Cannabis has many names: ganja, weed, and herb.
Referred to variously as marijuana, ganja, weed, and herb amongst many other slang terms, cannabis is one of the safest medicines available. As well as giving us the dried buds that can be smoked, the plant produces nutritious seeds from which healthy edible oils can be pressed, the plant fibers are durable and versatile with many commercial uses, the crop is environmentally beneficial and many parts of the plant were in use for thousands of years before prohibition. Unlike many pharmaceutical medications, there has never been a single recorded fatality from cannabis use.
No one has ever died from cannabis use
No one has ever died as a direct result of ingesting cannabis, nor have there been any instances of brain receptor damage through its use; unlike alcohol and other drugs cannabis does not wear out the brain receptors, it merely stimulates them. One estimate of THC’s lethal dose for humans indicates that 1500 pounds (680 kilograms) of cannabis would have to be smoked within 15 minutes (approximately) for the smoker to die. If you wanted to kill someone using 1500 pounds of cannabis you would be better advised to drop it on them.
LD50, also called median lethal dose, is the standard measure of the toxicity of a material through ingestion, skin contact, or injection. LD50 is measured in micrograms (or milligrams) of the material per kilogram of the test animal’s body weight. The lower the amount, the more toxic the material. The estimated LD50 (lethal threshold) for cannabis, established in 1988 by the DEA’s appropriate fact-finder, is 1:20,000 or 1:40,000. In
layman’s terms, this means that to induce death a cannabis smoker would have to consume 20,000 to 40,000 times as much cannabis as is contained in one 0.9-gram joint.1
Studies indicate that the effective dose of THC is at least 1000 times
lower than the estimated lethal dose (therapeutic ratio of 1000:1). Heroin has a therapeutic percentage of 6:1, alcohol and Valium both have a percentage of 10:1. Cocaine has a balance of 15:1. Aspirin has a therapeutic ratio of 20:1; 20 times the recommended dose (40 tablets) can cause death and almost certainly induce extensive internal bleeding. Drugs used to treat patients with cancer, glaucoma, and multiple sclerosis (MS) are all known to be highly toxic; the ratio of some drugs used in antineoplastic (cancer-inhibiting) therapies have therapeutic ratios below 1.5:1.2
A small percentage of people may experience a negative or allergic reaction to cannabis use and a few patients suffer especially high heart rates and/or anxiety when being treated with cannabis oil. However, this is a comparatively low number and the effects are merely unpleasant and cease when cannabis use is discontinued. Many bronchial asthma sufferers benefit from both herbal cannabis and cannabis oil extracts but for some, it can serve as an additional irritant. However, for the overwhelming majority of people, cannabis has demonstrated hundreds of therapeutic uses.