Despite marijuana’s growing acceptance in the West, there are still heated debates regarding this drug’s effects. Arguably, the top safety concern people have with cannabis is whether it could trigger an overdose. Many pot proponents claim you can never have too much THC, but is there any science to back up these “high claims?”
To be honest, there’s still no clear-cut answer on THC’s safety profile. Indeed, many factors influence THC’s effect on a person’s body, including a user’s tolerance and the type of cannabis product they’re using (e.g., vape juice, edible, or flower). However, most reports suggest THC can cause significant adverse reactions. While THC may not have a fatality score anywhere near drugs like opioids, that doesn’t mean it can’t provoke an overdose.
Honestly, How Dangerous Is THC? — What We Know About THC Overdose
At this time, it’s unclear whether THC alone could cause a fatal overdose. That being said, many medical professionals don’t believe THC has an exceptionally high fatality risk for healthy adults. In fact, most of the marijuana-related overdose cases in the CDC WONDER’s statistics had significant traces of secondary drugs. Plus, when researchers compared pure THC fatalities with drugs like opioids, THC-related deaths were almost non-existent.
However, that doesn’t mean THC is risk-free. Indeed, ER clinics have noticed an uptick in “overdose” cases in states with legal weed. While most of these patients didn’t die from too much THC, their reactions were severe enough to warrant medical attention. There’s also significant evidence that people who take THC regularly are at a greater risk for developing chronic health conditions. According to a study out of Philadelphia, people who smoked high-THC cannabis had a greater risk of heart disease and stroke. Obviously, people with pre-existing conditions will be at a greater risk for a THC overdose.
It’s also worth mentioning that THC may make users prone to taking risky behaviors. For instance, a Colorado teen recently jumped off of a building after eating too many THC edibles. Scientists have also shown that taking THC with drugs like alcohol increases this cannabinoid’s potency.
While THC on its own may not induce a fatal overdose, it’s possible to have too much of this cannabinoid. New tokers or people with pre-existing health conditions are most at risk for experiencing a THC overdose.
What Are Warning Signs Of A THC Overdose?
Everyone has a different reaction to THC, but there are a few common signs of an overdose. For instance, many people who take too much THC experience hallucinations and a panic attack. This is especially true when people take high doses of sativa-heavy THC strains.
On the opposite extreme, some people who take too much high THC cannabis may experience extreme lethargy. You may also notice memory impairment, dizziness, or slower reaction times after taking high amounts of THC.
A few other commonly reported side effects from THC include headaches, increased heart rate, and uncontrollable vomiting.
What Does THC Tolerance Have To Do With An Overdose?
One issue that complicates the risk of THC overdose is a person’s tolerance level. People can develop a resistance to THC with repeated use. Tokers who take high THC products regularly will need more of this cannabinoid to experience the same “high.”
Understandably, people with a lower THC tolerance have a greater risk of experiencing an overdose. Since it takes less THC to affect inexperienced users, they need less of this cannabinoid to have a potent effect.
Could THC Edibles Provoke An Overdose?
Often, THC edibles are viewed as a “safer” alternative versus dabbing or smoking cannabis. In reality, many scientists argue that canna-cookies may have a higher risk of overdose versus standard joints.
Unlike smoking cannabis flowers, edibles take a few hours to get absorbed into the bloodstream. Since users won’t feel an edible’s effects immediately, it’s common for them to “overindulge” in these THC-laced treats. Once the THC kicks in, however, users will experience far more potent effects than they anticipated.
Unfortunately, since edibles look like innocent snacks, they often attract the attention of minors. Parents must keep all of their THC products well-hidden in childproof containers to avoid this risk. If children accidentally eat THC edibles, adults must contact a medical professional ASAP.
Are Synthetic Cannabinoids Better Than Cannabis Flowers?
As chemists learn more about THC’s structure, laboratories are hard at work making synthetic cannabinoids. While these lab-made cannabinoids resemble particles like THC, that doesn’t mean the two substances are equal. In fact, there’s some evidence that suggests synthetic cannabinoids carry a greater risk of overdose versus plant-based THC.
ER workers at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai found that patients who took synthetic cannabinoids had more severe symptoms versus people who smoked cannabis flowers. A few symptoms doctors noted included increased paranoia and heart complications.
While the research into synthetic cannabinoids is early, customers should approach these products with extra caution.
Could You Overdose On CBD?
CBD is often marketed as a safer & subtler alternative to THC. Although CBD and THC share a similar mother cannabinoid (i.e., CBG), they have significantly different effects on the body. Most notably, THC is psychoactive, while CBD is not. Multiple studies show THC lands directly on CB1 receptors, whereas CBD inhibits THC’s psychoactive properties.
So, does this mean it’s impossible to overdose on CBD? Well, according to most medical experts, it’s far less likely you’ll overdose on CBD versus THC. Even if patients take too much CBD, they will likely experience minor side effects like tiredness, digestive upset, or nausea. New customers should start with the lowest recommended dose of CBD and gradually work their way up.
Prevent THC Overdose With Cannaflower’s Low THC Hemp
While it’s unlikely healthy patients will die from a THC overdose, it’s common for people to experience harsh side effects. Thankfully, there’s now an easy way people with THC sensitivity could enjoy cannabis without risking an overdose: use low THC hemp strains!
These CBD-rich strains allow patients to enjoy the benefits of cannabis without exposing themselves to too much THC. Since every hemp strain must contain ≤ 0.3 percent THC, there’s minimal chance customers will experience adverse reactions. Plus, these low doses of THC make it way easier to microdose cannabis—even on a busy workday! For more information on our trichome-rich hemp buds, be sure to visit this webpage.
Discover your favorite new Cannaflower strain. This Taster’s Menu is a great way to sample some of our most popular flower!