Aug 242013
 August 24, 2013

marijuana lab laboratory testing overdoseMy friend is new to the marijuana world. He had never smoked marijuana before in his life. At the age of 50, due to health problems, he decided to start consuming marijuana because pharmaceuticals weren’t working and were wreaking havoc on his body.

He always asks me questions, and I’m going to try to post answers on TWB in case there are others out there. Also, I’m hoping people post their knowledge in the comments section below so that others can benefit. If you find some good info on marijuana overdose information, feel free to post it below.

The question I’m answering today is ‘how much marijuana does it take for someone to overdose?’ My friend is well aware that no one in recorded history has ever died from a marijuana overdose. But he wants to know if there is any amount of marijuana that someone could overdose from. According to a 1988 United States administrative law hearing:

“7. Drugs used in medicine are routinely given what is called an LD-50. The LD-50 rating indicates at what dosage fifty percent of test animals receiving a drug will die as a result of drug induced toxicity. A number of researchers have attempted to determine marijuana’s LD-50 rating in test animals, without success. Simply stated, researchers have been unable to give animals enough marijuana to induce death.

8. At present it is estimated that marijuana’s LD-50 is around 1:20,000 or 1:40,000. In layman terms this means that in order to induce death a marijuana smoker would have to consume 20,000 to 40,000 times as much marijuana as is contained in one marijuana cigarette. NIDA-supplied marijuana cigarettes weigh approximately .9 grams. A smoker would theoretically have to consume nearly 1,500 pounds of marijuana within about fifteen minutes to induce a lethal response.


9. In practical terms, marijuana cannot induce a lethal response as a result of drug-related toxicity.”

Even if someone is smoking marijuana concentrates or ‘dabs’ which can be 3-4 times more potent than their flower counterparts, that’s still hundreds of pounds of marijuana dabs within a 15 minute period. A person would pass out before they experienced a lethal dose level of marijuana. Something could harm the person if they fell while passing out resulting in death, but that’s different than the marijuana itself causing death. Some readers are probably wondering why the federal government fights so hard against marijuana research. Maybe it’s because every time they research marijuana they find out how wrong they are…

About Johnny Green

Johnny Green is a marijuana activist from Oregon. He has a Bachelor's Degree in Public Policy. Follow Johnny Green on Facebook and Twitter. Also, feel free to email any concerns.
  • alex

    the study was done years ago. even with this new study, the out come was the same. i read in a mag years ago that it would take 40000 times the amount that it takes to get you high to cause an OD.. occational to chronic pot users are different due to tolerance.

  • nick sands

    All the research I have done I ave learned it would take about 1500 pounds to die smoking and it would not be due to thc overdose but from carbon monoxide poisoning. if he is eating it I have no idea but im assuming it would be more than that considering it isn’t smoke containing carbon monoxide

    • Chad Harris

      True about the Carbon monoxide. about eating enough to induce a lethal response… In every instance where it appeared that an individual I knew tried to od on edibles. Every time He just passed out. and he is still trying. AFIK.

  • JoshyBalls

    Dude, I almost od’d on pot once. A quarter pound of green crack went missing one night and I woke up with my head in a bad of Cheetos. It took a couple hours to recover from that night.

  • Michelle DiGiacomo

    I think the easiest way to overdo it is eat too much edibles. Years ago, I made brownies with pot butter. Many stuck to the pan and broke off and left about 1/3 of the brownie in the pan. I proceeded to eat a few brownies (they were small) but I kept eating all the crumbs that broke off. OMG. Was I ever wasted. I ate an orange (don’t know why, read it somewhere) and went to bed. I slept for about 14 hours and was still high. It lasted for about 2 days. Those who are not used to edibles need to be very careful. It won’t kill you, it will knock you out. It can also make a novice very paranoid and think they are dying but they are simply paranoid. I worry about edibles when people are not aware. They might eat a cookie and 15 minutes later, eat another 2 or 3, not realizing they need to wait an hour for the effects to kick in. I haven’t eaten or smoked anything in over a year but am waiting for the law in my state to kick in. I miss it and now have to take narcotics for pain, which I hate.

