How to Stop Being High & More FAQs About How to Sober Up From Weed
Photo by RODNAE Productions
Cannabis is a wonder drug that has been offering healing to humanity for centuries. However, its effects can vary from person to person and there’s no straightforward dosage system. How much is too much cannabis? What do you do when you’ve had too much THC?
Is there a simple way people can learn how to stop being high? In a perfect world, you’d know how to get rid of your high before you first use cannabis. Luckily, as cannabis acceptance expands worldwide more information and tips are popping up to help people negotiate using cannabis.
More robust scientific research is expanding our awareness of how cannabis engages with our body. Cannabis has countless compounds that interact with the human body and our endocannabinoid system. The blend of these effects make up what we perceive as being high.
Understanding how cannabis works with your body can help you better negotiate turning up or down your high. While it doesn’t work exactly like a switchboard, there are a few ways you can help reign it in.
Edibles can offer an alternative to smoking weed but their delayed reaction time and alternative delivery system can increase your potential for an overdose. There’s no need to worry. In this article, there are tips for how to temper your high, how much weed is too much, and how to manage how being high feels.
What Does Being High Feel Like?
With legal cannabis expanding worldwide, it’s likely more people with zero experience with cannabis will be trying it for the first time. What can you expect when you first try weed? What will you feel and how will it affect your body?
Cannabis has hundreds of cannabinoids that essentially accelerate and decelerate different body functions. Depending on your strain of cannabis and it’s cannabinoid make up you’ll likely feel a blend of the following experiences:
- creative inspiration
- hunger a.k.a. the munchies
- more sensitivity to light or sound
- disinterest in moving a.k.a. couch lock
Generally, your 5 senses can feel more sensitive which may mean food tastes better or your sense of smell is on overdrive or you enjoy different physical sensations.
Cannabis can also affect your mood. Generally, you’re likely to feel relaxed and euphoric. Some strains may also give you more energy. Anecdotally, sativa strains tend to be more enlivening and energizing and affect your thought processes. Indica strains tend to be more relaxing and affect your body causing extensive relaxation.
Paranoia and anxiety can pop up but they are often related to either too much THC or to your initial reaction to the experience of being high. The tips shared later in this article will help you to handle any nerves that pop up.
Symptoms Of Being Too High
Like with anything, there’s an opportunity to overindulge in too much cannabis. The growing market for THC products and higher tolerances have introduced products with extremely high percentages of THC.
While an overdose of THC isn’t deadly or extensively dangerous, it can be very unsettling. Too much THC can result in:
- confusion or trouble conversing
- high or low blood pressure
- memory issues
- panic attacks
- poor coordination
- nausea and vomiting
When smoking weed, it can be easy to manage your dosage as it peaks quickly and is soon metabolized by your body. Edibles can be a bit more tough to dose as there can be a certain lead time before you feel the full effects. Sometimes, people will dose again in the interim and when the edible finally “hits” find themselves higher than they anticipated.
How Long Does A Weed High Last?
Weed highs can last anywhere from 10 minutes to 2 days. There are a few different factors that dictate how long you will feel high. With smoking, your high will last for a shorter amount of time. It can often take a few minutes to feel the full effects of what you have smoked and can take an hour or two to be fully metabolized.
When smoking you’ll often feel the high quickly and it will continue to settle and you’ll sober up as your body metabolizes the THC.
Tinctures blend cannabis with alcohol. They can often take less time to hit than edibles. They’re often taken sublingually. You can feel your high as early as 10 minutes in. The high can persist for a few hours. Tinctures get metabolized like edibles so they can last a little longer than smoking.
With edibles, your high will vary on your dosage. A high dose of edibles can last as long as 2 days. Your body continues to absorb cannabinoids throughout the digestion process starting in your mouth and continuing throughout your digestive system.
Generally, an edible high will persist for a few hours but in some extreme cases a high can last for a day or even into two days depending on how long it takes for your body to fully metabolize the edible.
How Long Does It Take For Edibles To Settle In?
