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How Much Is Too Much Marijuana? An RN’s Perspective 

By Lanny Swerdlow
January 30, 2023

Exactly how much is too much marijuana?

America’s hysterical drug warriors’ denunciation of any cannabis consumption always cites the nonsense that THC concentrations are way higher today in comparison to cannabis 20 years ago. They do this not to just make taxpayers feel it is good that they are fleeced for $20 billion a year so they can say it with government authority, but to make cannabis consumers look like evil crazed stoners puffing away at cannabis so powerful that it kills your brain cells and drives you mad!!!!!

Regardless of their fear tactics, how much is too much marijuana is a fair question.  How do you determine what is the right amount of cannabis to consume whether it be for facilitating a good night’s sleep, relieving pain, alleviating depression or as an alternative to other drugs and alcohol?

Looking at how doctors prescribe medications can be instructive.

Prescriptions usually have directions on how to take and how much to take. Antibiotics and many other drugs are “take-as-directed” in which the doctor prescribes a specific number of pills to be taken at prescribe intervals until all are consumed.

Pain medications and some anti-depressants are often dispensed “p.r.n.”—medical lingo for “take-as-needed.” That doesn’t mean you can take them whenever you want or as much as you want. Most p.r.n. medications have quantity and time limit restrictions such as take one pill every four hours as needed for pain.

If you have pain four hours or more after you took one of the pills then it is OK to take another, but for safety reasons, you must wait at least four hours before taking another pill even if the pain continues and is not abated. Further, you don’t take all the pills unless you need to and how long they will
last depends on how often you need to take them.

Ad libre or “take freely” is a medical term seldom seen as there is not a single medication that you can truly “take freely."  Even vitamins cannot be taken freely.

Cannabis is the only therapeutic substance so safe you can take ad libre to alleviate whatever debilitating symptoms you are experiencing or euphoric state you are seeking.

Physically impossible to fatally overdose, each person has their own unique cannabinoid intake requirements for producing the sought after results from cannabis ingestion.

How do you determine what your requirements are?

Simple—you use as much as you want to achieve whatever therapeutic benefits you are seeking—whether it's pain relief, a good night’s sleep, or to facilitate socialization.

There is a caution here, especially for beginners, which has to do with ingesting cannabis through edibles. It is the same cannabis you smoke, but because it is hard to determine concentrations and portions as well as the 30 minute delay or longer before its effects are felt, you may become uncomfortable if you consume too much. Your health will not be severely endangered but it is not a fun experience.  Click here for things to do to combat the symptoms of eating too much marijuana.

With that one proviso, the amount of cannabis to be used to reach “nirvana” whether it be for relief of pain, a good night’s sleep or a euphoric state of sublime pleasure, is dependent on your own needs and tolerances at the moment you are using the cannabis. Some days you will need a lot, others very little, if any at all.

The only real concern about the amount of cannabis to consume is no matter how much you consume, you can only obtain so much relief and get so high. Once you get there, if you consume more, all you are doing is wasting good pot!

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About the author

Lanny Swerdlow, RN, LNC is host of the Internet radio show Marijuana Compassion & Common Sense and founder of the Marijuana Anti Prohibition Project and the Brownie Mary Democratic Club. Contact him at

  • As a happily retired registered nurse I love this article! This has been a question we have asked ourselves since COVID started. We started growing our own. And smoking our own exclusively (if you have the means go for it as home grown is heads and shoulders above even top shelf for quality and way cheaper to do it yourself after the initial output of cost to get tent, lights, etc if growing indoors and cheaper to do outdoors.) Now that we are ‘flush’ with half gallon jars of good cannabis, we find ourselves asking, “are we using too much?” Well, PTSD held at bay, chronic nausea abated, chronic pain is better managed, we have never slept better, and loads of sex. Yet, in spite of using daily and through out the day I run upwards of 10 miles and hit the gym hard three days a week and look amazing, feel amazing mentally and physically and attribute it to the cannabis. A friend tried to tell me it can cause permanent brain damage. I told her if this is brain damage I will take it as it is way better than PTSD and pain.

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