    • painkills2

      Hey Michelle, I can’t imagine any dispensary would sell an edible without instructions on its use, so you shouldn’t be so worried. Now, you COULD worry about people leaving their edibles lying around willy-nilly, without proper storage, if you really need something to worry about. :)

      Thanks for sharing your brownie story. I have also tried edibles for sleep (but have not made my own), and I have never obtained the effects you describe. Hardly any effect at all, really. However, I am more of the opinion (see Mr. Cazares post, above) that it would sure be “nice” to sleep for 14 hours, just once…

      If you don’t mind sharing, which opioids do you take for pain? If I could get an idea of your tolerance level (and how much pot you put in your brownies, right?), then it would really help me out. Peace out.

  • Meyer Carlos

    the weed its such a nice drug that it puts you to sleep so you dont overdose! awwwww!

    • painkills2

      There’s a reason that cannabis flowering plants are female. :)

  • Troy Cazares

    Hello everyone I have been smoking marijuana for about 37 years and making and eating edibles just as long and I have eaten alot of edibles and the worst thing to happen to me was I fell asleep for about 8 hours I don’t sleep much so it was nice, i make my edibles very strong for that reason sleep. I grow my own i harvest every 60 days all indoor, I make my own hash, concentrats or dabs sauce, butter and chocolates and gummy bears i love cooking with it so its like everything else moderation and enjoy puff puff

  • Winnie Cornish

    Got that right Troy the worst that can happen from using too much marijuana is falling asleep for a few hours…

  • Someone

    iv had a depression with to much marijuana. IV dont say i stopt after, but it has its drawbacks if u use it wrong like i did first.

    • Doc Undy

      MJ makes me very paranoid gives me headaches and insomnia.But I realise that I’m in a small minority and fight for MJ to be legalised!

      • Nick V

        trust me it isn’t a small minority.. 82% of the current population says a lot

        • Doc Undy

          where did you get that figure of 82% of adverse effects? Co z that is what I was referring to when I mentioned minority.

      • David Worley

        What does legal Alcohol drinks do to you Doc Undy… Just curious…

        • Doc Undy

          David – All alcohol is legal here in South Australia where I live and MJ has also been decriminalised for over 30 years. I hardly drink anything these days. When I do drink it’s usually a couple of glasses of wine or spirits like tequila. I don’t think the alcohol is responsible. I have Asperger’s and Bipolar – these 2 diagnoses are more likely to account for the Mj adverse effects. That’s why I said I am in the minority of Mj users who have bad reactions to it.

          • painkills2

            Doc, do you have any adverse effects from alcohol?

          • Doc Undy

            Only headaches …..but I rarely drink and when I do it’s only a few glasses of wine or mixed spirits. The headache will start around 20 – 45 mins after starting to drink. So not good & is a great way to avoid booze :o)

      • ms girl

        You need to try a different strain, like Indica, instead of a Sativa or hybrid. Sativa does the same to me – paranoia, nausea, insomnia. Indica is the opposite – great paih control and a nice, dreamy night’s sleep.

        • Doc Undy

          Thanx for your suggestions ms girl…. I wouldn’t know how to get hold of strains. The only way would be for me to raise some. Possibly the Indica strain is something that I haven’t experienced. Would be very interesting to know for sure.

          • Charlie

            Try some Brainstorm Haze, its a good indica strain. its hard to find but you’ll thank me.

            Its very common in Amsterdam/Netherlands though..

      • kushman

        Different strands of marajuana affect oeople differently as far as headaches, etc. Some get headaches from perp, like myself. If u smoke and are stressed or worried and dnt relax then those feelings can be intensified. You should start with a mellow marajuana and work your way up to find the one that works for you. Wether it is to get very relaxed or put u to sleep. The pipe or piece u use also can affect hiw your lungs react..big hits or smaller smooth hits can differ dependin on how u partake should u choose inhale method. Id suggest a middy with a vaporizer to start with..

