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How To Sober Up From Being Too High

How To Sober Up From Being Too High

Getting too high from cannabis is no fun. Here’s a guide on how to sober up from being too high.

First things first, take a few deep breaths. We got you. You will feel better soon.

Here are some tips to help you start feeling better.

Every cannabis user will tell you that one of the worst feelings is getting too high.

Maybe you tried a new strain, smoked too much, or ate just a tad bit much of that edible…

We’ve all been there, and we want to let you know you are going to be fine. Although in the moment it can be extremely overwhelming and uncomfortable, remember it is only temporary.

THC is a strong cannabinoid and should not be taken for granted. That being said, no matter how much you took, you will be okay. 

Unlike other controlled substances, you cannot overdose on THC.

So no worries– while it is unpleasant and can be panic-inducing, you will be just fine and with these tips, you will feel better in no time.

Below are eight tips for bringing you down your high.

leaf on a beach
Enjoy this calming imagery

How To Sober Up From Being Too High – 8 Tips for Sobering Up From a Bad Cannabis Trip

Here are some popular ways to lower your high. We will later cover how to make your environment safer, and why you got so high, to begin with.

Cannabis has many different cannabinoids aside from THC and CBD.

These cannabinoids bind to CB1 and CB2 receptors within the endocannabinoid system. The endocannabinoid system (ECS) controls many physiological functions. 

These include emotions, moods, pain, sleep, appetite, memory, focus, learning, concentration, sensory and motor functions, fear, anxiety, stress, etc.  

As you can see, the endocannabinoid system has a major impact on our bodies and overall wellbeing.

The reason why THC affects us so strongly is that it binds to the CB1 receptor and easily overstimulates it. Which can lead to feelings of anxiety, paranoia, and overall stress.

If you find yourself in this position, here are some tips to help you manage how you’re feeling and bring you down to a calmer state.

panic

#1 Whatever You Do, Don’t Panic

This will inevitably make it worse.

Concentrating on negative emotions and feelings will only worsen your experience. If you are worried about overdosing, and it is contributing to your panic attack then you can rest assured that you will not overdose on cannabis.

Additionally, there aren’t enough receptors in the brain center that control breathing and heartbeat. So, high THC doses are not going to affect your breathing capabilities.

When you are in the thick of it, try to breathe deeply and reassure yourself that this will pass and you won’t feel like this forever. Sometimes, it can help to remind ourselves that we ingested a cannabinoid (THC) that has strong psychoactive effects and that we are not losing it. 

Feelings of panic can trigger us to not feel safe. Just gently remind yourself that you are safe, you are in control of your thoughts, and this will eventually pass. 

Surrendering to the experience can also be quite humbling. But, not everyone wants to do that. (And thats okay.)

How to Sober Up:woman sleeping

#2 Try To Rest, Relax, or Sleep

Interestingly enough, the CB1 receptor isn’t just responsible for the intense psychoactive effects of THC, it is also responsible for the notorious ‘couch lock’ effect. In other words, it can also make you very sleepy and promote relaxation of the muscles.

Other components of the plant are also responsible for the couch lock effect. For example, myrcene is a terpene common in certain strains that’s known for its relaxing and sedating effects.

If you find the couch lock sensation to be too overwhelming, then try to relax and allow yourself to feel it. Sleep it off. The effects will be gone by the time you wake up.

#3 Distract Yourself or Shift Your Focus

If you are too focused on how bad you feel, it will snowball. 

Keep in mind that thoughts are really electrochemical reactions, and they stick to each other. So, if you are thinking negative thoughts, these thoughts will stick to one another like glue and downward spiral until you find yourself feeling even worse. 

If you can’t get out of your head, distracting yourself may help. Take a walk around your backyard if you have one, or go outside and take a few deep breaths. 

Or do some easy chores, watch a movie, write, paint, whatever you think will help shift you to a better mindset.

If you are really stoned, don’t try to get in the car and drive, or do anything that requires quick thinking, reflexes, or judgment. THC can impair these activities.

CBD

#4 How To Sober Up From Being Too High: CBD!

CBD is your new best friend if you happen to get too high from ingesting copious amounts of THC.

In fact, CBD helps to bring balance to our bodies and bring us back into a state of homeostasis. It binds to the CB2 receptor instead of the psychoactive CB1 receptor. 

