Spice overdose: How much amount of Spice to OD?

Overdose on Spice can occur after one toke, or over a session of smoking. This is because Spice is unevely laced with synthetic cannabinoids that are optimized for psychoactive effects. More on how to recognize and cope with a Spice overdose here.

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Synthetic cannabinoids, also known as Spice or K2, are cannabinoid receptor agonists that target the same receptors in the brain as marijuana, but are not structurally related to marijuana. But can you really overdose on Spice?

Absolutely. Even one toke can provoke hallucinations or psychosis. What happens to the body during Spice intoxication with K2? How can you tell when you’ve smoked too much? Plus, can you die after smoking Spice? We review here. And then, we invite your questions about Spice and how you can treat Spice addiction or acute cases of overdose at the end.

How do unintentional Spice overdoses happen?

Accidental Spice overdose can happen to any individual, simply because the type and amount of cannabinoids in any batch of Spice can vary considerably. During a Spice overdose, severe psychiatric complications are likely to occur and can cause lasting changes to the brain.

Spice overdose – How much is too much?

The standard for production of Spice is unregulated, so content varies for different brands. Even within the same package, you may find excessive amount of THC-like content unevenly laced and sprayed on top of organic plant material. This means that there is no way to recommend or monitor Spice dosing at the moment. Therefore, how much Spice is too much Spice cannot be predicted.

Spice overdose complications

Synthetic cannabinoids, sold as Spice or K2, are cannabinoid receptor agonists are not structurally related to marijuana. The main purpose of Spice was to create a product that produced marijuana-like effects without using marijuana itself. However, Spice compounds many times greater potency (sometimes dozens or hundreds of time more potency) than the main psychoactive ingredient, THC, found in marijuana.

Compared to other illicit drugs, Spice can manifest effects similar to those experienced during opiate overdose such as nausea, vomiting and retching . However, when it comes to acute overdose, the symptoms are lot more extreme. Here is a list of the most common signs of Spice overdose.

  • agitation
  • anxiety
  • arrhythmia
  • diaphoresis (excessive sweating)
  • elevated blood pressure
  • elevated heart rate
  • hallucinations
  • palpitations
  • paranoid ideation
  • seizures
  • tachycardia
  • tremulousness

Spice overdose prognosis

When some experiences a case of mild overdose, the care consists of surveillance and support. But when it comes to severe toxicity with Spice, symptomatic treatment is practiced.

Like many other drugs, Spice is also highly addictive and develops certain level of tolerance in the body after continued chronic use. However, sudden discontinuation of use can cause withdrawal symptoms, such as profuse sweating, tremors, palpitations, insomnia, headache, depression, diarrhea, nausea, and vomiting. Withdrawal symptoms should be treated with benzodiazepines. Additionally, note that acute renal injury has been reported among teenagers after smoking a new synthetic cannabinoid referred to as XLR-11.

Spice overdose death rate

Fatalities, reported mainly as suicides, have been reported after use of a large mount of Spice, which is related to the psychotic episodes as overdose side effects. However, it is difficult to mortality rates related to Spice overdose simply because drug tests to recognize active psychoactive agents are not currently used in medical emergency room practice. However, suicidal behaviors and extreme violence are the most common fatalities after Spice use.

Spice overdose amount questions

Numbers of emergency room visits due to Spice overdose are up to 2000 patients a year nationwide in the U.S. The widespread availability of new varieties of synthetic cannabinoids makes the risk of future overdose more likely, as does slow government response to the epidemic.

Do you still have questions about Spice overdose or finding help for Spice addiction? In case we haven’t answered you, please feel free to post your specific Spice question in the following section. We will do our best in providing you with a prompt and personal answer.

Reference sources: ToxNet: Hazardous Substances Data Bank: Cannabicyclohexanol
FBI: Synthetic Marijuana
National Institute on Drug Abuse: Spice (synthetic marijuana)
About the author
Lee Weber is a published author, medical writer, and woman in long-term recovery from addiction. Her latest book, The Definitive Guide to Addiction Interventions is set to reach university bookstores in early 2019.


