We’ve all been there: we eat too many edibles or smoke a particularly strong strain of weed. Before you know it, your ego dissolves into nothingness as you stare into the deep abyss of despair. And that’s still not the worst of it.
The hard truth is that there’s no way to effectively “kill” a high and sober up from too much cannabis immediately; you have to wait it out.
However, there are ways to make the process easier and lessen the symptoms of intense marijuana high. Before we answer “how to come down from a high,’ we first need to talk about
How to Know if You’re Too High
People are always chasing a “better high” while indulging in weed. Even when they feel pretty good, they want to feel better. Hence, they light up another joint or wolf down another brownie. Before you know it, you’ve consumed too much THC.
Alas, this is a rookie mistake.
When smoking weed, there is a certain threshold beyond which your high will intensify, but in the worst ways.
Here are some tell-tale signs you’re “too high”:
- High levels of anxiety
- Panic and anxiety attacks
- Nausea and vomiting
- Rapid heart rate
- Difficulty talking
- Poor motor skills
- Extreme confusion, short-term memory problems, and blackouts
How Long Does a Weed High Last?
Weed affects people in vastly different ways, depending on tolerance levels, sleep deprivation, whether you’ve eaten beforehand, etc.
Furthermore, the intensity and time period of a high will also differs depending on the strain of weed you smoke or the volume of edibles you ingest.
Generally speaking, the peak of an average high from smoking weed will last up to two hours, but you’ll still feel some lingering effects for another 2-3 hours. On the other hand, the peak of an edible can last 3 hours, but you’ll still feel woozy for up to 10 hours.
Unfortunately, the only way to fully sober up from a high, especially an intense high, is to ride it out. But while you’re doing so, you can certainly do some things to lessen the negative symptoms.
10 Tips to Come Down From a High
Here are some tried-and-tested tips to sober up from weed.
The worst thing you can do while experiencing a particularly bad or intense high is panic. Remember: psychoactive drugs reflect and build on your emotional states, so panicking or fixating on how high you are will only exacerbate your condition.
So, first and foremost, you must relax and shift your focus to something else. For example, you can try:
- Do some yoga, deep breathing exercises, counting exercises, or anything to help you ground yourself.
- Cleaning your room, organizing your closet, or anything that’s slightly productive.
- Listening to your favorite music or watching your choice of a feel-good movie.
- Playing an instrument, painting, or doodling.
- Playing a video game or doing a jigsaw puzzle.
- Keep taking deep breaths and remain mindful of your breathing.
Drinking water won’t make you sober up from weed, but it will counteract some unpleasant symptoms of being too high.
When you consume marijuana, your salivary glands become less active, leading to a dry mouth. Hence, drinking water or other refreshing drinks can help alleviate the discomfort, leaving you with one less thing to worry about.
For example, sipping on some cold water, green tea, or a soft drink will keep you grounded and revitalize your senses. However, don’t consume alcohol or anything with caffeine, as this will only intensify your symptoms.
It is a well-known fact that marijuana suppresses the part of our brain that signals us to stop eating when we’re full, leading to borderline gluttonous behavior. However, the reason why you get the urge to eat in the first place is that marijuana affects your blood pressure and sugar levels.
When your blood sugar levels are low, you can start feeling dizzy, nauseous, shaky, anxious, and lethargic. Combined with a bad high, these symptoms can feel a hundred times worse.
Simple and quick-digesting carbohydrates are enough to bring back your blood sugar levels. These simple carbohydrates include:
- Fruit or fruit juice
- Regular soft drinks (not diet)
- Milk (not lactose-free)
- Hard candies
- A spoonful of sugar or honey
Moreover, some counteractive foods can potentially reduce the actual high, although the research on this is very limited. Still, habitual weed smokers swear by black peppercorn, lemons, and pine nuts as age-old remedies for neutralizing a high and helping you sober up from weed.
When you’re high, exercising is the last thing on your mind. After all, marijuana is a sedative, right?
While some people feel tired after consuming marijuana, the psychoactive drug affects everyone differently. In fact, weed can be classified as a depressant, stimulant, or hallucinogen— it doesn’t fall into just one category.
