How Much Marijuana It Would Take To Kill You?

How Much Marijuana It Would Take To Kill You?
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With more people smoking pot than ever and medical marijuana now legal in Australia, it’s important to know the potential dangers. If you were an extremely heavy user, would it be possible to ingest a lethal dose?

First, let’s take a look at the number of people who have fatally overdosed on this drug. The answer is zip. Zero. That’s according to the US National Institute on Drug Abuse, which collects data on a range of other substances, both legal and illicit, and the Drug Enforcement Administration. In short, it’s pretty impossible to ingest a lethal dose of marijuana.

David Schmader, author of Weed: The User’s Guide, spoke with experts and crunched the numbers on how much bud it would take to kill someone.

“Even aspirin can kill you if you take too much, but a fatal dose of marijuana would require ingestion of fifteen hundred pounds in fifteen minutes — a physical impossibility for any human, even Snoop Dogg,” Schmader writes in his book.

This handy diagram from “Weed: The User’s Guide” might help:

One reason for this impossibility is the way the brain works. When a user ingests marijuana, chemicals in the plant ride the nervous system to the brain and latch onto molecules called cannabinoid receptors. Those little holding cells influence pleasure, memory, coordination, and cognition, among other functions, which is why getting high affects thinking and behaviour.

Cannabinoid receptors are not found in the brainstem areas that control breathing. Thus, “lethal overdoses from cannabis and cannabinoids do not occur,” The National Cancer Institute explains.

Marijuana isn’t harmless, however. The psychoactive ingredient that gets users high, tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, is a powerful intoxicant. Having physical abilities and judgments impaired can lead users to put themselves in unsafe situations.

And while there are no recorded cases of deaths from marijuana overdose, one bong rip too many can make users feel incredibly uncomfortable. Their heart starts to race, hands tremble, and anxiety strikes. There are things they can do to mitigate a “What I have done?” high.

In his book, Schmader recommends users tell themselves that they’re in no real danger.

Drink some water to stay hydrated and eat a snack — preferably one that is ready-to-eat and does not require operating a stove — to boost your blood sugar. Call up a trusted friend, Schmader says, or Google search “Maureen Dowd Colorado” to feel less alone.

This story originally appeared on Business Insider.


  • I’ve served as an elected District Attorney in Conservative Texas. Every DA is on a limited budget. We have to make choices. I believe in strict punishment for violent offenders and burglars. I rarely gave probation. Unfortunately we had to deal with all these annoying pot cases. Even when pot users got probation the understaffed probation officers had to make sure they were in by 10PM – I’d rather they checked on sex offenders.]
    Revenues are another reason to legalize. The Washington Post reports for 2015 Colorado gained 18,000 pot-related jobs and $2.4 billion in revenue. 2016 will be much better.

    Use among teens has not increased both according to surveys from the Denver Post and Federal Government.

    It’s best to vote “Yes”.

  • OK, it’s filed as Australian stories, but references the septics out the back paddock and beyond, the cheeky buggers are even commenting.

    So, let’s check these numbers better because what is written there looks like a bloody pile of camelshit.

    LD50 of THC is = 1270mg/kG, so your average 70kG stoner is gunna need about 89 grams of THC to be 50/50 cark it material.

    Not sure what a “pound” is (because nobody outside the septics use it) but 28 grams of ripper buds will be maybe 4.2 grams of THC. Time to pull out the calculator… 89 grams of THC to have a 50% chance of ‘pining for the fjords’ divided by 4.2 then multiplied by 28 is – 593 grams of bud.

    A bit over half a kilo of grass will have a 50% chance of killing ya. Those unlucky buggers who cark it in the 25th percentile will need far less and a few ripper blokes will be able to bong on more than the smoke out of Aunt Mabel’s Morris Minor’s exhaust.

    So which hole did this article pull its INCORRECT 1500 pounds number from?

    LD50 – Half a kilo of buds. Which side of that do you fall, that’s the question.

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