CBD can, in effect, block some of the effects of THC. This is because, although it doesn’t bind to the CB1 receptor, it can ‘dock’ on another area of the receptor and block more THC from binding to the receptor. This essentially means, if you ever overdo it with THC, have some CBD on hand.

#5 Aromatherapy

Essential oils contain volatile compounds called terpenes, if you happen to have any on hand, they can really help to calm you down.

If you don’t have any essential oils, don’t worry. 

Check to see if you have any lemons or black pepper in the house, you can smell these or ingest them to experience some of the grounding effects.

Caryophyllene

Black pepper, a common household staple, is extremely high in caryophyllene. 

Additionally, this terpene is known for its relaxing and centering effects. Next time you get too high, try munching on some black pepper kernels. 

The taste may be a bit strong and take some getting used to, but trust that it will help in relieving some of the uglier effects of a THC high.

Also, cloves, rosemary, and oregano all have naturally occurring caryophyllene. Get creative and make a meal with these aromatic botanicals or be brave and chew on them as is. 

Limonene

You may have heard of this cannabinoid. It is naturally abundant in lemons and other forms of citrus. It has stress-relieving and uplifting effects.

Try a lemon essential oil, or if you have some lemons at home, squeeze a bit into some water and drink the whole glass. You should notice a difference in how you feel in no time.

Feeling bold? Or maybe…desperate? 

Cut a lemon in half and suck on its sour juices. This can help feel both refreshed and relaxed simultaneously. 

“Let thy food be thy medicine!” – Hippocrates (he knew what he was talking about.)

Pinene

Picture this: you are walking through a pine forest, pine needles underfoot, and strong powerful pine trees above you. You take a deep breath in and smell the calming effects of pine. You instantly feel at peace and grounded in both yourself and nature.

There’s a reason why pine is such a calming scent. In fact, you guessed it, it has to do with terpenes!

Pinene (the terpene) can impact your mood. It has calming and relaxing effects on the body and mind. If you are lucky enough to live near a pine forest, take a relaxing stroll through the forest. This should help to ground you and make you feel a bit better.

If you don’t have access to a pine forest, check your cabinet for some pine essential oil, or try to find some pine needles. 

Pro tip: when using essential oils for aromatherapy, it helps to take a few deep breaths with the volatile compound. Deep breathing also puts your nervous system in a state of relaxation and healing. As opposed to staying in a fight or flight response from getting too high.

Also, keep in mind that just because these compounds come from plants, doesn’t mean they are not strong or potent. After all, you just got too stoned from ingesting a plant. 

So, it is important to take care and proceed with caution with essential oils, take care not to ingest them, and don’t overdo it. These are potent concentrations of plants so proceed with caution.

Drink water

#6 Stay Hydrated

Ever gotten dry mouth or dry eyes from ingesting too much cannabis? Research shows that THC can reduce the production of saliva as well as tears.

Feeling dried out can be pretty uncomfortable, and can worsen a state of panic. Keeping yourself hydrated can relieve some of these sensations. 

So, drink plenty of water.

Pro tip: Avoid drinking alcohol because it doesn’t mix well with cannabis. 

Actually, alcohol can increase THC levels in your blood, so if you are already too high, don’t make it worse by adding alcohol to the mix.

#7 Grab A Snack

Eating a low-key or light snack can help you out in a few different ways:

  • If you are too high from an edible, it can prevent the edible from hitting you too hard.
  • Distraction: eating can distract you from getting lost in the cerebral effects of getting too stoned.
  • Maybe you were hungry and you just couldn’t tell because you were too lost in thought. A snack may be exactly what you need to bring you back down to Earth. 
  • Food is grounding.

Smoking weed on an empty stomach without having consumed much food or water can contribute to getting too stoned. Some sources say there’s no difference, but from anecdotal evidence (and personal experience) it’s best to eat something before getting blazed.

When it comes to edibles, there’s no doubt that if you take them on an empty stomach, it will hit you harder. Some experts say that consuming cannabis on an empty stomach allows our body to absorb it quicker. 

Needless to say, the effects will come on strong and hard. 

Not to mention, munchies are a common side effect of consuming THC. In addition, what you eat affects how you feel (re: “Let thy food be thy medicine”) so avoid salty and fatty foods. When those munchies inevitably hit, go for fruits and vegetables instead. 

