Overdosing medical cannabis

2018-12-21
Kevin P. Hill

Can medical cannabis be overdosed?

Kevin P. Hill, MD: A common point of debate with cannabis and the safety of cannabis compared to other substances is whether or not you can overdose. One of the things that those who are strongly in favor of cannabis will say is that there has never been a fatal overdose of cannabis. And that is true.

I would offer, though, that there are a lot of dangers associated with cannabis. It is a medicine that has a lot of risk. If you are not used to using cannabis or you are not educated about how to do it, you could certainly use it on a given day and then have your judgment be impaired, you can have your ability to drive be impaired.

It is true you will not have a fatal overdose. You can certainly end up in the emergency department, having used far more than you are expecting. That is a problem that we have with edibles in cannabis: people do not understand that the onset of action is typically much longer than if you were to smoke cannabis. You can overdose from cannabis; however, I think when people talk about overdose, they talk about a fatal overdose, and that will not occur.

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