What To Do If You Get Too High

By Docta · Apr 24, 2018 · ·
  1. Docta
    cannabis-2273796_960_720.png The first time I had a weed brownie, I ate way too much. Someone told me to just have half, and, like the idiot novice I was, I stuffed the entire thing in my mouth. It kicked in an hour or so later, when I found myself running through a Brooklyn park thinking I was being chased by evil fairies. Then, I went home, considered calling 911, made my roommate babysit me instead, spilled water in my bed and spent the whole night dreaming I was on a boat. I was fine in the morning.

    Weed is wonderful in the right doses, but too much can amplify your anxiety, make you feel paranoid, and all-around freak you out. The good news is, it's mostly in your head: no one's ever died of a cannabis overdose, and medically, you can't. As the National Cancer Institute points out, "Because cannabinoid receptors, unlike opioid receptors, are not located in the brainstem areas controlling respiration, lethal overdoses from Cannabis and cannabinoids do not occur." Cannabis won't permanently damage your liver, kidneys, or even your brain, and though taking too much can temporarily kick up your heart rate, the most that will do to you is make you feel extra nervous.

    That being said, your head can be a scary place. And the bad news is, once THC gets into your system, there's not much you can do but ride it out, which often makes for an uncomfortable experience. So what do you do when you've accidentally smoked or ingested too much? And how do you steel yourself from making the same mistake in the future? Here are some tips.

    Preparation is the best policy

    Obviously, the best way to deal with being too high is to avoid getting there in the first place. If you've got a low tolerance level or are new to edibles, for instance, try a small dose (Leafly recommends 10 mg, though if you're really new, you'll probably want to ingest even less, something closer to 5mg or 2.5mg). If you don't know how much weed is in what you're eating, either skip the edible or take a small piece (half a gummy bear, a quarter of a brownie, half a firecracker, etc.) and wait an hour or two before taking more, if you think it's not enough. Don't be Maureen Dowd.

    It's also a good idea to set up a safe, comfortable space for yourself before getting high. Be with people you like and trust, and maybe avoid big crowds if you think they will stress you out. "By being stimulated or in an active environment, if you're someone with the tendency to feel paranoid or anxious, those feelings will worsen," Dr. James Lathrop, a doctor of nursing practice who runs Seattle pot shop Cannabis City, tells us. He suggests making sure you have a quiet place to rest in case the high is too much for you. "The best thing to do if it gets too intense is to lay down, and hopefully to lay down in a familiar situation," he says. "If you're going to take high doses of marijuana, don't plan to be at a club or a movie or out."

    And the best thing to have on hand before experimenting with edibles is cannabidiol, or CBD. "The best reversal for the unpleasant side effects of too much THC is CBD," Dr. Joe Cohen, a holistic doctor of cannabis medicine who runs Holos Health in Denver, Colorado, tells us in an email. "We always recommend our patients keep on hand a very fast acting CBD product like our Holos Hemp CBD tincture which will hit the bloodstream in about 3 minutes and start lessening the effects of intoxication from THC. You will still have all the benefits of the THC you consumed but less impairment."

    Lathrop concurs. "If you were planning to take a large dose of THC, you'll have a more enjoyable experience with CBD," he says. "That CBD will calm down some of that anxiety and paranoia."

    Of course, if you've eaten a whole weed brownie, you don't have any CBD on you, and suddenly your heart rate's sped up and you can't feel your face, all of the above advice is out the window. In that case:

    Don't freak out

    The single most important thing to remember when you're too high is that You. Will. Not. Die. "People think they're going to die, and there are cases documented online where people think they have died and they call 911 and say, I'm dead," Lathrop says. But they are not. "No one has died of a marijuana overdose. You're not going to be the first one," he says.

    Sometimes, people get especially stressed right before they have peaked, because they have no idea how much they have ingested or how high they're going to get eventually. But even if you've got a real blast of THC working its way through your bloodstream, it will find its way out, usually within 24 hours. You might feel like you'll never be normal again, like you've screwed something up within your very unique body chemistry and now you'll have to spend the rest of your time on earth with a permanently broken mind, but you will not.

    "The reality is, it's happened to a million people a million times. It's not the end of the world," Todd Statzer, the director of Integrated Pest Management at Colorado-based Urban-Gro, tells us. "Physically, it's not going to hurt you. It may make you feel paranoid, but if you sit back, relax, within a couple hours it goes away."

    Do not Google, "Help I got too high"

    Though there's a good chance you've gotten to this article doing just that, and while I am a calm voice of reason, the Internet is full of fear-mongering forums featuring brutal tales about people who got so high they tried to pluck their eyes out. These stories are not helpful and they will not make you feel better in the moment, though you will enjoy laughing at them later when you are sober.

    Ask your friends to talk you through it, but do not listen to them if they egg you on

    When the voice in your head is too high to tell you to chill, it is useful to have a friend or two confirm that you will be just fine in the near future. But if the people you turn to are the kind who think it's funny to harsh your mellow, ignore them. "What I've noticed is, a lot of times [freaking out] is that peer pressure, like, 'Oh, you're in big trouble now,' Statzer says. "People around you need to remind you to let it ride the wave."

    Try to lessen the high

    Though CBD oil is the best home remedy for an intense high, there are some other methods you can try to bring yourself back to earth a little faster. "For some reason, taking a shower will help decrease the effect," Statzer says. "The other thing you can do is take a couple teaspoons of sugar and put in a glass of water. The sugar actually helps counteract the THC."

    Statzer also thinks it's helpful to eat some food. "As you eat things, especially with an edible, that's going to put more things through your liver and kidneys, and then that helps process that THC through your system," he says.

