Any cannabis consumer can tell you that if there’s one feeling no one enjoys, it’s the moment when you realize, “I’m too high.” Maybe the edible kicked in three hours late. Perhaps you tried to impress a group of friends by breathing in a little bit too deeply. You might have just tried concentrates for the first time and were caught off guard by their potency. Or maybe you are just a low-tolerance consumer.
There are a thousand ways it can happen, but once it does, the resulting experience can be uncomfortable and enough to turn off even the most seasoned cannabis lover.
A fatal overdose is unlikely, but that doesn’t mean marijuana is harmless. The signs of using too much marijuana are similar to the typical effects of using marijuana but more severe. These signs may include extreme confusion, anxiety, paranoia, panic, fast heart rate, delusions or hallucinations, increased blood pressure, and severe nausea or vomiting. In some cases, these reactions can lead to unintentional injury such as a motor vehicle crash, fall, or poisoning.
How long does it take to sober up from weed?
After smoking weed, how long you stay high depends on a variety of factors: consumption method, dosage, and unique individual variables that can vary from person to person. Typically, the higher the potency of a cannabis product, the longer the high will last. Concentrates are the most potent form of cannabis, with flower and edibles following behind.
This could mean that it would take longer to sober up from dabs than smoking a bowl, however dosage and your body’s chemistry would still be the decider here. It’s also important to note that the everyday smoker with a higher weed tolerance will sober up a lot faster than the occasional consumer who hits the party joint a couple of times.
Anecdotally speaking, the average cannabis high can last anywhere between 30 minutes to 2 hours at its peak, with some lingering effects still felt for a period of time after. Some highs have been known to last a lot longer. Thankfully, there are ways to help come back down and sober up when you feel too high, overwhelmed, or uncomfortable from excessive cannabis consumption.
Symptoms of being too high
If you’re not sure how to figure out if you’re too high, there are a few tell-tale signs that you can look out for. While we all love to have a good time, you may need to dial down your intake if you feel:
- or like you’re perspiring more than usual
Let us start with the infinite wisdom of Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy:
DON’T PANIC. YOU ARE FINE AND EVERYTHING IS OKAY.
Most symptoms of “greening out” (imbibing too much cannabis) will dissipate within minutes to hours, with no lasting effects beyond a little grogginess. Give it some time and these feelings will eventually pass, trust us.
Also, contrary to what you may have heard, there have been zero reported cannabis overdose deaths in the history of ever, so despite how freaked out you may feel or how sweaty you get, you won’t expire from excessive consumption.
Don’t take that on as a challenge, just keep in mind that if you accidentally overdo it, you’ll be OK in a while.
How much is too much?
There isn’t a straightforward answer here because everybody’s different. Some people seem to tolerate cannabis well, while others don’t tolerate it well at all. Cannabis products also vary greatly in their potency.
Edibles, however, seem to be more likely to cause a negative reaction. This is partly because they take a long time to kick in.
After eating an edible, it can be anywhere from 20 minutes to 2 hours before you start to feel the effects. In the meantime, many people end up eating more because they mistakenly believe the edibles are weak.
Mixing cannabis with alcohol can also cause a negative reaction for some people.
Cannabis products containing high levels of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the chemical that makes you feel “high” or impaired, can also cause a bad reaction in some people, especially those who don’t use cannabis often.
How to handle it
If you or a friend has overindulged, there are a few things you can do to reduce the unpleasant side effects.
If you’re feeling anxious, it’s good to self-soothe by telling yourself that you’ll be OK. Remind yourself that nobody has ever died from a cannabis overdose.
It might not feel like it right now, but these symptoms will pass.
If you’re feeling nauseated or shaky, try to have a snack. This might be the last thing you want to do, especially if you also have dry mouth, but it makes a big difference for some people.
Speaking of dry mouth, make sure you drink plenty of liquids. This is especially important if you’re vomiting, which can dehydrate you.
If you’re panicking, try slowly sipping water to help ground yourself.
Sleep it off
Sometimes, the best thing to do is wait for the effects to subside. Sleeping or resting is a good way to pass time while you wait for the cannabis to work its way out of your system.
If too much is happening around you, it can make you anxious and even paranoid.
Switch off the music or TV, leave the crowd, and try to relax in a calm environment, like an empty bedroom or bathroom.
Chew or sniff black peppercorns
Anecdotally, many people swear that black peppercorns can soothe the side effects of overindulging in cannabis, especially anxiety and paranoia.
First off, I regret nothing. I did freak myself out, and have been on a steady recovery diet of handcrafted indicas and much gentler hybrids, but learning about marijuana is always a good thing. I still love sativas, but it will be a long time before I stick to one type of genetics for an extended period of time.
It makes sense that if you use something over and over again, the results will be effected over time. I wish that I could be perfectly high all the time, but the great buzzes ebb and flow no matter how hard we resist the tides.
Simply put, doing too much of anything will turn out to be a bad idea eventually. Moderation is out there somewhere.