Photo by Fabian Moller – Unsplash.com
Every true stoner knows there are a few rites of passage every weed smoker must go through: getting caught smoking by your parents, smoking out of weird things like apples and aluminum cans, dropping all your weed on the carpet while crying on your hands and knees trying to pick up every little nug, and, of course, accidentally getting waaaaay too high.
Look, it happens to the best of us. Weed nowadays can be really strong! Every stoner we know has at some point accidentally bitten off way more than they could chew and eaten too many edibles or taken a just-too-big dab or bong rip that has sent them on a rocket ship straight to the moon while their shoes stay stuck on Earth.
And when that happens, sometimes it can be a little scary. Super strong THC (delta-9 in particular) has been known to occasionally trigger anxiety symptoms in some people, creating an uncomfortable cannabis experience. These feelings of anxiety can intensify during a powerful high, which can prompt you to figure out how to make your high go away.
How Do I Know if I’m Too High?
It’s essential to first look at how cannabis—THC especially—is supposed to affect us before making the judgment on whether you’re too high or not. When you ingest THC, it engages with the human body’s endocannabinoid system. The THC then reacts with the cannabinoid receptors (CB1 and CB2) that lie within both the nervous and immune systems (respectively) to create different physical and mental effects. These effects can include:
Elevated or euphoric moods
Sleepiness (most prevalent in Indica strains)
Elevated energy (most prevalent in Sativa strains)
Relief from pain and/or inflammation
Relaxed body and/or muscles
Although THC is capable of many beautiful things, sometimes THC can be strong enough to push you in the opposite direction, that’ll leave you thinking, “How to get unstoned.” Some signs and symptoms of being too high include:
Feelings of increased anxiety
Feelings of depersonalization
Increased body temperature or sweating
Nausea or vomiting
Extreme brain fog or confusion
Technically, there is no official diagnosis for being too high nor an official threshold of how much cannabis will make a person too high. These things are going to depend very heavily on a variety of individual external factors, including tolerance, age, height, weight, and overall health.
You also don’t have to show all of the above symptoms to be considered too high––you are too high as soon as you stop having fun being high. And that’s okay! Sometimes weed can hit us in a way that doesn’t agree with our body at that time, just like a lot of other things can.
Thankfully, there have been zero reported cases of any marijuana overdoses. So while it may feel uncomfortable at the moment, it’s important to remember that in the end, you will be okay. But, we understand the urgency––so if you’re still at a point where you’re trying to figure out how to be less high, we’ve compiled 13 ways that’ll help you do that.
How to Get Unhigh
While there is no magic way to get THC out of your system other than to simply wait it out, it’s good to know how to become unhigh fast when you feel like you’ve maybe had a hit too many. We know the struggle is very real, so we’ve come up with 13 ways that can help you figure out how to get unhigh ASAP.
This one is pretty obvious, but you have to hydrate. One reason you may be feeling negative effects associated with your high could be from previous dehydration. Since very few people actually drink enough water, it could be a pretty likely cause.
Being dehydrated can exacerbate the feelings of your high to a point that may make you uncomfortable. If you didn’t hydrate enough beforehand, drinking some cold water after you’re feeling too high will help get rid of your cottonmouth and can help get you back to feeling normal.
Honestly, a good rule of thumb any time you’re not feeling well: when in doubt, drink some water.
Try to Sleep it Off.
This one might not work right away (since not everyone can just go to sleep on command), but if you can, we highly recommend trying to sleep it off. Sleep is the quickest way to get rid of a high, and thankfully, cannabis is notoriously a good aid for sleep.
If you can ride out the high until it tires you out, let it. Sleep is the ultimate healing agent for the human body, and even just a short nap can help to take the edge off of a super-strong high. You may even end up getting an excellent, deep sleep you didn’t know you needed!
Eat Some Food.
If you haven’t made it to the knocked-out-cold part of your high yet, hopefully, you’ve reached the munchies part. While there isn’t any scientific evidence that says eating food will lessen your high (like it does when you drink too much alcohol), there has been a lot of anecdotal evidence that says that eating a heavy meal will noticeably diminish the intensity of the high.
Eating or cooking food can also help to distract you from being too high. Doing things that bring you pleasure, comfort, or joy can be super helpful when you’re feeling overwhelmed by your high.
Get Your Blood Pumping.
Physical activity is a notorious buzzkill, and in this case, that’s exactly what we want. Go for a walk, do some yoga, do an exercise video, dance in the mirror, or even just do some jumping jacks. Getting your blood pumping can help to clear your brain and have you feeling more alert and in touch with your physical self, which can be super helpful if the weed is making you feel the opposite.
Engage With Media.
