Even for those who love smoking weed, there are few things worse than taking a hit and realizing that it was one too many. This problem is more common with edibles than it is with smoking, but it’s not at all unheard of. For those who don’t smoke pot often, it’s actually a pretty common occurrence. Thankfully, there are a few things weed connoisseurs and first-time smokers alike can do to take the edge off and reduce their highs.
The length of time it takes to sober up under normal circumstances varies based on many factors. They range from consumption method and dose to each individual’s metabolism, so there’s no way to make generalizations about how long it will take to get back to a more comfortable state.
As a general rule, concentrates keep people feeling stoned for longer than unrefined flower, as do edibles. That means it will take longer to sober up after doing dabs than smoking a regular bowl, even of the strongest weed. Everyday smokers also tend to feel the effects of marijuana for shorter periods than those with low tolerances.
Those who have just hit a joint being passed around at a party a few too many times can usually expect to feel overwhelmingly high for between 30 minutes and two hours before the effects start to subside. When taking edibles, that period of discomfort can last for much longer. Don’t get up and leave the party or call off plans with friends just yet, though. There are a few ways to naturally reduce an uncomfortable high. Here are five of the most effective of them.
While it’s true that all cannabis contains at least a trace amount of CBD, highly potent strains tend to have less of it. That’s a good thing for serious stoners who want to get the most out of their buzz since CBD counteracts some of the effects of THC. Breeders will actually select for low CBD content when they create recreational weed strains to avoid that problem, but it can also work in people’s favor.
Smoking flower from a high-CBD marijuana strain can take the edge off an unpleasantly strong high. It does this by preventing the THC from binding with the cannabinoid receptors in the user’s brain, toning down the effects. It won’t sober up anyone who has just consumed mass quantities of marijuana completely, but many people find that it makes enough of a difference to turn what would otherwise be a bad night back around.
Hemp-based CBD is legal in all 50 US states and it’s easy to find in oil, tincture, capsule, or edible forms. Those who know they have a problem with getting too stoned can even grow their own high-CBD marijuana plants so they can have some flower on reserve to smoke instead of the super-potent strains that are popular among today’s marijuana connoisseurs. This can help home growers avoid ever having to feel too stoned, to begin with, completely changing their relationships with Mary Jane.
Drinking plenty of water and eating a light snack can help to take the edge off an unpleasant high. Those who don’t like water can try juice, seltzer, or just about any other cold beverage that’s on hand. Avoid alcohol and caffeinated beverages, though. Alcohol can increase concentrations of THC in the blood, creating the opposite of the desired effect. Mixing alcohol and pot can also lead to some unpleasant side effects like nausea, vomiting, and dizziness that will not do anything to improve the situation.
Just about every serious smoker will attest that giving in to the munchies eventually makes them feel less stoned. Take advantage of that fact by snacking on some healthy foods like fruits, nuts, or cheese. It will make awkwardly high smokers feel more grounded and provide a welcome distraction and, if one is to take a wealth of anecdotal evidence at face value, it could help them sober up enough to get back in their comfort zones.
Heading out for a run or even a brisk walk can help weed smokers sober up in a hurry. That’s because exercise induces the release of endorphins in the brain. These neurotransmitters evolved to block pain signals temporarily following sudden trauma and stress, but they can also help to restore balance after smoking too much weed.
There’s no need to head to the gym for a hardcore workout. A nice walk is enough to get the blood pumping and the endorphins flowing. Plus, it will offer a pleasant change of scenery, which can be a great thing for staying distracted. Just make sure to stay close to home. Wandering off too far and getting lost is the last thing anyone wants when he or she already feels anxious and paranoid.
It’s also important to keep in mind that going for a walk isn’t always the best option. Sometimes, getting too high makes people feel nauseous, dizzy, or light-headed. When that’s the case, it’s best to avoid vigorous exercise.
The first step to implementing this plan is to find a quiet place. That’s easy enough when the bowl that pushes someone over the edge gets smoked at home, but it can be a bit tough while out at a party. If need be, even retreating to a car can provide some peace and quiet. Being in those familiar surroundings could help quite a bit.
Next, take a deep breath. Remember that the feelings of discomfort will pass. Breathe in through the nose and out through the mouth and focus on what it feels like instead of what’s going on in the outside world. This can be a very grounding experience in and of itself.
Those who can find a quiet place to lay down and can manage to turn their brains off sufficiently may be able to get in a quick nap. This is really only a viable solution for those dealing with the physical effects of smoking too much without the overwhelming anxiety and paranoia that too often accompanies going overboard with marijuana. For the mental stuff, a brisk walk is still the better option. The strain you have smoked may also help to play into what you are capable of as far as detoxifying your blood. Sativa strains such as Auto Sour Diesel Haze may give you the jittery energy that just needs to be walked off, while indica strains like Mazar may leave you no other option that hitting the couch for a munchie session or a nice long nap.
Practicing breathing exercises, meditation, or other relaxation techniques will not necessarily speed up the process of actually getting sober, but it can be very helpful when it comes to reducing anxiety and alleviating physical symptoms like nausea and wooziness. Taking a nap when it’s possible will simply pass the time. Just be aware that it could lay the groundwork for some intensely vivid dreams.
When all else fails, the best thing to do is to keep distracted. There is nothing like having a good friend to turn to for comfort and advice, so those who have trusted loved ones who have likely been in the same situations may want to make a quick phone call. Friends who have taken their weed smoking a little too far in the past should be sympathetic, and they will know what to do. Just make sure it’s someone trustworthy who won’t play pranks or start panicking, too.
Don’t have any friends to turn to in this time of need, or just don’t feel comfortable letting anyone else in on the secret? That’s fine, too. There are plenty of distracting activities that can be performed alone. Try:
Choose activities that feel familiar and reassuring. Everyone is different, so not all the activities listed above will be a good fit. Those who feel too overwhelmed to even figure out what to do with their time while they wait to sober up should start by trying to relax and calm down or calling a friend who can help them accomplish that goal before moving on to the distraction phase.
Performing familiar tasks can help stoners who go overboard switch their brains out of anxiety mode. The familiarity factor will make them feel safe and doing something enjoyable can help to turn things around and put people back in a good mood. Sometimes, that alone is enough to get back on track to enjoying an otherwise great night.
In an ideal world, everyone who smokes pot or takes THC edibles would start slow and respect his or her boundaries. In the real world, it’s easy to go a little overboard, and it’s nothing to be ashamed of. There is no way to sober up completely with a snap of the fingers, but smoking CBD-heavy strains like CBD Critical Mass can bring people down pretty well, as can getting those endorphins flowing with some exercise. If you have experienced a bad trip, make sure that in the future you avoid smoking any extremely high THC strains like Mochalope or White Russian Otherwise, it’s all a matter of staying calm and remembering that this, too, shall pass.