Using marijuana edibles to get high doesn’t typically produce such an extreme departure from reality — but it can. While cannabis infused foods have been around for decades, these products have emerged as a popular and potent way to get stoned. Rather than a fatal or life-threatening event, a “cannabis overdose” refers to consuming so much cannabis that you become uncomfortable. For some people, this could be 25 milligrams of THC. For others, it can be 150 or more. While the effects of smoking marijuana can usually be felt immediately and tempered accordingly, eating cannabis-infused food can take anywhere from 30 minutes to two hours to kick in, depending on the dose and the person. People often take some edibles and don’t feel the effects, so they take some more. By the time the high sets in they’ve taken too many doses and can’t handle the high.
In some cases, you may fall asleep. Other side effects include distorted movements, a strong heavy-body sensation, anxiety, and paranoia. All of these situations can make you very uncomfortable. In fact, sometimes people become so uncomfortable with cannabis overdose that they take themselves to the emergency room.
For some people, high doses of cannabis may cause a racing heart. As such, it is not recommended for those with heart conditions to consume large amounts of THC. However, it is important to note that to this date, there has not been a single reported death caused by cannabis alone.
What to do if you overdose on cannabis edibles?
You’re not dying. Just breathe!
THC, the psychoactive compound in marijuana, can’t kill you, even if you’ve ingested so much that you’re convinced it might. According to studies, you’d need to ingest thousands of times the amount of THC in a single joint to be at risk of death. To put that in perspective, just 10 times the recommended serving of alcohol can be fatal. During a cannabis overdose, it is important to stay calm and continue to take deep and meaningful breaths. Deep breathing not only gives the mind something to pay attention to, but it calms your physiology and helps you feel more relaxed.
Relax and get comfortable
Though an edibles overdose may cause a person to become uncomfortable, anxious, and paranoid, the best thing you can do when you’ve eaten too much of an edible is to get to a quiet place and relax. The cannabis experience is worsened by uncomfortable or non-supportive environments. If you are out and about after eating an edible, you may find that you want to seek refuge in a warm and private place. While this trip might get a little bit more intense before it gets better, it will indeed get better.
Edibles can cause dry mouth and make you feel parched. Drinking some cool water will allow you to stay hydrated and alert. Keep in mind that the edibles experience will likely be made worse by dehydration.
Try some pure CBD
If you happen to have some pure CBD capsules or oils on hand, they may be useful in the event of a THC overdose. CBD lessens the psychoactive power of THC. By taking CBD, you may be able to reduce the intensity of your edibles high.
Don’t mix marijuana with alcohol or prescription drugs
That’s generally considered a bad idea. You’ll just have to ride this one out. And you will!
Call a buddy
Being alone with your hyper-paranoid thoughts is never fun, so don’t do it alone — call up a buddy and see if they can hang out with you and help keep you grounded.
You will return to normal. Once the high wears off, you may feel some residual effects — what some describe as a “marijuana hangover.” These sensations can last several hours after the most intense part of the high has worn off. It’s certainly not comfortable, but think of it this way: You just experienced the worst possible effects of marijuana use on your mind — and you survived!