Can Marijuana Kill You? Spoiler: NO!

The U.S. federal government continues to insist that marijuana is an unsafe, unhealthy, and dangerous illegal drug with zero medical worth with a high propensity for abuse. They still perpetuate this lie, despite the majority of states either considering or having already overturned its prohibition. The FDA ( Food and Drug Administration) lists marijuana as a Schedule 1 drug right along with heroin, cocaine, meth, LSD, and a host of other opiates, hallucinogens, and stimulants.



Can You Die from THC Overdose?

The government stands by its position that weed, because of its psychoactive compound, is a serious hazard to your health. To better understand how dangerous marijuana is, The Huffington Post launched an effort to look at how many people have died from using marijuana. The results were no surprise: zero. There are no recorded cases of anybody dying as a result of a weed overdose.

Skull Smoking Marijuana Overdose
Photo by: Prochkailo/Shutterstock
In its most generally consumed form, it is impossible to kick the bucket by using cannabis. As a matter of history, in the late 1980s, a judge with the DEA (Drug Enforcement Agency) contended that marijuana ought to be reclassified due to its insignificant risk of doing harm. He eventually concluded that a person would have to consume 20,000 to 40,000 times the THC contained in a typical joint in order to even begin to reach a dangerous level of toxicity. That amounts to approximately 1,500 pounds of weed in roughly 15 minutes.

Put another way, you’d have to ingest approximately one gram of pure THC per 2.2 pounds of body mass. Therefore, at 194 pounds on average for an adult American man, he would have to ingest more than 1.5 pounds of THC extract. This is virtually impossible. It is more than people use in an entire lifetime.

So It’s 100% Safe?

Just because it is all but impossible to overdose on pot does not mean that you will be stable no matter how much you consume. Cannabis has been one of the human race’s favorite intoxicants since the stone ages. People, by and large, don’t behave responsibly when it comes to chemically altering their bodies, therefore if it were indeed impossible to expire by using weed, someone would have done it by now. And it would have been front-page news worldwide.

Those who oppose legal marijuana maintain their argument that simply because no one has died of pot smoke yet, does not mean it won’t happen. They continue by saying that because of the ever-increasing levels of THC in today’s pot, it is a cause for great concern.

In the early 20th century, commercial enterprises would depict those who used marijuana as mad. The whole era of “Reefer Madness” still lingers. Nevertheless, the federal government is rapidly losing the battle of keeping the public afraid of the effects of smoking cannabis.

Marijuana is the most widely used illicit drug in the U.S. with eight states and the District of Columbia having struck down the prohibition of pot for recreational use. Also, 29 states have approved the use of medical marijuana. This tends to fly in the face of the assertion that marijuana has zero medicinal value.

The public is beginning to view the relatively low risks associated with smoking weed as far less troubling in the wake of the devastating impacts of lethal opioids that are killing hundreds of people each month. A study in Scientific American more than a decade ago made a comparison of the toxicity of marijuana to that of other drugs, even some that are legal. The findings indicated that both alcohol and heroin are ten times and five times as deadly respectively, considering the effective dosage. Pot was determined to be the least toxic of all the substances.

Negative Side-Effects

Stomach Ache from Marijuana Overdose
Photo by: alexandrovskyi/Shutterstock
I’m not advancing the argument that recreational marijuana is as safe or as healthy as if you did not use it. The science related to the psychological effect of weed is inconclusive and incomplete. Researchers readily admit that there are some associations between very heavy cannabis usage and the development of potential psychotic behaviors. However, they also admit that they cannot confirm whether there is a causal connection.

It has been reported in the states that have legalized marijuana that emergency rooms are reporting a rise in a condition called cannabinoid hyperemesis syndrome. This is a strange ailment that induces chronic abdominal pain and throwing up. The condition is not life-threatening and can be quickly treated by putting the joint down.

While heavy use of pot might not kill you, it has been linked to a number of symptoms ranging from anxiety, panic, agitation, dysphoria, and feeling uncomfortable buzzed. Even though they may seem to last for an eternity, they usually subside over the course of a few hours. Extreme cases of excessive cannabis use have also been known to contribute to what is called a non-fatal overdose. However, this does not begin to reach the level of lethality of other drugs. Even an overuse of common pain relievers like aspirin, ibuprofen, and acetaminophen can pose serious threats to your stomach, kidney, and liver. Doctors insist that there is no damage to internal organs as a result of cannabinoid use; especially in its most natural form.

Just Be Smart

We must remember that the discussion surrounding the use of marijuana goes well beyond those of us who use it recreationally. We should keep in mind that many folks rely on this drug for medicinal purposes. Still, the federal government will not acquiesce and admit that the drug has therapeutic benefits.

However, to the larger question of whether marijuana is deadly, the answer is clearly a resounding no.