    Some other suggestions sourced from friends and strangers on the Internet include: 1) exercising, 2) drinking lots of water, and 3) taking a whiff of black pepper, whose properties bind to the same receptors in your brain as cannabis and when ingested/inhaled together, can create a calming effect.

    Distract yourself

    I've found, from personal experience, that the more time I spend alone with my weed brain thoughts, the more anxious I get. This is apparently fairly common, and if you too find your own stoned head too stressful, it's a good idea to find a distraction to carry you through the worst of the high. "It's about making yourself relax, either through putting on music, or something you find either soothing or that fully engages your mind," Statzer says. "It is going to take a while to go through your system."

    The things that chill you out might not be the same things that chill me out, but I've found it very calming to watch gentle comedies, like Arrested Development and Family Guy, especially if I've seen the episodes a bunch of times and won't get stressed over the ending. My friend and I also once watched nearly an entire season of Kid Nation, a rather misguided 2007 CBS reality show that dropped a bunch of kids in a ghost town in New Mexico and forced them to create a viable society. We found it very enjoyable.

    Go to bed

    When all else fails, the number one way to ride out an intense high is in your sleep. "The best thing to do, and what people should be prepared to do, is to go to bed," Lathrop says. "Turn the lights down, maybe put on some mellow music and go to sleep." This is, of course, why it's best to take edibles or smoke heavily in a place where your bed is easily accessible, but really, any couch, bed, or hard wooden floor will do. "You really just want to sleep it off," Lathrop says. Then, when you wake up, you'll be nice and mellow, and ready to f--- that up all over again.

    Original Source

    Written by: Rebecca Fishbein, Apr 21, 2018, Lifehacker International

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Recent User Reviews

  1. krispy
    "Recent increase of ER cannabis "crisis" events.."
    5/5, 5 out of 5, reviewed Jun 20, 2018
    Greetings, and admiration on your factual/sensible post.

    I've encountered a number of news reports regarding the "new" detriments occurring within decriminalized states, such as younger/less-experienced consumers being assisted by friends to Emergency Rooms for their "end of the world" crises. These events were only made pseudo-headline in obscure anti-cannabis reports.

    These reports were earlier on in decriminalization...last ditch effort to halt Jazz Clubs, and reinvigorate the Harrison Act? I am not being facetious, as I think that's what it amounted to.

    When I read this article, I decided to simply searched for those initial scare-tactic AND actual medical reports, and post a couple of recent links of the issue. But but surprisingly to me, the scary news reports were not showing up, medical professionals were essentially casual in how they treat such scenarios (benzodiazepines or anti-psychotics, and problem solved. Who would have guessed?)

    In these searches were replaced (recent) articles of a most significant decline in opioid abuse, proportional to access to cannabis. Now imagine that! John Boehner can do a 180*, now a proponent of cannabis, so sky is not even a limit. :)

    The "overdose" accounts mentioned were attributed to edibles. As we know they don’t take effect immediately, so often people were impatient 30 minutes later and grabbing a handful. Ruh roh!

    Best regards,



  1. tweakette
    Actually, there has been been a few deaths from cannibas allergy. There’s always someone somewhere that it allergic to just about anything.
      Docta likes this.
  2. Cid Lysergic
    My method which I tell others is to munch out. Eat ALOT of junk food if your too high. This will cause a spike in your insulin which will result in an "insulin shock" causing you too get very sleepy fast. Once asleep, time does the rest of the work.
      nachofish likes this.
  3. PastorFuzz
    Interesting article. I can see how snorting a line of black pepper might distract a person from the discomfort of being too high; kinda like being gored by a bull might distract a person from the discomfort of an ingrown toenail :)
  4. Zontar
    I have actually gotten way too high from smoking some really good weed. I had been smoking some pretty bad ditch weed and finally found some quality, but after one hit it sent me reeling with all the anxiety and rapid heartbeats from overdosing on an edible. Fortunately since I smoked it, it ran itself out pretty quickly. But that half hour was terrible.
  5. Trancel0v3r
    The second time I consumed edibles I started to freak out at the T+ 1:00 hour mark when I couldn't type as the keys were dancing around the keyboard and I realized I had another couple of hours before peaking.

    The main thing that bothered me was how high I was already at the 60 minute point compared to the same time I had previously consumed cannabis orally when I barely felt anything until 90 minutes.

    I ended up going and laying down in bed, because in all honesty it soon became clear that that was all I was capable of doing....

    Throughout the next few hours I experienced:

    Strong CEV's - I distinctly remember mario like figures running and jumping over stuff just like in the game
    Mild OEV's - Colours, orange and purple mostly, swirling on the white painted bedroom ceiling
    Audio hallucinations - such as cymbals crashing repeatedly and hearing my mothers bicycle bell about a dozen times (I was expecting her back but she only rings once)
    My bedroom throughout all this was barely recognizable, not through visuals but it just seemed foreign and alien.
    When mum did get back her facial features were greatly exaggerated in a comical and highly creepy way.

    I fell asleep and felt pretty high most of the next day, mainly just spaced out but not trippy. Finally felt normal 48 hours after I had ingested.

    I did at times panic due to my thoughts running at a million miles per hour. I couldn't control them and they went something like this.....

    I would think of an object and what colour and size it was, and all the possible sizes, shapes and materials it could be made of, and that these amounted to a huge number of possibilities. I then thought of all the other objects there are, man made and natural things like trees and lakes, and how many things there are in the world and the almost infinate number of these things if they were all different shapes, sizes colours and compositions and so on. This really freaked me out because the same thoughts kept repeating over and over incredibly fast and I couldn't control any of it.

    All in all a lesson learnt and im still here....
  6. chacow
    I used it, it was all my hair that made me very finicky, it made the whole World knowledge world become brighter, I did not have to drink, we got drunk.
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