Whether you’ve been high for longer than you’d like, or you’re starting to feel anxious and panicked, there are a few easy methods to reduce the intensity of your high. Although scientific research is limited, the following tips are relatively safe and supported with anecdotal evidence documented everywhere from tenth-century medical records to subreddit threads. Here’s the fastest way to get unhigh.
Consume Lots of Cannabidiol (CBD)
A 2019 European Archives of Psychiatry and Clinical Neuroscience randomized, placebo-controlled study by a group of researchers based in Australia and the United Kingdom tested the theory that cannabidiol (CBD) can relieve the adverse effects of THC. The study involved 36 participants, 31 of whom were male. The effects of THC on its own, CBD on its own, and THC combined with low (4 mg) and high (400 mg) doses of CBD were analyzed. The researchers found that THC combined with low doses of CBD resulted in enhanced intoxicating effects. However, THC combined with high doses of CBD resulted in a reduction of THC’s intoxicating effects.
It’s important to reiterate the CBD dosage that resulted in reduced THC impairment: 400 mg. That’s a significantly higher quantity of CBD than what is present in any cannabis product or cannabis strain. But that high number makes a difference. A 2018 Translational Psychiatry study by Celia J.A. Morgan, Tom P. Freeman, Chandni Hindocha, Grainne Schafer, Chelsea Gardner, and H. Valerie Curran examined the effect of CBD on THC and found that 16 mg of CBD did not have an attenuating effect on 8 mg of THC. The combined results of these studies suggest that CBD can reduce the effects of THC, but only in large quantities.
In addition to CBD’s potential to mitigate the intoxicating effects of THC, CBD has demonstrated potential as a therapy for anxiety-related disorders. A 2019 Journal of the American Pharmacists Association review by Jessica W. Skelley, Crystal M. Deas, Zachary Curren, and Jonathan Ennis supports this theory. The researchers reviewed a total of 8 articles: 6 small randomized controlled trials, 1 case series, and 1 case report. The articles reviewed examined the effect of CBD on healthy volunteers, generalized anxiety disorder, social anxiety disorder, and post-traumatic stress syndrome-related anxiety. There was great variability in the dosing and delivery methods of CBD, but the articles showed that CBD has beneficial effects on anxiety with minimal adverse effects. The most common side effects were fatigue and sedation.
This research suggests that CBD can reduce the intoxicating effects of THC and may also be able to relieve anxiety related to the overconsumption of THC.
Eat Citrus Fruits
According to Ethan Russo’s 2011 British Journal of Pharmacology review, “Taming THC: Potential Cannabis Synergy and Phytocannabinoid-Terpenoid Entourage Effects,” ingesting citrus fruits like lemons and oranges to cure THC intoxication has been espoused by scientists since the tenth century.
This tradition is supported by the limited research on limonene’s effects on anxiety. A 2014 Pharmacology Biochemistry and Behavior study by researchers based in Brazil concluded that limonene demonstrated anti-anxiety effects on mice. Another mice study published in Life Sciences in 2006 found that the essential oil from Citrus aurantium L. seems to reduce anxiety. This essential oil is extracted from orange peel, a source rich in limonene.
While the evidence is limited, drinking lemonade, eating a lemon or orange, or even eating the rind of one of those two fruits may help to reduce the effects of your high. The rind of lemon and orange is very rich in limonene. Prepare for the bitter taste and give the rinds a scrub before eating them to remove pesticides and dirt residue.
Chew on Calamus Root
Russo also identifies the traditional use of Calamus root to neutralize the intoxicating effects of THC. Anecdotal evidence has supported smoking a small amount of calamus root alongside cannabis to reduce psychoactive effects.
Calamus root contains beta-asarone, and this may be why the plant root has been used to mitigate the effects of a cannabis high. A 2010 Biological & Pharmaceutical Bulletin study found that beta-asarone has therapeutic potential to manage cognitive impairment related to neurological disorders like Alzheimer’s. A 2017 Phytomedicine review concluded that while beta-asarone seems to have positive effects on conditions including neurological disorders, depression, anxiety, and drug dependence, the research confirming these theories is limited. Moreover, the toxicity of beta-asarone is not properly understood.
Calamus root has been used across cultures for generations as a treatment for a variety of conditions, including intoxication. You can slowly chew a small piece of the root, leave a piece in between your gum and cheek for the sublingual absorption of the root’s terpenes, or smoke a pinch of its powdered form. While the research is limited, one of these methods may attenuate your high.
Snack on Pine and Pistachio Nuts
Pine nuts and pistachio nuts have also been cited as an antidote to cannabis intoxication. Russo explains that the presence of pinene in the nuts supports the tradition. Pinene has many therapeutic uses including as a bronchodilator, insect repellant, and anti-inflammatory. However, it also inhibits acetylcholinesterase, an enzyme that can interfere with neurotransmission. This effect makes it a memory aid and seems to attenuate the short-term memory deficits caused by THC.
If you’re trying to reduce the effects of your high, eat some pine nuts or pistachio nuts, both of which are rich in pinene.
Sniff Black Pepper
Black pepper is a more commonly suggested antidote to cannabis intoxication. Russo suggests that the presence of pinene, myrcene, and beta-caryophyllene may be responsible for the agee-old use of black pepper to reduce the effects of a cannabis high.
Pinene may counteract the memory deficits caused by THC, myrcene produces a calming and sedating effect, and beta-caryophyllene is a CB2 antagonist, a function that makes it an anti-inflammatory and anchor to THC’s psychoactive effects.
If you’re high is making you anxious, take a big whiff of a pepper shaker or chew on a single peppercorn. In addition to experiencing a kick of spice, you might also find yourself feeling less high.