We’ve all been there. One second we’re enjoying a perfectly rolled joint and some edibles with our friends, and the next — we’re going into a blind panic for seemingly no reason. For those of you who love flying high as much as we do, knowing how to sober up from weed should be considered a required life skill because even the most seasoned cannabis users overdo it on the ganja.
While there are no reported fatalities or overdoses attributed to marijuana, you can still become uncomfortably high if you take too much too soon. That happy and relaxed high can easily morph into strong feelings of anxiety and paranoia, which is something you obviously want to avoid, and is the telltale sign of smoking too much. An elevated heart rate, dizziness, lightheadedness, and confusion are other indications you’ve taken too much and should lay off the pipe for the time being.
That said, if you’re looking for some helpful tips and tricks for tapering down your high, or are wondering how long does it take to sober up from weed — keep reading!
How to Sober Up From Weed: 8 Easy Techniques
That’s correct. The ingredient used to spice your favorite foods may have the potential to simmer down a strong high thanks to its high terpene content. It is thought that the black peppercorn terpenes counteract some of the psychoactive side-effects of THC including paranoia, anxiety, and nervousness. In fact, chewing a few pieces of whole peppercorns has shown to provide instant relief to users that were subdued by marijuana-induced anxiety or paranoia.
According to a British Journal of Pharmacology review from 2011, they discovered black pepper and cannabis have some related chemical compounds, and the main terpene found in black pepper (beta-caryophyllene) can dampen the intoxicating effects of THC.
There are decades of research demonstrating the power CBD (cannabidiol) has over THC induced paranoia and anxiety. In fact, research regarding the effects of CBD on THC extends all the way back to a 1982 study published in Psychopharmacology that first discovered CBD was synergistic with THC. More recently, a study published in 2013 found CBD lessens the anxiety and paranoia triggered by consuming too much THC — so incorporating CBD into your next smoking session could be your go-to remedy for sobering up.
Eat Food And Hydrate
This tip is a no-brainer, and we hope you remember to do this, no matter how stoned you get. Being hydrated calms you down by allowing your brain to focus on something else while eliminating cottonmouth at the same time. Many people also find relief after eating because weed can lower blood sugar levels, and low blood sugar can cause feelings of fear, panic, and confusion.
It’s also important to be mindful of what juices you decide to drink because mangoes contain myrcene — a terpene found in cannabis that could prolong and enhance the side effects of THC.
Over-the-Counter Pain Reliever
Anti-inflammatory drugs like ibuprofen (aspirin) have the potential to take the edge off a strong marijuana buzz. A 2013 study from the University of Louisiana’s School of Medicine discovered certain anti-inflammatory drugs reduce any negative cognitive side-effects caused by cannabis — including feeling stoned. Since we aren’t sure what this full list of “certain anti-inflammatory drugs” are, we recommend using aspirin since this was the drug used in the study.
If you’re in a comfortable and familiar setting, taking the meditative approach to removing all the bad juju from your headspace may be just what the doctor ordered. If you’re feeling like an anxiety attack is coming on, or notice your heart racing — try to relax. Remember this feeling of discomfort will pass, try to take some deep breaths, and close your eyes while telling yourself everything will be alright. There’s tons of guided meditation resources out there including apps, videos, and podcasts you can find online or download to your phone if you need help finding your way to nirvana.
Taking deep breaths not only feels good to your lungs, it also helps slow down the heart rate and a racing mind.
Seek Out Easy Distractions
Going for a walk, listening to music, watching television, taking a shower, or having a conversation with someone — basically anything not to mentally or physically stimulating will help take your mind off the cannabis-induced paranoia. When you shift your attention from thinking about how you’re feeling, or how high you are, it distracts your brain and helps prevent overthinking and feelings of impending doom.
Avoid Crowds, Loud Spaces, and Hot Environments
When trying to get your bearings after consuming too much weed, we highly suggest keeping your distance from anything that could make your anxiety worse including large venues with lots of people, or hot environments like a sauna, hot tub, or bath. The reason you want to avoid heat is that when you get hot — your heart rate increases. When you’re too stoned and experience paranoia, it elevates your heart rate, which is the last thing you want if you’re trying to calm down and sober up.
We understand that sometimes sleep isn’t going to happen if your heart and mind are racing 100 miles an hour, however, if you’re at the point where you feel comfortable laying down and closing your eyes — sleep is a great remedy. Sleep is a natural and 100% organic solution for sobering up from weed that’s also healthy for the mind, body, and soul.
If you’re feeling too paranoid to sleep, try any one of the other steps outlined above, then try laying down again. Keeping the bedroom dark and cool is another tip for not only relaxing you but for providing an optimal sleep environment.
Concluding Thoughts on How To Sober Up From Weed
Now that we’ve got some tricks for conquering an overzealous high up our sleeve, you’re probably still wondering how long does it take to actually sober up? That’s a great question that depends on several factors.
Your age, weight, tolerance levels, history of use, the potency of the marijuana used, what you had to eat for the day, and the method of delivery all influence how long a high can last. That said, you can expect to feel stoned for a good 30 minutes to 16 hours after consuming marijuana, with an average session lasting around 3 hours.
1 to 2 hours after smoking is when the strongest effects are felt, then it tapers down from there. Edibles, on the other hand, take a good 1 to 2 hours just to kick in, and the high can last anywhere from 4 to 16 hours — so plan accordingly!