Side note: Donuts and fries are a mouthwatering thought when it comes to the munchies, (we know.) But your body will thank you later on for not ingesting these unhealthy foods.

man calling a friend

#8 How To Sober Up From Being Too High – Call a Friend

How long cannabis affects each individual is dependent on their metabolism and the enzymes in their liver. Curious about how cannabinoids break down in the body? Check out this article.

If you’ve already tried and nothing is helping, let a friend know. Sometimes, being around or talking to a sober person can put your mind at ease, and also, they can be there if you really need them.

How To Sober Up From Being Too High: Let’s Get Into How You Got Too Stoned In The First Place

How did this happen? You were good a few minutes ago, how did you get so stoned?

Let’s break it down.

As we mentioned earlier, THC binds very well to the CB1 receptor, which is responsible for the psychoactive effects. 

CB1 receptors are predominantly found in the central nervous system (CNS). The CNS affects the brain center which controls pleasure, reward, and reinforcement. 

Additionally, the brain center also plays a key role in addiction and developing addictive behaviors.

The activation of the CB1 receptor via THC can produce intoxicating and mind-altering effects.

Overstimulation of these receptors often results in undesirable side effects such as:

  • Poor judgment
  • Paranoia, minor hallucinations, and or delusions
  • Panic attacks
  • High stress and anxiety levels
  • Memory issues
  • Dizziness
  • Confusion
  • Increased anxiety and stress levels
  • Lethargy
  • Nausea
  • Intense couch lock
  • Increased heart rate
  • Difficulty holding conversations
  • Changes in blood pressure
  • Motor incoordination slowed reflexes

Whether you are new to THC or a seasoned user, the effects of overstimulation are no fun. 

This can happen to anyone, a cannabis newbie or a seasoned user, (so don’t feel bad if it happens to you).

This experience can be mildly unpleasant or downright scary for some. 

TLDR– try to avoid getting too high. Below are some tips to help you with this.

 

How To Sober Up From Being Too High: Staying Safe – Especially If You Are New To THC

Ingesting THC can be a blast, however, getting too high is never fun. It can scar users and completely take the pleasure out of the whole experience.

If you are new to THC, there are actually some ways to prepare yourself and avoid any negative side effects.

#1 Smoke or Take THC with Trusted Friends

As we’ve discussed, the negative side effects of cannabis can be pretty overwhelming and downright terrible. It helps to ensure you feel safe with the people you are with.

If anything were to happen, your trusted friends (hopefully) will have your back.

#2 Get to Know The Strain and Its Effects

Having an idea of what to expect when consuming cannabis can help. Read some reviews, and choose the strain you want based on its effects and reviews. 

cannabis edibles

#3 Take Extra Caution with Concentrates and Edibles

Edibles and concentrates are the most potent way to ingest cannabinoids. So, it should go without saying that you need to be extra careful with them. 

When it comes to concentrates, they hit hard and fast, (sometimes under 15 minutes). This is because the cannabinoids are quickly absorbed by your cells and go directly into your bloodstream. 

Edibles, on the other hand, take around 30 minutes to an hour because they have to pass through your digestive system and liver before you feel the effects.

#4 Pace Yourself

Start low, and go slow. If it isn’t clear at this point, smoking weed is nothing like smoking cigarettes. If you take successive puffs off of a joint like you would a cigarette, expect to get pretty stoned pretty quickly. 

It’s best to wait a little while and see how you feel before you hit the joint profusely.

An age-old mistake when it comes to edibles is eating too much because you don’t feel the effects yet. 

Have patience!

Not getting high enough is much better than getting too high. Trust. 

You don’t want to learn the hard way. (Unless you already have which is why you are reading this…)

If you are newer to the cannabis world or if you are a THC pro, it’s always a safe bet to start slow and with a low dose, then work your way up as you see fit.

#5 Know Your Limits

Don’t give in to peer pressure. Only you know what is best for your body. If you find yourself getting too high, then stop. 

Know your limit, especially if you are surrounded by strangers or people you don’t feel particularly comfortable with.

