Thanks to "Dabbing," It Is Possible to Overdose on Marijuana

Categories: Marijuana

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"Marijuana is perfectly safe" is one of the marijuana legalization movement's most widely accepted (and most important) truisms. 

Comical estimations of what would constitute a "lethal dose" -- such as orally consuming more marijuana than the stomach can physically hold -- lead to the also-accepted truism that it's impossible to overdose on marijuana.

That may not be true. 

With high-dosage edibles, it's easy to become "uncomfortably high," and with a recent trend called "dabbing," it's also easy to become so high that the user passes out. And passing out leads to the only recorded method of marijuana-related death. 

"Dabbing" is a simple concept: a small amount of super-high concentrate -- hash oil, wax, or another compound where so much of the marijuana plant's plant material is removed that what's left is between 50-to-80 percent active ingredients, a sort of grain alcohol to a bud's wine -- is put on a heated surface. A puff of smoke is emitted, and then the user inhales the entire puff of super-concentrated smoke.

The effects are immediate -- and they're intense. Folks who have used cannabis daily for 30 years report, "I am high again!" Other people not so used to the magic plant usually need to sit down for a minute or two before they can talk again. In other words, "dabbing" is a way to ingest a lot of medicine very quickly -- and a way to get really fucked up.

It also may be dangerous, as California NORML's Dale Gieringer writes in a recent letter to O'Shaughnessy's, the marijuana medical journal published by veteran journalist Fred Gardner.

"In the past couple of years, there have been repeated occasions in which 911 teams have had to be called in due to cannabis overdoses," Gieringer writes, going on to describe people passing out from high-concentrates at High Times Cannabis Cups in LA. The most authenticated record of someone dying from marijuana use, by the way? A man who became so incredibly high on hashish he passed out -- and then died after hitting his head on a hard floor.

"Things like this never happened until the popularization of hash oil in recent years," he adds. "The dangers are dire enough to merit a special warning."

Most cannabis clubs in San Francisco don't allow on-site consumption anymore -- a by-product of newly opened dispensaries wishing to make a concession, any concession, in order to appease wary neighbors and win a permit, and also the federal Justice Department's oddly selective crackdown, which shuttered popular smoking lounges at the Vapor Room and at HopeNet. But some that do also offer "dab bars" -- where patients can have a couple mind-numbing, sense-paralyzing hits as a "thank you."

This practice, while defensible for anyone who thinks marijuana prohibition should end, is hardly medical except for the sickest patients or those with the highest of tolerances. It also carries one more hidden danger -- butane poisoning.

There are more concentrated forms of cannabis available on the market today than ever before -- hashes, oils, waxes, a concoction called "budder," glass, you name it. It's surmised that a glut on the market led to this -- there was too many flowers and too much bud than could be sold, and like many other commodities, a repacking or repurposing was necessary in order to find market value -- and it's also led to more of a dangerous chemical extraction process.

In order to separate the psychoactive components from the plant material, some kind of extraction process is required. A common process is "butane extraction."

"When cannabis plant material is drenched in butane, its oils dissolve and can be captured in a container," Dr. Jeffrey Hergenrather explains. "Instantaneously, the butane evaporates leaving only the oil behind."

Sounds ok, but not only is this process illegal, it can also leave behind neurotoxins in your cannabis. If it smells like lighter fluid, don't smoke it, Hergenrather writes -- but it may not smell that bad, and still contain neurotoxins.

So dab away -- but realize when you smoke yourself stupid, you may be literally doing so.



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124 comments
deconus82
deconus82

Its generally not a good idea to write articles on topics you know absolutely fucking nothing about.

ciredomin
ciredomin

I have passed out from snowboarding all day and not eating and I fell and hit my head at my friends work

ciredomin
ciredomin

What a load of shit don't dab if you can't handle it plain and simple!!! It's not for everyone

officialtrash
officialtrash

'"Marijuana is perfectly safe" is one of the marijuana legalization movement's most widely accepted (and most important) truisms.'


What!? I've never heard this. The marijuana legalization that I know says it's safer than alcohol while recognizing that people can still act unsafely with it. While it might not kill you, it could still cause you a few problems especially if you overuse. That is not a "perfectly safe" message, as you contend. Please reference where "marijuana is perfectly safe" has been presented as a truism.

truthseeker
truthseeker

What do we really believe 'overdose' means?  When we become dizzy and faint, smacking our skull and eventually end up deceased, who or what is to blame?   Is it the others who saw us fall and left us lie?   Is it what we chose to consume?  Our planets gravitational pull on our gerth?  Or could it have been the person/spirit that haunts the flesh?   What responsibility to ourselves do we uphold?

  Well, much like date-rape, if you don't know well enough to keep your own head straight and maintain control of yourself/body, you could end up with some uninvited penetration, by i.v. in an e.r., Uncle Buck, or drunk-tank denisens.  We do have choices as well as responsibilities... 

Some folks seek to 'pass-out' for relief.  Bone cancer without adequate amounts of opiate leave folks seeking unconsciousness...*tisk.*   The AMA could do much better.

