Education & Wellness

September 28, 2018

Copious Cannabis

What to do when you’ve overindulged

If you’ve ever consumed too much cannabis, you know it’s a less-than-pleasant experience.

Ingesting excessive amounts of THC, the psychoactive compound in the plant, can cause very distressing side effects.

Over-consumption is more likely to occur with newcomers, those with THC sensitivities, when ingesting cannabis orally, or when combining cannabis with alcohol.

But, if you practice moderation and understand the level of THC and CBD in your cannabis, you can prevent yourself from experiencing adverse side effects.

Avoid overdoing it

It’s all about starting low and going slow. Trust us, you’ll be happier that you began with one hit, rather than attempting to keep up with a more experienced friend.

Be sure to consume with trusted companions in a safe, relaxing atmosphere. Don’t feel pressured to take more than what’s comfortable. Start with one dose every 15 to 30 minutes, wait it out and see how you feel.

Signs & symptoms

So, what does over-consuming cannabis actually feel like? If you’ve taken too much, you may experience:

  • Severe paranoia, fear and anxiety
  • Lack of energy and enthusiasm
  • Heavy limbs and lack of mobility
  • Burning eyes
  • Shortness of breath
  • Nausea and prolonged vomiting
  • Drop in blood pressure
  • Intense dizziness
  • Sweats and chills
  • Hallucinations
  • Disorientation and lack of focus

Solutions & strategies

Not very fun, right? Luckily, as overwhelming as over-consuming cannabis is, no one has ever died from it. You can seek out ways to calm down and recover from this.

Keep that at the forefront of your mind while you try these methods for managing your symptoms.

1. Don’t panic

  • You will be okay. You may be in discomfort now, but these feelings should pass within minutes to a couple of hours.
  • Relax and breathe deep. Inhale for a count of 1 through the nose and exhale for a count of 1 through the mouth. Inhale for a count of 2 through the nose and exhale for a count of 2 through the mouth. Repeat this process up to a count of 5.

2. Drink water & eat a snack

  • Did you know that low blood pressure or blood sugar levels can lead to over-consumption?
  • Slowly replenish yourself with water and a snack, such as fruit, cheese or nuts. Drinking and eating also provide you with a different experience to focus on.

3. Stay away from alcohol

  • You may think a sip of beer will mellow you out, but the opposite is actually true.
  • Alcohol can increase THC concentrations in the blood. Plus, it worsens your nausea, dizziness and heart palpitations.

4. Consume CBD

  • CBD dampens the psychoactive effects of THC, cushioning its impact on the CB1 receptors in your brain.
  • Take a hit of a CBD-only strain or a dose of CBD oil to lessen your negative side effects.

5. Take a nap

  • Sleeping is one of the most effective ways to remedy consuming too much cannabis.
  • Your mind and body will recover while you rest, and you’ll wake up once the uncomfortable sensations have passed.

6. Sniff or chew black peppercorns

  • If you’re experiencing paranoia, anxiety or fear, the strong smell and taste of pepper can focus your awareness elsewhere.

7. Go for a light walk in nature

  • Fresh air is great for clearing your mind, but be sure to stay close to a safe, comfortable place.
  • Avoid venturing outside if you’re experiencing light-headedness or dizziness.

8. Take a shower or bath

  • The feeling of water promotes relaxation, focusing your mind and body on soothing sensations.
  • But, avoid the shower if you’re feeling lightheaded or dizzy.

9. Distract yourself

  • Call a friend
  • Listen to music
  • Create art
  • Watch your favourite movie
  • Snuggle with a pet

When to seek medical attention

If you feel there’s more to your experience than the average situation, please contact a medical professional.

Seek help if you’re experiencing:

  • An anxiety or panic attack that feels too intense to handle, even after trying multiple management strategies
  • Extreme paranoia, dissociation from reality or confusion
  • Feelings of possible harm to self or others

Ask a friend to bring you to an emergency room or clinic, and explain you’ve over-consumed cannabis. Medical professionals are trained and prepared to help you.

 

Although no one ever hopes to overdo it with cannabis, if the situation ever arises, it pays to be prepared. Slowly test the waters to understand your limits, and then stay within them. If you’ve accidentally overindulged, follow these tips and methods to bring yourself back to a peaceful, balanced state.