As cannabis becomes increasingly legalized and normalized, edibles have become a popular method of consumption for both recreational and medicinal users. Edibles come in many forms, from baked goods to gummies, and offer a discreet and convenient way to consume cannabis. However, as with any substance, it is important to understand the potential risks and side effects. One concern that many people have is whether it is possible to overdose on edibles. In this article, we will explore the effects of consuming too many edibles, the risks associated with overdosing, and how to prevent it from happening.
Can you die from edibles overdosing?
Keep in mind that it is impossible to fatally overdose on cannabis itself. No one has ever died from taking too much cannabis or eating too many gummies. However, it’s important to note that edibles can still have indirect consequences that can be harmful. For example, consuming too many edibles can impair judgment and coordination, leading to accidents or injuries. In addition, edibles may interact with other medications or substances, causing unpredictable and potentially dangerous effects.
Can you overdose on edibles?
It is possible to overdose on edibles, and it’s important to understand how this can happen to avoid any potential harm. The most common cause of edible overdose is taking too much THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), the primary psychoactive compound found in cannabis.
Edible dosage can be difficult to estimate accurately, as it depends on factors such as the individual’s tolerance, body weight, and metabolism. Many people make the mistake of consuming too much too quickly, as edibles can take longer to take effect compared to smoking. They may not feel the effects immediately and assume they need more, leading to an unintentional overdose.
Another factor that can contribute to edible overdose is inconsistent dosing. Homemade edibles may not be evenly distributed, leading to some portions being more potent than others. In addition, edibles from dispensaries may have inaccurate labeling, making it difficult to determine the exact dosage.
For example, if someone eats a whole cannabis-infused brownie with a high THC content, they may experience an overdose. Even if they have experience with edibles, it’s important to start with a low dose and wait at least an hour before consuming more.
Are you a THC gummy enjoyer? Read our article “How many THC gummies are too many?” and consume edibles safely!
How to understand that you have eaten too much edibles: signs of THC overdose
The symptoms of overdosing on edibles can be uncomfortable and distressing. They can also vary depending on the individual, the dosage, and the potency of the edibles. Here are some of the most common symptoms of edible overdose:
- Intense paranoia and anxiety: this is a common symptom of edible overdose, and it can be quite distressing. Individuals may feel like they are in danger or that something terrible is going to happen.
- Hallucinations: edible overdose can cause hallucinations, which can be frightening and disorienting. Individuals may see or hear things that aren’t there, or they may experience vivid and disturbing dreams.
- Nausea and vomiting: consuming too many edibles can cause nausea and vomiting, which can be uncomfortable and may last for several hours.
- Disorientation and confusion: edible overdose can cause disorientation and confusion, making it difficult for individuals to focus or complete simple tasks.
- Rapid heartbeat and increased blood pressure: edibles can increase heart rate and blood pressure, leading to feelings of panic and anxiety.
- Loss of coordination: consuming too many edibles can impair coordination, making it difficult to walk or perform other physical activities.
Other signs of THC overdose may include shaking or tremors, dry mouth or fatigue. What is “too much” THC for one person may be fine for another.
It’s important to note that these symptoms can be distressing, but they are not usually life-threatening. If you or someone you know experiences severe symptoms after consuming edibles, seek medical attention immediately. It’s always better to err on the side of caution and take steps to prevent accidental ingestion or overdose.
Did you know that there are a lot of edibles types you can consume for medical purposes? In our article “4 types of edibles and how they affect you” we are telling you about cannabis-infused food, cannabis-infused drinks, tinctures and dissolvable cannabinoid powder.
Mental disorders and edibles overdosing
The effects of edibles on individuals with mental disorders can vary depending on the type of disorder and the individual’s unique circumstances. Here are some common examples:
- For individuals with schizophrenia, consuming edibles can increase the risk of experiencing psychotic symptoms such as delusions or hallucinations. This can be particularly concerning as it can exacerbate the condition.
- While some individuals with depression may find relief from consuming edibles, others may experience worsened symptoms. Consuming edibles can alter mood and may cause feelings of sadness or hopelessness to intensify.
- Edibles can interact with anxiety medications, making the effects unpredictable and potentially harmful. Consuming too many edibles can also increase anxiety and cause feelings of panic or fear.
- While some individuals with ADHD may find that edibles help improve focus and concentration, consuming too many can have the opposite effect. Overdosing on edibles can impair attention and increase distractibility.
- Edibles can have varying effects on individuals with PTSD. While some may find relief from symptoms such as nightmares or flashbacks, others may experience worsened anxiety and paranoia.
In conclusion, individuals with mental disorders should consult with their healthcare provider before consuming edibles. This is especially important for those with conditions such as schizophrenia, anxiety, and PTSD. It’s crucial to monitor the effects of edibles and to take precautions to prevent accidental overdose.
Edibles overdosing and medication
If you’re taking medication for a health condition, it’s important to be aware of how edibles may interact with your medication. Certain medications can interact with edibles and cause unpredictable and potentially harmful effects.