It typically takes edibles 30 to 60 minutes to kick in. With edibles, your body can begin processing cannabinoids as early as chewing. For example, tinctures begin absorbing under your tongue.
Your body absorbs cannabinoids throughout the digestive process including in the stomach and the large intestines. Additionally, unlike with smoking weed, your body will convert THC into 11-hydroxy-THC in your liver.
11-hydroxy-THC is thought to be 2-4 times more potent than THC. This is why many cannabis users can feel different when consuming edibles vs. smoking.
The delayed reaction is both the time it takes for active THC to enter your bloodstream combined with the cascading effect of more THC entering your system as more gets absorbed by your body.
How Much Weed is Too Much?
When deciding how much weed to take it’s important to start small. While smoking can be easier to dose and pace yourself. There are high strains and some delivery systems like bongs for dabs can vary drastically from your standard joint or pipe.
If you’re smoking anything with a concentrate, resin, dab, or shatter you’ll want to take one hit before continuing. These tend to have significantly more THC. Additionally, while the average strain can be from 30-40% THC some products on the market can be as high as 70% or even higher.
You cannot always be fully aware of the THC concentrations when smoking weed so it’s important to try it first, see how you feel, and let it settle a bit before continuing to smoke.
With edibles, a standard dosage can be anywhere from 1-10 milligrams of THC. 10-30 milligrams can be a higher dose reserved for people who are more experienced. A macrodose and a dosage that may be too high for many users is 50-100 milligrams.
Some cannabis users might be able to handle that dosage but many people may find certain overdose symptoms like anxiety, memory issues, or paranoia creep up. For more specific dosage instructions check out our dosage breakdown of edibles in this post.
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How To Stop Being High
So you’ve had some cannabis and maybe gone a step too far. What can you do when you’ve had too much THC? The following tips can help you pump the breaks before THC overtakes your mind.
With anxiety and paranoia likely to take over if you’ve had an overdose of THC here’s some things to consider to help you stop your high and stay sane.
The first thing to do when you’ve had too much THC is know that you are safe. Cannabis is perfectly natural and while the feeling may be unsettling or uncomfortable you cannot die from cannabis poisoning.
A lethal dose of THC or cannabis would require close to a hundred thousand milligrams of THC. You’d break the bank way faster than you’d get sick to consume that much THC.
Knowing that you cannot die should help temper some of your paranoia because that’s often the first place our brains can go when we’re having a panic attack. Be sure to take some time to take deep breaths, relax, and manage your mindset.
Put on some fun music or a movie that you enjoy, get comfy, and work to calm down some of the anxiety.
High amounts of THC can give you dry mouth. Also, as THC gives you munchies you may be more focused on hunger and may miss your thirst. Hunger can be a mask of thirst. Hydrating can help you not just calm down by forcing you to breathe more slowly, it can also help counteract some of the effects of THC.
Water can help boost your metabolism which can help with metabolizing all of the THC in your system. Additionally, if you add some citrus to your water that can counteract some of the cannabinoids. Limonene in lemon and nerolidol in oranges can help temper some of the THC. You can also try herbal tea with lavender or chamomile to calm your nerves while hydrating.
It’s also important to avoid drinking alcohol or caffeine. These not only can further any dehydration as both are diuretics but they can also increase some of the negative effects of too much THC. Alcohol and caffeine can boost the effects of THC.
Go For a Walk
When in doubt go for a walk. A little physical activity can help take your mind off of racing thoughts about your body reacting to the THC. The physical activity will help boost your metabolism of the cannabinoids in your system.
Additionally, walking will help stop any cycling thoughts which would only increase your anxiety or paranoia. Plus, some time outside and some fresh air can help you connect with your body and find some balance.
How To Sober Up From Weed
Here are a few more tips to help you tone down THC. These can help you feel a little more sober if you’ve gotten too high.
Have a Snack
A small snack can help you feel a lot more yourself. Higher carb snacks can help increase your blood sugar and make you feel a little more grounded. Bananas are the perfect simple snack to try when you feel too high.
Bananas are sometimes said to help you sober up from too much THC, however there is no scientific study yet to support this. That being said, it’s worth a try to see if it can help you get your bearings if your dose has done you dirty.