For those who experimented to see if they could be killed via pot:  lol, I suggest that you were not intent on dying and simply wasted your "meds" on a silly notion... Someone you know is really glad right now that you did fail and not just to keep the notion that pot won't kill us alive.  

emeraldtrianglethc
emeraldtrianglethc

Oxygen is toxic as well, in large amounts. LETHAL ! In fact, I am living proof that it is impossible to overdose fatally, from cannabis. I DELIBERATELY TRIED !!! So in a nutshell, cannabis is safer than water and oxygen. Put that in your pipe and smoke it.

krzyhapa
krzyhapa

Ok we all know water is not a drug but it just so happens if you drink to much water you can Die. So if we can die from drinking water dontyou think it Should be illegal, now they obviously said he died by hitting his head on tha HARD FLOOR!!! Not from smoking. So think about tha facts before writing staements,there is nothing wrong with consuming marijuana.

madridozzy
madridozzy

The Media needs to quit there shit with mis information to the public, thats why its still illegal, because misinformation and every thinks highly of this drug like its fuckin crack or something.

Marijuana is more helpful then any other resource found on this planet, why doesnt everyone realize it and just accept it? 

green.monkey.stew
green.monkey.stew

we've been ingesting butane through caffeine all our lives...

christopherwrigley
christopherwrigley

Passing out IS an overdose. OD doesn't mean dying, it means quite literally.. OVER    -    DOSING.

megarock
megarock

I'm high enough right now to not give a shit about a single word of this article.

asdfg2.zack
asdfg2.zack

NO ONE CAN DIE FROM DABBING OR SMOKING IT IN FLOWER FORM it is a fact that it would take 1500 pounds of weed in 15 minutes to kill you (which is impossible even if its in a concentrated form

greengrowgreen
greengrowgreen

Well, overdose of hundreds of things (including eatables we consume every day) can have dangerous consequences. If 'dabbing' (and not recommended medical marijuana regimen) is all that interests someone, he or she might as well be prepared to see the worst of what a wonderful herb has to offer.

ChrisRobertsKnowsNot
ChrisRobertsKnowsNot

You are so unbelievable stupid. Passing out and then hitting a head on a table means THAT GUY DIED FROM HITTING HIS HEAD ON A TABLE...NOT FROM O/D'ing ON WEED YOU PRETENTIOUS RETARD. I could ingest so much water that i would pass out and could hit my head on a table. I don't know how you have the credentials or reputation to write ideas on the internet, and thats really sad.

dafd
dafd

Ban floors, is the author an adult?

usvisionr
usvisionr

It takes about 5000 parts per million of butane to be harmful to the lungs and body. Natural purge leaves BHO at about 100 parts per million, and a proper vacuum purge brings the BHO down to less than 20 parts per million. So if you want to smoke about 50 dabs in one big hit of naturally purges oil, or 250 dabs of vacuum purged oil in one hit, then you will finally be able to cause harm with the amount of butane residuals. A 1st time user may experience an uncomfortable head rush and then be very high, but tell me the cops who confiscated the marijuana and made brownies, then called the cops on themselves thinking they were dying weren't also unbelievable high. Tolerance builds fast and in fact, i would say i am 10 times more clear and focused when i dab as opposed to smoking flower. Dabbing lets you take less hits per session/day/week/month/year oppose to bong rips or joint hits. It lets you have less smoke enter your lungs, cooler/cleaner smoke enter your lungs, and an amazing euphoria that lasts way longer than smoking flower. So don't tell me about Dabbing.

squeeg
squeeg

Passing out and hitting your head on the floor IS NOT an overdose, stupid author. That would be death due to concussive head trauma.

burnit
burnit

i be getting high as fuck when i dab

burnit
burnit

im only 17 from the bay and i be dabbin it up and burnin hella tree never felt better stop being pussies and dab it up

sunnigurl89
sunnigurl89

 have been an avid pot smoker for the past 8 years, and just recently heard about dabbing… I am very interested in trying this “new technique”, but im am also a lil bit hesitant to pop that cherry… I have read both good and bad things pertaining to this form of smoking and i would like anyones feedback that has tried dabbing and your experience, so i might be a bit more comfortable in trying this new art of smoking. Thanks!!

karrie567
karrie567

Cancer is a deadly disease that needs to be stopped from taking innocent lives. A disease that pays no respect to AGE nor FINANCIAL STATUS should not be allowed to reign instead it should be fight and eradicated.

After the introduction of chemotherapy and radiotherapy the war against this deadly disease started but the probability that this war can be won using the methods above is not hundred percent certain.

I was once a prisoner of cancer who used the methods above to begin the fight for my freedom which i got for sometime until the cancer returned with great determination to take my life and i was also determined not to allow it to take my life so i decided to sort for other solutions.

I met with my doctor who told me about cannabis oil and she also told me about a friend of her's who treats patients with it, she gave me his Email address( contacthospital_eastern.george@yahoo.com )and asked me to contact him. I contacted him and met him in person, i told him about my situation and asked him what i needed to do.

