How To Get Unhigh

Of course there are myriad potential benefits that come with cannabis use, but can you get too high? Absolutely! Even the most seasoned of stoners and weed fans will attest that it is possible to overdo it.

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With more experience, it’s easier to gauge your own dosage, tolerance, and how you respond to cannabis, but that doesn’t change the fact that being too high can be straight up uncomfortable.

Fortunately, cannabis and cannabinoids have a solid safety profile and you cannot overdose on cannabis in the same way you would on drugs like opioids. It may not be pleasant, no deaths for overdose of cannabis explicitly have been reported, according to the Drug Enforcement Administration.

There are plenty of ways to avoid getting too high. If you’re already there and wanting to come down to Earth as soon as possible, we’ve got you covered.

Key Takeaways

  • Getting too high typically involves increased anxiety or panic, feeling disoriented and/or lacking coordination, sedation, and for some users stomach issues like nausea or vomiting, also commonly called “greening out.”
  • The duration of a high and time it takes to sober up from weed depends on the consumption method. A high from flower or vaping doesn’t last as long as a high from edibles.
  • There is no magical solution to get unhigh, but there are plenty of ways to ease the discomfort and avoid it ahead of time.

What Happens When You Get Too High?

While some people just don’t like using cannabis, millions enjoy consuming the plant and its compounds in moderation. Cannabis with THC, the main psychoactive cannabinoid, offers positive effects like:

  • A sense of happiness
  • Relaxation and calmness
  • Euphoria, enhanced perception of everyday activities
  • Hungry
  • Sleepy or sluggish

That’s not to say everyone has this experience. Consuming too much can amplify some of the more unpleasant or intoxicating effects of cannabis, including feeling:

  • Overwhelmingly tired and sedated
  • Anxiety, paranoia, and/or panic
  • Lack of judgment and/or coordination
  • Outside of reality, scared, and/or like you can’t recognize yourself

Some cannabis consumers will attest to the “weed hangover,” or the next-day feeling after consuming too much cannabis. Generally, the symptoms are limited to fatigue, brain fog, headaches, nausea, and/or dry eyes, but usually they only last for part of the day.

How Long Does Greening Out Usually Last?

You may have heard the fairly new term “greening out.” While some people use this phrase interchangeably with cannabis overconsumption, this term is distinct in that it describes feeling sick after consuming cannabis. Usually someone who has greened out has consumed too much cannabis and might feel nauseous, dizzy, or experience vomiting.

Sometimes, this term is also used for cannabis and alcohol use in conjunction.

The duration of a green out varies depending on the person. For some, it may just be a few minutes of queasiness and disorientation. For others, it could last hours.

How Long Does It Take To Sober Up From Weed?

It’s important to recognize that different cannabis consumption methods keep people high for longer. But how long do highs last?

Smoking and vaping tend to inspire effects within two to 10 minutes, hitting quickly as cannabis enters your bloodstream directly through the lungs. Consumers experience strongest effects from smoking or vaping cannabis within the first one to three hours, though lingering effects could last longer.

Dabbing is a bit different, since the THC content of concentrates is generally far greater than that of flower. The effects hit the user almost instantly, and they typically last a few hours. Larger concentrate doses could intensify the lasting effects.

Edible technology is changing, with the window for onset effects shrinking for many products, but most edibles take at least 20 to 30 minutes to hit, some up to two hours. This can be tricky, as consumers may decide to eat more before their initial dose fully hits, potentially leading to overconsumption and an unpleasant time.

Effects typically peak a few hours into consumption, but a high dose of edibles could keep some consumers high for a day or more. All the more reason to be cognizant of your dose!

How To Sober Up From Weed

If you’re wondering how to get unhigh fast, the answer isn’t so simple. It comes down to patience, personal education, and preparation. That said, you can surely be ready with a number of tools in your arsenal.

Be Mindful Of Your Dose and Potency

The best way to stop an unpleasant high is by avoiding overconsuming cannabis in the first place and knowing your own threshold for the drug. Simply put, high doses and high-potency products are more likely to lead to overconsumption and an unpleasant high, especially in new or moderate cannabis users.