Even though cannabis physically affects the body, the feeling of being too high is primarily mental––and when you focus too much on how anxious you are, that can make it way worse. Putting on your favorite movie or a comforting, familiar TV show can help to get your mind off of the feeling of being too high until you’ve come down enough to enjoy it.
Playing video games can also be a great distraction for your brain when it seems to have been negatively affected by weed. Weed can get the mind racing, and sometimes taking advantage of that can be useful. Put on a video game that requires some deep thinking and brainpower, and hours might pass before you even realize that your high has come down drastically.
Cool Yourself Down.
A common side effect of stress and anxiety is increased body temperature. (And if you’ve ever had the dab-sweats, you know it’s serious.) Lowering your body temperature can help calm you down if you’re feeling overheated and overwhelmed.
If you live somewhere that gets super cold in the winter, stepping outside for a blast of freezing cold air can help to snap you back to reality. If that’s not an option, try an ice pack or a cool cloth on the back of your neck.
If all else fails, stick your head in the freezer. Whatever must be done!
Take a Bath or Shower.
The full-body equivalent of splashing cold water on your face, putting yourself in a bath or shower can help to jolt your mind and body back to a sense of reality. But, of course, you don’t have to actually take a cold shower unless you want to––even a hot shower can help ease stress and tension and relax you back into enjoying your high again. (There’s just something universally comforting about taking a shower when you don’t feel well!)
THC can be super anxiety-inducing, which is why we’re fortunate to have such wonderful other cannabinoids like CBD, that do the exact opposite. Known for its calming properties, CBD can help to relax you if you feel like you’ve consumed too much THC.
Although it can seem somewhat counterproductive to consume more cannabis after feeling like you’ve already consumed too much cannabis, CBD can really work in a pinch.
Take Black Pepper.
This one may sound strange, but there have been actual evidence that there is a chemical in black peppercorns called alpha-pinene, which, when ingested, can override the effects of cannabinoids in the body. This can be done by eating it or even just smelling it. (Disclaimer: we said SMELLING it, not snorting it! We just feel like we have to make that distinction here.)
If you don’t have black pepper, you can try smelling or sipping other strongly-scented items in your kitchen. Astringent-smelling things like lemon or vinegar will work well in a pinch, too.
Smell Essential Oils.
In lieu of foods, you can also try smelling some calming essential oils to help balance your mood. Aromatherapy has been known to help ease feelings of anxiety and can be very helpful in this situation. We recommend calming blends like lavender or ylang-ylang or awakening blends like eucalyptus or peppermint.
If you don’t have essential oils, smelling anything that brings you comfort––your favorite candle, incense, perfume, etc.––can help bring feelings of peace and comfort.
Drink Hot Tea.
If smelling herbs doesn’t do the trick, you can always try drinking them. Calming teas that include herbs such as chamomile, mint, valerian root, and ashwagandha are wonderful for anxiety, which oftentimes is the main side effect of being too high. There’s a reason people have been steeping herbs for centuries; they really do help!
Talk To Someone You Trust.
Sometimes you just need to be reassured that you’re good. Ensure you have a trusted friend or family member who you can call or talk to when you’re feeling too high who can help keep you grounded. They may even be able to distract you from the uncomfortable feelings with a conversation or an activity without you even noticing. There’s nothing like breaking through anxiety like a good laugh with your friends!
Talk Yourself Down.
If all else fails, sometimes you just have to talk yourself down. If you’re in public, sneak away somewhere private and give yourself a pep talk. Remind yourself that this feeling is fleeting and that you will come down. Do it in the bathroom mirror, talk to yourself with no one else around, do whatever you have to do.
Being too high can be a terrifying and nerve-wracking experience. You may find yourself begging the question, “how long does it take to get unhigh?!” since it can sometimes feel like it’s never going to end, or like you’ll be stuck that way forever. But you have to keep reminding yourself of this: no high lasts forever, no one has ever died from being too high, and you are going to be just fine.
How to Get Less High in the Future
It’s great to know how to get rid of a high once you’ve already gotten there, but it’s also important to understand how to prevent getting too high in the future. Sometimes getting too high is purely accidental, but there are a few things you should learn to do if you want to know how to get less high when you do partake.
Drink plenty of water and eat plenty of food before you ingest any cannabis. Make sure to bring extra water with you to your sesh, too!
Make sure you’re only smoking with people you trust. Nothing can make a bad high happen like sketchy situations, so make sure you’re already in a comfortable place.
Know your limits. If you know you can’t handle big bong rips, don’t take them. Make sure when you try edibles to start out slow and work your way up. Once you find your sweet spot, stay there!
Try alternative cannabinoids that will get you high at awith less potent psychoactive properties like delta 8 and delta 10 THC.
Once you master these things, you’ll begin to enjoy your high experiences a lot more and have to figure out out how to get unhigh a lot less. Happy smoking!