Can You Overdose on Marijuana?

Can You Overdose on Marijuana?

It is possible to consume more marijuana than necessary, although impossible to experience toxic overdose. When too much marijuana is eaten, symptoms such as dizziness, sweating, nausea, vomiting or even a sensation of dying may occur but it is not fatal. Recognizing symptoms of a marijuana overdose can be helpful in seeking treatment and learning how to prevent it from happening in the first place.


A person can experience some symptoms such as extreme anxiety, psychotic reactions and paranoia after consuming highly potent strains of marijuana with high levels of THC (tetrahydrocannabinol). People can possibly cause self injury due to the effects on judgment, perception and coordination. Mixing marijuana and alcohol can lead to high levels of intoxication, risky behavior and intensified effects of drinking but death is not likely or possible.

What Happens

When a temporary overdose of marijuana happens, it is called ‘greening out.’ Permanent disability or death will not result from this experience and is a more common occurrence for people who have not used the drug often. The following symptoms may occur which signify too much marijuana in the system:

  • Disorientation
  • Fast heart rate
  • Hallucinations
  • Pupil dilation
  • Shaking
  • Shortness of breath

Symptoms usually pass but if more severe signs occur, medical attention needs to be obtained to ensure the person’s safety from complications.

Signs of Abuse

Potency levels of marijuana vary due to the person consuming the drug and the purity of the drug itself. Additional factors such as age, health, previous exposure to the drug and tolerance levels can all contribute to whether a person may overdose on marijuana.  The following signs may indicate it is time to seek help for a marijuana use problem:

  • Health begins to go downhill. The immune system and brain are impacted by marijuana. Long term effects take time to show up but can impact mental health.
  • The wheezing cough won’t go away. Frequent, heavy  marijuana users can develop irritated throat and lungs which can cause a wheezy cough to start. Vaporization or edible marijuana are alternatives as well as quitting altogether.
  • Responsibilities are not being met. Personal marijuana use should not affect a person’s ability to work, go to school, be a parent or behave in a civilized manner. If these areas of a person’s life become negatively impacted it may be time to seek help.
  • The high does not occur anymore. Increased tolerance can signal dependence on marijuana. Psychological dependence may also be indicated. If a person stops getting high, it might be time to take a break.

Seeking Help

If a person is suspected of ‘greening out,’ or possibly overdosing, offer fluids and rest. Watch for symptoms which may require further medical attention such as trouble breathing, pale skin, faster heart rate and unresponsive behavior. In this instance, take the person to the emergency room or call 911.

Marijuana addiction can be a serious problem. If you are struggling to cope with life and use marijuana to do so or have tried to quit and can’t, it may be time to seek help. Call us to find out how we can help you recover from marijuana addiction.