We’ve all been there – you took too many hits of a joint or vape pen or grew impatient waiting for an edible to kick in, so you ate more, then suddenly, you’re slammed with waves of anxiety and paranoia. You’re sweating and a little dizzy, then you begin to panic. What’s going on? Why do you feel like this? Is something wrong? Are you dying? Then you remember about the edible or joint and realize, no, you aren’t dying. You’re just too high on cannabis.
While cannabis is loaded with health benefits, and when dosed appropriately, the psychoactive effects can inspire euphoric feelings, too much can be overwhelming, to say the least. Like many things, moderation is essential when it comes to cannabis. But accidents happen, and proper dosage can be tricky to figure out, especially with edibles which can take up to 2 hours to kick in. Thankfully, there are some things you can do to calm yourself if you find yourself too high.
You Will Be Just Fine
The first thing to remember when you get too high is that while you may not feel like it at the moment, you will be okay. Everything you’re feeling is temporary. Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the compound in cannabis responsible for what you’re feeling, binds with the CB1 receptors in your endocannabinoid system, which is mostly in your brain.
This means all the unpleasant sensations that come from being too high are created by your brain. In other words, it’s all in your head. Often, just knowing that can help give you a better sense of control over your experience. Especially since there are zero reported deaths caused by cannabis overdose, and research continually shows that it is not possible to die from consuming too much THC.
Drink Some Water
The human body loves water, and hydrating is one of the easiest ways to help you sober up by flushing your system. Water also helps with some of the less desirable physical effects of cannabis, like a cotton mouth. While water is ideal, any beverage should help if it doesn’t have caffeine, as caffeine has a dehydrating effect.
Chew Black Pepper, Yes Really
This one may sound strange, but many people swear by the effects of chewing on some black peppercorns to combat anxiety or paranoia. While the results haven’t been scientifically proven, there is reason to believe they’re real. It appears that black pepper appears to have many of the same terpenes found in several cannabis strains, which could contribute to the grounding effects people report feeling almost instantaneously.
The best way to grow paranoia is by focusing on it, which creates negative thought spirals that can exacerbate your experience. This is why it’s better to distract your mind, preferably with a calming activity. Going for a walk is a fantastic way to refocus your attention if the weather permits. After all, nature does wonders for our mental health. If the weather is less than enticing, you can always watch TV or play a video game. Taking a shower is also a wonderful option.
Find a Calming and Quiet Space
Sometimes there’s nothing more difficult than trying to have a conversation when while being too high. People, sounds, and surroundings can exacerbate stress and anxiety. This is why finding somewhere comforting and quiet to ride out your high can do wonders by limiting external stimulations.
Once alone, try closing your eyes and focusing on your breath. Breathe through your nose and exhale slowly through your mouth; in a few short minutes, you should be sweating less, your anxiety should be calming, and your heart rate should become steady.
Counter Act with CBD
This one may seem counterintuitive but trust us. See, as we mentioned before, THC is the cannabinoid responsible for the psychoactive effects of cannabis. In other words, too much THC is responsible for feeling too high. But cannabidiol (CBD) is a different cannabinoid that doesn’t get you high no matter how much you consume. Research repeatedly shows that CBD can help decrease anxiety levels, which can counteract a bad high. If anything, CBD will make you feel sleepy, which brings us to our last tip.
Sleep it Off
Sleep is powerfully healing; while we may not be consciously aware of it, our bodies are busy while we slumber. So, if all else fails, sleep it off. If you can manage to fall asleep, then you’ll sleep right through your high. When you wake up, you’ll feel rested and normal again, unlike alcohol which leaves you with a wicked hangover the next day.
Obviously, we’re big fans of cannabis here at Greeley Gallery. As a medicinal and recreational cannabis dispensary, we celebrate the growing list of marijuana’s health benefits while enjoying its psychoactive effects. However, it is possible to have too much of a good thing which is why we at Greeley Gallery highly recommend starting low and going slow when figuring out proper dosages. Be sure to read the labels because not all cannabis products have the same potency.
We invite you to stop into our recreational and medicinal cannabis dispensary in north Portland any day of the week between 7am and 10pm. You will always find high-quality and locally produced cannabis products you can trust. And, of course, our friendly and knowledgeable staff is always happy to answer any questions you may have.
Written by: Katrina Paulson