Even the most experienced cannabis users have a story about that time they overindulged and frantically tried to figure out how to sober up from weed. Although marijuana has numerous potential therapeutic applications, including reducing anxiety, any consumer can accidentally use too much and find themselves trapped in a whirlwind of paranoia.
The Reality of Overconsumption
Thankfully, there have been no known cases of fatal marijuana overdoses. So, despite feeling like you might not make it, rest assured that you will live to tell the tale. The ever-resourceful cannabis community has come up with some valuable tips for calming down after an intense marijuana experience. If you find yourself overwhelmed by flower, edibles, or concentrates, consider these quick and easy suggestions to help you regain your composure.
Safe Methods to Counteract Cannabis Overdose
Surprisingly, the common kitchen ingredient used to season your meals can also help reduce your high. Black peppercorn has been proven to provide almost instant relief for those struggling with cannabis-induced paranoia or anxiety. You can chew on a few whole black peppercorns, sprinkle ground pepper on your food, or carefully sniff some ground black pepper.
The reason pepper is effective relates to terpenes. A 2011 review published in the British Journal of Pharmacology discovered a connection between the chemical traits of cannabis and black pepper. The author, Dr. Ethan Russo, explained that terpenes like beta-caryophyllene found in peppercorn can help “tame the intoxicating effects of THC.” Beta-caryophyllene and THC bind to the same cannabinoid receptors, with the former blocking the receptor and preventing THC from attaching, thus reducing its effects.
Decades of research show that cannabidiol (CBD), a non-intoxicating cannabinoid found in the cannabis plant, can diminish THC-induced anxiety and paranoia. Studies have demonstrated that CBD may help balance the intoxicating effects of THC, allowing users to mellow out their high. Choosing high-CBD strains or products with a balance of CBD and THC can also help prevent getting too high in the first place.
Staying Hydrated and Snacking
Drinking water is not only good for your health but also for calming down after consuming too much cannabis. Hydration may help you relax, and focusing on the simple act of sipping and swallowing can be a helpful distraction if your thoughts are racing. Eating a snack and drinking fruit juices, like orange juice, can also provide relief, but be cautious about the type of juice you choose since mangoes contain myrcene, which can enhance and prolong THC’s effects.
Common anti-inflammatory drugs, such as ibuprofen, can help lessen marijuana’s high. An over-the-counter solution like ibuprofen can be an effective method to sober up. In a 2013 animal study conducted by researchers from Louisiana State University’s School of Medicine, it was found that certain types of anti-inflammatory medication could counteract the stoned effect of cannabis and reduce negative effects on cognition.
Terpenes, the aromatic oils responsible for each cannabis plant’s distinct smell, flavor, and effects, play a significant role in how our bodies respond to cannabis. Limonene, a citrusy terpene found in the rinds of citrus fruits and some cannabis strains, has been shown to reduce anxiety. A 2012 study published in Brain Research discovered that limonene produced anxiety-reducing effects, making it a potential treatment for cannabis-induced anxiety. Squeeze a lemon to release its scent, and inhale its calming properties.
Deep Breathing and Comfort
Sometimes, all you need to dissipate a bad cannabis high is a meditative approach in a comfortable and familiar setting. If your heart is racing or you feel an anxiety attack coming on, lie down and take slow, deep breaths. Remind yourself that everything will be okay.
Reaching Out to a Friend
There are times when you can’t convince yourself that everything is going to be fine. In these situations, calling a friend to offer reassurance can be helpful. Plus, your friend might find your stoned state entertaining.
Distract yourself from cannabis-induced anxiety by going for a walk, listening to your favorite music, watching a TV show, or engaging in a calming activity like coloring. Shifting your focus from your high to an enjoyable task can help you stay grounded and pass the time more comfortably.
Showers and Baths
The soothing sensation of water on your body can transform a bad high into a pleasant experience. Showers and baths can serve as a form of mental hydration, washing away the effects of excessive THC consumption. Even splashing cold water on your face can help calm you, decrease your heart rate, and ease your mind.
Final Thoughts and Precautions
Once you’ve returned to a more manageable state, make a note of the amount and type of cannabis you consumed to better moderate your intake in the future. By following these tips and practicing moderation, you can enjoy your cannabis experiences without the fear of overdoing it.
- Can I overdose on marijuana? While there have been no recorded cases of fatal marijuana overdoses, it is still possible to consume too much and experience uncomfortable side effects like anxiety and paranoia.
- How can I prevent getting too high? Start with a low dose and gradually increase it as needed. Consider using high-CBD strains or products with a balance of CBD and THC to avoid getting too high.
- How long does it take to sober up from cannabis? The duration of a cannabis high depends on factors like the individual’s metabolism, tolerance, and the method of consumption. It can range from a few hours to more than 12 hours for some edibles.
- Are there any natural remedies to counteract a cannabis high? Yes, natural remedies like black peppercorn, citrusy lemons, and deep breathing can help counteract a cannabis high.
- Can medication help with cannabis-induced anxiety? Over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medications like ibuprofen have been shown to help reduce cannabis-induced anxiety and the overall intensity of the high.