Too High? Here's Your Guide To Not Freaking Out
Read Time: 8 minutes
If you landed on this page, there’s a good chance you are freaking out right now. But fear not,we have all the tips to help you if you’re too high. The first thing you should do is take a nice deep breath and once you’re feeling more centered, read on to learn what to do after eating too much THC.
Greening Out and Freaking Out: What's Really Going On?
We've all flown a little too close to the sun at one point or another when it comes to pushing the limits of THC consumption, and that's okay because it'll pass! Whether you doubled down on your THC gummy serving, waiting for the first one to kick in, or you're just not used to the effects of THC yet, we've got you covered.
When you start to freak out after getting too high, it's called greening out. Greening out is more of a perception than a physical thing— even if it feels like you’re spinning out of control. For those foreign to being high, it might even seem like you’re dying, but rest assured that you're not. It's actually not even possible to consume enough THC to die, and THC can't shut down your vital organs or cause any lethal damage to your body. Scientifically speaking, THC is just binding to the CB1 receptors in your endocannabinoid system (ECS), which hang out in your brain and central nervous system (CNS).¹
Usually, THC is credited for making you feel relaxed, sleepy, euphoric, and hungry. However, too much can sometimes make you feel paranoid and anxious.² Science is still out on what specific mechanism triggers this anxiety, but usually, it has something to do with your state of mind as the high takes hold, your environment, and how much THC you took. A few symptoms of greening out include anxiety, nausea, dizziness, panic, paranoia, confusion, and excessive sweating.
If you're already feeling too high, you can skip this section and get straight to the pro tips in the next section. If you're new to THC and looking for ways to avoid getting too high, the key thing to keep in mind is starting low and going slow. For THC (or potent full spectrum) gummies, it’s best to always start with half of the recommended serving to see how it affects you and gradually increase your serving until you achieve your desired effects. It also helps to wait up to two hours before taking another THC gummy and ensure food is in your stomach before you start.
What To Know
- Greening out refers to getting too high and feeling paranoid.
- You can't die from being too high. Take a deep breath, the anxiety is all in your head.
- To avoid greening out, start with half of a recommended serving and wait two hours before taking more.
- Don’t take THC gummies on an empty stomach. Eating a meal before you take your gummy gets your digestive system moving which helps metabolize the THC faster and to get your mind back on track.
How to Counteract Your High When The Going Gets Rough
If you're currently freaking out, don’t worry we’ve got your back. You're most likely about to hit your peak, and you'll begin to come down to a state of chill pretty soon. Normally, a THC high can last between 30 minutes to 6 hours. If you're smoking, you'll likely peak between 30 minutes to an hour after your last puff. If you're eating edibles, you’ll start to come down 2-6 hours after the edible has kicked in. Regardless of how you get high, there are lots of ways to overcome that THC-induced paranoia and avoid the green out. Use the six tips below to get your mind back on track.
Start with a couple of nice deep breaths. If you feel a panic coming on, practice a few breathing exercises to help you ground yourself in the moment.³ You can also try other grounding techniques, like looking for five things you can smell, taste, feel, hear, and see.⁴
Once you quell your racing thoughts, you can begin reaffirming the important stuff. Remember that most of your g reening-out symptoms will pass within a few minutes or hours and once it's over, you'll be right as rain. Don’t let your mind veer toward the dramatics, nobody has ever overdosed or died from THC, and you will survive! Just keep telling yourself that you'll be okay soon and the feelings will pass.
Once you've got some of the racing thoughts under control, the next best thing to do is get up and move around. Remaining frozen in place will let your mind do the talking, but you can distract it by moving the body.
A good easy way to get moving is to practice a few easy stress-reducing stretches.⁵ You can also go for a walk and get some fresh air. Sometimes all it takes is a change of scenery to get out of your own head. A few gentle movements, like walking, light exercise, or stretching, may help eliminate the stress hormone cortisol from your body, which might help reduce feelings of paranoia or anxiety.⁶
When you feel like you're panicking, a great way to bring yourself back to reality is simple mechanical movements that satisfy your monkey brain— eating and drinking. Even if it sounds hard, taking a few sips of water or juice is a great way to bring your mind back by stimulating the body. Hydration also helps with cottonmouth, so it's a win-win! Just try to avoid anything caffeinated, which could make your paranoia worse. The same goes for alcohol— it'll amplify the effects of THC and might make you feel worse.⁷
You should also do some grazing! Again, even if it sounds unpleasant to eat something amidst a panic attack, the act of eating crunchy snacks, dried fruits, cheese, or nuts might distract you. More importantly, some research suggests that things like terpenes and carbohydrates found in foods may help reduce some of the effects of THC.⁸ An old stoner remedy is to chew black peppercorns or sip some lemon juice to help bring you back to reality.⁹ While there's not a lot of scientific evidence to back it up, the thought is that the shared terpenes between these ingredients and cannabis may help you feel more grounded.
