No one has ever died of a marijuana overdose. It is an accepted fact of modern medicine. Now, two doctors in Colorado are starting a debate over that question.
They claim their patient, an 11-month-old baby boy, died of an overdose on marijuana. He came into the ER after a seizure and was barely conscious. Doctors put the boy on a breathing tube but his heart started to fail. The baby's blood tested positive for marijuana but the baby also had a pre-existing condition.
So can you overdose on cannabis?
According to The Drug Enforcement Administration, no death from an overdose of marijuana has been reported. The National Institutes of Health said there is insufficient evidence to link cannabis to fatalities.
An overdose is when someone ingests the over- recommended and prescribed amount of medication. It does not mean that the person dies from the medication or overdose. Overdoses can certainly result in death but that is with very large ingestions or very deadly poisons. You can overdose on marijuana just like you can overdose from any chemical.
In this particular case, the child had myocarditis, a rare condition that affects your heart muscle and at the same time tested positive for marijuana in his blood and urine. There is no evidence the marijuana caused the child's heart condition or that the child overdosed.
The Associate Medical Director of the Washington Poison Center Dr. Scott Phillips said a case report, like this one from Denver, is really like a tweet to other medical professionals to be on the lookout for similar kinds of cases that might occur.
So we can verify you can overdose from marijuana. But we cannot verify that a marijuana overdose can kill you.
- Drug Enforcement Administration
- National Institutes of Health
- Associate Medical Director of the Washington Poison Center Dr. Scott Phillip