As more and more states legalize cannabis, (yay!) there is also a downside: More people might experience that moment when time slows down…and they suddenly realize… “Uh oh…. I’m way too high”.
If you’re in one of those states right now, feverishly searching what to do, we’ve got you.
Here are 6 ways to chill out that “too high” feeling
When you’re too high, anxiety kicks in. This is often accompanied by shallow breathing.
By shifting your breathing rate and pattern, you can stimulate the body’s parasympathetic response. This is the body’s equally powerful and opposing system to anxiety and is often called the relaxation response.
Deep breathing exercises can help. Try the following form of yoga breathing:
- Take a long, slow breath in through your nose for the count of three, first filling your lower lungs, then your upper lungs.
- Hold your breath to the count of “three.”
- Exhale slowly through another count of three with pursed lips, while you relax the muscles in your face, jaw, shoulders, and stomach.
- Keep breathing like this, focusing on your 3 second in breath, three second hold breath, and three second out breath.
- Don’t panic
It may feel like you’re going to die. You’re not.
According to the DEA, “No deaths from overdose of [cannabis] have been reported.” As describes by the NIH’s National Cancer Institute, this is because, “cannabinoid receptors, unlike opioid receptors, are NOT located in the brainstem areas controlling respiration – lethal doses from cannabinoids do not occur”.
The biggest risk for cannabis newcomers, and sometimes even seasoned cannabis consumers, is that they’ll experience an overdose and never want to try cannabis again.
This is unfortunate because they could have a completely different experience if they took a much smaller dose the next time the used cannabis.
- Take CBD
CBD counteracts THC’s psychoactivity. Even though cannabidiol does not bind to the CB1 receptor like THC does, CBD changes the shape of the receptor in a way that weakens CB1’s ability to bind with THC.
This means the psychoactive effects of THC is lessened because it has less of an ability to bind with the receptor in your brain.
CBD also upregulates and enhances serotonin. Serotonin, sometimes called “the neurotransmitter of happiness” is involved in behaviors as wide ranging as sleep, cognition, aggression, learning, appetite, and reward activity. CBD’s potentially far reaching ability to interact with our serotonin receptors is what scientists believe may underlie its anti-anxiety effects.
- Drink Lemonade
Another powerful way to counter act THC is the terpene limonene. Limonene is found in all types of plants and fruits and is in high quantity in lemons.
Limonene was used as an antidote for cannabis in North Africa. The anti-high concoction must be fresh-squeezed and include some of the peel in order for it to take full effect.
Also, being hydrated will ward off any dehydration effects.
- Take a big whiff of black pepper corns
Sounds a bit knarly, but it works.
Dr. Ethan Russo, a leading cannabis scientist and neurologist, wrote a paper on ‘Taming THC’, describing the synergy between cannabinoids and terpenes. Pepper contains the terpenoid beta-caryophyllene, which also binds with the same receptor in your brain that THC binds to. When taking together, they create a synergistic, therapeutic calming effect.
- Engage in something fun or interesting
Change your environment and your mood by doing something that is calming and will take your attention off yourself and how high you feel. This could include:
- Listening to music
- Taking a shower or bath
- Going for walk
- Making some good food
- Watching something that makes you laugh
You’re now asking, ‘How long will the high last?’
Good news is, that “too high” feeling won’t last too long! Here’s a basic formula to follow – although not precise because every body’s tolerance levels are different:
- If you inhaled cannabis, you can expect to remain high for about one to two hours.
- If you’ve ingested cannabis, stretch that out to about 3-4 hours.
- Concentrates can potentially add a bit more time to the length of high.