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  1. My 15-year-old son is allowed to do drugs at his dad’s house, and we have split custody. I wanted to know if bleeding gums and excessive nosebleeds are a symptom of Spice? The nose bleeds have only happened a couple of times but were huge and long as far as nose bleeds go.
    He was with a using friend the day before yesterday and then yesterday was angry, saying he wanted to be alone, trying to get me to leave the house, really agitated almost to the point of tears. Would this be normal “day after” behavior?
    Also when he is at his dad’s he misses school for 2 days at a time because of throwing up. Could this be from using really high amounts of Spice?
    I want to have him tested locally. He is already in the court system for making pot cookies at his fathers and distributing them at school. At least one of the children that ate them became ill. Because he is in the court system the County’s Intervention program refuses to test him for me. I have called the City Police to ask for suggestions on getting him to be drug tested for Spice, but they didn’t know either. I don’t have the money to buy tests.
    His father is very good at lying, so trying to get the custody court to do something is useless. They just granted him this 50/50 visitation about a year and a half ago. His father only did it to lower the child support and has thought our son was old enough to be unsupervised since he was eight.
    If anyone has answers to even one of my questions, I would be grateful. If you are a Spice user, I won’t judge you and would really appreciate your input. Thank you for being here.

    1. Hi Sad Mom. I suggest that you hire a lawyer in order to file for a sole custody. Also, consult with a social worker to give you some advice on how to proceed further in your case.

    1. Hi Cheryl. Currently, there is no antidote for Spice overdose, and clinical care typically only includes symptom management.

  2. I am interested in knowing what the average cost is for treating a SPICE/K2 overdose in the Emergency Room.

  3. My brother is highly addicted to Spice. He has been for years. He started using it because he needed a job but didn’t want to give up smoking marijuana, & spice wasn’t detected in urine. Now, that’s all he does, literally all day. He is a completely different person & refuses to get help. I’ve tried everything I could, but California laws do not let me admit him into a rehabilitation center unless he chooses to do it himself, which he won’t because he doesn’t think he has a problem. He has overdosed a few times with seizures & episodes in front of younger siblings. My question is: does anyone know golf a way to force help on someone? Even when they refuse it? Police & Hospitals have done nothing for me… and I just want my little brother back.

    1. Hi Big Sister. I suggest you try staging an intervention with a professional. Search for an addiction interventionist in your area. Here are some useful links:

      Also, take a look into the CRAFT model for families and interventions. One NGO called Allies in Recovery has some online reading that can help: http://alliesinrecovery.net/about-craft/

  4. I smoked a lot of k2 in the past I even o.d. Once it’s been almost 8 months since I last smoke and I will never do it again. I have memory lost real bad. My question is will my memory ever get better?

  5. My brother died last night from a spice overdose. Spice Kills! There were 7 people in the ER overdosed from spice when they took me to view my brother. 2 others also died before the night was over. He died getting high less than a block from his home! If you want to Die use Spice!

  6. Spice will kill you period!

    You are surely on the right path if you want to die

    Have you ever thought about what it will do to the people that love?

    Stop please

  7. Why did the spice from early 2000’s did not effect people like how it does now before they banned it from it being legal is because it was just thc oils involved and why the big change after it was banned.

  8. My son swallowed numerous balloons filled with k2 is now on a ventalater what can I expect to happen he was rushed to hospital with respiratory distress

  9. Hello,
    I explain quickly my story and after that I ask you some questions, i hope that you can give me answers.

    So, my name is Vincent I’m 20 years old today, I’m french student in music. In fact, I smoked K2 3-4 times, but I suspect that I was do a overdose with this product. Now, I have depersonalization disorder, I am follow by one psychiatrist. At the beginning I took aplorazolam which are benzobiadepine and I took Omega-3 and i waiting to be cured, but it´s difficult to live my Life because of the symptoms. In France it´s difficult to have good answers about this subject because this drugs are not realy knows that why I hope that you can give me answers which can be good to me!

    Now, questions Time:
    How to cure depersonalization from K2? Like over depersonalization from other reason? (so follow psychotherapy? Take benzobiadepine?).
    It´s possible to get better and get over this disorder?
    Overdose with k2 it´s aggraver factor for depersonalization?
    Which are the best therapies to get over this disorder?

    I hope you can give me answers and thanks for your help!
    And i am so sorry about my English which is so poor.
    Thank you!

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