Professor, Operations Research and Policy, Carnegie Mellon University, and the co-editor of Marijuana Legalization: What Everyone Needs to Know
Whether one can overdose on cannabis depends on one’s definition of the word overdose. If overdose means any acute adverse health consequences of taking too much, then absolutely. There is no question cannabis can do that. If one means more narrowly death by the same physiological mechanism that is involved in opioid overdose (suppressed respiration, etc.), then no, that is not how cannabinoids work. If one means death by any mechanism, then the answer is contested but appears to be yes, but only in very rare circumstances. There are case studies of cannabis-related deaths via at least three mechanisms: (1) Tachycardia, (2) Passing out after dabbing and hitting ones head, and (3) Psychotic episodes inducing suicide. But even those who think such deaths can be causally attributed to the large dose of cannabis acknowledge that they are very rare events.