Since I hate long articles that take forever to get to the point, let me give you what you really need to know first. We can get to the “why” and all that stuff later.
First, beyond what medical facilities may be able to do, there’s no real way that we’ve found that will get you un-high or sober you up in a flash. But there are several ways to help you relax and ride it out.
If you feel jittery, anxious, or scared, try these things…
Know That This Will Pass
This may be the most important thing: You’re going to be fine.
This feeling of discomfort or panic has happened to many of us. It passes. It always passes. Yes, you’re going to have a few minutes of discomfort. But it will go away and you will be your old self really soon. Just knowing that – just trusting that – can immediately bring relief. You can now just ride it out and, in the meantime, do one of the things listed below.
Focus on something other than yourself.
Stop thinking about yourself. It may sound impossible to a worried mind, but you can do it.
Put on a record (you remember those?), CD or radio and get lost in the music. Listen to the complexity, passion, talent and recording nuances that went into that piece of music. Try something gentle like Clair de Lune or “Feelin’ Groovy” – something light. Not “Helter Skelter” or “Whole Lotta Love.” Pick up a book and find a story you may have read before. Familiarity is good – no surprises that can startle you. Flip on a movie. Comedies are great, old comedies are better, the Marx Brothers are the absolute best. It’s tough to feel uncomfortable when you’re laughing.
If you play an instrument, play something you know. Singing is really good for refocusing your mind, even if you sound like Tiny Tim. Think about the words.
The mind has a tough time focusing on two things at once, no matter what people say about “multitasking.” If your mind is enjoying the music or story, it’s not going to be too concerned about your nervousness. And where you mind goes, your body follows. As you mentally relax, your body will also relax and the muscle tenseness will ebb. And that will make your mind calmer. Soon, all of you will be at peace.
When you’re tense, you take shallow breaths. Your mind and body aren’t getting enough O2, so they tense up. It’s a Catch-22; you get panicky and you don’t take in enough air; you don’t take in enough air, your mind and body react badly and you get tenser.
Breathing to relax is easy and it works. Here’s how…
- Sit in a comfortable chair with your legs uncrossed and your hands on your legs. Sit up straight but not rigid. Then relax your body.
- Gently close your eyes or fix your gaze on something and let it go blurry.
- Breathe in slowly but deeply through your nose for three seconds or when you can’t take in any more air. Don’t push yourself, just take in all you can. Whatever the amount, you want to feel the air going all the way down to your stomach or thereabouts. The first few breaths may be shallow since you’re tense and that’s fine; as you relax, you’ll be able to take in more air. And your mind and body will say “Thanks, I needed that!”
- Hold the breath for three seconds.
- Slowly release the breath for four seconds through your mouth and quietly say, “Ahhhhh!”
- Do this for three minutes.
Take Some CBD
CBD helps fight anxiety. Many people have found it can counter-act the effects of THC and is helpful in taking the edge off. In a 2019 study, researchers found that 300–600 mg of CBD significantly reduced anxiety symptoms in 57 adult males. The effects of orally administered CBD, such as oils, edibles, or capsules, begin working within 30 minutes to 2 hours. Smoking or vaping CBD oil or cannabis buds results in more immediate effects.
Drink Water, Maybe Have Something to Eat
Lots of us get dry mouth when we get stoned. That’s uncomfortable. So have some water – not a sugar-filled soft drink. No coffee or booze, either. Water.
Food contains terpenes and there’s some evidence terpenes affect your endocannabinoid system. Something with lemon is great. Lemons contain the terpenes limonene which can offset the feeling of being high. I’ve personally found that this simple drink makes me calm every time I sip it:
- 8 oz hot water
- 1 Tbs fresh lemon juice (juice if ½ fresh lemon)
- 1 Tbs honey
You can look up the science later. Go make yourself a cup right now and sip it slowly.
Try Some Peppercorns
It may sound a bit unusual, but many people have said taking a whiff of peppercorns helps bring them down. Some have suggested chewing some or steeping them in hot water with some lemon. Peppercorns contain the terpene beta-caryophyllene which may help clarify your thoughts and lead to a reduction in anxiety.
Do Normal Stuff
Go for a walk with a friend. Re-arrange a closet or dresser. Dust. Vacuum. Sit in the bath and luxuriate or take a brisk shower. It’ll pass the time as your stonedness passes AND you’ll have a neater home/be cleaner. Remember, this feeling is going to go away soon.
Talk to Someone You Trust
Telling a trusted friend, spouse, or relative what you’re going through is great way to get your anxiety out in the open. Maybe your friend has been through this and will reinforce the fact that “this too shall pass.” Friends and loved ones can be of great comfort. If no one is around, post something on Reddit. Be honest and say what you’re going through. There’s usually a lot of Redditors all around the world who may answer within seconds and help you. You may also do a search with Reddit/r/Marijuana for “anxiety.” There are a lot of posts with some good info.
Need More Help?
Don’t be afraid to contact emergency service if you feel uncomfortable or panicky. They’re well versed in how to treat people who have “greened out,” even in states where cannabis is not legal. They’ll help.
If you’ve had an uncomfortable experience, think about it before using cannabis again. There may be an underlying issue, like stress, relationship issues, or illness. Did you have a lot to drink when you got stoned? Were you already a bit hyper or worked up (in a good or bad way) about something? Are you in a higher altitude? All these things may influence the effect cannabis can have on you.
Also, as Senior-High always advises, start off low and slow. If you’re trying something new, just take a little bit and see how it affects you. Good results? Then you may want to just stick with that amount. There’s a natural curiosity that compels us to want to try more, but maybe we don’t need to. Every body is different and just because a friend can smoke joint after joint with no problem doesn’t mean that your body can too. We’ve always found that sticking with what just works for us is enjoyable and safer.
Be sure to be aware of the ratio of THC to CBD in the products you’re taking. As mentioned above, starting off low may be best for you, meaning to enjoy products with more CBD than THC. Please read this excellent article on ratios on Senior-High’s webpage. While a ratio of 1:1 (1 part CBD to 1 part THC), it’s actually quite potent – half THC! Dude!
Again, everyone has a different tolerance so know your products before to enjoy the most beneficial experience.