Everyone’s been there — you didn’t wait for that edible to kick in before popping another or you took one too many hits off the vape. Now you’re really high and it’s not fun. You might be paranoid or simply very uncomfortable. Before you panic and google, “Can I die from being too high?” (yes, this is actually a popular search with over 2.6 million results), take a breath. Don’t freak out: You would need to consume thousands of times the amount of THC in an average joint to be at medical risk.
Cannabis is not equivalent to alcohol, which can be dangerous at ten times the recommended serving. Your endocannabinoid receptors are not in the same place in your brain that controls breathing nor will it damage your cognitive functions, kidneys or liver. You might get an elevated heart rate, which is not pleasant and will make you more nervous, but it’s not going to be permanent.
That said, of course, it’s best to consume safely by taking a small dose and waiting it out. And if you need tips on that, we have some guides on how to safely enjoy edibles, vapes, and concentrates. But should you have an incident where it hits you harder than normal, here are some tips and tricks to get you through it.
Drink Water: One of the most common side effects is dry mouth and that can be uncomfortable, especially if you’ve never experienced it before. Slowly sip some water as the act alone can also refocus your mind on the task at hand instead of the panicked thoughts floating through your head.
Try Black Peppercorn: To understand why this works, you should read up on terpenes. But if you want the Cliff’s Notes version, here’s what happens when you eat pepper: The spice contains caryophyllene, which has relaxing and anti-anxiety properties. It’ll amplify THC’s more sedative qualities versus its psychoactive effects. Give it a chew or add some fresh pepper to some water and down it.
Distract Yourself With a Mundane Task: Speaking of tasks, if drinking water isn’t helping, try something else that’s easy and repetitive. Maybe it’s brushing your teeth — it’s a repetitive motion and the minty freshness of toothpaste will help distract you. Or maybe it’s listening to some calming music, trying a meditation app, or watching something funny and light. Regardless, this is not the time to get into a prestige drama or focus on a book, you want to give your brain a break.
Go For a Walk: Fresh air can do wonders to reset the brain. Head outside and take a short stroll but stick to somewhere close and familiar, now is not the time to explore. If you can’t head outside, even pacing around your apartment can help get the blood moving. Of course, if you feel dizzy don’t do this. You don’t want to get hurt. But if you feel like you need to move, do it — it’s another way to reset your thinking.
Take a Bath: Soaking is a great stress reliever, even if you’re not too high, so the same thought applies when you’re feeling overwhelmed. Add some soothing scents like lavender or eucalyptus to your water, play some relaxing music, and take a few deep breaths while in the tub. And if you rather take a shower, that’s an equally as good option to chill out too.
Take CBD: Studies have shown that CBD can reduce the anxiety THC causes, which means you can try taking a few drops of a CBD tincture to calm yourself down. It can also help with sleepiness and munchies, if those are also causing you alarm. Dosage varies so take it slow and see how you feel.
Go to Sleep: If you don’t want to do any of the above and you find that you’re very tired, go to bed. As long as your brain isn’t in overdrive and preventing you from sleeping, it’s a surefire way to feel like yourself again.
Of course if you do have a cannabis-induced anxiety attack and you’re alarmed, you can contact a medical professional. They can help you come down safely if nothing else works.