It happens to the best of us. We fail to properly estimate our limits. We think we’re old hands at smoking weed, when in fact we’re much less experienced than we might think. Or we’re smoking with friends and lose track of how many tokes we’ve taken. Or we choose a strain that’s way stronger than we’re used to dealing with.
That’s right: At one time or another, we’ve all gotten too high.
And it’s no fun. No fun at all. When you get too high, weed crosses the line from trusted friend to powerful enemy.
It happens most often to beginners. Pot is an easy drug to underestimate, and in the days before widespread legalization, getting too high was easy to do. Someone passed you a bong or a blunt, you did some rips, then you did a few more and a few more after that, and before you knew it you were terrified that you’d be high forever, you’d have to admit to your parents, your co-workers and your childhood babysitter that you were a hopeless pot-head who’d need to be taken care of like an invalid for the rest of your life.
Like we said, it’s not uncommon and it happens to the best of us.
But don’t worry. All hope isn’t lost. Maybe that first time was bad, but you can definitely head that wretched feeling of paranoia off at the pass and avoid it happening again. Here’s how.
Don’t do it in the first place. Well, duh. But if you’ve done it before, you know the dangers, and you’ll be better prepared to avoid it in the future. You can prevent getting too high by knowing your limits, only pressing those limits in small amounts, and only doing so in safe spaces.
Don’t forget the role CBD plays. Remember that CBD is the chemical in pot that alleviates the psychoactive effects of THC. So choosing a strain with a substantial CBD component can prevent you from feeling too hyped-up or paranoid if you use too much. And keep some CBD oil or edibles handy to throw on the fire if it gets too hot.
Remember what the Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy said: Don’t panic. High anxiety is a major symptom of dosing yourself with too much weed – particularly if you’re working with a sativa or sativa-heavy hybrid strain. And it can be a strong feeling, so this piece of advice may fall on deaf ears. But if you’re reading this because you found it in a Google search for “what to do if you get too high,” then here’s the most important thing to take as seriously as possible: You’re too high right now, but this too shall pass. It’ll be a rough few hours, but you’ll be fine.
Get in a workout. Getting too high, especially on a sativa blend, can give you tons of energy to spare. Rather than pacing endlessly through your apartment, fire up your rideshare app, throw your workout gear into a bag, and hit the gym for an hour or two. Or go for a run. If it’s too late, do some crunches and sit-ups in your apartment, or load up a pilates video on YouTube. Bonus: Working out might make you tired and sleepy, which leads us to our next piece of advice…
Take a nap. If you can. This one might not be possible if you’re feeling too jumped-up and paranoid. But try it: Set an timer on your phone for ten or twenty minutes, and turn the volume way down. If you manage to make it to sleep, you won’t hear the timer go off and you’ll wake up hours later when the worst part of your too-high high has subsided.
Have a friend nearby. This might be a good idea in general – it’s always better to get high with a pal – but if you’re worried there’s a possibility of overdoing it, it’d be good to have a supportive friend available to baby you in case things go south. A friend can distract you, help you remain calm, and help you remember the other things on this list.
Peppercorns, because why the hell not. Some people call this an urban legend, but it actually works (mostly)! Sniffing a handful of black peppercorns can actually counteract the effects of THC. Chewing them will provide extended relief. It won’t give you a completely clear head, but it’ll help a little.
H Y D R A T E. Anyone who’s ever smoked, vaped, eaten or drank cannabis knows that it can dry you out – it’ll manifest as a cottony-mouthed feeling, but your whole body will be too dry. If you’re not getting high at home, make sure there’s plenty of bottled water nearby. And if you are at home, throw some water in the fridge; when you’re high, a tall glass of ice-cold water can be the most satisfying thing in the world. (And if you’re in the middle of a weed-induced paranoia, a satisfying glass of water might be just what you need to reassure your faith in the basic goodness of the universe.)
Make a nest. Getting too high sometimes feels like getting too far out of your comfort zone. So the best way to counteract it is to make a comfort zone right there in your living room. Gather up all the pillows, blankets, snacks, comic books and stuffed animals you can and put them in a pile. Wait out the horrors of weed overuse in your comfy nest.
Watch a movie. This is the perfect way to distract yourself. Weed can make you hyperfocused, so getting into a good flick is an effective and satisfying way to burn off time. But you might be high for a long time, so don’t choose anything too short. Dig out your old two-cassette VHS copy of Titanic, or break out the Lord Of The Rings extended editions. Better yet, find a gripping, binge-able TV show like Breaking Bad or The Handmaid’s Tale. Don’t let Netflix shame you when it asks if you’re still watching.