Can You Die From a Marijuana Overdose?
There are no recorded deaths due marijuana overdose, however overdose is theoretically possible at about 40,000 times the amount needed to get high. Marijuana, has yet to kill anyone, but there is still a lot we don’t know due to it’s history of “legal issues”. Marijuana is though to have both health risks and health benefits.
Below we take a look at the “people can die from pot” myth, and take a deeper look at it’s health benefits and risks associated with cannabis.
This video reiterates that no one has ever died from a marijuana overdose.
Marijuana Overdose is Highly Unlikely, but Theoretically Possible
- There have been no recorded deaths due to marijuana overdose.
- It’s estimated that a fatal does of marijuana would be 40,000 times the amount needed to get high (about 1,500 pounds of pot in 15 minutes).
- We have no conclusive evidence of the safety, or lack of safety, of marijuana.
- Studies have shown that cannabis can have a number of health benefits.
- Despite marijuana being legal in some states, the Federal Government considers it a schedule I drug. This simple fact accounts for most of the lack of information in regards to it’s health benefits and risks.
Can You Overdose on Marijuana?
If you take overdose to mean “over doing” then of course you can “over do” marijuana. If you take it to mean “a potentially fatal dose” then we do not know of any case in which marijuana alone has been reported as a cause of death.
It’s estimated a fatal does of marijuana would be 40,000 times the amount needed to get high; in a practical sense this means you can’t die from a marijuana overdose on even the strongest strain of cannabis when used via any common method of intake including edibles, oils, waxes, or smoking.
The above being said, in a theoretical sense, you could die from a pot overdose if you consumed about 1,500 pounds of pot in 15 minutes. In a very real sense, marijuana can be fatal if used while driving, operating heavy machinery, or performing any other task might imperil life if performed while under the influence of the substance.
Can Marijuana Contribute to Death?
Just because no one has died of a pot overdose doesn’t mean using marijuana is always 100% “safe”. We actually don’t know all the health benefits or health risks of marijuana, largely because it’s a schedule I (one) drug in the United States.
As of 2015, there is no consensus regarding whether cannabis smoking is associated with an increased risk of cancer. However, it is reasonable to assume that smoking marijuana regularly would have some of the same negative effects of tobacco.
Using marijuana may increase the risk of accidents while operating vehicles or heavy machinery in the same way alcohol or some prescription medications do.
Smoking marijuana may increase the risks associated with certain preexisting conditions in the short term. For instance, a 2001 study suggested the chances of a heart attack increased 1% in the hour immediately after smoking.
This Canadian documentary on Marijuana looks at the history of Marijuana.
Health Benefits of Marijuana
There are health benefits that seem to be associated with pot.
Procon.org took 60 peer-reviewed studies on Medical Marijuana from 1990 – 2014 and attempted to discover whether they showed marijuana benefiting a specific chronic disease or not. They found 41 out of the 60 studies (or 68%) showed health benefits, 6 out of 60 (or 10%) showed risks, 13 out of 60 (or 22%) were inconclusive.
What is a Schedule I Drug?
Schedule I drugs are those that have the following characteristic according to the United States Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA):
- The drug or other substance has a high potential for abuse.
- The drug or other substance has no currently accepted medical treatment use in the U.S.
- There is a lack of accepted safety standards for use of the drug or substance under medical supervision.
Marijuana, MDMA, and LSD are schedule I drugs, just like Heroin, Bath Salts, and GHB. Meanwhile OxyContin and cocaine are schedule II drugs.
Drug schedules affect how we can study and use drugs and how much prison time people get for buying, selling, or using those drugs.
FACT: Although pot is still schedule I, it can now be studied better due to new legislative changes in the US which included some state (not federal) legalization and this legislation.
Why Don’t We Know More About Marijuana?
As mentioned above, marijuana is currently a schedule I drug. This has prevented Americans from doing more widespread research on marijuana and it’s medial benefits or risks.
Recently Washington, Colorado, Alaska, and Oregon all passed popular measures to legalize pot. These measures help to take the burden of incarcerating cannabis users off of taxpayers. This resulted in a decreased need to subsidize prisons and opened the door for medical research. Tax revenue saved in the criminal justice system can be used for things like health care and education in these states.
Why marijuana is still illegal according to Joe Rogan (NSFW).