So you ate a weed gummy fully expecting to have the evening to fully experience and enjoy the resulting high — but then something happens that suddenly requires you to be of sound mind. Or maybe you are beginning to notice some negative effects that are associated with a THC overdose, and you want to interrupt your high before it gets worse. Is there anything you can do to help your mind and body come down after you intended to get high?
The answer is, unfortunately, both yes and no. Read on for the science behind your high and some tips that might help you sober up a bit faster.
How a Weed High Works
It might be useful to understand why your body is getting high, so you can take steps to counteract it. Marijuana works on the human body and mind primarily through the endocannabinoid system (ECS), which is an old and fundamental system critical to maintaining internal balance. Researchers don’t fully comprehend the extent of the ECS as yet because it was only discovered in the 1990s during experiments on THC. Currently, scientists believe that the ECS:
- Assists in the creation of new memories and the elimination of old memories
- Moderates feelings of hunger and fullness
- Controls energy storage and nutrient transport throughout the body
- Affects stress levels by controlling the release of stress and relaxation hormones
- Regulates the female reproductive system
- Facilitates immune responses and the development of immune-related cells
- Communicates sensations of pain
- Manages internal body temperature
- Promotes sleep-inducing effects
When you use weed, the cannabinoids from the plant bind to ECS receptors, causing the system to go haywire in specific ways. For instance, THC primarily binds to receptors in the brain and digestive system, making you feel euphoric and hungry. CBD stimulates the ECS to produce more of certain neurotransmitters, interrupting feelings of pain and causing muscles to relax.
When you are experiencing an overdose, cannabinoids simply bind in greater numbers, causing even greater disruption for a longer period of time. Thus, instead of euphoria, you start to feel confusion and panic; instead of hunger, you feel nausea. Some overdoses are marked by an increase in heart rate and blood pressure, perhaps as the body’s thermoregulation gets messed up.
The key to coming down from a high is to thwart the extra cannabinoids from binding to your ECS receptors — but that is easier said than done. Because marijuana overdoses don’t have long-term, deadly effects, there aren’t drugs for counteracting cannabinoids the way there are for opiates and alcohol. In general, THC is in your blood stream, there is little you can do to prevent it from binding to your ECS and making you high.
Ideas for Coming Down
Fortunately, there are ways to keep your emotions in control, which might make the high feel less intense. Here are some solutions worth trying if you are on the verge of panic and other negative overdose effects:
Take More CBD
Some weed enthusiasts believe that CBD helps to control the absorption of THC in the blood stream, making for a more manageable high. If you take higher doses of CBD, you might be able to prevent additional THC from binding with your ECS. However, instead of buying CBD from any pharmacy, you should invest in high-quality CBD from Michigan marijuana dispensaries — or legal dispensaries near you.
Chew Peppercorns or Lemons
Like CBD, some terpenes seem to function as antagonists to THC. Both the caryophyllene in peppercorns and the limonene in lemons have sedating effects, which should keep you calmer during your high. You can also find weed strains that have higher content of these particular terpenes.
Take an NSAID
Anti-inflammatory drugs can cause the blood to thin, which might interfere with THC’s ability to reach ECS receptors. One study has found that taking ibuprofen might lessen the effects of weed — but it has yet to be confirmed with additional research.
Eat and Drink Water
Hydrating is a good way to calm the body down and lessen the emotional effects of weed, and food can kickstart your metabolism and introduce other compounds besides THC into your blood. You want to focus your mind and body on something other than your high, so eating and drinking can help.
Water flowing over the skin is a known soothing sensation, so taking a shower or bath can kelp you relax and stay calm. Plus, the process of washing yourself should take your mind off your high and give your body a chance to work through excess THC without negative effects.
Marijuana highs are not dangerous, but that doesn’t mean you might want to cut yours short. The key to coming down from a high is staying calm and distracting yourself — and if you can do that, then you can give your endocannabinoid system time to find proper balance.