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Pretty much anyone who consumes cannabis on a regular basis has been higher than they wanted to be at some point. You smoke more of the joint than you meant to, or you thought the weed was less potent than it really was, or you thought that edible wasn’t kicking in, so you ate some more… It happens to everyone! The first time I really over-consumed, I was eating some homemade peanut butter cookies that my husband and I infused with butter we made from a bunch of old weed, kief, and AVB. Like with most homemade edibles, we had no idea how much THC was in it, but that butter sure was green.

Although I didn’t have much experience with edibles yet, I’d always had a high tolerance to most things, and THC was no exception. I would often smoke 1-gram joints, with little effect, multiple times a day, so I figured that edibles would be similar. I ate a couple cookies and waited half an hour. I didn’t feel anything, so I ate a few more. I probably ate a few more after that because they were delicious, and I had NO IDEA about the experience I was about to have.

So, I didn’t know it yet, but the weird thing that happens to me when I over consume THC is that I dissociate and temporarily lose pieces of my short-term memory. And when you’re about 6 cookies in, you’ve definitely over-consumed your weed. Things started to feel weird around the 60 minute mark. I looked at my husband, and KNEW that I knew him, but I couldn’t quite figure out who he was. I started to wonder about other people I knew…were they even real people? Was my husband real? Was I? Where am I? What is this video game I’m in? What level is this house? WHO ARE THESE PEOPLE?

All the details are wavy and weird after that. I remember holding my husband’s shirt by the collar and screaming in his face, “WHY DO PEOPLE EVEN DO DRUGS?” I remember staring at his teeth for awhile, because they felt familiar to me. I think I finished a lasagna that was in the fridge. I ended the day with 3 hours on the couch watching TV shows and eating potato chips. It wasn’t really my finest hour.

Since then, I’ve learned a lot about cannabis. How to choose the proper dose for the effect I’m looking for, what to expect from consuming edibles, and how to estimate your THC content with homemade edibles. One thing I’ve picked up are some tips and tricks about what to do if I DO over-consume, and I share them below, in case you ever find yourself higher than you want to be.

  1. Remember this is only temporary.  Keep in mind that the experience will be over soon.  If you’ve smoked or vaped some weed, you should start feeling less high within half an hour or so.  If you’ve consumed edibles, it could take a bit longer, up to a couple of hours. But no matter how unpleasant you’re feeling, remember that this will pass, and you’ll be feeling better soon.  No one has ever died from a cannabis overdose, and you won’t be the first!

2. Take some CBD.  CBD works by blocking your endocannabinoid receptors, which are the same receptors that THC interacts with, giving you the feeling of being high.  When you consume CBD, the cannabinoid goes to work preventing some of the THC in your body from interacting with the receptors in your brain, helping you feel less high.  Keep in mind that while CBD can help to dull the effects of being too high, it can also prolong the experience.

3. Sniff or eat some peppercorns. Black peppercorns contain high amounts of the terpene caryophyllene.  When you eat peppercorns, the caryophyllene helps to block THC’s access to your endocannabinoid receptors, just like CBD.   Eating a peppercorn while you’re feeling high is really quite an experience anyways, so you might want to try this one just for fun.

4. Drink some lemonade or orange juice.  Consuming on an empty stomach can make you feel higher than you anticipated.  Having something to eat or drink can help you relax and settle into your cannabis experience.  There’s also something about the bright flavour of lemon that really helps bring a muddled, too-high brain back down to Earth. 

5. Rest & relax.  Think back to tip #1: this experience is only temporary.  If you can adapt to it, you may actually enjoy it!  Get yourself somewhere comfortable where you can relax and ride it out and let whatever happens happen.  You’ll be back down to earth in no time and can use your experience to help you make your own best consumption choices in the future.