Over Consuming Cannabis: What Happens and How to Solve It

By Joan Eberhardt


What Can Happen?

It is not uncommon for marijuana users, even experienced ones, to over consume. Whether that means smoking too much too soon, or misjudging the dosing in that edible or concentrate. Over consuming can lead to some unpleasant physical and mental symptoms but they do go away after a few hours.

The effects of consuming marijuana are different for everybody. The type, amount, and how that marijuana was consumed also affect how it will interact with each person.

Many people find cannabis to be relaxing or a little euphoric. Others like the way it makes them feel in a social setting. Some people who do not like it say it makes them feel withdrawn, tired or uncomfortable. New users often feel these things differently or more acutely than experienced users. Others — usually those who use a little too much their first time — temporarily experience some unpleasant feelings, such as an increased heart rate or a sense of paranoia.

What Symptoms Would I Experience?

Paranoia. Anxiety. Perspiration. It’s not a pleasant way to spend an evening. Some people call it “greening out” but over consumption of marijuana can make many people feel physically ill, deeply paranoid, increased heart rate or nausea. These feelings are temporary and will go away in a few hours.

The best thing to do if you think that you are feeling sick as a result of too much cannabis, is to make yourself comfortable. Remember – it will go away. Stay somewhere quiet where you can rest comfortably. Breathe deeply. You will feel better soon. Don’t panic. Focus on breathing deeply.

Drink some water. Hydrating your body will help to counteract the negative symptoms of marijuana over consumption and help you feel better tomorrow. Try to stay away from alcoholic beverages, as alcohol, when used with cannabis, can significantly increase THC blood concentrations.

Can I Do Anything to Stop Feeling This Way Sooner?

The only guaranteed solution is time. The common sense thing to do is drink water. Some people swear that chewing on a black peppercorn helps to counter the effects quickly.  Watching your favorite cartoon or documentary can be a helpful distraction. Consider getting a coloring book.

Can I Overdose on Marijuana?

Short answer, no. Not one death has ever been recorded from having consumed too much marijuana. That is the truthful answer.

The honest answer is that it is definitely possible to consume too much marijuana for your body to effectively handle it. That can lead to unpleasant feelings of nervousness, anxiety, paranoia, disorientation or physical sluggishness. This is very different from an opiate overdose or alcohol poisoning. More information on that can be found here. While there are no cases of someone dying as a direct result of cannabis overdosing, it can be an indirect factor. An increased heart rate could exacerbate an underlying heart condition, if one exists. Usually, there would not be a need to take someone “greening out” to the emergency room or a medical provider, but if there is an underlying condition or severe anxiety, consider seeking help.

Have you experienced “greening out”? What helps you get past it?

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