Yes, you can overdose if you consume too much cannabis. No, you won’t die from it. You might feel weird and angsty for a few hours but remain calm, follow the steps listed below, and you’ll be just fine. Nothing bad will happen.

Of course, it’s better to avoid consuming too much cannabis in the first place. We’ll show you how to do that, too. Especially with edibles, it’s easy to eat too many of those delicious chocolates, gummy bears, brownies or whatever. Familiarize yourself with the symptoms of a cannabis overdose so that you’ll be able to recognize what’s happening and won’t make embarrassing calls to 911.

A large, red incredibles cannabis-infused medical gummy. Start low and go slow to avoid a cannabis overdose.The effects of an overdose are like those of cannabis, only cranked up to 11: anxiety and paranoia; disorientation, dizziness, feeling woozy, heaviness, sweating, loss of coordination and nausea. You may note an increased sensitivity to light, sound, temperature and texture.

If you are wearing a scratchy sweater, toss it and get into something comfortable. Adjust the lights and noise. If you’re walking around and bumping into things, go lie down. Do not drive! Your motor skills, judgement and coordination will be impaired.

Another effect of ingesting too much cannabis is sleepiness. Sleeping is your friend. Help it along. See if you can take a nap and wake up on the other side.

What to do when you’ve had too much cannabis

  • Don’t panic! Take control of your mind. Keep telling yourself you’re not dying, that the unpleasantness will start to pass in an hour or sooner. In four hours or so, it’ll all be over.
  • Your racing heart may frighten you. Be aware that it’ll slow down soon, once the blood-pressure lowering effects of cannabis begin. You can help slow it down with deep breathing.
  • Take deep, cleansing breaths. Take each breath all the way down into your belly, then breathe out slowly. If you start to feel sleepy, awesome! Go to sleep.
  • Find a quiet, safe place and relax. Call a friend who has experience with cannabis who can either come over and hold your hand or say calming things on the phone.
  • DRINK WATER! Marijuana causes dry mouth. Water will fix that, as well as speed up metabolism and cleanse your system. You may want to eat something light. But keep sipping on a glass of cool, clear water.
  • Marijuana’s time-dilation effects can make you feel that the effects are lasting forever, so it helps to distract yourself. Watch something soothing on TV or listen to relaxing music. Choose long songs, like jam bands, Mozart’s Jupiter Symphony, Keith Jarrett’s Koln Concert — anything mellow and long.

A woman opening a bottle of trupura CBD Watermelon gummiesYou could try a little CBD or chew on two or three peppercorns to lessen anxiety. Some scientific studies support the vast anecdotal evidence. CBD is a cannabis-derived compound that doesn’t produce that “stoned” feeling and can help relieve anxiety. To ensure precise dosage, purchase your CBD products from a reputable company. Be careful:  Some CBD products contain THC, which is the last thing you need. Start with a dose of about 20-30 mg of CBD.

Black peppercorns or a few sniffs of black pepper may also help alleviate paranoia and anxiety. Try about three peppercorns, chew slowly, keep water handy because pepper is … peppery. Calming effects will likely take about an hour.

Never mix drugs – don’t take valium to calm your racing heart, don’t take stimulants to wake up, and don’t drink alcohol or even caffeine. You’ll just have more forces pulling your body in different directions instead of one. You can manage the situation yourself with patience and a little help from trusted friends.

A badge which indicates that Medically Correct is a Founding Member of Leaf 411If all else fails and you or your friends believe that you need professional help, call Poison Control at 1-800-222-1222. You can also get help online through a chat function. Have a list of other medications you are taking.

Also check out Leaf411, a free nurse hotline that operates Monday-Friday from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Mountain Standard Time. The nurses are available on Saturday and Sunday by request. It’s a great first call for information and advice on all kinds of cannabis products, affiliated businesses, clinicians and support groups.

Don’t give up on cannabis after one bad experience

Cannabis is a safe, useful drug when it’s used responsibly. But like any drug, you must respect it. Educate yourself, learn your tolerances, and use it wisely for a pleasant, enlightening experience. Connoisseurs of fine wine don’t guzzle the whole bottle. Think if it like that. Go slow and enjoy the experience.

When most new users overdose, it’s because edible cannabis takes about two hours to hit you. When it does, it’ll be a different feeling from what you’re used to if you’ve only ever smoked or vaped. Smoking and eating cannabis release two different kinds of THC into your blood. When ingested, THC converts to 11-hydroxy-THC which causes a stronger hallucinatory and bodily effect.

Many experienced cannabis users have had one bad experience, but seldom do they report a second. The worst part of a bad experience is that it takes you by surprise. Once you know what to expect – and how to avoid it — you can adjust your intake. It takes a little trial and error.

The old saying start off “low and slow” is great advice. Begin with a tiny dose of about 2.5 mg, wait two hours and see what that does. After a day or two, up the dose to 5 mg. Then to 10 mg. Every person’s reaction to cannabis is different. Some have higher tolerance than others. Find the dose that suits your body.

Help to ensure a pleasant experience by purchasing edibles from a licensed dispensary. These products go through lab testing to ensure consistent doses thanks to industry innovators who advocated for having this standard. Always buy from an experienced, trustworthy company that prioritizes customers’ safety and positive experiences.