Consuming too much marijuana can leave you feeling less than great. Here’s how to come back down from a high that’s too intense.
Used for recreational or medical purposes, marijuana contains compounds that interact with the body’s native system to elicit effects.
The euphoric feelings generated by marijuana are due to THC, or tetrahydrocannabinol, the major cannabinoid that binds with the endocannabinoid system’s CB1 receptor to stimulate the brain’s reward system. These euphoric effects, depending on how much you consume, can last for 1-3 hours and in most cases are considered a pleasurable experience.
Beginners and even those experienced with using marijuana can in the rare cases find themselves having consumed a bit too much THC. While having too much THC is an uncomfortable experience that can include rapid heart rate, paranoia and a general feeling of discomfort, it’s important to remember that no one has ever died from a THC overdose. Over a period of minutes or hours, you will start to feel back to normal.
If in the rare case you do consume too much THC, here are eight ways you can come down more quickly.
Take Deep Breaths
If your heart is racing, focused deep breathing can help bring your heart rate down by delivering more oxygen to your bloodstream.
Take deep breaths for at least one minute, inhaling slowly through the nose and exhaling slowly out your mouth, all the while reminding yourself that you’re not in any serious danger and are going to be fine. As unpleasant as getting too high can feel, patience and taking steps to relax can help you ride out the uncomfortable period.
Drinking water is another one of the most effective ways that people have found helps manage a high that’s too intense.
Drinking cold water increases your blood volume, which in turn makes it easier for your heart to pump blood throughout your body and slow your heart rate. More blood circulating will also help flush THC out of your system more quickly. Staying hydrated is also a good idea if you experience dry mouth and dry eyes, two common side effects of medical marijuana.
Consume Lemon or Pepper
Both lemon and pepper contain terpenes that have been found to be beneficial for mitigating the anxious or paranoid feelings associated with too much THC.
Lemon contains limonene, a terpene that modulates THC’s effects on the brain. Fresh squeezed lemonade with the peel tossed in should help. You can also squeeze juice from a fresh lemon, add a little zest of the peel, and a teaspoon or so of sugar.
Black pepper contains beta-caryophyllee, a terpene that’s specifically cited for its ability to combat THC’s euphoric effects. Many people have found chewing two or three peppercorn pieces helps. For quicker effects, smash or grind a few fresh peppercorns and inhale the pepper dust through your nose.
Doing something else so that you’re not focusing on feeling uncomfortable is a technique that’s common for managing too much THC. You could listen to some music, watch a movie, do a puzzle, play a video game, or call up a friend and have a conversation.
You may need to do some experimenting before determining which sorts of activities will distract and calm you. Some intense music or moves, for example, can make you more anxious and paranoid.
Get Some Sleep
Some medical marijuana consumers have found that lying down and closing their eyes can help them stay calm during a too-intense high.
If your heart has stopped racing and yet you’re still feeling slightly uncomfortable, see if you can calm yourself down enough to fall asleep. When you wake from your nap, the high from THC will likely have alleviated.
Go for a Walk
If you’re unable to relax enough to sleep or distract yourself, fresh air and exercise may help invigorate you.
Keep in mind that you’ll only want to go out for a walk if you live in a quiet area where you can safely walk around while feeling anxious and paranoid. It’s not a good idea to go for a walk if you’re feeling too light-headed or woozy.
Take a Cold Shower
In some cases, a cold shower or bath can provide a shock to your system that can snap you out of your anxious state and help you come down from your high relatively quickly.
If you’re at a friend’s home and taking a shower isn’t an option, try splashing a bit of cold water on your face to help you feel refreshed and reinvigorated.
Try Some CBD
CBD, the non-psychoactive cannabinoid found in cannabis, has been found to counteract the effects of THC by blocking the CB1 receptors in the brain. By blocking the receptors, CBD suppresses the effects of THC and may help make you feel better.
Try some hemp-derived CBD oil or a cannabis strain that’s high in CBD. For quick effects, trying vaping CBD or take a few drops of a CBD tincture under the tongue.
Learn More About Marijuana
With medical marijuana now legal in nearly 30 U.S. states, many are looking to discover more information about its effects and how to legally obtain it. Visit our Cannabis 101 page to learn even more about the basics of medical marijuana and its compounds.