Can you over dose on marijuana you ask? Nearly half of Americans say they have tried it at least once in their life. With more people lighting up than ever and nine states voting on the legalization of marijuana, it’s important to remember how many fatally overdose on the drug. That’s according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention which collects data on a range of other substances, both legal and illicit, and the Drug Enforcement Administration. For comparison, opioids, which include prescription pain relievers and heroin, killed more than 20000 Americans in 2014. Nearly 80000 people die from alcohol-related causes every year, which makes alcohol the fourth leading preventable cause of the death in the US. It’s pretty impossible to ingest a lethal dose of marijuana. The User’s Guide spoke with experts and crunched the numbers on how much bud it would take to kill someone. Even aspirin can kill you if you take too much, but a fatal dose of marijuana would require ingestion of fifteen hundred pounds in fifteen minutes. One reason for this impossibility is the way the brain works. When a user ingests marijuana, chemicals in the plant ride the nervous system to the brain and latch onto molecules called cannabinoid receptors as discussed by many deliberate. Those little holding cells influence pleasure, memory, coordination, and cognition, among other functions, which is why getting high affects thinking and behavior.
Cannabinoid receptors are not found in the brainstem areas that control breathing. Thus, “lethal overdoses from cannabis and cannabinoids do not occur,” The National Cancer Institute explains. Marijuana isn’t harmless, however the psychoactive ingredient that gets users high, tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, is a powerful intoxicant says an expert group of marijuana doctor cards in Florida. Having physical abilities and judgments impaired can lead users to put themselves in unsafe situations. And while there are no recorded cases of deaths from marijuana overdose, one explains an oil rig too many can make users feel incredibly uncomfortable. Their heart starts to race, hands tremble, and anxiety strikes. There are things they can do to mitigate a “What I have done?” high. In his book, he recommends users tell themselves that they’re in no real danger. Drink some water to stay hydrated and eat a snack — preferably one that is ready-to-eat and does not require operating a stove to enhance your blood sugar.
The idea of cannabis overdose made headlines in November 2017 after Dr. Thomas Nappe and Dr. Christopher Hoyte published a case report in the August issue of Clinical Practice and Cases in Emergency Medicine. The case report, “Pediatric Death Due to Myocarditis After Exposure to Cannabis,” detailed an incident where an 11-month old baby died from myocarditis, or heart inflammation. In the report, they noted that the child had a cardiac arrest after exposure to cannabis. Press outlets framed the story as the first case of cannabis overdose.
But, that wasn’t the point of Nappe and Hoyte’s report. In fact, Dr. Nappe himself explained that they wrote the case report to bring up the possibility of investigating a link. They did not claim that the cannabis use caused the infant’s death — they just wanted to start a discussion about the subject. Plenty of other factors could have been at play, especially considering the infant’s family was reported to be in an unstable living situation.
When learning about cannabis, or any other scientific subject, it’s important to understand the data present and how scientists share information. If the public had more accessible education about marijuana, it’s likely this report wouldn’t have been blown out of proportion.
How to Avoid Taking Too Much Medical Marijuana
You can entirely avoid a non-lethal overdose by medicating carefully and smartly. Consider the following tips for taking the right amount of medicine:
- Follow Your Doctors Instructions: Some marijuana doctors in orlando and other areas of Florida will recommend an exact dose for you to use at one time. Follow this recommendation exactly. If your doctor doesn’t provide a recommended dose, ask them if they can give you one. You can also ask a dispensary staff member about taking a specific product safely.
- Start Slow and Low: If you aren’t familiar with the way cannabis affects you, start off by taking low dosage amounts over an extended period. You can work your way up as you begin to understand your medication’s effects.
- Use a CBD-Heavy Medication: Since you don’t have to worry about taking too much CBD, you might want to take a medicine with a high amount of CBD instead of THC. If you experience symptoms treatable with CBD, try medication with less THC to avoid overdose.
Marijuana is like any other medicine as you must take it in moderation to get the most out of it. When you practice safe medicating, you’ll have much fewer problems to worry about compared to most medications.
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