You will want to avoid dairy and higher fat foods if you find yourself too high, especially from an edible. THC tends to bind to fats. If you increase the amount of fats in your digestive system after having consumed an edible you can increase the possibility for more THC becoming bioavailable. That means a higher high.
How To Come Down From A High Panic Attack
Here are a few more tips to help you prevent panic attacks and manage too much THC in your system.
Try Something Different
The first step to tackling a panic attack is to engage your mind with something else to get it off of the autopilot that is paranoia. Doing something with your hands like an artistic endeavor or a yoga session can help you get out of your head and into your body.
Playing a game, talking to friends, or reading a book can help you take focus off of your body’s reactions and take control of your own thoughts.
When in doubt, take a nap. Sleeping will help calm down any nervous physical reactions while allowing your body to metabolize the THC. The act of preparing yourself to sleep will also naturally calm down any panic reactions or nervous physical symptoms.
It’s important to be aware that you may still be a little high when you wake up but taking time to sleep can help you calm down and relax.
Does Taking A Shower Take Away Your High?
One tip anyone can try to sober up from too much THC is to take a cold shower or hot bath or vice versa. A cold shower can help take your mind off of the feelings in your body by changing your physical experience.
A warm bath can help your body relax from too much stimulation. Neither a bath or shower will reduce the THC in your system but it will take your mind off of the high.
How To Get Sober In 5 Minutes
There are no quick fixes but here’s two tips to try and get you sober as quickly as possible. If you’re feeling too high to function here are two things to try.
Chewing peppercorns might sound ridiculous but if you’re facing the overwhelming feelings of being too high it’s definitely worth a try. Black pepper has the terpenes pinene and beta-caryophyllene, which can counteract the anxiety caused by too much THC.
What makes us feel high is an entourage effect of all of the cannabinoids and terpenes of cannabis at once. They all work together on different cannabinoid receptors to create a different blend of experiences and biological reactions that we interpret as being “high.”
The blend of these compounds are different in each cannabis product which is why one may cause paranoia the other may make you tired or one may make you euphoric. Black pepper offers a hack to help you counteract THC. Try smelling black pepper, chewing on pepper corns or add a dash of black pepper to a snack.
Speaking of the entourage effect….
Have Some CBD
When you’re high to the point of paranoia the last thing you may think to try is to take more cannabis products. That being said, CBD can sometimes be like the anti-THC. CBD works differently from THC and affects different cannabinoid receptors.
CBD can counteract some of THC’s effects which can help cool down some of your body’s intense reactions to THC. If you’re super new to cannabis, taking a product or using a strain that has a balance of CBD and THC can help reduce your chances of feeling paranoia or getting too high.
There is a growing list of CBD products on the market and they can help you relax and get the benefits of a different cannabinoid in your off time but in a “too high” emergency CBD can help calm you down and turn down the THC.
Why Does Weed Make Your Eyes Red?
One of the many physical manifestations of being very high is red eyes. This is caused by vasodilation which is the increasing dilation of your blood vessels. The capillaries in your eyes will dilate, increasing blood flow and making your eyes red.
For more information and tips for combatting high eyes check out this post.
Growing legalization of cannabis means that people can overdo it. We can learn what to do if we’ve eaten too much or had too much alcohol but many may not know what to do after too much THC.
Hopefully, these tips can arm you in situations where you or a friend or family member has consumed too much cannabis. While it’s natural and not too dangerous, no one should be unsettled from too much medicine.
The pursuit of higher highs has left the market saturated with high-THC products which can leave new patients disoriented, paranoid, or turned off by the experience. These tips can help you prevent and calm a cannabis overdose.
Be sure to apply for your medical marijuana license to take ensure you’re legally covered when using medicinal cannabis.
This article has been reviewed by Dr. Anand Dugar, an anesthesiologist, pain medicine physician and the founder of Green Health Docs. Graduating from medical school in 2004 and residency in 2008, Dr. Dugar has been a licensed physician for almost 20 years and has been leading the push for medical cannabis nationwide.