accidentally gets into that uncomfortable “too high” state? 

First and foremost, calm down and relax. Or if it is happening to someone you know, help them to calm down.

 As we said, it might be uncomfortable, but it isn’t dangerous.  And there are definitely things you can do to make it stop more quickly.

  1. CBD – Many people don’t know about this little miracle trick, but CBD counters the effects of too much THC!  If you start to feel too high, put a few drops of CBD tincture under your tongue.  Alternately a CBD breath spray can also work.  In either case, you’ll start to experience relief from an uncomfortable high within a minute or two of absorbing the CBD.  I always keep some on hand at parties, just in case!
  2. Black peppercorns – Black peppercorns seem to also work to counteract an excess of THC.  While we are not sure of the mechanics of how this works in the body, it seems to have to do with the fact that the two plants share some terpene profiles.  But the bottom line is, chewing on a few black peppercorns can help shorten the duration of an uncomfortable THC high.
  3. Drink lots of water – Dehydration and cotton mouth, typical cannabis side effects, are even more pronounced with edibles.  Be sure to drink plenty of water.
  4. Don’t drink alcohol – Alcohol can intensify the effects of too much THC, plus can add to disorientation, nausea, and dehydration.  Avoid alcohol when taking edibles.
  5. Eat something non-medicated – Unless you are feeling sick to your stomach, eating non-medicated foods can help you feel back to normal quicker.  Also, keep in mind that eating cannabis edibles on an empty stomach can make you feel them more intensely.
  6. Sleep it off – If you are still feeling out of sorts after these steps, the best thing to do is simply lie down and sleep it off.  All should be well when you awaken.

Avoid Overdoing It From The Start

The best way to avoid consuming too much is to go slow and know your dose. Making accurate edibles with Ardent’s precision decarboxylators ensures that you’re getting the most out of your material and maintain the ability to control your dose.

Whether you’re activating THC, CBD, CBG or over any of the 80+ cannabinoids present in this amazing plant, Ardent’s lab-grade activation lets you create custom blends and doses at the press of a button!