We want to make sure you have the best cannabis experience every time you consume, so we wrote this helpful blog. 

As experienced Patient Consultants, we’re familiar with many of our customers’ concerns about accidental overindulgence. Before legalization, there were many horror stories about cannabis enthusiasts eating one brownie too many and vanishing into a black hole of paranoid couch lock.

Nowadays, thanks to clearer, more consistent measuring of THC levels on packaged products, it’s easy to make sure you get the appropriate dose for your experience level and body type (just ask us for tips!). But as the market grows and technology improves, cannabis products are becoming more potent, and consumers who haven’t indulged since pre-legalization may find the flower they encounter is stronger than expected! 

So we wanted to write you a helpful guide covering how much cannabis you can safely consume as a beginner and what to do if you’ve accidentally overindulged.

How much is too much when it comes to cannabis?

The slightly unhelpful honest answer is, it depends! For the best experience, it’s always a good idea to have an IRL conversation with your friendly neighborhood Patient Consultant about your familiarity with cannabis, past experiences, and general metabolic level.

However, that doesn’t mean there aren’t helpful guidelines to follow. The LA Times made a beneficial calculator for this purpose. A general rule is to stick with minimal dosage the first time you try a new cannabis product. If you’re a newbie smoking an unfamiliar strain, take a single puff and wait about half an hour to feel the peak of the effects. If you’re trying out an edible, give yourself slightly more time–around an hour or two–to see how the dose hits you.

hand holding lit marijuana joint with blurry outside background

How to avoid taking too much cannabis?

When it comes to figuring out your ideal cannabis dosage, we give all our favorite clients the same advice: start low and go slow.

If you’re trying out a new cannabis product, whether it’s a new vape gel, edible, tincture, or strain, always carefully read the dosage information. Some manufacturers will suggest dosages, while others merely tell you how much THC a product contains and leave you to decide for yourself. Either way–consulting that packaging is always a good move!

If the suggested dosage isn’t doing it for you, you can increase the amount of THC you’re taking in about 5 mg at a time, leveling up with a slightly higher dose the next time you use the product. So, for example, if you’re eating a 20 mg candy bar, and ate a quarter without feeling much, start next time by just eating half. You can go for the full dose next time if the experience isn’t as intense as you’d like!

Can you overdose on marijuana?

Let’s get this out of the way: No! 

If you scrolled down here in a panic to make sure you’re not about to die, the good news is that there have been zero recorded deaths or any other adverse health outcomes longer than the length of a stormy afternoon. 

Still, that doesn’t mean it’s impossible to overdose. It’s just that, unlike other, more dangerous compounds, the effects of a cannabis overdose can be unpleasant rather than harmful. Overdosing on cannabis happens most often to people who don’t use THC products often and accidentally exceed their limits. It’s also more common when people mix cannabis with alcohol or other substances that can increase the effects. 

upset women with hands in pray position up against mouth and female friends hand on shoulder

Signs you might have overindulged.

It’s all very well for us to tell you overdosing on marijuana isn’t dangerous–when you’re in the middle of a bad experience, it can still feel overwhelming. Here are some telltale signs you might have ingested too much THC:

  • You feel generalized, free-floating anxiety or paranoia
  • You’re confused, unable to distinguish what’s really happening from your imagination
  • Your heart is racing, and you feel panicked
  • You feel nauseated, or maybe even vomit
  • You feel dehydrated like you’re sweating more than usual.

What should I do if I’ve taken too much?

Suppose you’re experiencing any of the above symptoms, deep breaths! Fortunately for you, your friendly neighborhood Patient Consultants  know a few good tips to stop feeling so high:

  • Stay calm. It might feel like forever, but these effects will only last a few minutes. We promise you’ll feel better soon!
  • “Mom” yourself. What are the foods you find most comforting? How about a nice glass of water, or a piece of fruit? Feeding your body something nourishing and straightforward is a great way to get centered.
  • Lie down and rest. You’ll feel better if you let your body relax and your mind roam. Find a dark, quiet place where you can be still and dream for a while.
  • Get outside. If you’re feeling too anxious to stay still, indulging in a bit of nature time in a familiar place, like a garden or back yard, can help calm and focus your mind.

The most important thing you can do if you think you’ve consumed too much cannabis is stay cool, calm, and collected. Remember, this too shall pass! And next time, check-in with your patient consultant before you try something new. We’re here to help!