Whether you’re a new smoker, sensitive to THC, or trying high-potency products like edibles or dabs, it’s easy to end up more stoned than you intended. Take comfort in the fact that almost everyone who has used cannabis has been there at some point, and there are a few easy ways to feel better quickly. In this article, we’ll help you recognize the signs of overconsumption and guide you through what to do if you get too high.
What is “Greening Out?”
The uncomfortable sensation of being too high is sometimes known as “greening out” or “whiting out,” as many who experience this phenomenon will go pale, or “look green.” What exactly happens when you get too high? The effects of cannabis are different for everyone, but some common side effects of overconsumption include:
- Rapid Heartbeat
- Feelings of Anxiety or Paranoia
- Dry Mouth
These symptoms can range from mild to somewhat severe and, while not fatal, can be extremely uncomfortable for some. Studies have shown that there is no proven case of cannabis-induced fatality, so you can take heart: You are not going to die.
What to Do When You Get Too High: X Tips
Unfortunately, there is no magic pill or elixir that can take your high away immediately. Time is the main factor needed for eliminating the effects of cannabis from the body. With that said, you don’t have to just sit there and ride it out the whole time if you’re uncomfortably high. Instead, try using one or more of these tips!
Change Your Perspective
As soon as you notice you’ve gone a little overboard on cannabis consumption, it’s easy to fall into a negative thought spiral. Some people have even reported that they believed they were having a heart attack or worse after getting too high. If you suffer from an existing health condition, seek medical attention immediately. If you do not, it’s very likely that consuming too much cannabis is causing you to panic, and the effects are temporary.
While it’s easy to say “don’t panic,” it can be much harder in practice. Try this technique, borrowed from mindfulness expert Eckhart Tolle. If your thoughts are racing, and you’re imagining the worst possible scenarios, pause for a moment and ask yourself “What is wrong right now?” Are you or is someone you love in immediate physical danger? Is anything on fire or underwater? If yes, attend to the danger immediately. If not, performing this exercise will help you step outside of a cycle of anxious thoughts and see that the world will most certainly not end from you getting too high, so you can proceed to the next steps.
Take a Nap
If you have the time and the opportunity, go take a nap! Even if you can’t get to sleep, simply laying down with your eyes closed for 30 minutes can lower your heart rate and give your body time to metabolize some of the cannabis you just consumed. After 30 minutes, you may still feel high, but you’re also likely to feel much more relaxed. If it’s the evening, there’s nothing wrong with going to bed early to sleep off your high.
Drink Lots of Water
While you can’t use water to “flush” a cannabis high out of your system, staying hydrated while high can have many positive effects. Dehydration can cause or worsen many symptoms associated with getting too high, such as dry mouth, dizziness, nausea, and fatigue. Drinking water is one of the easiest ways to counteract these effects. You may find that drinking other beverages such as fruit juice or sports drinks can be beneficial, as they offer hydration as well as additional vitamins and nutrients. One important thing to remember: Don’t consume alcohol in an attempt to “level out” your high, as this can contribute to negative symptoms like nausea and confusion.
If you feel like you’re getting a little too sleepy and lethargic, or you want to perk up in order to be productive, coffee can be a helpful antidote to the sleep-inducing effects of cannabis. Caffeine reaches peak levels in the body within 30 to 60 minutes of consumption and has a half-life of 3 to 5 hours, meaning it can help you get “unstuck” and stay that way. If you’re feeling overly anxious or paranoid, skip the coffee or any other type of energy drink as caffeine can heighten these sensations.
Take a Shower
It’s remarkable how sometimes a shower or bath can truly wash our worries away. If you’re stuck in an anxious loop or you simply don’t feel right and want to reset your vibe, hopping in a warm (but not too hot) shower can have incredible grounding and balancing effects. Try to focus on the sensations around you to help bring you into the present—like the scent of your soap, the texture of the lather as you wash your hair, the sight of the warm steam rising upward. Like drinking caffeine, we recommend you use this tip with caution. If you’re experiencing dizziness, lightheadedness, or rapid heartbeat, the heat from your shower could make these symptoms worse.
CBD is another active cannabinoid found in cannabis, and it interacts with the human brain differently than THC. Many users are reporting an increased sense of calm and reduced stress as a benefit of using CBD. While it won’t remove your high for you, CBD could potentially help mitigate the uncomfortable feelings of being too high.
Call a Friend
In times like these, it’s easy to feel isolated, even when you’re in a group of people. If you’re feeling too high, it might be a good idea to reach out to a trusted friend. Someone who knows you really well and has your best interests in mind will be able to talk you through your feelings and can help remind you that this is only temporary and you’re going to be okay.
If you’re feeling overwhelmingly anxious or unwell, you can always contact a physician or other medical professional and they will help you understand your symptoms better, but this is not always necessary. While the effects of getting too high may be uncomfortable, it’s important to remember that they will pass on their own over time.