        • Doc Undy

          Thanx for the info kushman. I appreciate your suggestions. I’m not sure what you mean by ‘perp’ gives you headaches. I agree with you that your current mood can be intensified. Which makes me wonder how it’s a good idea for soldiers to smoke weed in a war zone….as in Vietnam for example. Obviously it has that relaxing effect and doesn’t give them paranoia to the point where they can’t function and survive.

          I’ve been smoking Mj since 1973. Hell that’s over 40 years. It’s possible that I’ve missed a few strains….but I’ve traveled also and get the same effects…It would be nice to get some known strain with those characteristics you mentioned, and see how I react to it.

          I use an old brass pipe and have used many methods over the decades. I usually take it easy on the inhale otherwise it burns your throat. Also small amounts at 1 time versus large amounts over a shorter time. I’d love to try this new “vapouriser” technique. I may order one online. Can you recommend a good one?.

          • kushman

            Glad to help…perp is jus another classification of a strain like kush is..perp hits hard and kush is mellow.. ditch the brass pipe and go for a bubbler orlarge bong and fill the neck almost full of ice cubes. One of the smoothest strains I have come across is called green can hit it hard and it doesnt make you cough, dry throat or get that burnin in your throat. .diff pieces affe t how the hit feels..stong strains need a shorter pipe so as not to make you cough out yer lungs. Longer pipes and bongs are best used for less hard hitting strains..its a science to getting that hit which u prefer..any bubbler or bong, or pieces which use water will dillute the thc amt and the length will cool the smoke hence a smoother hit. The vaporizors u gott watch because u beeathe normal and dnt take drags. But once again the strain strength can make you cough. Coughs intensify the hit effect. Its a trial and error thing and differs from person to person as to tolerance of how much of a hit u can take. Stick with kush and use a small bubbler would be a good start..any vaporizer will work. Cheap one will be fine.. marajuana quality differs by country and growth technique. Hydro ponic is differ from out door grow, have fun experimenting and jus find wat suits you..

          • Kenneth Beilis

            vapor does great aswell.the thing is like 120 dollors but it is so werth it.

      • Kenneth Beilis

        regi gives me headaches. so i went to loud and there gone haha.

  • Bill Conway Sr.

    Sort of makes the statement,”smoked until you were straight” mean something?

  • David Worley

    Good Info.. A smoker would theoretically have to consume nearly 1,500 pounds of marijuana within about fifteen minutes to induce a lethal response.

    So let me imagine this… If I could find a truck load of top quality buds much larger than one of those huge farm round bales of Hay, could get it wrapped in a joint bigger than a Mini van. Tapper it down to fit into my mouth. Fire it up and capture all of the smoke. Suck it all into my lungs in less than fifteen minutes. Then and only then I May get enough to maybe Overdose me … “Damn, That is some seriously dangerous Drugs”…

  • ed brownen

    when you cant spark it wait 20minutes then carry

  • Rick Risner

    A smoker would theoretically have to consume nearly 1,500 pounds of marijuana within about fifteen minutes to induce a lethal response.,,,,,,,,,,,, I’m willing to give it a try,,, Who’s with me???

  • ms girl

    Why can’t people just smoke weed instead of taking it to a next, dangerous, level? Smoking pot, not this wax shit, has never made someone OD. The people who feel they need to go to the “extreme” with everything they do are going to ruin it for people like me who smoke pot for pain control (my issue is multiple sclerosis). I cannot take “pharmaceutical” pain meds because they make me very ill. Pot, a natural herb, has given me the option to get the occasional pain control and sleep aid I need desparately. But, I imagine that these idiots who are making “chemical weed” are going to ruin it for the rest of us. Idiots!