He advised me, told me the quantity of oil i needed and how to use it. I followed his instructions and now i have finally gained my freedom.

jimgees
jimgees

Never dabbed until a visit to Hempcon last month. Took two hits. Not that big a deal.

agresticdelivery
agresticdelivery

LMFAO, I dab two grams of winterized absolute b.h.o. a day, and mymind, body, and lungs have never felt better. This article is terribly misleading tripe. Yes, a light user may experience a slight headrush, but that's about it...

greenlinkorganics
greenlinkorganics

This is a horrible article, its simply not the case, the man died from hitting his head on the concrete not the cannabis this is a huge step backwards and the bullshit lies begin again, his sugar level was low and he also was dehydrated do your research before printing lies

Cannabis_Heals
Cannabis_Heals

I love how passing out is now the equivalency of an overdose. People overdose on alcohol ALL THE TIME then.

im_trey
im_trey

BHO's are SAFE if PROPERLY PURGED (ie. vacuum purging, heat purging) these methods remove the majority of butane and studies have never shown that a little bit of butane causes health problems. You wouldn't smoke moldy buds or ones infested with spider-mites would you? Know your limits and you'll be okay. 710 all day errlyday

dana-larsen
dana-larsen

People have been eating cannabis extracts for thousands of years, and these products can cause intense hallucinations and psychedelic experiences. But even at these high dosages, marijuana is still basically safe, no-one dies or gets seriously harmed even from extreme dosages. However, butane contamination is an issue with some extracts and should be avoided.

paigiegurl14
paigiegurl14

Why do all these lil punk ass p.o.s ALWAYS gotta fuck up a good thing. If god wanted butane in weed he woulda put it in there when he made the plant. Cuz of yalls "dabbing" there tryin to say weed kills so thanks ya fukn tards, u deserve to die if ur gonna b so pathetic as to put lighter fluid on weed

paigiegurl14
paigiegurl14

Why do all these lil punk ass p.o.s always gotta fuck up a good thing. If god wanted butane on or in it he woulda put it in there when he made the plant

liquidthex
liquidthex

This article is stupid, and wrong.

ibew47
ibew47

weed in the workplace has caused too many deaths to count - give me a legitimate field sobriety test like we have for booze and I will buy in - until then NO - been to way too many burn wards, emergency rooms, and funerals because someone was high at work - and I am done with that -

lrdazure
lrdazure

ignorance is running rampant in the media. 

eat-my-shorts
eat-my-shorts

@truthseeker Don't ever use a rape analogy!  I don't see how a rape of a conscious person is any different than the rape of an unconscious person.  Both disregard consent.  Like a passed out drunk, a conscious victim doesn't have control of their body when they're being held down by a larger assailant either.

NeedMyCoffee
NeedMyCoffee

@greenlinkorganics that's one line in the article - the rest of the article is actually something a lot of "dabbers" need to stop and think about.

lrdazure
lrdazure

@paigiegurl14 dont bring god into science. if god wanted you to wear clothing you would have fur...

sseddoga
sseddoga

@liquidthex  ahh because you are a scientist and you have run studies on pot?  just because you dont agree with it does not make it false.  Anything can kill you in too high a dose and that includes pot.  the reality is that people who are chronic smokers will eventually need more and more to get a real high as your body builds up their tolerences.   this will lead to people doing things like using extraction methods that could kill you.  

hipcowboy420
hipcowboy420

@ibew47 Let's see your STATS  where it says weed has caused work place deaths I bet you can't!

sseddoga
sseddoga

@lrdazure  you do realize that too much water can kill you right?  so why would it be hard to believe that people looking for that high feeling they used to get before they smoked and ate as much as they could would lead them to try to find a way to get it concentrated?   

instead of hiding your head in the bong.. maybe if people who believe pot should be legal could start admitting that abused pot can cause issues and start finding ways to address it.  such as an acceptable level before you are considered legally intoxicated.    

sseddoga
sseddoga

@hipcowboy420 @ibew47   hip... quite simply you would have to comb the archives because smoking pot is not listed as the primary cause of death even if that is what the coroner thinks was the main reason someone died.  Too many people who sit there and say pot does nothing.... then why do you smoke it... oh it makes you mellow, makes you feel high, makes you see things sometimes... slows your reaction times.... impairs your judgement..... now that more places are making it legal, coroners can start listing it as a primary contributing factor and we will see more and more deaths that are attributed to pot impairing judgement. 

Coldfire
Coldfire

@sseddoga @lrdazure Lol. The organelle responsible for filtering toxins in each cell actually gets better/faster the more the "toxin" is introduced over time. Making it once again, a HUGE challenge to overdose...

lrdazure
lrdazure

@sseddoga   you show ignorance and reefer madness. peddle your ignorance elsewhere.  you may be unaware that you would need to consume around 1.5k lbs worth of cannabis in under 15m for it to kill you.

Cannabis_Heals
Cannabis_Heals

@sseddoga You're gonna feel really dumb when your illogical statistics about more and more deaths due to cannabis don't happen.

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