Medically Reviewed by
Jason Crawford

Article Last Updated on January 10, 2023

Smoking weed is becoming a very common activity as cannabis consumption has increased this year as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. People use it recreationally to relax and take the edge off, or they use medical marijuana for pain management or to treat some medical conditions like epileptic attacks.

But what happens when you have consumed too much weed, or “greened out” as some like to call it?

The effects you get after consuming cannabis come from the psychoactive effects of THC which activates the cannabinoid receptors in the body resulting in a “high”. The higher the potency of THC in a cannabis product, the more intense the “high” is and the longer it lasts. If you consume more than you can handle, your body might experience side effects.

So let’s get into what those side effects might be, how you can mitigate the effects of a bad high, and recover from it faster.

Possible Side Effects From Using Cannabis Too Much

Stoners may know how to handle a bad high, but for first-time users, the effects of cannabis might be too much to handle if they’ve smoked a very high dose.

How the cannabis plant will affect you depends on your tolerance level, the consumption method (smoking, using edibles made with cannabutter, etc.), and the time it takes for your high to kick in. Although there are no reports on fatal marijuana overdoses to this date, you may find your marijuana high too intense and would like for it to end faster.

Different cannabis strains produce different kinds of effects. For example, Sativa strains produce an energizing and uplifting high, while Indica strains result in a more relaxing and calming high.

Some of the negative side effects that can arise are cottonmouth or dry mouth, elevated heart rate, panic attack, nausea, headache, etc. In order to mitigate them, you could try some of the following tips.

How to Sober up From a Cannabis High?

What you shouldn’t do after you realize you have consumed too much weed is panic. The effects may seem like they can last forever, but in reality, they will pass in a few hours. Remind yourself that this is only a temporary feeling in order to calm yourself down and remember one (or more) of our tips on how to sober up from being high:

Hydrate Yourself

It’s always a good idea to hydrate yourself both before and after using cannabis since dehydration is a common side effect of being high. Drinking water is the best option to rehydrate your body and avoid feeling dizzy and groggy after consuming weed.

It’s best to avoid alcohol when you have used marijuana since it can increase the level of THC in the blood and make you feel even more intense effects after smoking. Stick to water instead.

Have Some Citrus Fruits

Limonene is a terpene found in citrus fruits which can be useful here, as it decreases anxiety according to a 2012 study by the Department of Chemistry at the Federal University of Piauí, Brazil. So eating an orange or lemon rind could help you calm down if you have used too much weed. 

Some sources say that you should drink lemon or orange juice, but this is not your best option since there is very little limonene in the fruit juice. Stick to the rind, and put some orange or lemon zest in your water, tea, or incorporate it in a dish.

Have a Snack

A lot of people claim that they feel particularly hungry when they get high. So if you have greened out, having a snack might be beneficial to you. Since THC is fat-soluble, it’s believed that it binds with cannabinoids and helps them metabolize faster. Whether or not this helps, it’s always a good option to eat something, especially if you have consumed cannabis on an empty stomach.

Keep the Black Peppercorns Coming

Black peppercorns contain a terpene called beta-caryophyllene which can offer instantaneous relief if you are feeling overwhelming psychoactive effects. According to the British Journal of Pharmacology, beta-caryophyllene can reduce the psychoactive effects of THC. You can try chewing or smelling black peppercorns in order to sober up from weed. 

Consume Cannabidiol (CBD)

CBD products like tinctures and CBD oils contain cannabidiol which can reduce the side effects of using too much THC. CBD blocks THC from binding with your cannabinoid receptors and helps reduce anxiety and paranoia which can often happen as a result of consuming too much THC.

Increase Your Oxygen Levels

An increase in oxygen levels can help fight headaches that might happen from consuming too much weed and can also help you calm down if you are panicking. Taking a few deep breaths can go a long way in helping you if you’re anxious and want to compose yourself. You could try different yoga breathing techniques, focus on your breath, and try relaxing your body.

Do Some Light Exercise

Exercise can go hand in hand with your breathing techniques. If you are feeling up to it, you can maybe take a walk around the block with a friend, or do some light exercise to get the endorphins going. This will help your body recover faster, and the fresh air may help you get energized. If you feel as though you can’t go outside, try some yoga stretches and light exercise at home.

Shower With Cold Water

A cold shower might help relieve some of the side effects of your marijuana high. As this study suggests, cold showers help trigger deep breathing. That, in turn, increases oxygen levels and improves blood circulation which can help you feel calmer. Try aiming for a temperature of 40 degrees Celsius (104 Fahrenheit) for around 30 to 90 seconds.

Entertain Yourself to Distract Yourself

You could try occupying your mind with other activities so it doesn’t focus on the effects of cannabis. You can try playing video games with your friends, watching a movie, painting, playing an instrument, or doing something creative. The point is for some time to pass while you’re engaged in that activity so you won’t feel that high afterward.

Take a Nap

If all else fails, you should try to rest your body. Sleep acts as a hard reset in our bodies and can help us flush out toxins faster. If you feel too anxious and can’t fall asleep, try laying down. Close your eyes, rest, and maybe even do some breath work while laying down like we previously mentioned.

Final Thoughts on Coming Down From a High

Cannabis should always be used responsibly. In order for you not to go overboard in the future, practice moderation and always start with a lower dose when consuming cannabis. Keep in mind that it takes a longer time for the effects of marijuana to kick in (about 2 hours) if you consume it through edibles compared to smoking (about 10 minutes).

If you do green out, remember to calm yourself and don’t panic. Keep hydrating yourself and try using peppercorns and limonene in order to help your body sober up faster. In order to alleviate the side effects, maybe try some exercise, CBD oil, or taking a nap, and remember that your high is only temporary.

A passionate advocate for the benefits of cannabis. Fraser Horton, who has a background in botany and a strong love of nature, has spent years researching how cannabis affects the body and mind. He established Leaf Nation in 2020, where he has devoted himself to educating people about the legalisation of marijuana and its safe and responsible use. Fraser is committed to highlighting cannabis’ potential for improving wellness and working to dispel the stigma associated with its use.


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