Have you ever had the overwhelming sensation of being way too high? Don’t worry, many people experience it, especially during their first time. Whether you’re new to cannabis, you have a low tolerance to THC, or you consume a higher-than-average dose, getting too high can be an unpleasant experience, especially if you have to go to work soon or you’re at a social function.
If you’re wondering how to get rid of a high, we have both bad news and good news: there’s no magic pill that can take an uncomfortable high away, but there are some techniques that can help you feel calmer, more focused, and more comfortable when you consume a little too much cannabis.
What happens when you get too high?
The effects of cannabis can be calming, uplifting, and downright euphoric, but high doses of THC can have unwanted outcomes in some users. Common effects of smoking too much cannabis include:
Fatigue: One common side effect of overconsuming edibles and other forms of cannabis is feeling sleepy or fatigued. Sometimes this effect is desired—in fact, one reason to get a medical marijuana card is to help manage insomnia and other sleep disorders. Other times, it can prevent us from being productive when we need to be.
Increased Anxiety/Paranoia: These psychoactive effects can be mild to severe and are very common when you get too high. Racing thoughts, rapid heartbeat, and paranoia can all be side effects of over-consumption. Those prone to panic attacks should exercise caution and dose carefully when using cannabis.
Dry Mouth: One of the most common side effects of consuming cannabis is “cottonmouth” or excessive dry mouth. While it’s more of a nuisance than anything else, dry mouth can also make it more difficult to speak or swallow and can even lead to bad breath. Other effects of getting too high can include nausea, dysphoria, and loss of coordination. Using weed with alcohol can increase the likelihood and severity of these side effects.
How to Get Unhigh
Is it possible to stop being high after you’ve eaten an edible or smoked too much? Yes and no. The only true way to get unhigh is to wait it out. It’s the common sense answer that nobody who is feeling way too high wants to hear, but it takes time for your body to naturally metabolize THC. The effects of smoking, vaping, or dabbing cannabis usually last for 1 to 3 hours.
Edibles typically take full effect after 2 hours and can last 8 or more. While there is no proven way to get unhigh instantly, you can take comfort in the fact that nothing lasts forever and even the strongest high will come to an end eventually. The following are several additional techniques that may reduce some of the negative effects of getting too high:
If you’re feeling anxious as a result of getting too high, the effects can be debilitating. You may feel like your heart is racing or feel short of breath. Excessive coughing from dabs, bongs, and other smoking devices can increase these effects.
One of the best practices to try is focusing on deep breathing. Sit in a comfortable seat or lay on your back. If possible, place a pillow under your head and another under your knees. Place one hand on your belly and the other on your chest. Inhale for a count of 4, filling the belly with breath. Exhale for another count of 4. Notice the rise and fall of your hands with your breath. Repeat this sequence 3 to 4 times and notice how you feel. Repeat as needed. Deep breathing can ease stress and anxiety, lower heart rate, and promote a sense of calm that can help you feel better when you’re a little too stoned.
You don’t always have the luxury of time on your hands when trying to get unhigh, but getting a good night’s sleep or even taking a short rest or nap is one of the best ways to re-center when you get a little too high. It combines time, which is essential to metabolize the THC you ingested, with deep breathing, which can help you relax and regain equilibrium. If you lay down in bed and start to get the spins, try putting one foot firmly on the floor.
Dehydration of any kind can lead to nausea and dizziness. Cottonmouth and dry eyes are also common symptoms of poor hydration. While it might not make you unhigh, drinking adequate amounts of water before, during, and after a smoke session or consuming edibles is a great way to minimize some of these unwanted symptoms. You may also want to consider replenishing your electrolytes with hydrating natural beverages like coconut water, watermelon juice, and other 100% fruit juices.
If you need to be productive but you find yourself a bit too high to get things done, caffeine can give you a little boost to get off the couch and go about your day while taking the edge off. A cup of coffee or any other caffeinated beverage is the perfect pick-me-up if you’re feeling foggy from getting too high. While it won’t make you “unhigh,” it can increase focus and alertness which can help balance the relaxing effects of THC. Caffeinated beverages can also have dehydrating effects, so make sure to drink plenty of water to replenish your fluids.
CBD is another active cannabinoid found in decarboxylated cannabis, and it’s growing in popularity for its beneficial and non-psychoactive effects. CBD users report a number of positive benefits including an increased sense of calm and relaxation. If you’re feeling tense or anxious as a result of getting too high, CBD may help counteract the negative side effects of THC.
Nothing helps you reset and refocus quite like a warm bath or steamy shower. If you’re feeling dizzy or unbalanced, this technique isn’t for you—but if you’re feeling paranoid that the world will know you’re high as a kite, or your anxious thoughts get the best of you, getting squeaky clean and changing into fresh, comfortable clothing can help put your mind at ease.
Terpenes are compounds that give cannabis and other plants their distinctive aromas. These compounds impact the taste and effects of dry flower and cannabis concentrates. The terpenes found in many aromatic plants can promote a sense of calm well-being. Like CBD, the effects of aromatherapy still require more research, but natural scents like lavender, lemon, and pepper may all have positive impacts if you’re feeling too high.
Squeeze a lemon and inhale the zesty aromas of the peel and juice or waft the spicy scent of peppercorns enjoy the balancing effects. Time is still the best and only way to actually get unhigh, but if you accidentally over-indulge, these techniques may help you regain your center, relax, and enjoy the ride.