Too high? How to sober up from weed
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- Ingest black peppercorn
- Add some CBD in the mix
- Stay hydrated, eat more
- Take some ibuprofen
- When life gives you limonene .
- Take a deep breath and relax
- Seek distractions, but easy ones
- Take a shower
Even the most seasoned cannabis enthusiast has a story about that time they overdid it and scrambled to find out how to sober up from weed . Though marijuana has medical and therapeutic uses, including reducing anxiety , smoking copious amounts of potent weed can send a consumer into a tailspin fraught with anxiety and paranoia.
Though marijuana has medical and therapeutic uses, including reducing anxiety, smoking copious amounts of potent weed can send a consumer into a tailspin fraught with anxiety and paranoia. Photo by: Gina Coleman/Weedmaps
Researchers aren’t alone in their work to understand how to mitigate any negative side effects of weed. The ever-innovative cannabis community has uncovered some valuable insights about how to come down from a high that gets too intense. While there are no known reports of someone experiencing a fatal marijuana overdose, it is possible to feel uncomfortably high , with euphoria and relaxation replaced by anxiety and paranoia. Not everyone knows how to stop being high.
Unfortunately, smoking yourself sober is not an option. Instead, the first and perhaps not-so-obvious step is to stop smoking if you feel uncomfortable after consuming cannabis. It’s also crucial to be overly cautious when ingesting edibles, as the full effects can take several hours to kick in and tend to pack a powerful punch. If you’re wondering what to do when too high on flower, edibles, or concentrate, here are some quick tips to show you how to come down from a high that gets too intense.
Ingest black peppercorn
That’s right. The same kitchen ingredient used to spice up your food also can simmer down your high. Black peppercorn has demonstrated the ability to provide near-instant relief for those overcome by cannabis-induced paranoia or anxiety. Chew a few whole black peppercorns, grind peppercorn on food, or, very carefully, smell ground pepper.
A 2011 review published in the British Journal of Pharmacology found that cannabis and black pepper have related chemical traits. Author Dr. Ethan Russo, a neurologist and psychopharmacology researcher, wrote that terpenes such as beta-caryophyllene found in peppercorn can help “tame the intoxicating effects of THC.” Beta-caryophyllene and THC form a synergistic relationship and bind to the same cannabinoid receptors, creating a calming effect.
Add some CBD in the mix
Decades of research have shown that cannabidiol (CBD), a non-intoxicating cannabinoid found in the cannabis plant, can reduce THC-induced anxiety and paranoia. In a February 1982 study published in Psychopharmacology, researchers examined whether CBD could reduce anxiety from THC. The study concluded that CBD “might be involved in the antagonism of effects between the two cannabinoids.” A more recent study , published in the Journal of Psychopharmacology on Jan. 27, 2013, also found that when CBD was consumed alongside THC, it appeared to lessen the adverse effects of anxiety and paranoia.
Decades of research have shown that CBD, a non-intoxicating cannabinoid found in the cannabis plant, can reduce THC-induced anxiety and paranoia. Photo by: Gina Coleman/Weedmaps
More research is needed to reaffirm the synergistic effects of CBD and THC, but integrating some CBD oil or a high-CBD strain into your next smoke session could be an effective remedy for an unwanted buzz.
Stay hydrated, eat more
Here’s an easy one that you should remember no matter how stoned you are: Drink water . Staying hydrated can calm you down after consuming a bit too much herb. Not only will a glass of water help douse cottonmouth, but it also will allow your overly concerned mind to focus on the simple procedure of sipping and swallowing.
Some people also find relief from eating a snack, drinking orange juice, or munching out on the entire contents of the refrigerator. However, be cautious about what kind of juice or drink flavor you choose, because mangoes contain the terpenoid myrcene, which has shown the ability to enhance and prolong the effects of THC.
Take some ibuprofen
A number of common anti-inflammatory drugs, such as the widely used ibuprofen, has been shown to tame marijuana’s buzz. Sobering up by mixing ibuprofen and weed can be an effective, over-the-counter solution for how to kill your high . In a 2013 animal study conducted by researchers from the University of Louisiana’s School of Medicine, the team found that certain types of anti-inflammatory medication appeared to counteract the stoned effect of cannabis and reduce negative effects on cognition.
When life gives you limonene .
Terpenes are the aromatic oils that give each cannabis plant its own distinct smell, flavor, and effects. The same way that CBD and THC combine to create an “entourage effect,” the variety of terpenoids found in cannabis and other plants seem to have a synergistic relationship with the other cannabis compounds. A citrusy terpene called limonene, which is found in the rinds of citrus fruits and in certain strains of cannabis, has demonstrated the ability to reduce anxiety. A 2012 study into this terpene found that it produced anxiety-reducing or “anxiolytic-like effects,” which could translate positively into a treatment for cannabis-induced anxiety.
Take a deep breath and relax
Sometimes all you need to remove a bad high from your headspace is a meditative approach in a comfortable (and, if possible, familiar) setting. If you happen to feel like your heart is racing or feel an anxiety attack coming on, try to relax. Chances are the discomforting feeling will pass in no time. Close your eyes and take deep breaths , remind yourself that everything is going to be fine.
Seek distractions, but easy ones
Go for a walk, put on your favorite music or television show, have a conversation with a stoned companion, anything that will help distract you from the sudden bout with cannabis-induced anxiety. By shifting your attention from how high you are to an enjoyable activity, you’ll probably be able to shed that uncomfortable marijuana high in no time.
