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Get the facts about marijuana Using Too Much? Recognizing when marijuana use is becoming too much.
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Using Too Much?

It is important to know how to recognize when marijuana use is becoming too much. Regular marijuana use can result in addiction. Those who start using marijuana as adolescents are more likely to become addicted to marijuana as adults.[1]

Whether you accidentally ingested marijuana, smoked too much at a party, or have become addicted to marijuana, this information will help you learn more about what to look for and how to access helpful resources.

Marijuana today has much higher levels of THC. Illustration shows a granny stirring brownie mix in a bowl. 

Accidentally using too much

Using too much marijuana can happen if you:

  • Thought a marijuana product was regular food.
  • Used a product with more THC than you thought, either because you are using marijuana for the first time or trying a high-THC product.
  • Consumed homemade products without a clear understanding of the THC content.
  • Consumed more marijuana than you needed since you didn’t feel the effects right away. The effects of consuming marijuana may take up to four hours to peak after ingesting.[1]

The symptoms of using too much marijuana are similar to the typical effects of using marijuana, but more severe. These symptoms may include:[9]

  • Extreme confusion, anxiety, panic or paranoia
  • Fast heart rate
  • Increased blood pressure
  • Hallucinations or delusions
  • Severe nausea and vomiting[6]

If you or someone you know has any of the symptoms listed above, call the poison control hotline for free, fast, expert help anytime. If the symptoms are severe, call 9-1-1 or go to an emergency room.

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What are the signs of marijuana addiction?

The Cannabis Use Disorder Identification Test outlines characteristics of addiction:

  • The user may be stoned more than one or two hours per day on a regular basis.
  • The user may not be able to stop using marijuana once he or she starts.
  • The user may be stoned often enough that he or she fails to complete big tasks or commitments.
  • The user may begin to spend a great amount of time focused on buying, using or recovering from marijuana use.
  • The user may have more problems with concentration or memory loss.
  • The user may begin to take more risks while stoned, such as driving or caring for children.
  • The user may begin to talk about cutting back on his or her marijuana use.
  • The user may experience symptoms of withdrawal (such as craving, irritability, sleep difficulties, anxiety and depression) after not using marijuana for some time.

One of these characteristics on its own may not indicate an addiction, but a pattern of behaviors may signal a problem.

If you observe this pattern of behavior in yourself or in someone you love, get informed. Learn all that you can about marijuana use, misuse, and the severity of dependence. Offering support and encouragement to your loved one is essential in finding the help he or she needs. Talk to a health care provider about your concerns. Visit the Getting Treatment section (below) of this website for resources. Additionally, you can learn more from the National Institute on Drug Abuse Research Report Series: Marijuana Abuse.

A summary of symptoms related to cannabis use and abuse is available in this Cannabis-Related Disorders Clinical Presentation.

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Getting Treatment

The right resource at the right time can put you or your loved one on the path to recovery. Reach out to a substance abuse or mental health treatment provider who can support you or your loved one on the road to wellbeing. Contact your insurance provider to find covered behavioral health services nearby.

Treatment Resources:

  • Treatment locator from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration for public and private resources

Additional Resources:

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