Can you overdose on weed? What to know as medical marijuana bill advances in NC

Some people in North Carolina may soon be able to use marijuana, but the drug comes with some risks.

The Compassionate Care Act, which sits in the state House, would allow those with “debilitating medical conditions,” such as cancer, epilepsy and Parkinson’s disease, to use medical marijuana.

As with any prescription drug, marijuana has side-effects — and using too much of it could land you in the hospital.

Here’s what to know about the likelihood of overdosing on marijuana and the side-effects of THC on the brain.

Can you overdose on marijuana?

There haven’t been any reports of teens or adults overdosing on marijuana alone, according to the National Institutes of Health.

However, there has been an uptick in emergency room visits involving teens consuming marijuana edibles.

“Some people (especially preteens and teens) who know very little about edibles don’t realize that it takes longer for the body to feel marijuana’s effects when eaten rather than smoked,” the NIH says. “So they consume more of the edible, trying to get high faster or thinking they haven’t taken enough.”

While its nearly impossible to ingest a lethal dose of marijuana, using it with other substances can increase the risk of overdose, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

What are the side-effects of marijuana?

When marijuana is consumed, THC acts on numerous areas in the brain, causing a “high” that people feel, according to the NIH. Other side-effects include:

  • Altered senses

  • Altered sense of time

  • Changes in mood

  • Impaired body movement

  • Difficulty with thinking and problem-solving

  • Impaired memory

  • Hallucinations

  • Delusions

  • Psychosis

Other physical side-effects of marijuana use include breathing problems, increased heart rate and issues with child development during pregnancy, according to the NIH.

What is the recommended dosage of THC?

A standard unit of THC is five milligrams, but experts recommend starting off with 2.5 milligrams per day to treat certain conditions, according to GoodRx. Experts also suggest not exceeding 40 milligrams of THC per day.

Marijuana can affect people differently depending on the type of product, how much is used, how you consume it and your level of tolerance, according to GoodRx.