For example, consuming edibles while taking blood pressure medication can cause a sudden drop in blood pressure, leading to dizziness or fainting. Edibles can also interact with antidepressants and anti-anxiety medications, causing the effects of the medication to intensify or become unpredictable.
It’s important to talk to your healthcare provider before consuming edibles if you’re taking medication. They can advise you on whether it’s safe to consume edibles and how to do so in a way that minimizes any potential risks.
What to do if you overdose on edibles
Overdosing on edibles can be a frightening and uncomfortable experience. If you suspect that you or someone you know has overdosed on edibles, it’s important to take action immediately. American Addiction Centers offers you some recommendations.
The first step is to stay calm and try to relax. Panic can worsen the effects of edibles and make the experience more unpleasant. Try to find a quiet and comfortable place to rest, and avoid any activities that require concentration or physical coordination.
If the individual is experiencing severe symptoms such as difficulty breathing or loss of consciousness, call 911 or seek emergency medical attention immediately.
If the symptoms are less severe, you can try to counteract the effects of edibles by drinking water, eating a light snack, or taking a walk outside. This can help to regulate the individual’s blood sugar and ease any nausea or dizziness.
Tips for counteracting THC overdose
If you’re concerned that you can overdose on edibles, keep reading. Unfortunately, there’s no edible overdose treatment that will reverse the effects instantly. The body will continue to metabolize THC and allow it to exit the bloodstream. With vaping and smoking, this process is usually finished in a few hours, but it can take much longer with edibles.
There are some things people can do to moderate the effects of taking too much THC. These edible overdose treatment tips can make things less unpleasant.
- Hydrate. Drinking water relieves dry mouth, and it can help the body flush wastes faster. Eventually, the fear of thinking that you can overdose on edibles will vanish.
- Chew on a black peppercorn or take a whiff of black pepper. Some studies have shown the chemicals in peppercorns can counteract some of the THC.
- Take a walk. Be sure to stick to familiar areas and go with other people if possible. Head back or stay in if you feel light-headed.
- Rest. Some people feel fatigued when they take too much THC, so this is an easy tip to follow.
- Take a bath or a shower. Just like it won’t help someone sober up after too many drinks, a shower won’t undo an overdose. The hot water and steam can help some people feel better though and prevent any edible overdose.
- Look for a distraction. Watch a movie or play a game to keep the mind busy.
- Stay with a friend. This person can watch the situation and help someone who has taken too much to stay safe.
How you use marijuana matters. Find out which method is right for you from the article “CBD oil, lotion, edibles – how your body absorbs each delivery method”
How to prevent edibles overdosing
The best thing anyone can do is avoid overdosing on cannabis edibles in the first place. For people who are new to edibles, “start low and go slow” is sage advice. Everyone’s tolerance is different, so users should know their limits and exercise caution. So if you are still unsure if you can overdose on edibles, follow these rules:
- Always read the label and dosage guidelines carefully. This is especially important when using a new product. Even someone with experience using cannabis flowers may find they react differently to edibles.
- Patience is important when using edibles. Their effects take longer to kick in, but they also last longer. Take the recommended dose and wait to see what happens. The user can always take another small dose once the first dose kicks in if the desired effect wasn’t achieved.
- Body fat and metabolism vary between individuals. That makes it difficult to predict exactly how long it will take for an edible to kick in. The contents of the stomach also matter. A full stomach might delay the effects. An empty stomach might mean the cannabinoids are metabolized faster. Alcohol is another factor since it can increase the concentration of THC in the blood.
In the event someone eats too many gummies, the best thing to do is stay calm. While an edibles overdose can be unpleasant, it will pass with time.
You can calculate the correct dose of edibles for yourself with a THC calculator.
Rules of thumb for consuming edibles
When it comes to consuming edibles, there are some general rules of thumb to keep in mind to help ensure a safe and enjoyable experience.
- Start with a low dose. Many edibles come in serving sizes of 10 milligrams of THC or more, but it’s best to start with half of that or even less. Wait at least 2 hours before considering taking more, as it can take that long for the effects to fully kick in.
- Be mindful of the environment in which you consume edibles. Ideally, you should consume edibles in a comfortable and familiar setting with people you trust. Avoid consuming edibles in public places or in situations where you may need to drive or operate heavy machinery.
- Stay hydrated and have some light snacks on hand. Edibles can cause dry mouth and sometimes nausea, so drinking plenty of water and having some snacks on hand can help to mitigate these effects.
- Store edibles safely and keep them out of reach of children or pets. Many edibles can look and taste like regular food, so it’s important to keep them clearly labeled and stored in a secure location.
In conclusion, following these general rules of thumb when consuming edibles can help to ensure a safe and enjoyable experience. Start with a low dose, be patient, consume edibles in a comfortable and familiar setting, stay hydrated and have snacks on hand, and store edibles safely. By following these guidelines, you can enjoy the benefits of edibles without the risk of overconsumption or other negative side effects.
Learn more on how to use edibles. Our “Guide to dosing THC edibles” will come in handy!