If you aren’t sure, err on the side of caution. Many flower products today are highly potent, testing at 25% THC or higher, but consider asking if there are lower-THC alternatives or any options enriched with CBD. When smoking flower or vaping, try out a single puff and wait 15 minutes before you continue. Unless you are an experienced dabber, you might avoid it entirely as most concentrates contain high amounts of THC.

Follow edible dosing recommendations, wait the entire time mentioned on the product, and start with a low dose if you are new. You can always add more, but you can’t take anything away!

Relax and Distract!

This is easier said than done, but one of the best things you can do when you are too high is diverting the focus to something else and trying to take it easy.

Finding a distraction can also be helpful. Try to remove yourself from any overstimulating situations and surround yourself with things that make you comfortable. Laying down, consciously breathing, and playing some calming music or putting on a familiar show may be the answer. Perhaps a walk, a cup of tea, or a hot shower or bath is enough. Whatever you generally embrace to wind down and mellow out is key.

Drink Water

Hydrating is important in minimizing the discomfort of a hearty high. Stick with water and avoid alcoholic or caffeinated beverages. If you’re already too high, adding additional substances to the mix is unwise.

Connect With A Trusted Friend

Whether you have a high buddy with you to lean on or simply need a virtual voice of reassurance, talking it through is one of the best ways to navigate cannabis overconsumption.

It’s best here to not focus on the experience itself. Simply calling someone to vocally affirm how upsetting or uncomfortable the experience likely won’t lead to ideal results. Instead, try focusing on other things. If anything, you might just get a little lost in the conversation and end up killing some time, in essence killing some of the high.

Try CBD

Many consumers already embrace CBD on its own or in combination with THC to curb some of the potential unpleasant effects. If you’ve already gotten too high, some evidence has shown taking CBD after the fact could help to curb side effects like sedation and increased heart rate.

CBD is non-psychoactive and can help to reduce psychoactive effects of CBD by blocking cannabinoid receptors in the brain, which prevents THC from activating them and inducing a “high” feeling.

While the available research is promising, nothing is a panacea. Simply taking CBD may not be enough to quickly erase your high.

Wait It Out

If there was a sure-fire way to immediately kill your high, we’d all know about it by now! Ultimately, no high lasts forever, and the best way to get rid of it is by simply waiting. One of the easiest ways to get rid of a high is by simply sleeping it off. If you can’t sleep, consider one of the options laid out above.

How To Get Unhigh: Final Thoughts

The bottom line is that there is no sure-fire way to immediately get rid of a bad high.

Getting too high may involve a lack of coordination, increased anxiety and panic, or being overly sluggish. Some consumers experience a “green out,” where they feel sick to their stomach and may experience nausea or vomiting after consuming cannabis.

Planning ahead is essential. It’s important to note that consumption method matters, so an unpleasant flower high may be over within a few hours while a bad edible high may have you high for far longer.

If you do happen to get too high, the only way to truly overcome it is by waiting. Of course, there are plenty of things you can do in the meantime to increase your comfort.

Knowledge is key. The cannabis industry today is massive, and shelves are loaded with products for a wide variety of consumers. Find out what works for you, start slow, and be mindful. Once you know what works for you, getting “unhigh” likely won’t be a concern.

References

Arnold, J. C. (2021). A Primer on medicinal cannabis safety and potential adverse effects. Australian Journal of General Practice, 50(6), 345–350. https://doi.org/10.31128/ajgp-02-21-5845

Drug Enforcement Agency (2020, April 1). Drug Fact Sheet: Marijuana/Cannabis. Dea.gov. Retrieved June 12, 2023, from https://www.dea.gov/sites/default/files/2020-06/Marijuana-Cannabis-2020_0.pdf

Russo, E., & Guy, G. W. (2006). A tale of two cannabinoids: The therapeutic rationale for combining tetrahydrocannabinol and cannabidiol. Medical Hypotheses, 66(2), 234-246. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.mehy.2005.08.026

Wang, T., Collet, J.-P., Shapiro, S., & Ware, M. A. (2008). Adverse effects of medical cannabinoids: A systematic review. Canadian Medical Association Journal, 178(13), 1669–1678. https://doi.org/10.1503/cmaj.071178

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