The vast majority of marijuana users enjoy their high. For many, it is a period of introspection. For others, it is a time when they can release their stress and have fun times with friends. However, there are occasions where the experience is unpleasant or even unsettling.
Regular users will likely experience at least one bad trip in their lives. If it happens to you, don’t panic. We offer ten ways to help you deal with it.
What is a ‘Bad’ High?
It is best described as a negative reaction to using marijuana. The drug heightens your thoughts and feelings. If you’re already in a good place, being high can often be a delightful experience. You could feel more energized, creative, and happy.
However, if you’re feeling anxious, nervous, or paranoid, marijuana can exacerbate it. According to Doctor Lester Grinspoon, a bad high is effectively a form of a panic attack or anxiety.
It can happen for a variety of reasons. You could have a bad reaction to the cannabis because it is of poor quality, or else you’re not used to consuming it. There is also a chance that the setting is all wrong. For instance, you smoke a joint and remember that you have an exam the next day that you’re unprepared for. All of a sudden, anxiety and stress rear their ugly head.
This is why people on a bad trip have symptoms like an increased heart rate and shortness of breath.
How Do I Know I’m Having a Bad Weed Trip?
If you don’t already know, you’ve probably never had one. There are numerous possible symptoms, including:
- Shortness of breath.
- Excessive sweating.
- The room feels like it is spinning.
- Nausea and vomiting.
- A sudden inexplicable feeling of fear, anxiety, or paranoia.
- Burning eyes.
- Extreme dry mouth.
- Lack of mobility, energy, and enthusiasm.
- Trembling or shaking.
- Elevated heart rate.
The best way to avoid a bad marijuana trip is to be sensible with the potency and dosage. If you are a novice, try a tiny amount to see how it affects you. If you are an experienced user, don’t suddenly decide to overdo it one night.
How to Avoid a Bad High
Regardless of the symptoms, know that you WILL get through this bad cannabis experience. Please think about this even when you feel anxious and have a racing heart. The following tips on avoiding a bad high could help you reduce the symptoms of a bad trip. If one of these doesn’t work, you have the option to try a different tip. What works for one person won’t necessarily work for another.
1 – Eat Some Food & Hydrate
Ideally, you will drink plenty of water before you use cannabis. Also, using marijuana on an empty stomach can lead to problems. If you feel nauseous, you may not want to eat something, but it is often the first step towards feeling better. After drinking one or two glasses of water, see if you can stomach a light snack.
Many cannabis users claim that foods high in carbohydrates and fat help take the edge off their high. However, such stories are anecdotal with little scientific evidence.
2 – Take B Vitamins and Calcium
The eight B vitamins all help convert food into energy in the human body. For example, Vitamin B2, also known as riboflavin, breaks down drugs and fats. In theory, a large dose of B vitamins could help get the cannabis effect out of your system. Calcium could also potentially counteract
THC’s effects in the blood. However, once again, there is little scientific research to back up such claims.
3 – Drink Natural Juices
Fruit juice provides you with a combination of sugar and liquid. If nothing else, it will provide hydration and help with any dryness in the mouth. You also have the option of eating fruits such as lemons, limes, strawberries, and watermelons. Lemons, in particular, could prove very useful as they contain compounds such as the terpene, limonene.
There is a belief that limonene has a calming effect on the body. It could also reduce some of the intoxicating effects of THC.
4 – Have a Cold Shower
Once you have adequately hydrated yourself, the next step is to have a cold shower. The cold water could help reduce your rapid heart rate. It could also decrease your body temperature, preserve oxygen, and conserve energy.
5 – Use CBD Strains Instead
When all else fails, fall back on the other well-known cannabinoid in marijuana, cannabidiol. Better known as CBD, cannabidiol doesn’t cause an intoxicating high and could counteract the effects of the THC in your weed. An increasing level of research suggests that CBD could have anti-anxiety effects. Therefore, it may do the trick as you try to get through your bad experience.
There are strains such as Charlotte’s Web, known for having a very high CBD content with minimal THC. If in doubt, only use CBD that comes from the industrial hemp plant. Legally, hemp must contain less than 0.3% THC. Ideally, you will use a vaporizer because it will provide you with the fastest effects.
6 – Try Black Pepper
Remember, symptoms of a bad trip could result in anxiety and paranoia. There is a suggestion that eating or sniffing a little black pepper could help combat these issues. If you elect to sniff the pepper, DO NOT inhale it! You WILL be sorry if you do. Another option is to chew on a couple of peppercorns.
In this case, there is a little science involved. A study published in the British Journal of Pharmacology in 2011 discovered something interesting. The researchers found that caryophyllene is a strong selective antagonist of the CB2 receptors in the endocannabinoid system. It potentially enhances THC’s sedating effects and could calm you down. Pepper is high in caryophyllene.
7 – Listen to Some Nice, Calming Music
It is essential that you don’t panic during a bad trip, or else you’ll make things even worse! Although it will seem difficult, you need to relax. Find a quiet place to lie down and calm your body and mind.
Breathing exercises are useful, as is the process of listening to calm music. Ideally, you’ll pick songs that you know the words to so you can sing along and keep your mind focused. You may find yourself getting drowsy and potentially falling asleep.
8 – Go for a Walk
You may not feel like it, but going for a walk could be just the ticket towards helping you feel better. The fresh air could do wonders for clearing your head. Meanwhile, the physical activity will get the blood pumping and speed up the body’s metabolization of THC. Make sure you remain within your neighborhood to avoid getting lost! Also, if you have hallucinations, it is best to remain indoors.
9 – Cuddle a Pet
If you have a pet, now is the time to cuddle it. There are well-known health benefits associated with owning a pet. Spending a few minutes with your furry friend could help reduce your blood pressure and lower your heart rate. The process may also help you relax and feel better. If you don’t have a pet, go online and find some funny pet videos. We’re serious here!
10 – Talk to a Friend
Spending time in the company of a good friend can also help the time pass quicker. As is the case with #9, you might feel more chilled out. You also have someone on hand in case the bad trip takes a frightening turn.
If nothing else, try to find some way to distract yourself while the high lasts. This could involve playing video games or watching comedies on TV.
How Long Does a Bad High Last?
A lot depends on the methods of consumption. If you smoked the cannabis, your high might only last 2-3 hours. If you used an edible, it could last for up to eight hours, depending on how much you used. You might also feel some lingering effects for a few more hours. However, the worst of it is over by then.
Final Thoughts on Counteracting a Bad Marijuana Trip
One thing to remember when you have a bad trip on cannabis is that you can’t overdose. Make sure you hydrate and try to stomach some food if nothing else. Then you can consider trying one or more of the above tips to help take the edge off the high. Next time, use less cannabis or perhaps try a strain with a lower level of THC or a higher amount of CBD.