We’ve all been there—you ate a little too much of that delicious medicated chocolate bar or you took too big of a dab and now you’re not feeling so great. When you consume more THC (the principal psychoactive component of cannabis) than is necessary for your personal needs, you may experience negative side effects such as increased anxiety, nausea, dizziness, increased heart rate, headache and paranoia. Thankfully, there are several things you can do to alleviate these negative side effects and many of them involve products that you probably already have in your home!
1. Take something high in CBD
CBD naturally counteracts the psychotropic high of THC, so if you have any products that have a higher CBD concentration on hand we recommend using them as soon as you begin to feel discomfort. Studies show that CBD has the ability to modulate excess cannabinoid activity in the brain, which can be particularly beneficial for those feeling anxious or paranoid after taking too much THC. The CBD will regulate the excess cannabinoid activity occurring in your brain which may be responsible for the increased anxiety. (It’s important to note here that everyone’s brain is different & your anxiety may be caused by something other than excess cannabinoid activity in your brain.) Another thing to keep in mind is how CBD and THC interact with our CB1 receptor—if you think of the CB1 receptor as a lock and CBD/THC as keys, CBD fits into the CB1 receptor but the key doesn’t turn. THC fits into the CB1 receptor and IS able to turn, which is one of the reasons that THC makes you feel high but CBD doesn’t. In this way, taking CBD before ingesting THC could be beneficial in preventing you from feeling too high in the first place. Essentially CBD would interact with your CB1 receptors and prevent THC ingested afterwards from interacting with those same CB1 receptors, in effect mitigating the THC high. If you’re trying a new edible or higher dose for the first time and you’re nervous, try taking a little bit of CBD beforehand and it should help prevent you from feeling uncomfortable.
2. Smell (or eat) black pepper
You’ve probably heard this one before and been skeptical, but smelling or eating black peppercorn can help combat anxiety and paranoia associated with taking too much THC. This is a particularly great remedy, because almost everyone has pepper in their home and you’ll begin to experience relief extremely quickly after smelling or eating it! How does it work exactly? Black pepper contains high amounts of a terpene also found in cannabis called beta-caryophyllene—studies indicate that beta-caryophyllene actually targets and interacts with our CB2 receptor. The CB2 receptor plays a pivotal role in reducing anxiety and stress, so when you smell or ingest black pepper you’ll begin to feel more calm almost instantly.
3. Eat pine nuts or pistachios
Let’s be real when you’re too high sometimes eating a snack can help, but this particular snack actually has a purpose! Both pine nuts and pistachios contain high amounts of the terpene pinene (also found in cannabis), which promotes mental clarity. If you’re feeling fuzzy, dizzy or having trouble focusing eating either of these pinene-packed snacks will help you get your edge back. Pinene also helps counter the short term memory loss often associated with too much THC!
4. Drink lemon juice
If you can stomach it, drinking pure lemon juice (without any added sugar) is a remedy that dates back to the 10th Century for calming anxiety and reducing paranoia. Like most of the other remedies we’ve mentioned, this remedy works because of a terpene found in lemon juice—limonene. Sound familiar? That’s because limonene is a terpene also found in cannabis (think Super Lemon Haze and other citrus scented strains). Limonene has been proven to reduce anxiety and depression, which is helpful if you’re feeling on edge from too much THC. It also improves the absorption of other terpenes, so if you’re feeling particularly bad try drinking some lemon juice before eating pine nuts, pistachios or black pepper. The limonene will aid in the absorption of the pinene or beta-caryophyllene, making them even more effective! If pure lemon juice isn’t for you, try diluting the lemon juice with water, eating another citrus fruit (i.e. an orange or a grapefruit) or drinking some lemonade.
5. Drink LOTS of water and get comfortable
The simplest remedy is to stay hydrated by drinking lots of water and lay down in a way that you feel comfortable. It’s important to remember that these negative side effects you’re experiencing from the THC will pass in time, so there’s definitely a light at the end of the tunnel! No matter how bad you’re feeling, there have been no cases of too much THC being fatal—only uncomfortable. It may take several hours, but eventually you’re going to feel better. If it’s an edible making you feel bad, drinking water will help your system flush out the THC faster. For those of you that smoked too potent of a strain or did too big of a dab, you’ll have less of a wait for the uncomfortable feeling to pass since the highs from smoking and dabbing are shorter than that of an edible.