Accidental Use (including for pets) and Overconsumption

Because cannabis products can look like non-cannabis edible products, accidental consumption is a risk, especially for young people and pets. This can result in cannabis toxicity or the need for emergency medical attention. If this happens or if someone has a bad reaction to cannabis, call 911 if it’s a medical emergency, or the Poison Center at (800) 222-1222 for non-urgent matters. Contact the Poison Center or your veterinarian immediately if your pet has ingested cannabis.

Even if you are not sure if a medical situation was caused by cannabis use, providing this information to a medical provider can help with determining treatment.


Using too much cannabis can happen when you:

  • Consume a product you don’t know contains cannabis;
  • Are a first-time user and you don’t start with a low dose;
  • Use a high-THC product for the first time;
  • Consume homemade products with an unknown THC content; or
  • Consume more than you need of an edible because you don’t feel the effects right away.

Too much THC can cause a temporary overdose. This is known as a “green out.” Overconsuming cannabis can be uncomfortable and scary. It can also be potentially dangerous, sometimes requiring emergency medical attention.

The symptoms may include:

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

Children and pets are at greater risk for severe health effects.

Tips for adults who have overconsumed:

  • The best way to get through it. . . is to get through it! Remind yourself that the effects are temporary.
  • Hydrate and rest. Drinking plenty of water, taking deep breaths, taking a nap, doing an activity that will help to calm you (such as listening to music) can all assist you in getting through.
  • Talk to someone you trust.
  • Disclosing cannabis use when speaking with a medical professional can assist the professional in giving you the best medical advice.

Call the Poison Control Hotline, (800) 222-1222, for free, fast, expert help at any time. If the symptoms are severe, call 911 or go to an emergency room.

Remember, understanding what led to the adverse effects you experienced can help you avoid similar experiences in the future.


  • The Guide to Safer Cannabis Consumption. New York State Office of Cannabis Management.
  •, University of Washington Addictions, Drug & Alcohol Institute (ADAI)
  • More Sources






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