If you're still feeling weird, try something different to distract yourself from your thoughts. Try to hone in on familiar, everyday activities that you enjoy that make you feel comfortable to remind yourself that you're safe and okay. Try watching something funny on TV or listening to your favorite music. You can also play games, do puzzles, or try your hand at an adult coloring book. You can read, write, journal, meditate, or draw. You can also call a friend or cuddle up next to your significant other and take a nap. If you can’t sit still, move around your place. Take this green out as an opportunity for a dance party in the living room, clean out your fridge, or feng shui your bedroom.
If you're freaking out at home, try taking a shower or submerging yourself in a warm bath. Between the soothing sound of running water and the warmth of a bath, you might find your muscles getting relaxed. Studies have shown that bathing activates your parasympathetic nervous system, which is responsible for relaxation.¹⁰ As your body adjusts to the warming effects around you, you'll begin to feel less anxious.
Also, as a bonus, some anecdotal evidence suggests that showering may help reduce your high. Showers relax the mind and body, and cold showers may help increase neural impulses that make you feel more alert and grounded.¹¹ Showers may also help alleviate some symptoms of depression.
CBD is the non-intoxicating cannabinoid found in hemp that won't cause you to feel high like THC will. Some evidence suggests that taking CBD alongside THC may help mitigate some of the effects of THC.¹² One study found that CBD might help reduce THC's effects by lowering its potency and preventing it from overstimulating the brain. CBD works by blocking the action of THC on certain brain receptors responsible for its psychoactive effects.
Evidence also suggests that CBD has a calming and soothing effect on the central nervous system, which may help to counterbalance the anxiety and paranoia that can sometimes be associated with high doses of THC.¹³ It's essential to keep in mind that CBD won't be able to help you while you're currently experiencing anxiety from THC. For best results, the two should be taken simultaneously.
How long will it take to sober up?
After taking THC, how long it'll last depends on many factors. How you introduced it into your system, how much you took, and personal factors like your age, tolerance level, and metabolic rate affect how long the high will last. Typically, the range for THC is anywhere between 30 minutes and ten hours, with an average of around four hours for edibles.
Concentrates are the most potent form of THC, but flower and edibles are close too. With concentrates and flower, it's easier to stop smoking. The inhalation delivery method offers instant feedback, so you'll have a better idea of when you should stop. More importantly, it metabolizes faster in your system, so the effects usually peak after about 30 minutes, and then you'll get back to relaxing. You may still feel high for up to four hours after smoking, but the effects will feel most intense for about 15 to 30 minutes.
On the other hand, edibles like THC gummies need to be digested before you can start feeling them, so it's harder to know when to stop. You might not feel the effects for two hours, and you potentially feel high for up to ten hours. Hence the importance of serving size and why you should always start with a small amount of THC and work your way up until you are familiar with how it affects you.
Keep in mind, the more THC you take, the longer the high will last, but other physiological factors like your tolerance level and metabolic rate will determine how fast or slow you sober up.
Pro Tips for Next Time
If you don't want to be in this sticky situation again, you can use this experience as a baseline for knowing your limits moving forward. If the serving size you just took made you way too high, take about 50% less next time. Keep your limits in mind moving forward, and gradually increase your serving over time.
If you're taking THC gummies, it helps to eat a meal before you take them next time. Eating edibles on an empty stomach makes the THC hit you harder since it's the only thing in your stomach that can be digested. On the other hand, eating a meal beforehand might mellow out some of the effects and help you process THC faster, so you can avoid greening out. .
Last but not least, you can always take your THC with a bit of CBD to help mellow out the effects of THC and help potentially avoid some of those anxious feelings. Try taking CBD with THC in the form of a gummy, or take CBD two hours before you consume THC for the best results. Whichever way you go, you can count on Lazarus Naturals CBD to help you catch your wave and keep your headspace clear while you explore and relax.
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