How to Come Down from a Marijuana High

April 16, 2019

I don’t use weed, but the one time I did I ended up in an emergency room.

It was after a holiday party and I was certain that when the ambulance came, I would be arrested. Because I’ve watched enough Law and Order, I took it upon myself to record every conversation I had with the paramedics, take time-stamped notes on my phone, and repeatedly ask for a lawyer. (They laughed.)

If you’ve ever been high, you know that panic can set in—but all it takes is a little bit of relaxation and distraction to come down from a rough high.

Eating peppercorns or downing coffee probably won’t help

So you’re super high! That’s okay, friend—I’m here. Before we settle in, let’s get some common myths about highs out of the way. For one, you’ve probably heard about eating lots of peppercorn to curb your high.

Unfortunately, it’s not much of a useful solution, according to Dr. Jordan Tishler, CEO of Inhale MD and an instructor in medicine at Harvard Medical School.

“The practical issue if you’re really that stoned and you’ve put peppercorns in your mouth and chew them up so that they’re really burning you, I’m worried that you’ll inhale the fragments and your lungs will shut down,” he said over the phone. “You have a significant risk of a lethal income so I would not recommend that.”

Downing coffee or a Red Bull won’t produce the desired effect of sobering up, either. “That actually might make things worse because of the caffeine,” he said. “Caffeine can stimulate more of the hallucinatory effect.

There arose this trend of mixing alcohol with Red Bull and that crossed over to cannabis and Red Bull and that produces a different effect than some people like.” In other words, unless you might want to risk feeling even higher, you might want to avoid that espresso shot.

And as for drinking water, yes, it’s great to stay hydrated! But there are no real studies to support that water will get you through a high quicker. As Weed News put it, it might not have any impact at all—but at least it won’t hurt (so drink up).

CBD isn’t a magic bullet either

Another common theory you might’ve heard: CBD will help save you from the throngs of a bad high. According to Tishler, sadly, this probably has no benefit, either.

“It turns out that normally, cannabis has a fair amount of THC and a tiny little bit of CBD, but that tiny little bit has enough to tame that THC reaction,” he said. “The flaw in the logic is, ‘If little works, then more must work more’ and that’s not true. We actually have studies that show [that] while THC does need a little bit of CBD to behave the way we want it to, CBD does not mitigate the intoxication.”

Yes, you might come across products on the market that claim to get you ‘less high’ and help your weed-related anxiety, but Tishler said these CBD-remedies are largely a gray area with little-to-no regulation.

“I have no idea what to make of them in the sense [that] there’s no published science that shows that these things are valid, and again, in the world of under-regulated product, I tend to worry about what magical ingredients might be in there and whether those things are safe,” he said. “And it’s hard enough worrying about the supply of cannabis, but then to start worrying about completely unproven and unregulated antidotes just freaks me out.”

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