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These Warning Signs Could Mean You’ve Overdosed on Marijuana

Since many states have now legalized recreational marijuana use, many more people are now comfortable lighting up (or at least, they’re admitting it more often). And while smoking or ingesting pot is considered safer than alcohol consumption, that doesn’t mean it is without potentially harmful side effects.

While the common belief is that it’s impossible to overdose on marijuana, as it turns out, that may not be true. While no one has ever died from too much marijuana, it’s definitely possible to have too much. Here’s how to tell when it’s time to put down the pipe (or the brownies).

You feel dizzy

Woman feeling dizzy | iStock.com/ AntonioGuillem

According to Leaf Science, dizziness is a common symptom of heavy marijuana use. If you start to feel dizzy or disoriented, sit down, sip some water, and wait it out. The weed will leave your system eventually, but the dizziness can last quite awhile.

Next: Marijuana is sometimes used to ease anxiety, but sometimes it backfires.

You have anxiety and paranoia

Woman feeling anxious | iStock.com/Viktor_Gladkov

For some people, any amount of marijuana causes anxiety — but for others, it can actually help alleviate it. But one sure sign that you’ve smoked too much pot is suddenly feeling very anxious. Unfortunately, much like dizziness, all you can is wait it out.

Next: If your heart is racing, it’s time to stop smoking.

A pounding heart or chest pain

Woman with chest pain | SIphotography/iStock/Getty Images

Marijuana can increase your heart rate, and a racing heart is a definite sign you should slow down. TCH makes your blood vessels expand, which can lower your blood pressure and cause your heart to speed up to compensate. If you have a history of heart troubles, you may want to stay away from cannabis entirely.

Next: This side effect is rare, but it happens.

Uncontrollable shaking or seizures

Person having a seizure | Martinbowra/Getty Images

The good news is, you’ll have to ingest a lot of marijuana for this to happen. The bad news is that too much can, in fact, cause uncontrollable shaking and even seizures. If this happens, someone should call 911 immediately.

Next: This is a terrifying sign you’ve overindulged.

Hallucinations

Woman hallucinating | KatarzynaBialasiewicz/Getty Images

Too much marijuana can make you hallucinate. This is terrifying, and it happens most often when the potency is stronger than the smoker expected. Legalization has helped this become less common since the strains are more regulated and labeled.

Next: Cannabis is used to treat nausea, but sometimes it can cause it.

Nausea and vomiting

Woman throwing up | LarsZahnerPhotography/Getty Images

While marijuana is often used medically to combat nausea, if you have too much of it, it can actually lead to nausea and vomiting. Fortunately, these effects are typically short-lived and will leave your system as the THC does.

Next: Here’s what to do if you’ve smoked too much.

What happens when you’ve overdosed?

Spilled pill bottle | GillTeeShots/Getty Images

Whether you’re a regular stoner or a first time smoker, ingesting too much is possible, even though marijuana has better labels now. Since smoking too much is not a life or death emergency (unless, as mentioned above, you’re having heart palpitations and sweating), treating marijuana intoxication is typically a waiting game. Get to a comfortable environment, preferably with someone who is capable of taking care of you. You’ll return to your sober state soon.

When it comes to marijuana consumption, too much of a good thing is certainly possible. Here's how to tell when to put down the pipe.

Middle cerebral artery velocity during upright posture after marijuana smoking

Affiliation

  • 1 Department of Psychiatry, Duke University Medical Center, Durham, North Carolina 27710.
  • PMID: 1529742
  • DOI: 10.1111/j.1600-0447.1992.tb03247.x

Middle cerebral artery velocity during upright posture after marijuana smoking

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Authors

Affiliation

  • 1 Department of Psychiatry, Duke University Medical Center, Durham, North Carolina 27710.
  • PMID: 1529742
  • DOI: 10.1111/j.1600-0447.1992.tb03247.x

Abstract

Marijuana is known to cause symptoms suggestive of orthostatic hypotension such as dizziness and fainting during upright posture. We examined changes in cerebral blood velocity (CBV) and peripheral circulation during upright posture after smoking marijuana in 10 right-handed male subjects with a previous history of exposure to marijuana. The participants were physically and mentally healthy and drug-free for a minimum of 3 months before the experiment. Middle cerebral artery CBV, blood pressure and pulse rate were recorded during reclining position and standing, before and after smoking a high-potency marijuana cigarette or a placebo cigarette administered during 2 separate visits to the laboratory. The participants were questioned about dizziness during the upright position. Six of 10 subjects reported moderate to severe dizziness during standing after marijuana but not placebo. Subjects who experienced severe dizziness during standing showed marked decreases in blood pressure and CBV. Those who reported moderate dizziness showed reduction in CBV but not blood pressure. Subjects who reported mild dizziness after marijuana and after placebo smoking showed minimal changes in blood pressure and CBV. Cerebral ischemia during upright position after marijuana smoking may be caused by hypotension and impaired cerebral autoregulation.

Marijuana is known to cause symptoms suggestive of orthostatic hypotension such as dizziness and fainting during upright posture. We examined changes in cerebral blood velocity (CBV) and peripheral circulation during upright posture after smoking marijuana in 10 right-handed male subjects with a pre … ]]>