    • J

      We wont let them, draw the line in the sand and don’t stand for any fool considering the two the same, tell them it is like comparing crack to water. Most Fake dope/Flake/Spice whatever is but a mimic, which means it isn’t anything like cannabis chemically or otherwise, is just mimics the reactions in the endocannabinoid receptors, though causing havoc to the rest of the body in the process. “Fake” is lethal, where as cannabis can only kill you if a bale of it falls on you.

  • ms girl

    And wax is produced with Butane. Anyone who wants to put Butane in their system is going to have problems. Just be happy and smoke herb that is all natural! Good Grief! Why escalate things and make it unsafe? Smoke a bowl, not a piece of wax!

    • Hime©

      As long as the process is done right, wax is safer than smoking regular weed. There is much less particulate matter being inhaled when a person vaporizes a dab.

    • dontask

      Actually lighting a bowl is butane too. Hemp wick is cleaner.

    • Mitch

      Ice wax isn’t created with butane. And there’s nothing wrong with wax. It’s so pure and you vaporize on a titanium nail. Hitting a bowl is worse for you than hitting wax.

    • Bruce Morris

      Well! in defense of wax of BHO. once extracted, and the process is complete there is no butane left. The only thing that would concern the smoker would be benzene. If you are doing it right there is no Benzene either. You are left with only non polar materials i.e. THC, CBD’s, CBN’s, Terpenes, and possibly 1 to 2 % polar material which is plant matter.
      We don’t want to smoke plant matter. That is the same as smoking grass, sticks, or paper. Those materials create carbon, and carbon is the thing that may cause cancer.
      Look at your pipe or bong. ya see all that black build up? That is mostly carbon.
      Now smoke some Wax in wax skillet. The residue you get left over is clean even after it is smoked because it vaporize’s the wax. And you only have to take one or two hits to get Medicated.

      • Bruce Morris

        some people are accountants some people are firemen. Me I grow weed for a living! It’s just what I do.
        The picture’s that say 420 on the bottom. Those I did for a video instruction. The people at 420 Mag said ” It’s the fastest they have ever seen grown” 45 day total grow.

  • Blunted

    Actually there are recorded deaths because of marijuana, and that’s not only because of injuries while passing out.
    Marijuana increases your heartbeat rate, and that could cause a heart failure or a heart arrest(i don’t really know how to name the terms in english).

    I somke it anyways though, =)

    • Bruce Morris

      I have a heart condition, and cannabis would not be the cause of death. Your Heart Condition would be listed in the corners report.
      For Cannabis to be a cause of Death! there can be no other factors in any shape or form.

      A perfectly healthy person takes x amount of opiates will die right a way, no way to save their life period.

      look at it like this. You got a bad leg , you walk with a limp. your walking on a trail in the mountains, and fall off the mountain. what was the real reason. the bad leg? the height of the mountain? and do we outlaw mountains? or Bad legs? no you simply post a sign that says “Hey if ya got a bad leg ya may not want to walk up this mountain!”
      Now some people like Me have a VERY SLOW heart rate (resting hr of 26… this in fact will kill you alone. so your saying that if I smoke some weed and it increases My heart rate I would die?

    • Knowledge kitty

      Marijuana is a depressant drug, it brings your heart rate down and relaxes your body. It is more likely to slow your heart to the point it stops then speed it up to give you a heart attack or heart failure

  • pothead

    I’m sorry there is no possible way to overdose on pot. I am a veteran pot smoker. Pot is unique in its own ways. For one pot that comes from the same exact plant can only get u so high. For two have any of u smoked your self sober? I have and it sucks. This new weed that they say the potency is 10 times the normal amount in your average pot are nothing but fake pot chemically bioally it is fake pot. Stupid scinetest that are making this shit are going to ruin it for us. Next thing u know we will have the first person that died from pot. Weed cant kill and you cant overdose on pot but u can overdose on this fake weed. Stupid

  • ce1210

    anybody that says u can OD on wax is full of shit….I try everyday and it never works lol

  • maxxxx

    God, that was close, I did it in 17 mins….

