Whether you use cannabis for recreational or medicinal purposes (or both), you have likely experienced at least one uncomfortable high at some point. The discomfort, anxiety, and paranoia that accompany a “bad high” can be a major turn off, even if you generally love your experience with weed.
Or maybe, you haven’t necessarily had a bad high, but life circumstances pop up that need you to get sober… and quick! Your spouse unexpectedly needs your help with something. You forgot about that thing you promised to do for your grandma. Your kid suddenly comes downstairs at 9:30 pm to tell you about a science project that’s due tomorrow.
We get it. Life happens.
Regardless of your reason for coming down from your high quickly, we’re here to help with a list of six ways to get back into your right mind.
1. Stop Partaking
Once you hit the point where you’re thinking, “Oh crap…” it’s time to stop. It seems like a piece of overly simplified advice, but it’s probably the best one on this list. You can’t smoke the high away, so just put it away.
2. Make Healthy Food and Drink Choices
“The munchies” is a common side effect of getting high, but do your best to make healthy food and drink choices. Eating a lemon or orange (rind included) can help you come down quicker because of how the oils and terpenes packed in the rind interact with the chemicals and terpenes in the weed. The juice will also help you stay hydrated.
Speaking of hydration, steer clear of coffee, tea, and alcohol when you’re stoned. The stimulants and depressants within these beverages can negatively interact with the cannabis you’ve ingested and only make things worse. Instead, slowly sip at water to help keep your body hydrated and prevent the dreaded cottonmouth.
3. Take an Ibuprofen
This is a slightly unusual suggestion, but some scientific evidence suggests that ibuprofen can help your brain experience the positive effects of THC without getting a bad high. The study is full of big words and dense descriptions, but basically it says that ibuprofen blocks an enzyme called COX-2. When that enzyme is blocked, the cells that were previously negatively affected by too much THC continue functioning as normal.
4. Calm Yourself Down
This suggestion is sometimes more easily said than done. When you’re pacing the floor and worrying about everything, you need to make a conscious effort to calm down. You might start by turning on a diffuser with some lavender or citrus oils to help lift your mood. Take some deep breaths, and run yourself a hot shower or bath to relax your muscles. If you can take a nap, that will undoubtedly help, but when you’re high, your brain might be too agitated to sleep.
Using a little bit of CBD can also help you come down from a high. CBD and THC work best in conjunction with each other, so if you used too much THC, balancing it with some CBD can help even things out.
5. Embrace Distraction
Sometimes the best way to come down from a negative experience is to embrace distraction until the unpleasantness passes. Try watching a movie or playing a board game with a friend. Kick back and solve the world’s problems with a similarly-stoned buddy. Watch a YouTube video, read a book, or attempt to make some fine art. Distract yourself by doing anything that you enjoy that is low-key and safe.
You can also try to do some light exercise to help your body come down from a high. Going on a brief walk close to the house or doing a short, low-intensity exercise video can help your brain focus. It’s important to note that a bad high can impair your balance and coordination, so keep things low-key and close to home, and take breaks whenever you need them.
6. Shock Your System
Our last tip is to shock your system into submission. A cold shower where the water is around 40°F can help your brain wake up.
Additionally, smelling or chewing on whole black peppercorns can provide near-instant relief. What used to be anecdotal evidence on peppercorn effectiveness now has science behind it. Apparently some of the terpenes and chemicals in black peppercorns react with the terpenes and chemicals in cannabis to lessen a high. So while chomping on a peppercorn may seem unpleasant, you might want to keep a few nestled in your stash boxes next to your other cannabis accessories.
Bonus Tip: Prevention
Yeah, yeah, we know. This isn’t specifically a tip for how to sober up, but it can help you stop short of the point where you need to sober up quickly.
There are a lot of factors that determine if and how you get high. Your size, how much you intake, your tolerance levels, the strain, the potency, the speed you use, other medications you’re taking, and sometimes just because it’s a Tuesday – all of these aspects can influence the type of high you experience.
Knowing that sometimes a bad high is out of your control, the best thing you can do to try and avoid it is to know thyself. Stick to your limits and go slowly with potencies or strains that you haven’t experienced before. Different ways to partake will impact how quickly you get high (edibles = slow and steady, vaping, dabbing, smoking = quick and heady), so take your time and enjoy the experience.
Whether it’s a bad high you’re bouncing back from or simply a regular ol’ high that you need to rebound from quickly because you’re needed elsewhere, follow these six tips above to get back to where you need to be.