Welcome to another episode of THC with Bre, where I, a self-proclaimed noob, recount my experiences getting into the world of cannabis. For the first two instalments, I talked about my experience trying out Woody Nelson’s first products, Glade Runner and Rainbow Driver. The post you’re reading right now though? Yeah, that was a bit of an accident.
See, the other day, I got way too high. A mistake, for sure, and definitely an experience. Not exactly how I wanted to spend a night (and the entire next day), but I’m sure most of us have been there at least once. Since I’ve written so much on dosage and starting low, going slow, I thought I was more prepared than what I was.
So I wanted to talk about it: what happens if you get too high and how do you handle it?
In general, I already know what dose works well for me. On accident, I ended up taking like five times that amount. Definitely should have been more aware of what I was taking, but hindsight, right? Either way, it wasn’t fun. When it hit, it hit hard. And not knowing that I had taken as much as I had, it was pretty surprising. Suddenly I was feeling super nauseas, very spacey, and really, really anxious. Just about anything you could feel anxious about, I was spiraling into. Sitting there contemplating my death for hours? Yeah. There was a point where it felt like being on a rollercoaster, where your body’s swept out from underneath you and you can’t find steady ground anymore. And I hate rollercoasters. Not my thing.
The worst of it passed after a few hours. By the early hours of the morning I was able to somewhat cope again. I ate some snacks, slept, and got ready for work at 5:30AM. It wasn’t until I got home after my shift that I realized I was still pretty high, and it took me a whole afternoon/evening of sleeping it off until I felt somewhat back to normal.
What Worked For Me
Having never experienced this kind of high before and being totally unprepared for it, I definitely did the best I could. I’m not saying how I managed it will end up helping you at all, should the same situation arise, but perhaps there’s something to take from it. Obviously, your best bet is to avoid this situation altogether by being careful with your dose, starting low and going slow, and setting yourself up for success. But if something like this does happen, here’s what I found to be the most useful:
- I’m pretty aware of how THC effects people. I hear a lot of things by just being in the community and doing research for the articles I’ve been writing. I think this knowledge alone was enough to keep me from spiralling too badly. Equipping yourself with information is one of the best tools you can have, and I definitely felt the importance of it here.
- Besides recognizing what was happening, reminding myself that it’ll pass and I just need to ride it out the best I can until it does was a big help. It was helpful to ground myself in this info for a while in order to prevent too much anxiety. I think it would have been a lot worse without that.
- It might sound unrelated, but I know how to handle being really drunk. Having an awareness of my body, how I react, and how to cope with the less nice aspects of intoxication really helped. So along with the importance of knowledge, having an awareness of yourself and your body is key.
- It was really hard to keep my thoughts on track – they tended to drift everywhere - but I was still able to kind of refocus what I was thinking about. So every time my thoughts started straying to crisis, I reminded myself what was happening and tried my best to refocus on more positive things. This was sometimes thinking about writing projects I’m working on, or even imagining myself in a Lofi setting like in one of those music videos on Youtube. It didn’t fix the problem, but it prevented things from getting worse.
- On that note, mindfulness tactics and exercises were really helpful. Things like drawing my attention to the space around me – things I could see or smell. I don’t normally find these kinds of things helpful in my day to day life, but they came in clutch here.
- There wasn’t much I could do for the nausea but to keep sitting there until it went away. I found not moving and refocusing my thoughts was the most helpful. In hindsight, if I was better prepared, having plain crackers around or more water would have been great. I was really thirsty.
Toning Things Down
What helped me get through the whole ordeal isn’t enough though – I want to know more. Is there a way to make this less bad if it happens again? I decided to investigate. Unsurprisingly, this is a conversation people have been having for a long time now.
When it comes to finding ways of getting the THC out of your system faster, or toning down its effects a bit, there was one idea that kept popping up: consuming things. I couldn’t find a lot of science or research proving the idea, but it might be worth a shot anyways. The idea is that certain foods or drinks have terpenes or other chemicals in them that can help counteract the effects of THC, or make it go away faster. These foods include:
- Black Pepper
- Pine Nuts
- Drinking lots of water
Additionally, there’s been some research that suggests CBD may have the ability to counteract or mitigate the effects of THC. This is still kind of new and emerging so we can’t say anything for certain yet, but it’s definitely interesting.
Managing a High
- Distracting yourself: Netflix, video games, reading a book, doing some art – something easy that you can sink your concentration into.
- Call a friend so you’re not going through the experience alone
- Take time to breathe and relax (as hard as it can be sometimes, try not to stress).
- Take a walk
- Take a shower
Obviously, no one’s setting out to feel paranoid, or to double down on their anxiety. That’s not what we’re using cannabis for. But in the case that it does happen, I found that equipping myself with knowledge about cannabis gave me the awareness I needed to know what was happening and pull through it. Hopefully, if this happens to you in the future, you’ve got some ideas about how to handle it in the least painful way you can.