I'm sure we've all heard the saying you can't overdose (and die) on marijuana. Is this true? Have people died from smoking marijuana?

Some notable claims (out of thousands)

  • Leaf Science

    In fact, studies suggest it is impossible to die from smoking too much marijuana. But indirect deaths are possible — and documented.

  • Business Insider

    it’s important to remember how many fatally overdose on [marijuana]. Zip. Zero. That’s according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, which collects data on a range of other substances, both legal and illicit, and the Drug Enforcement Administration.

  • Healthline

    “It is well-established in the world medical literature that cannabis is incapable of causing death by lethal overdose,” Paul Armentano, the deputy director of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML), told Healthline.

    He cites, among others, one study that concluded, “There are no cases of fatal cannabis poisoning in the human medical literature.”

  • Would pets having a vetinary emergency due to eating a stash count?
    – Golden Cuy
    Feb 12, 2018 at 1:04
  • 2
    Every one of the links you provide references a study or an appropriate authority confirming the claim. What further evidence would it take to convince you that it was true or untrue?
    – Oddthinking
    Feb 12, 2018 at 2:05
  • I had a book on the science of marijuana awhile back, and it talked about scientists that developed a way to administer THC through an IV, and it was theorized that with enough concentrate at a high enough rate, it may be possible, but it was never tested. It depends on if you're including nonsense ways where you're only doing it with the intent of trying to die. Then there's also (this)[ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/m/pubmed/28438101/], but that's probably considered "indirect". Feb 12, 2018 at 2:15
  • You need to define overdose. My first reaction was, is it only an overdose if you die?
    – RedSonja
    Feb 12, 2018 at 11:22
  • 1
    You gave a green tick to an answer that linked to a fact sheet that was also linked to in the very paragraph quoted from the Business Insider article. This backs up my previous concern: that it would be hard to give better evidence than you started with.
    – Oddthinking
    Feb 13, 2018 at 6:37

2 Answers 2


From the DEA drug factsheet for marijuana:

No death from overdose of marijuana has been reported.


There have been no deaths definitively caused by an overdose on cannabis.

There is a "possible relationship" between cannabis and myocarditis, and myocarditis can be fatal, especially in children.

The authors report an 11-month-old male who, following cannabis exposure, presented with central nervous system depression after seizure, and progressed to cardiac arrest and died. Myocarditis was diagnosed post-mortem and cannabis exposure was confirmed. Given the temporal relationship of these two rare occurrences – cannabis exposure and sudden death secondary to myocarditis in an 11-month-old – as well as histological consistency with drug-induced myocarditis without confirmed alternate causes, and prior reported cases of cannabis-associated myocarditis, a possible relationship exists between cannabis exposure in this child and myocarditis leading to death. In areas where marijuana is commercially available or decriminalized, the authors urge clinicians to preventively counsel parents and to include cannabis exposure in the differential diagnosis of patients presenting with myocarditis.

Pediatric Death Due to Myocarditis After Exposure to Cannabis

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