Can You Overdose On Marijuana
Marijuana is a powerful drug, and while it’s not likely to kill you in the same way as heroin or morphine, it can have severe consequences if abused. It has been shown that marijuana users who take more than they should end up with some pretty unpleasant medical problems like respiratory depression (which makes breathing difficult), dizziness, nausea, dry mouth, drowsiness, confusion, hallucinations, and paranoia. If this happens on top of feeling high, there are even worse possibilities.
In many countries, including Canada, Germany, and Uruguay, recreational use of cannabis for non-medical purposes is legal. In other places — such as Australia, China, and Russia — cannabis is available only under prescription from physicians.
Marijuana is also one of nature’s most potent drugs, so how dangerous could it be when used correctly? Could overuse cause any health complications? And what about people who smoke too much pot without knowing it? Let’s find out…
If you’re new to weed, don’t worry. We won’t go into detail here. Just know that marijuana is made from dried buds of the Cannabis sativa plant, containing hundreds of chemical compounds called cannabinoids. The two main active ones are tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD).
Although both substances affect our brain chemistry differently, they may interact badly at higher doses, causing severe side effects. THC causes the “high” effect we all love, but CBD does not. This means that smoking a joint loaded with pure THC will make you feel stoned, whereas an edible product containing just CBD might leave you relaxed yet detached from your surroundings.
The possible dangers of using too much marijuana depend on whether you’ve built up a tolerance to its effects. Tolerance occurs naturally after long-term use of certain psychoactive drugs, usually because their receptors become less sensitive to them.
Unfortunately, this doesn’t happen immediately — instead, a person must continue consuming the substance every day until their body adjusts to it. Once build-up starts, however, the process is irreversible and unstoppable [source NCBI].
Over time, regular smokers tend to experience physical dependence on marijuana. They need it to function normally; otherwise, withdrawal symptoms occur. One of these is anxiety, particularly panic attacks.
A similar condition affects alcoholics — once alcohol intake decreases, craving kicks in and can result in relapse episodes. The withdrawal isn’t life-threatening, though it can lead to seizures, psychotic behavior, irritability, insomnia, weight loss, and sweating.
So far, we haven’t discussed overdose specifically. What exactly happens when your body gets too high?
What Happens When Your Body Gets Too High
When taken recreationally, marijuana produces different effects depending on several factors, such as strain type, potency level, method of ingestion, and amount smoked each session. At low levels, you’ll probably get giggly, carefree euphoria.
However, as the dose increases, things start getting weird: blurred vision, shortness of breath, slurred speech, impaired motor skills and coordination, muscle spasms, headaches, disorientation, and sometimes unconsciousness.
These symptoms resemble those caused by alcohol intoxication, although they typically last longer and come with greater intensity. After recovering, victims often report feeling depressed and paranoid.
It turns out that building up a tolerance to marijuana takes repeated exposure to small amounts of the stuff for quite some time. Not surprisingly, someone who smokes regularly would eventually develop resistance to even stronger highs.
Heavy drinkers are advised against mixing booze with illicit drugs, since combining them multiplies harmful effects. Another problem with this scenario is that when users switch between various types of illegal drugs, they expose themselves to unknown interactions.
People who experiment with multiple controlled substances are especially vulnerable to adverse reactions due to unpredictable pharmacokinetics.
Serotonin is a neurotransmitter involved in mood regulation, sleep control, and appetite suppression. For example, if you mix cocaine and MDMA (“Ecstasy”) together, you risk a potentially fatal serotonin syndrome. Ecstasy users commonly do coke – ecstasy combos because coke stimulates dopamine release, thus enhancing the positive feelings associated with MDMA.
However, excessive dosages of either stimulant can trigger heart palpitations, chest pain, irregular heartbeat, elevated blood pressure, fever, chills, hyperthermia, tremors, rapid pulse rate, flushing, vomiting, diarrhea, convulsions, coma, and death. Cocaine abusers are similarly susceptible to serotonin syndrome, along with amphetamine addicts.
Although rare, overdosing on marijuana can have equally deadly results. Keep reading to learn how to avoid becoming a victim of this scary situation.
Smoking marijuana cigarettes is common among young adults today, but did you ever wonder where the term reefer madness came from? In 1931, the Surgeon General noted that cigarette smoking was linked to lung cancer, emphysema, and bronchitis.
He recommended limiting tobacco consumption to no more than five years for men and three years for women. By 1938, state laws restricted the sale and distribution of cigarettes to minors. Today, studies show that secondhand smoke poses almost equal threats to health as firsthand.
How To Avoid An Illegal Drug Bust While Smoking Pot?
You’d think that avoiding detection during a casual trip to the dispensary wouldn’t matter much if you weren’t caught red-handed. Thanks to increased law enforcement efforts worldwide, undercover cops now pose as buyers looking to purchase narcotics. So how can you protect yourself from busts?
First off, never buy marijuana through dealers. Instead, seek information online regarding local clubs and events. Many cities host public meetings featuring vendors selling quality herbs. Also, look for reviews posted on forums related to your area.
Check out photos uploaded on social media sites like Instagram and Flickr. Never pay money upfront during sales pitches! Beware of anyone offering to sell you anything unless you trust him completely.
Don’t forget that marijuana plants yield varying quantities of usable material depending on environmental conditions. Some strains produce significantly more bud than others, so shop around before buying.
Try experimenting with various extraction methods, such as water filtration, CO2 inhalation, solvent purification, and hydro concentrator technology. Don’t stick solely to big-name brands, either. Shop for organic varieties grown locally since pesticides and fertilizers added to commercial products can wreak havoc on your system. Finally, always try sampling samples before making a significant investment.
Now that you understand the risks of using too much marijuana, what next steps should you follow if you suspect an accidental overdose? Find out on the next page.
Medical marijuana dispensaries aren’t allowed everywhere. Most states allow home delivery services, however. Customers receive discounts and freebies, such as coupons for future purchases. Since patients already have relationships with licensed sellers, they won’t face criminal charges upon being caught trafficking their own medicine.
Aftermath Of Getting Stung By A Scorpion
One sign of potential trouble with a particular batch of dope is an unusual taste or smell. Common signs include skunky smells, burning rubber, rotten eggs, and fresh-cut grass aromas. Sometimes, the entire bag contains moldy cheese puffs instead of actual buds. Other times, the leaves appear discolored and wilted, indicating poor growing techniques.
Another warning sign involves sudden changes in behavioral patterns. Someone whose normal personality is outgoing suddenly becomes withdrawn or shy. Or he begins talking incessantly about mundane topics or rambling about unrelated subjects.
His eyes glaze over, and sweat breaks out across his forehead. Nausea, extreme thirst, and hunger may occur intermittently throughout the episode. He may also vomit repeatedly. Seizures, psychosis, and cardiac arrest have occurred within hours of witnessing these symptoms.
Fortunately, treatment options exist. First responders should administer naloxone intravenously. Then, begin treating the patient for shock via the administration of fluids and electrolytes. Next, transport him to the nearest emergency room for further observation.
Depending on the severity, doctors may prescribe benzodiazepines to help relieve anxiety and induce relaxation. Patients may also require oxygen therapy, mechanical ventilation, vasopressin infusion, or intensive monitoring equipment such as continuous EEG monitors.
While dealing with acute situations involving overdoses, remember that chronic addiction cases are complex and involve numerous mental, emotional, and psychological issues. Treatment programs are tailored individually based on personal history, current circumstances, and preferences.