Don’t Panic! What to Do When You’re Too High

Person Smoking Joint

If you think you might be too high, remember these things:

  1. Don’t panic, everything’s totally manageable.
  2. Take ten deep breaths, in through the nose and out through the mouth.
  3. Drink something, avoiding caffeine and alcohol.
  4. Eat something, just not a lot of something.
  5. Just wait. Ride it out. You got this!

We’ve all been there, and if you are just starting to explore, it might be an especially concerning possibility. What happens if I get too high? Is it going to last forever? Is it going to ruin my life? Am I gonna die?

To the last three, no, probably not, and definitely not. There have been precisely zero recorded cases of anyone being high forever and no one has ever died from a weed overdose. But let’s talk about what to do when you find yourself in the “higher than I wanted to be” category. One way to prepare for the experience is by reviewing the four stages of being high, which could have help you avoid this situation entirely, and we definitely recommend that you read our article about how to stay safe while enjoying cannabis after you finish this.

If you don’t read any further, this piece of advice will help you through almost any calamity: don’t panic! This is important enough that we’re giving it to you before we even get to the list. You’re only going to have a bad time if you freak out and start making a lot of rash, overly intoxicated decisions—even being too high can be an educational experience if you keep your cool. Don’t panic and remember that you’re in control of your actions. Follow our four-step guide to managing the high and everything is going to be fine.

Nothing is permanent, everything changes, and everything’s totally manageable.

Step One: Don’t Panic

Remember this: no one in recorded history has ever died from an overdose of cannabis. chemically speaking, cannabis doesn’t affect your body in a way that could cause that kind of damage. Cannabinoids bond to existing receptors in your brain that have nothing to do with your circulatory or respiratory systems. You are definitely going to feel funny if you get too high, this is true, but nothing severe is going to happen purely as a result of the weed in your body.

If Willie Nelson, Snoop Dogg, and Tommy Chong can’t get permanently high, neither can you. eavy usage over long periods of time might have some negative side effects—there’s presently too little research to tell, so we aren’t sure,—but you won’t do any permanent brain damage just by getting too high once or twice. And it only takes a few instances of getting too high for you to learn how to avoid it entirely.

So don’t worry! Everything that goes up must come down, you’re not going to die, and you haven’t ruined your life. You probably haven’t even ruined your day. Not convinced? On to step two!

Step Two: Breathe

Take a few deep breaths. If you think you’re too high, you might start to breathe quickly or shallowly, so compensate for this by taking five or ten deep breaths. Start by straightening your back like you’re trying to look over the horizon and take a long slow breath in through your nose, then out through your mouth. When you inhale, try to completely fill your lungs like there’s a balloon lifting up your collarbone. Then, when you exhale, pull your belly all the way in to expel the last of the stale air. Count your breaths and see if you can make it to ten. Don’t worry if you lose count—you’re already too high, so that’s unavoidable,—just start back at one. By the time you do eventually make it to ten, you’ll have made it through the worst of it, and you’ll be ready for step three.

Step Three: Drink Water

It’s important to stay hydrated. You’ll be able to avoid a lot of the uncomfortable dry-mouth and red, itchy eyes if you have a water bottle handy or something with electrolytes. Electrolytes allow your body to absorb the water and actually do something with it, so Gatorade and Vitamin Water are better options than Dr. Pepper or coffee. Avoid anything alcoholic or caffeinated until after you come down.

Water? Great! Juice? There you go! La Croix? Ooh la la! Whiskey? No. Drunk does not cancel out high.

Step Four: Eat Something

Food will give you some electrolytes to process all of that water you’ve been drinking, plus food tastes amaaazing when you’re high and will help take your mind off of the fact that you’re a little too high. There are all kinds of foods out there, and they’re all delicious. Read our list of top ten best foods for the munchies as a distraction or just follow your instincts and try not to overdo it. Eating too much is the only real risk of snacking while high. It’s easy to lose track of how much you’ve had to eat when you’re too high (because marijuana affects the memory, remember?) and you don’t want to end up with an upset stomach.

If you’ve tried all four of these steps but you still don’t feel right, we have a bonus step! It’s never failed anyone for any reason at any time in their entire lives.

Bonus Step: Ride it Out

Sometimes there’s only one way off this ride, and it’s forward. If you need to sit down or take a nap, that’s perfectly fine—in fact, naps are highly recommended. There’s no way to get less high than to wait for the comedown and avoid getting any more high. If that means getting some fresh air, see if there’s someplace you can sit outside. Don’t go far unless you really have to. Being too high is exhausting enough already.

Sometimes overdoing means there’s a better strain for you. Not every kind of weed is right for everyone! Follow our guide on how to choose a cannabis strain and maybe next time you can get the high you were looking for.


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