But one thing remains unanimous: exercising while high feels amazing. Keep in mind that you won’t “sweat out” any THC while exercising— it just doesn’t work that way.
However, exercising gets the blood flowing, wakes up your muscles, focuses your brain on deep breathing, and reinvigorates your senses. You’ll still be high after you’re done, but you’ll feel much more refreshed and in control.
Take a Shower or Bath
Bathing or showering can help wake you up, improve blood circulation, reduce anxiety, increase endorphins, and revitalize you.
Now, a cold shower might not technically make you sober up from weed, but it will shock you back into reality. A two-minute head-to-toe rinse will be enough to reorient your body and mind after too much cannabis. Even splashing cold water on your face can do the trick.
But if you want something a little more relaxing, you can also draw up a warm bath, play some music, whip out aromatic oils, and ride out your high in a relaxed manner.
Be careful, though; don’t light candles or stay too long in hot water (or worse, fall asleep). Once you’re high, you won’t realize if the candles have tipped over or if your skin burns from prolonged submersion in hot water.
Talk through it
When you’re high, your inner thoughts can be your worst enemy. All it takes is one negative thought to spiral you into panic and hysteria.
What you need is someone who can pull you out of your thoughts and ground you or allow you to vent out your feelings. In any case, having someone sober around you is always good practice for safe and responsible marijuana consumption.
So, try phoning or calling over a close friend who can empathize with you, offer you a shoulder to cry on or simply help you ride out your high.
Cuddle a Pet
If you can’t reach out to a friend, turn to your furry companion for some empathy.
Our pets are good at sensing when there’s something wrong with us. Moreover, if you’re a habitual smoker, your furry friend has probably picked up on cues to determine when you’re high. They can easily associate the smell of marijuana with changes in their behavior and mood.
And the best part? Your pets will modify their behavior and try to engage with you accordingly.
Try it out: if you’re experiencing a bad high, divert your attention toward your pet. Even if they’re not in a snuggling mood, they might still help refocus your attention by playing with you. If that doesn’t work, try brushing them or even taking them for a walk (if you’re able enough).
Simply focusing on your pet can help you sober up from weed.
Take some CBD
While this may seem counterintuitive, cannabidiol (CBD) can help you sober up from weed.
CBD is one of the two main cannabinoids in the cannabis plant, the other one being THC. But while THC produces the intoxicating effects of a high, CBD is non-psychoactive and engenders calming effects. This is why pure CBD extracts, such as CBD oil and CBD gummies, have become popular treatments for anxiety and depression.
On the other hand, taking too much THC can backfire.
Other studies have found that CBD can counteract the effects of THC by blocking certain cannabinoid receptors in our brains. In other words, pure CBD can kill your high.
However, CBD oil will take some time to kick in since your body needs to digest it first.
Sometimes, a weed high is just too intense to wait out through exercising, showering, or eating. Even listening to music or watching a movie can be extremely overwhelming.
If you’ve smoked too much weed, you’re better off sleeping through the symptoms. By the time you wake up, you’ll sober up from weed.
With that said, be prepared for a nasty weed hangover. Still, though, handling dizziness, lethargy, and nausea is much easier done sober than high.
While there is such a thing as being too high, it’s not possible to have a fatal overdose of marijuana. Still, you might end up harming yourself in other ways, such as falling down the stairs or hitting your head.
In this case, it’s best to seek professional help.
This is especially useful if you fear you’ve ingested too many edibles. Paramedics can pump out your stomach to stop your body from digesting more THC. Moreover, they’ll keep you in a safe and controlled environment until you sober up from weed enough to go home.
One of the foremost tenets of safe and responsible marijuana consumption is ensuring you don’t smoke too much cannabis in the first place. To do this, you must research your weed strain, respect your tolerance levels, and take a break before eating another edible.
But even when we’re being as careful as possible, things can go awry.
When you feel too high, the most important thing to remember is that it will eventually run its course.
But if you can’t wait for the high to pass, certain things can help reduce your anxiety, fear, nausea, and other symptoms. Before you know it, you’ll regain enough control to ride out the high comfortably.