Is It Possible to Overdose on Marijuana?
Dabbing marijuana seems to be the new way of getting high.
What is dabbing? “Dabbing” is an endearing term for consuming potently extracted cannabis concentrate—hash oil or butane honey oil—that is normally ”dabbed” onto a super-heated surface. The vapor that is created by dabbing is inhaled by the smoker.
But are their dangers to being immensely high? There is when you pass out.
This week Chris Roberts reported in the SF Weekly,
Comical estimations of what would constitute a “lethal dose,” such as orally consuming more marijuana than the stomach can physically hold, leads to the truism that it’s impossible to overdose on marijuana.
That may not be true.
With high-dosage edibles, it’s easy to become “uncomfortably high,” and with a recent trend called “dabbing,” it’s also easy to become so high that the user passes out.
“Dabbing” is a simple concept: a small amount of super-high concentrate — hash oil, wax, or another compound where so much of the marijuana plant’s plant material is removed that what’s left is between 50-to-80% active ingredients, a sort of grain alcohol to a bud’s wine — is put on a heated surface. A puff of smoke is emitted, and then the user inhales the entire puff of super-concentrated smoke.
The effects are immediate — and they’re intense. Folks who have used cannabis daily for 30 years report, “I am high again!”
Other people not so used to the magic plant usually need to sit down for a minute or two before they can talk again. In other words, “dabbing” is a way to ingest a lot of medicine very quickly — and a way to get really fucked up.
California NORML’s Dale Gieringer also weighed in on the subject of dabbing. In a recent letter to a marijuana medical journal he wrote:
In the past couple of years, there have been repeated occasions in which 911 teams have had to be called in due to cannabis overdoses.
At the NORML conference in LA, there were at least three different emergency calls due to use of high-potency cannabis extracts. I hear that 911 was also called a few times at the High Times cannabis cup two years ago.
At the NORML party in LA, one person fainted and cracked his nose on the sidewalk. I know someone else, a beautiful lady my age who has been smoking pot since the ’70s, who fainted and broke her teeth on the floor after dabbing. Things like this never happened until the popularization of hash oil in recent years.
The dangers are dire enough to merit a special warning. The best-authenticated case of a cannabis death in the literature —reported by Gabriel Nahas or Reese Jones as I recall— was of someone who collapsed and cracked their skull in the bathroom from a hashish overdose.
And don’t blow yourself up. See our other article and video: “The Explosion of Butane Hash Oil.”
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