  • iloveedibles

    I think I overdosed on edibles but I felt good everything was spinning just sit back and enjoy the ride.. it was my first time eating it.. next time i am ready to take on more..

    • sergio

      Ignorant motherfucker

  • Chris

    one thing this doesn’t talk about is all the genetically modified (naturally or even artificially) marijuana that contains a lot more THC than normal

    • Matt McCormick

      It still doesn’t matter. The most potent strains you can buy are anywhere from 25-30% THC. Even if you could get a strain with 50% THC, you’d would have to consume multiple times your body weight in a few minutes. It is impossible to overdose on THC.

  • Hillbilly Bud Man

    well i tell you all what if there was anyone that was going to od on weed it would have been me my sistewr an he ex b/fs sister they were the 2joints me not high sisters an i was cheif burn a bowl we smoked from day light till dark some days no stop i would like to see most people do that than all the damn pain killers for sure

  • Darien Delport

    Wow, more people who love weed. Thumbs up, everybody. Smile, be happy.

  • Guest

    THANK YOU this information is exactly what I needed!

  • Shannon Ireland

    This is sort of what I am looking for. My question is about ED50 – the efficacy doses both smoked and ingested with a medible. Personally if I smoke a half a gram or a gram I’m feeling perfect. It varies everyone individually so when you find that one strain that work life is good. I am overwhelmed that I can legal “buy weed”.

  • Dolly Marie Lewis

    Hi, I’m a very conservative person. While I would never vote for a personal cause, I prefer to vote more on what I can do for my country. That being said, I am an avid supporter of marijuana. I am doing my best to turn around the thinking of those in my circles. Until then, keep your head high and don’t stop the good fight. It is time we bring common sense to all sorts of areas of our government.

    • nik

      keep your head high…get it?

  • Dolly Marie Lewis

    Calling 4 Cannabis is a new mov,net with members dedicated to call their reps 2 times a month, on the 4th and the 20th of every month until they realize that we are not going away!!

  • AWOL

    Interesting Now i wanna try to take try this lol jk but even this info. is wrong above wow what stupid ppl in this world it has been technically scientifically proven now that you have to smoke equal to ur body weight to over dose on it everybody is different and the drug/medicine-plant is not for everyone so if it’s not4u don’t fucking use dipshit’s out there even if u do like it don’t use it cause ur fn stupid already lol jk but just saying and stating a true fact about mj though try consuming equal to ur body weight which one day i’m gonna try it and c if it’s true but not until i get older cause i still most my life still to life if it is true and if it isn’t then the scientists or whoever that did say/prove this is fucking stupid n’ wrong and try figuring something else out and then I’ll have proved them wrong lol

  • Ashley_V

    What’s interesting is that the pharmaceutical industry made sales of $329 Billion (with a ‘B’) in the US alone in 2011; in 2012: $331 Billion; in 2013 back to $329 Billion. Worldwide in 2013 it was a staggering $839 Billion. While stats have varied, in 2009 prescription drug related deaths (not counting any street drugs) was 37,485 while marijuana was at zero, zilch, nada. The only reason why marijuana has been demonized and still is illegal in many states is due to the choke hold the pharmaceutical industry has on politics. When I had kidney failure in 2013, one hospital gave me pain killers with pages of dangerous side-effects. I tried pot for the first time in my life and the only complication I experienced was sleepiness and tranquility. Needless to say my views on pot changed after that experience. Also, alcohol related deaths far exceed the side-effects of sleepiness and having the munchies. It’s an irrational fear that many people have of a safer, natural alternative.

  • Miek

    Read that Daily Mail article, I just question the Pathologists credentials, he sounds like a bullshitter to me.

  • painkills2

    Turns out, you were right. :)