By shifting your attention from how high you are to an enjoyable activity, you’ll probably be able to shed that uncomfortable marijuana high in no time. Photo by: Gina Coleman/Weedmaps
Take a shower
The soothing, refreshing action of water on your body can calm a too-high high quickly. Think of it as a form of mental hydration, a hygienic way to wash away the ills of too much THC. Even splashing cold water onto your face should help restore your calm, decrease your heart rate, and ease your mind.
And just to make sure your marijuana high doesn’t go overboard in the future, make note of what and how much you consumed, and next time, practice moderation.
Too high? How to sober up from weed Copy article link to clipboard. Link copied to clipboard. Contents Ingest black peppercorn Add some CBD in the mix Stay hydrated, eat
Smoking Weed In Sobriety
I remember the first time I heard it. I was at an AA meeting listening to a middle-aged man share. He spoke about honesty and the importance of working the steps. He talked a good talk. I was still thinking about what he’d said when the person sitting next to me, nudged my leg. I turned to her and she rolled her eyes.
Clearly, she’d seen something that I hadn’t.
I looked again, but the man had already sat down.
I turned to the woman beside me and shrugged. She mouthed, “Pot head.”
Rather judgmental, I thought to myself.
In the meetings half time, she explained that the man who was speaking, was on the ‘marijuana maintenance’ program. There was a marijuana maintenance program? I was confused. How could that be? I’d never heard such a thing before.
Ready to make a change?
Call to speak to a treatment specialist.
Weren’t you supposed to be clean and sober, if you were claiming sobriety?
The meeting ended with the serenity prayer. As I was stacking chairs, I noticed that the man who spoke had slipped out the back door. It was smoker’s corner, and every meeting had one.
I finished stacking chairs and walked out after him. I’d just quit smoking cigarettes, so it was a dangerous place for me to be. I stood outside with the smokers feeling embarrassed. I didn’t want the others to notice that I was checking up on this guy.
Through the gray haze I scanned his face, searching for the tell-tale signs. His eyes were red, but it was smoky. He didn’t engage with any of the other smokers, instead he inhaled his cigarette at warp speed. I’m not sure why I felt the need to be doing this. It was important to me for no other reason, then this was an honest program, and if he was stoned, he wasn’t being honest.
In fact, in my mind, he was dangerous.
If I could make smoking dope okay in sobriety, I could make doing anything else okay, too.
I watched longingly as he inhaled his cigarette, the tip burning cherry-red. The suspect sober/stoned guy – butted his cigarette out against his boot heel and then flicked the butt into the can, which was being used as an ashtray. He sauntered back in the door and disappeared.
An old timer noticed my confused look and crooked a finger at me.
As we walked back into the church, I talked to him about my confusion. He let me run on. When I’d finished, he spoke. He reminded me of the third tradition.
The only requirement for membership is a desire to stop drinking.
Third tradition didn’t state anything about smoking weed with marijuana vaporizer we find now at Higher Grounds, or popping pills, or any of the other many ways we can over stimulate the pleasure pathway, inside our brain.
Third tradition only requires a desire to stop drinking. You don’t even have to be stopped. You just have to desire it.
When you take away the alcohol, you have a lot of recovering alcoholics running around looking for their next sugar fix. Third tradition doesn’t say anything about sugar, either.
However, there is a big difference – at least in my mind – between eating too many donuts and smoking pot. Although I imagine smoking pot leads too eating more donuts, it also leads to something far more dangerous.
Dishonest thinking, which is also known as stinking thinking.
Stinking thinking is what gets you into this mess in the first place.
Since then, I’ve seen very few successfully recovered, stoned, AA members. Almost all of them go back out.
But we’re dealing with alcoholics here, and some like to play the odds. While a minor percent of pot smokers in recovery might be living successfully, the majority of them, aren’t.
Why play Russian roulette with a loaded gun?
I don’t define my sobriety by what I don’t drink, or use, although that’s a part of it. But the majority of sobriety is about changing unhealthy behaviors and dealing with your ISM.
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Call now to be connected with one of our compassionate treatment specialists.
ISM’s are all those sneaky little buggers like: lying, cheating, stealing, manipulating, procrastinating, blaming, avoiding, denying, exaggerating, gossiping, self-centeredness, excuses, self-pity, grandiosity, abusing, and any of the other unhealthy behaviors, that go hand in hand with addiction.
It’s alcohol-ISM – not wasim, folks.
The ISM is what takes you back to using, every single time.
If you’re sober, you already have the prize. For this gal, life doesn’t get any better than this. There are days I wake up and want to pinch myself. I am living the dream.
I don’t need to be stoned. Not even, a little.
The high I found in recovery is better than any chemically induced high, I’ve ever been on. And it doesn’t come with a hangover, or broken hearts.
Personally I think if you’re smoking pot in recovery, you haven’t done the work. Your ISM’s are still running the show.
Half measures availed us nothing. We stood at the turning point. Take another toke, and you’ll see the old familiar curve of that turning point – The one that leads to all roads, ‘back out.’
Truth is, you’re already there. Sobriety is precious.
If you’re smoking pot, I have a news flash for you. You’re not sober, you’re stoned! You still have a long, long way, to go.
If you or someone you know needs help, please call this confidential support line for assistance
1 (888) 614-2379.
We offer 100% confidential substance abuse assessment and treatment placement tailored to your individual needs.
Lorelie Rozzano talks about her time at an AA meeting, and observing individuals who were trying to achieve sobriety, but yet also smoking weed.