Final Thoughts: How to Sober Up From Being Too High

Like we said at the beginning of this article, getting too high can be unpleasant and uncomfortable, but it won’t last forever…

Sooner rather than later, you will feel yourself again and the effects of the THC will wear off. However, if you are finding it to be completely unbearable, then follow the tips we outlined in this article. 

What we mentioned above are safe ways to help you come back down and feel grounded and calm once again.

Ever tried any of these methods? Let us know! Which were most effective?

References

  1. Sharpe, L., Sinclair, J., Kramer, A., de Manincor, M., & Sarris, J. (2020). Cannabis, a cause for anxiety? A critical appraisal of the anxiogenic and anxiolytic properties. Journal of translational medicine, 18(1), 374.

  2. Herkenham, M., Lynn, A. B., Little, M. D., Johnson, M. R., Melvin, L. S., de Costa, B. R., & Rice, K. C. (1990). Cannabinoid receptor localization in the brain. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 87(5), 1932–1936. [2]

  3. do Vale, T. G., Furtado, E. C., Santos, J. G., Jr, & Viana, G. S. (2002). Central effects of citral, myrcene, and limonene, constituents of essential oil chemotypes from Lippia alba (Mill.) n.e. Brown. Phytomedicine: international journal of phytotherapy and phytopharmacology, 9(8), 709–714.

  4. do Vale, T. G., Furtado, E. C., Santos, J. G., Jr, & Viana, G. S. (2002). Central effects of citral, myrcene, and limonene, constituents of essential oil chemotypes from Lippia alba (Mill.) n.e. Brown. Phytomedicine: international journal of phytotherapy and phytopharmacology, 9(8), 709–714.

  5. Niesink, R. J., & van Laar, M. W. (2013). Does Cannabidiol Protect Against Adverse Psychological Effects of THC?. Frontiers in psychiatry, 4, 130. [5]

  6. d’Alessio, P. A., Bisson, J. F., & Béné, M. C. (2014). Anti-stress effects of d-limonene and its metabolite perillyl alcohol. Rejuvenation Research, 17(2), 145–149.

  7. Machado, K. da C., Paz, M. F. C. J., Oliveira Santos, J. V. de, da Silva, F. C. C., Tchekalarova, J. D., Salehi, B., Islam, M. T., Setzer, W. N., Sharifi-Rad, J., de Castro e Sousa, J. M., & Cavalcante, A. A. de C. M. (2020). Anxiety Therapeutic Interventions of β-Caryophyllene: A Laboratory-Based Study. Natural Product Communications.

  8. Salehi, B., Upadhyay, S., Erdogan Orhan, I., Kumar Jugran, A., L D Jayaweera, S., A Dias, D., Sharopov, F., Taheri, Y., Martins, N., Baghalpour, N., Cho, W. C., & Sharifi-Rad, J. (2019). Therapeutic Potential of α- and β-Pinene: A Miracle Gift of Nature. Biomolecules, 9(11), 738.

  9. Prestifilippo, J. P., Fernández-Solari, J., de la Cal, C., Iribarne, M., Suburo, A. M., Rettori, V., McCann, S. M., & Elverdin, J. C. (2006). Inhibition of salivary secretion by activation of cannabinoid receptors. Experimental biology and medicine (Maywood, N.J.), 231(8), 1421–1429.

  10. Thayer, A., Murataeva, N., Delcroix, V., Wager-Miller, J., Makarenkova, H. P., & Straiker, A. (2020). THC Regulates Tearing via Cannabinoid CB1 Receptors. Investigative ophthalmology & visual science, 61(10), 48. [10]

  11. American Association for Clinical Chemistry (AACC). (2015, May 27). Any dose of alcohol combined with cannabis significantly increases levels of THC in the blood. ScienceDaily.

  12. Stott, C. G., White, L., Wright, S., Wilbraham, D., & Guy, G. W. (2013). A phase I study to assess the effect of food on the single-dose bioavailability of the THC/CBD oromucosal spray. European journal of clinical pharmacology, 69(4), 825–834.

  13. Kirkham T. C. (2009). Cannabinoids and appetite: food craving and food pleasure. International review of psychiatry (Abingdon, England), 21(2), 163–171.

  14. Lupica, C. R., Riegel, A. C., & Hoffman, A. F. (2004). Marijuana and cannabinoid regulation of brain reward circuits. British journal of pharmacology, 143(2), 227–234. [14]

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