Can Marijuana Kill You?


The question comes up in the news all the time: Can marijuana kill you? News reporters go on and on about it as if we have some big marijuana epidemic on hand that is killing the nation’s college students. It’s been blown up into big stories, talked about nearly endlessly, and now it’s even finding its way into the mainstream media in the form of movies and TV shows.

Greenito In order to overdose on marijuana, oneWell, rest assured. The simple answer is that no, weed cannot kill you. No one has ever overdosed on marijuana in the history of mankind and died. To put this in perspective, though, 2200 people die of alcohol poisoning each year in the US. The number of marijuana poisoning deaths in the last 100 years stands at the same number it always has been: 0.

There is one simple reason for this: Marijuana simply isn’t toxic to humans except in dosages so insanely high that no normal person could ever reach them. In order to overdose on marijuana, one would need to smoke 20,000 to 40,000 normal marijuana joints. That’s enough joints to make more than ten telephone poles.

Part of this rumor is probably some of the unpleasant side effects that can happen if you DO consume too much marijuana by accident. Too much marijuana can cause extreme paranoia, which can certainly make you feel like you are going to die. It can also cause extreme vomiting in a disorder known as cannabis hyperemesis, but this is very rare. Every once in a while, someone winds up in the ER from one of these two non life threatening conditions, and the folklore regarding the dangers of marijuana persists.

But the fact stands that not one person in the history of ever has died from overdosing on marijuana. Not even one. Not in the last hundreds of years we have been using marijuana has anyone ever overdosed and died. That’s not to say that marijuana doesn’t have its risks. It can cause paranoia and in high enough doses it can even cause you to vomit, but those really are the two biggest risks associated with the drug.

If you’re concerned about the dangers of this relatively innocuous plant, research the alcohol poisoning deaths in 2014 on the CDC’s website, and compare them to the deaths from marijuana. I’m sure you’ll find it’s a much safer alternative.

What do you think?

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