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Here’s how much marijuana it would take to kill you

Nearly half of Americans say they have tried marijuana at least once in their life.

With more people lighting up than ever (and nine states voting on the legalization of marijuana on Election Day), it’s important to remember how many fatally overdose on the drug.

Zip. Zero. That’s according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention which collects data on a range of other substances, both legal and illicit, and the Drug Enforcement Administration.

For comparison, opioids, which include prescription pain relievers and heroin, killed more than 28,000 Americans in 2014. Nearly 88,000 people die from alcohol-related causes every year, which makes alcohol the fourth leading preventable cause of the death in the US.

It’s pretty impossible to ingest a lethal dose of marijuana.

David Schmader, author of “Weed: The User’s Guide ,” spoke with experts and crunched the numbers on how much bud it would take to kill someone.

“Even aspirin can kill you if you take too much, but a fatal dose of marijuana would require ingestion of fifteen hundred pounds in fifteen minutes — a physical impossibility for any human, even Snoop Dogg,” Schmader writes in his book.

This handy diagram from “Weed: The User’s Guide” might help:

One reason for this impossibility is the way the brain works. When a user ingests marijuana, chemicals in the plant ride the nervous system to the brain and latch onto molecules called cannabinoid receptors. Those little holding cells influence pleasure, memory, coordination, and cognition, among other functions, which is why getting high affects thinking and behavior.

Cannabinoid receptors are not found in the brainstem areas that control breathing. Thus, ” lethal overdoses from c annabis and cannabinoids do not occur,” The National Cancer Institute explains.

Marijuana isn’t harmless, however. The psychoactive ingredient that gets users high, tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, is a powerful intoxicant. Having physical abilities and judgments impaired can lead users to put themselves in unsafe situations.

And while there are no recorded cases of deaths from marijuana overdose, one bong rip too many can make users feel incredibly uncomfortable. Their heart starts to race, hands tremble, and anxiety strikes. There are things they can do to mitigate a “What I have done?” high.

In his book, Schmader recommends users tell themselves that they’re in no real danger.

Drink some water to stay hydrated and eat a snack — preferably one that is ready-to-eat and does not require operating a stove — to boost your blood sugar . Call up a trusted friend, Schmader says, or Google search ” Maureen Dowd Colorado” to feel less alone.

How much marijuana would it take to kill you?

False claim: Marijuana kills coronavirus

By Reuters Staff

Social media users have been sharing an image online that claims marijuana kills coronavirus. The image appears to be a photograph of a breaking news report but does not show a channel’s logo or name anywhere. The report uses the term “weed”, a slang term for marijuana. Reuters could not find any major news organizations broadcasting this image.

Many of those sharing this image appear to have done so in the manner of a joke, but some posts have comments that suggest not all have understood the joke, and others have shared it along with a call for legalization of the drug (example here ).

There is no evidence to back up the claim that marijuana kills coronavirus. The World Health Organization (WHO) lists smoking as one of the things that are not effective against the virus and might cause harm ( here ). While this might refer to cigarettes smoking, the American Lung Association explains that smoking marijuana can also damage lungs and potentially affect the immune system and its ability to fight off diseases ( here ). The Michael G. DeGroote Center for Medicinal Cannabis Research advises on their website: “In addition to airway injury, cannabis smoke may increase the risk of airway infections such as pneumonia” ( here ).

Marijuana has been tested to be beneficial in some health conditions, unrelated to those presented by coronavirus cases. The National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health lists uses for marijuana and conditions that it may be beneficial to and says:

“Drugs containing cannabinoids may be helpful in treating certain rare forms of epilepsy, nausea and vomiting associated with cancer chemotherapy, and loss of appetite and weight loss associated with HIV/AIDS. In addition, some evidence suggests modest benefits of cannabis or cannabinoids for chronic pain and multiple sclerosis symptoms. Cannabis isn’t helpful for glaucoma. Research on cannabis or cannabinoids for other conditions is in its early stages.“ ( here )

There is no evidence to suggest marijuana could cure COVID-19. The WHO advises against smoking to treat the coronavirus, and studies show smoking marijuana increases risk of airway infections such as pneumonia, a condition that is developed in more severe coronavirus cases.

VERDICT:

False claim: There is no evidence proving marijuana can cure coronavirus

This article was produced by the Reuters Fact Check team. Read more about our fact checking work here .

Social media users have been sharing an image online that claims marijuana kills coronavirus. The image appears to be a photograph of a breaking news report but does not show a channel's logo or name anywhere. The report uses the term "weed", a slang term for marijuana… ]]>