How to

18 March 2019

What to do when you get too high?

7 tips to reduce the negative side effects of cannabis

By Mell Green

Cannabis feels amazing in the right doses. However, some people may feel paranoid, anxious, or cloudy after they consume too much. In those moments, your head can be a scary place. And the bad news is, once THC enters the system, there isn’t much you can do except ride it out until side effects subside, which often makes for an uncomfortable experience.

The good news is, it’s all in your head: there has never been a death caused by a cannabis overdose, and medically speaking, it can’t kill you either. Though taking too much can temporarily spike your heart rate, cannabis won’t cause damage to your heart, liver, kidneys, or even your (adult) brain. Really, the most that it’ll do to you is make you feel extra anxious. So, what do you do when you’ve smoked or ingested too much? And, just how do you steer clear of making the same mistake in the future? Here are a few helpful tips to keep in mind for your next cannabis experience.

How can I tell if I’m too high?

Oh, you’ll know. Cannabis is a remarkably non-toxic substance and can produce amazing results like relaxation and relief from anxiety. But, as mentioned earlier, too much of the herb can cause you to experience the exact opposite of those things if you receive more than your normal intake of THC, especially if inexperienced. You may green out, feel anxious, paranoid, nauseous, or dizzy, get the shakes or, like some studies suggest, even psychosis.

If you experience any of these unpleasant cannabis-related effects, you can implement ways to reduce a high and come back down when you’re feeling uncomfortable or overwhelmed from excessive cannabis consumption. Below are several ways to alleviate your high:

Tip 1: Keep calm and carry on

The pressing thought about how high you are will do nothing but worsen feelings of anxiety. Try a few breathing exercises by taking deep breaths in through your nose and slowly exhaling out of your mouth, and know that this feeling will pass soon. The point is to calm your mind as much as possible. Your body will follow suit.

Breath and relax. Photo by Tina Leggio

Tip 2: Take CBD

Although THC does have therapeutic effects, for a lot of individuals, the anxiety-fighting compounds of CBD may be able to help diminish anxiety and the paranoia from cannabis overconsumption. CBD turns down the volume of THC activation not by reducing CB1 activation, but acting as a moderate 5-HT1A receptor agonist (serotonin), thus, helping to minimize anxiety.

Tip 3: Eat pepper

Black pepper contains a powerful terpene named beta-caryophyllene, which partly blocks your receptors from the effects of THC, and will help bring you back down to earth by providing a calming effect. Although distasteful, chewing on some black peppercorns or even carefully sniffing them could give you almost instant relief.

Eat some black pepper corns to reduce your high. Photo By PublicDomainPictures

Tip 4: Drink lots of water

Staying hydrated is the key to detoxifying the body. Not only does water carry nutrients to our cells, but it helps flush out whatever needs to go. Being dehydrated causes 80% of the body’s heat loss, perhaps a cold glass of water will keep you cool and help you relax.

Tip 5: No Googling

At times, Dr. Google can be a big help when we need him. But, whatever you do, do not search, “help, I got too high”. The Internet is full of fear-mongering forums featuring stories that are less than helpful and most likely won’t make you feel better in the moment.

Tip 6: Take a nap

With a nap, time just might feel like it’s going by a little faster. Naps are proven to help ease stress and can significantly reduce feelings of anxiety, so taking one might make you wake up feeling like a whole new person.

Tip 7: Get active

This may be the thing you feel like doing, but we’re not suggesting that you run a marathon by any means. By doing activities like stretching, taking a walk around the block, or even doing a DIY project, endorphins are released in the brain and can work wonders for the mind as well as reduce stress.

Yoga is a perfect way to activate your body and relax your mind. Photo By Form@theformfitness

Keep in mind

We know, being too stoned isn’t always fun, especially when in public or around strangers. But, one unpleasant experience doesn’t mean you’re always going to have bad episodes. It just means you need to surveil your dose or strain next time. Reversing your high may not be possible. However, bad episodes are mostly preventable by following these tips.

With cannabis, there’s one important rule to always follow: start small and slowly build.

Post author
Mell Green
Mell Green is an enthusiast of all things cannabis and writes content that represents some of the best things that we as a people can strive for: good health and happiness.
See more from Mell Green

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