Hold off on any scoffs or prepared eye rolls, because I am well aware that you cannot overdose on weed like other, more harmful drugs. Death from consuming too much weed by itself is extremely unlikely but having more than your share can be quite uncomfortable. Users can experience some side effects after smoking marijuana and those reactions are only exacerbated by overdosing. Ghost face, hallucinations, severe dehydration, nausea and even fainting can occur.These reactions are a common occurrence in stoner n00bs and is nothing to be ashamed of. It is a very harsh learning experience and I want to share with you a couple overdose stories of my own that I feel newcomers should read to understand what could possibly occur and how best to help a person who is in an uncomfortable situation.
Have you heard this story before: a friend introduces you to his new water bong and you want to make sure you don’t look like an idiot so you overdue by smoking the entire bowl. The next few hours I’m sure you spent in a sweat, itching at your throat and wishing the spinning light show would halt. Keeping hydrated while smoking is one of the easiest ways to prevent these poor side effects and understanding that all these symptoms will pass with time will help keep that paranoid voice from overreacting. I’ve been known to have a inner mantra to keep me focused while I come down from an overdose and I highly recommend coming up with one yourself even if it’s just telling yourself ‘everything will be okay’.
One of my first experiences with weed was in college at the oddly appropriate dorm number, 420. A group of friends were hitting their new bong contraption and were inviting fellow neighbors over to join in the fun. I didn’t join the group and instead opted to go home for a quick snack before returning to the party. I returned to find a sophomore graphic design student mumbling to herself and half slumping on the wall. Another sophomore was giggling to himself and speaking Spanish. Both were experiencing hallucinations, nausea and had that eerie ghost face. We propped both of them up, gave them water and tried to keep them alert. After a quick nap and more water, those students were back to watching cartoons on the couch like nothing had happened.
My final addition to these overdose stories comes from two separate instances where a friend who was really high fainted suddenly. Watching an adult ragdoll and hearing the thud of 200 pounds hit the floor can come as quite the shock to a mellowed-out stoner. I’ve called the paramedics both times and while this kind of overkill cannot hurt, it wasn’t necessary as my friend was both dehydrated and had just stood up way too quickly. The blood rushed to his head because like most stoners, his concept of time was…skewed. He had been sitting quietly playing Lord of the Rings Online for nearly two hours and then quickly stood up to go to the restroom and woke up with three worried friends hovering over him, making sure he did crack his head open on the linoleum.
I hope by sharing these stories you might have a better idea of what to expect when you overdose. The important things to remember are to stay hydrated, don’t move or stand up too quickly and do your best to stay alert and keep your body comfortably propped up. Next time you take one too many hits, take comfort in the fact that you will not die; however the next 30 minutes to 2 hours you might feel like it. Just ask Maureen Dowd.