THC SOS! What to do when you’ve done too much
“Cannabis is neither dangerous nor completely harmless.” – unknown
Let’s keep it 100: cannabis has side effects.
Yes, you can do too much weed. No, it can’t kill you.
While it may not be fatal, overdoing it on the THC (overmedication, overconsumption, or “greening out,”) might make you feel like you’re dying, for what feels like an eternity. And it sucks.
It doesn’t matter if the culprit was a homemade brownie, a more voluminous puff than usual, or a misreading of a product’s dosing guidelines, the items on this list will help you de-escalate an uncomfortable high– regardless of how you got there.
1. Calm down and release the tension.
First thing’s first: come back down to Earth.
Here’s a list of calming breathing techniques that should be the first thing you try when you know you’ve overdone it. Without a doubt, controlled breathing (through the nose) is the most powerful thing you can do to come down from being too high.
Start with a body scan. Sometimes being high can magnify little discomforts or misalignments in the body. Use this new bodily awareness to scan your body and notice how it feels, then either lay down or adjust your posture. You might need to put your feet up, lay on the floor, sprawl out, change chairs, or just wiggle around for a minute. Whatever feels right.
Stretch or do yoga.
Just be gentle– the goal is to soothe an alarmed nervous system. Go slow, be aware of your breath, and only do what feels good.
Loving touch releases oxytocin, a brain chemical that makes us feel safe and cozy. Whether it’s solo or with a partner, feelin’ yourself makes you feel better. It’s science.
2. Replenish your body.
Pay attention to your body’s signals and give it what it needs.
Don’t overthink it.
Eat something comforting.
But keep it simple. Fruit and leftovers FTW.
Take some CBD.
CBD physically changes the way that THC binds to the psychedelic CB1 receptors in your brain and central nervous system (they’re the ones responsible for this situation). In a practical sense, this means that CBD may be able to turn down the intensity of THC’s cerebral effects down a few notches.
Try sucking on a peppercorn.
They contain a terpene called beta-caryophyllene that might help a person calm down via the way it interacts with our endocannabinoid system’s CB2 receptor.
3. Adjust your setting.
From the sounds and lighting of the room to the ~vibes~ we catch from people in the space around us, little things seem magnified when a person is high.
Engage your senses with familiar stimuli.
Put on any kind of sound you know and love: music or a show, podcast, audiobook, the radio, whatever. Change into your comfy clothes. Wrap yourself in your favorite blanket. Light a candle. Snacks.
Change spaces or tweak something about the space you’re in.
Comfort is key. If you can’t relocate to a different space, try dimming the lights, opening a window, or changing the genre of music playing. It’s all about getting into the right ~mood~.
If nature is accessible to you, go outside.
If you’re alone:
Remember, you are in control of this experience. FaceTime a friend, text someone, let them know you need an ear. You’ll laugh about it later.
If you’re around people:
Remember, nobody is actually judging you. And it’s totally NOT weird to relocate to another room or just close your eyes and let yourself space out of the conversation. On the other hand, if you’re getting an influx of urgent-feeling thoughts, try just saying them out loud. Sharing a feeling or train of thought with your friends is cathartic, and when you’re stoned, it’s often pretty funny, too.
4. Do a simple activity.
Engaging enough to be a good distraction, simple enough to not mess up. Pro tip: don’t cook until you’re back to normal. Just don’t.
Take a nap.
Rewatch movies & shows you love.
Seen it 10 times already? Perfect. Know it by heart? Even better.
Take a stroll/walk the dog.
Look at the flowers, listen to the wind in the trees, the birds, the cars whirring by. There is often enough exterior stimulation to rescue an uncomfortable mind from dark places.
Take a shower or bath.
Or just brush your teeth. Sooooo refreshing.
Get lost on Reddit.
Discover new interests, connect with online communities. There are lots of really helpful cannabis-related subreddits as well, such as r/Cannabis, r/Trees, r/Petioles, and many more.
May we recommend this very silly video.
For more on how to navigate the cannabis experience, read Don’t fear the reefer, How to Read Chemotype Data, and Cannabis and Sex: A Primer.
This is not intended to be a substitute for medical advice. 21+. Consume responsibly.