While there are lots of things about marijuana that people overlook, there are also many things that people do forget about. When it comes to recreational drug use, most of us tend to think about high doses of any drug. But, what people fail to remember is that you can actually overdose on marijuana even at a recreational dose level.

Marijuana has become increasingly popular in the past several decades, and as a result its use has increased. However, the use of marijuana is illegal in the United States, and there is no way to know how much marijuana you have consumed, or how much more is left in your body. Marijuana intoxication is largely the result of the same toxic chemicals found in other drugs, but because it is consumed rapidly, marijuana intoxication is more intense than in other drugs.



For decades, there has been a lot of misinformation about marijuana usage. Reefer Madness, a 1936 film produced by a religious organization, warned the public about the dangers of taking the drug, which included anything from attempted murder to suicide and insanity. Around the same time, Harry Anslinger and others launched the drug war, which was driven in part by racial motivations. Since then, myths and/or skewed science regarding marijuana have often filled in research gaps left by western countries’ prohibitions on narcotics. However, the legalization of marijuana in many states and nations has resulted in marketing efforts that make questionable health claims about the plant.

Some individuals have long grouped all illicit substances together, perceiving little distinction in the risks presented by heroine and methamphetamines compared to marijuana. But, in reality, how hazardous is marijuana? Is it capable of killing you? Is it possible to have too much marijuana?

The response to the latter is a resounding “no.” Overdosing on pure, unadulterated marijuana that isn’t combined with anything is virtually impossible, however joints, bong hits, or synthetic copies of the psychotropic chemicals in marijuana may kill you in certain ways.

Mujeeb Shad, a psychiatrist at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, says it’s nothing like alcohol or opiate poisoning.

Why Is Marijuana’s Danger Self-Mitigated?

Because some of the active ingredients in marijuana interact against one other in your body, it doesn’t offer the same danger as opioids, cocaine, amphetamines, or even alcohol.

THC, or tetrahydrocannabinol, is the most poisonous component in marijuana. It’s also the source of the majority of the more powerful psychoactive and addictive effects that users experience.

The THC concentration of marijuana has risen over the last several decades, implying that the drug’s addictive potential has risen as well. THC is a partial agonist, which means it isn’t particularly toxic, especially when compared to more hazardous substances like opiates or cocaine, which may be fatal or poisonous at large dosages. Even if the THC level of marijuana was high enough to do serious harm to your body, it has a built-in mechanism to keep it in check: cannabidiol, or CBD.

Although science hasn’t caught up to some of these claims, you may be acquainted with CBD thanks to the abundance of New Age health practitioners who offer the chemical in anything from balms to edible items.

CBD, on the other hand, counteracts some of THC’s toxicity by dampening some of its potentially negative effects.

“CBD is a system stabilizer,” Shad explains.

Marijuana may have a variety of unpleasant effects, including nausea, paranoia, vomiting, delusions, disorientation, and anxiety. However, it is unlikely to kill you on your own.

Drug Cocktails with Synthetic Marijuana

While the natural type of marijuana may not be toxic enough to induce overdose, Shad believes that newer synthetic versions of THC, such as Spice or K2, which are presently accessible on the black market, are a different matter. These medicines have significant side effects and may be very poisonous since they lack the herb’s balance components. 

“They may be very dangerous, and individuals can die from them,” Shad warns, noting that many synthetic THC medications are complete agonists rather than partial agonists like biological THC. In fact, he and his co-authors suggested that CBD might be utilized as a therapy for Spice or K2 toxicity.

Another issue arises when marijuana is mixed with other drugs, such as psychedelics, opiates, or designer medications. “That may reduce marijuana’s relative safety,” Shad adds.

Other medications may disrupt the equilibrium between THC and CBD, enabling the toxic components in marijuana that are usually restricted to cause greater damage. As a consequence, mixing marijuana with opiates or cocaine may result in a hazardous combination that is larger than the sum of its components, according to Shad.

Long-Term Concerns

Because of a decades-long study moratorium, reliable data on the long-term effects of marijuana usage is missing. However, smoking marijuana rather than eating it may lead to many of the same issues as smoking tobacco. Lung cancer and heart issues may be caused by inhaling hydrocarbons from burning materials. Many individuals smoke marijuana without filters or combine it with tobacco in joints, which amplifies the harmful effects.

“This is why smoking marijuana is so much more dangerous than consuming it in other ways,” Shad explains.

Marijuana usage by youngsters under the age of 15 has also been related to a higher risk of schizophrenia later in life, according to Shad. Marijuana usage has the potential to exacerbate the symptoms of schizophrenia in certain individuals.

“Anyone with the biological foundations may be at risk of developing schizophrenia later,” Shad explains. “These drugs affect brain function, and their long-term consequences are unknown.”

However, one impact that may be comparable to that of alcohol is driving. Marijuana, like alcohol, may slow down your motor processes, lengthening the time it takes your brain and body to respond. “Slower reflexes may create issues,” Shad explains.

To put it another way, smoking joints while driving is not a smart idea, just as taking bong hits before firing up the chainsaw is probably not a good idea.

However, the risks of marijuana usage are often exaggerated, particularly when compared to the hazards of another legal substance, alcohol. If you drink strong alcohol fast enough, you can probably kill yourself for less than $100.

“Alcohol is a far more harmful drug than marijuana, yet our culture has embraced it completely,” Shad adds. “Neither of these should be used, and we should not condone their usage. However, we must also educate people about these distinctions.” 

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