Fortunately, cannabis is virtually non-toxic to healthy human cells and organs, so you do not need to worry about dying purely from a cannabis overdose. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t worry about overdoing it. Consuming too much cannabis in one sitting can be a very unpleasant experience, and it can happen with any type of cannabis product if you’re not careful.
Over-consumption is typically characterized by an increase in heart rate, dryness of the mouth, and/or feelings of paranoia or anxiety. These symptoms are temporary and will usually dissipate within 15 minutes to one hour for smoked or vaporized cannabis flowers, slightly longer for smoked or vaporized concentrates, and anywhere from 30 minutes to two hours for cannabis edibles and other infused products.
Many have walked this road before you and survived to tell the tale. They’ve also taken notes, so here are ten insights on how to slow things down and ride it out.
1. Do Not Panic
First and foremost, remember that, even though you feel totally out of control, it’s going to be okay. Nobody has ever died from a cannabis overdose. In fact, research shows that you’d need to ingest 10,000 times the THC in a typical joint to cause an overdose. Remind yourself that it will be okay and just keep breathing.
Cold water, soda and juice can help alleviate your dry mouth. The terpene limonene, found in the peel of citrus fruits, is known to counteract the effects of THC --- so throw some citrus wedges with peels into your beverage.
Do not drink alcoholic beverages – they can significantly increase THC blood concentrations.
If you are a regular coffee drinker, caffeine might help you become more focused. However, if you don’t often partake of the bean or if coffee is inclined to make you jumpy, stay away.
3. Pepper Things Up
According to an article in the British Journal of Pharmacology, pepper has characteristics that make it valuable for treating a range psychological issues, including anxiety. The terpenoids in pepper also work with THC to create a calming effect. Many cannabis pros swear that taking a deep whiff of pepper, chewing a peppercorn or eating some peppery snacks can help reign in a high.
4. Eat Pistachios and Pine Nuts
They contain pinene, another terpenoid that counteracts the effects of THC.
5. Leave the Party
If you are at a party and everyone is wired, remove yourself from the commotion and sit quietly. Take deep breaths (in through the nose, out through the mouth), listen to some tunes or watch TV, and try to relax.
6. Take a Hike
If separating yourself from the partygoers doesn’t do the trick, a change of scenery and fresh air can do wonders to help you regain focus and feel like you are back in control. Stay away from densely forested areas and roads. If you are extremely high, take your hike with a (calm) friend who is not impaired. No heavy exercise or running, though. The last thing you want is to release endorphins that will crank you up even more.
7. Pop a Pill
Research indicates that ibuprofen may counteract some effects of THC, especially when it comes to memory and mental acuity. If you have access to cannabidiol (CBD) capsules or tinctures, they may also balance the overdose of THC.
8. Shower or Bath
A warm, relaxing bath or shower can also help you relax and stop the room from spinning. Some recommend alternating from hot to cold to hot again.
9. Chat With a Trusted Friend
Sometimes, having someone who will sit and talk with you, whether in person or on the phone, is all you need to pull it together. Choose someone who will assure you that your legs have not turned to bacon and that you’ll be back to normal by morning.
10. Call It A Day (Or Night)
If nothing else seems to work, and if you are able, go to bed. Sometimes, the best solution is to just sleep it off.