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8 Ways to Sober Up & Reduce Your Marijuana High

Learn how to come down from a high and sober up if you’ve taken too much medical marijuana. 

While medical (and recreational) cannabis is becoming a part of everyday society across many states of America, it still remains a complicated and often misunderstood topic. 

Cannabis is classified as a Schedule 1 drug, and is, therefore, illegal under federal law. This makes it extremely challenging for scientists to conduct research and has led to a lack of definitive information for physicians who now have the difficult task of recommending medical marijuana. [1] 

Without clear guidance, physicians may recommend the wrong strain (THC or CBD content), dosage, or consumption method to patients. While it’s medically impossible to have a lethal overdose from marijuana, there are other adverse side effects that can result from taking too much. [2] For example, you can experience symptoms from mild anxiety and nausea through to a full-blown panic attack. 

Fortunately, there are several ways you can reduce the negative side-effects of a marijuana overdose. If you’ve accidentally consumed too much, here are nine ways to sober up from marijuana and reduce the unwanted high. 

1. Don’t Panic

Consuming too much cannabis can be concerning–especially if you’re not familiar with the side-effects. For example, you might be experiencing anxiety or panic attacks, chest pain, impaired coordination, and even hallucinations, in some cases. [3] But, we want to reiterate the point that cannabis is NOT life-threatening. There have been no reported deaths from cannabis exposure in history, which has even been confirmed by the DEA. [4] The symptoms you’re experiencing will eventually pass with time, so you just have to ride it out. 

If you’ve taken too much, the most important thing to do is stay calm and don’t panic. Remember–no one has ever died from excess consumption. Find a quiet place that reduces your discomfort and remind yourself that it will eventually leave your system.

2. Know Your Limits 

While it won’t help sober up if you’re currently high, knowing your limits and taking the correct dose can ensure you don’t make the same mistake twice. Cannabis strains can vary significantly, with some strains more potent than others. There are also many consumption methods (edibles, topicals, dry herb, etc.), which can make it challenging to monitor and administer the correct dosage each time. Furthermore, not everyone has the same tolerance level. If it’s your first time with medical marijuana, you won’t need anywhere near as much compared to a seasoned cannabis user to feel the same effects. 

Make sure you start off slowly and don’t take any more than the recommended dosage advised by your physician. This is especially true when it comes to edibles. Edibles can take up to two full hours before they really kick in (30-minutes at a minimum), as the cannabinoids are absorbed through your liver. Most states require edibles to be divided into small doses (e.g. individual gummy bears) to help users avoid taking too much. Always start off at the lowest recommended dose (for instance, 1-2.5mg of THC content) and gradually increase by 1-2mg as your tolerance level builds.

3. Stay Hydrated

You’re going to need water–and lots of it! Dry mouth (also known as cottonmouth and the more technical term, xerostomia) is one of the adverse side effects of cannabis consumption. The cause of dry mouth has been widely studied–and relates to the interaction of THC with our endocannabinoid system (ECS). [5] Cannabinoid receptors are located in the brain and throughout our body, in addition to the submandibular glands (found in our mouth), which are responsible for three-quarters of our saliva production. When cannabinoids from marijuana bind to these receptors, they can temporarily decrease saliva production, leading to hyposalivation (or dry mouth). 

While you might think the best cure is to grab a cold beer–this could actually make things worse. Alcohol can actually increase THC blood concentration. Also, stay away from caffeine (coffee, tea) and acidic beverages (fruit juices or tomato juice) as this can dry your mouth out further. The best solution is to hydrate with water before, during, and after using cannabis. Take small, frequent sips and make it part of your daily routine. For a quick fix, grab some candy to increase salivation.

4. Try Black Peppercorns

If you’re starting to feel anxious or slightly paranoid, you’ll be pleased to know that you only have to run to your kitchen cupboard to reduce the effects. Smelling or chewing on black peppercorns has been known to provide instantaneous relief and bring you back to a stress-free euphoria. 

Scientists have discovered that beta-caryophyllene (BCP), a terpene commonly found in herbs, spices, and food plants, activates CB2 receptors and produces a phytocannabinoid-terpenoid effect which reduces the intoxicating effects of THC. [6] So, make sure you have some black peppercorns on you the next time you’re feeling the effects of marijuana a little more than usual. 

5. Get Some Exercise

While it’s probably the last thing you feel like doing, exercise is one of the best ways to sober up from marijuana. Exercise releases endorphins in the brain and gets your blood pumping, which helps your body to metabolize THC faster. It’s also a great way to distract yourself and get some fresh air. 

However, you need to be very cautious. Taking too much cannabis can disrupt your balance and motor function, which can be dangerous if you’re conducting high-intensity exercises that require lots of coordination or venturing too far outside. Instead, opt for lower intensity activities such as walking, yoga, or a quick workout in the safe confines of your home. If you do feel light-headed, make sure you stop and find a comfortable place to rest until the effects wear off.

6. Take a Shower

Another option is to take a nice long shower or bath to clear your head and put you in a state of relaxation. A shower can reduce tachycardia (fast heartbeat and panic attack), which is a typical side effect of taking too much cannabis. 

While a long, hot shower can help you relax–nothing beats a cold shower to bring you back to reality. Coldwater can invigorate your senses and take your attention away from the high you’re experiencing. If taking a shower isn’t practical (e.g. you're at a friend’s house), splash some cold water on your face instead for a similar effect.

7. Distract Yourself

Sitting by yourself after having taken too much medical marijuana can be daunting. There’s nothing to keep you occupied except your own thoughts, which can often increase your anxiety and lead to a panic attack.  

To prevent negative thoughts creeping into your head, distract yourself as you ride it out. Put on some relaxing music, watch a comedy movie, play a game, call a trusted friend, or do anything you can to stay occupied.  

8. Try CBD Oil

Finally, one of the best ways to alleviate a THC-induced high is to take CBD Oil. CBD (cannabidiol) is known for its therapeutic properties and has the ability to counteract the undesirable effects of THC, the main psychoactive cannabinoid in marijuana. Essentially, CBD blocks THC from binding with cannabinoid receptors in your brain, ultimately limiting its impact and reducing the undesirable symptoms such as anxiety, panic attacks, and paranoia. 

The good news is that CBD Oil is easily accessible and legal in all 50 states. So, if you're taking a THC strain, make sure you have some CBD oil on hand to quickly counteract the effects if it becomes too much. Also, opt for a fast-acting CBD Oil that has no traces of THC.  

Try These Suggestions to Reduce Your Marijuana High

Taking too much cannabis can be an uncomfortable experience. Although, it’s important to remember that you’re in no immediate danger and the feelings will eventually pass. 

If you have taken too much marijuana, try implementing the above suggestions to counteract the negative side effects of a THC strain and start sobering up. 

Do you need help with medical marijuana? Get in touch with us today and have a chat with one of our qualified physicians.