Whether you are a seasoned consumer or new to the game, you or someone you know may have stories of a time when things went a little farther than expected. Unfortunately, THC overconsumption is not uncommon, especially with the growing popularity of high-potency strains. Unless you “start low and go slow,” consuming too much THC can sometimes be too easy to accomplish.
Common side effects can include paranoia, anxiety, nausea, dizziness, dry mouth, racing thoughts, increased heart rate, and hallucinations. While feeling too high is unpleasant for most people, there are ways in which you can decrease the effects and help manage any negative feelings.
Before you smoke, we recommend you have some CBD on hand. Gummies, tinctures, capsules, you name it—this is going to be your best friend if you feel you’ve made it to the point of no return. You can take CBD before or after consumption. In addition, pre-gaming with CBD will help slow the onset of any psychoactive effects, allowing you to pinpoint your dosing limits or needs more accurately.
CBD works with the endocannabinoid system—the same system that has you high in the first place—and counteracts the psychoactive effects of THC. The endocannabinoid system will produce the entourage effect by combining both THC and CBD. Instead of isolating the psychoactive elements of THC only, the entourage effect exposes you to the full medicinal benefits of the plant. In turn, any sense of anxiety will mellow out.
If you feel you are too high and you don’t have any CBD available, there are other things you can do to make yourself more comfortable.
First, and most importantly, try to relax. A primary response to being too high can be anxiety or panic. Instead, do your best to take deep, controlled breaths. Remember, the feeling is only temporary and will eventually pass. Other things that may help you relax are talking to a friend, going to sleep, doing something you enjoy, or taking a shower.
Going for a walk or doing light exercise can also help. Physical activity increases blood flow which will help your body metabolize THC much faster. However, suppose you feel your heart racing or experience difficulty breathing (likely from increased anxiety). In that case, this option may not be the best choice. Be sure to do whatever feels most comfortable for your situation.
Check the Kitchen
Believe it or not, many everyday kitchen items can help ease the adverse side effects you are experiencing from consuming too much THC.
It is essential to stay hydrated whenever you consume cannabis. Grab a glass of cold water or juice, but stay away from caffeinated and alcoholic beverages. By nature, these drinks already have their own side effects and can make you feel more on edge. You may have also heard that drinking milk helps, but this is a myth. There is no evidence that milk or dairy products will reduce the effects of THC.
Have a snack
If you are not feeling nauseous, something as simple as a snack can help ease the symptoms of overconsumption. Eating often helps take our minds off things and promotes dopamine production, especially if we enjoy eating. Sometimes the right food can help put us in a comatose state (Thanksgiving, anyone?). If you are ready for a nap, you’re already relaxed.
Grab a lemon
Smelling lemon or adding some to your water can help reduce some of your anxiety. Lemons contain limonene–a terpene that naturally reduces stress and anxiety. Yes, this is the same limonene found in some strains. Terpenes alone cannot produce a “high” (this is THC’s job). However, terpenes provide their own benefits that you can use to your advantage.
Chew a peppercorn.
Peppercorns also contain terpenes—particularly caryophyllene–known for reducing anxiety and increasing relaxation. So, gently chewing a peppercorn or carefully taking a whiff of black pepper will trick your mind into tapping into the more mellow effects of the marijuana strain. While the results of chewing or smelling pepper don’t last very long, it might be enough to help calm your symptoms.
Eat some pine nuts.
While pine nuts are not a staple in most pantries, eating a few will help the same way lemons and peppercorns do when you feel too high. Pine nuts contain pinene, a terpene that naturally promotes clarity. By eating a few pine nuts, you will help your mind pull back a little bit from the heavy intoxication of THC. These moments of clarity may help reduce any feelings of anxiety or paranoia you may be experiencing.
Wait it Out
Finally, the best thing you can do is sit back and wait for the feeling to pass. Believe it or not, one does not instantly become high on THC. Think of your experience like a hill. You had to build up to this point, and it will eventually come down. Just give it some time. While it is a scary and uncomfortable experience, remember it is not permanent. Suppose this is something you never want to experience again. In that case, you should consider how much you consumed to avoid that amount in the future. But remember, you can get through this!
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