In the cannabis community there’s the term we use “greening out”, that refers to when you’ve taken too much and have to white knuckle your way through until the cannabis wears off.
Can you overdose on cannabis?
First, let’s look at the dictionary definition of an overdose:
1: too great a dose (as of a therapeutic agent)also : a lethal or toxic amount (as of a drug)
2: an excessive quantity or amount
The answer is yes and no. Yes because you can take too high of a dose and have very uncomfortable side effects. No because cannabis doesn’t have a lethal dose, you can’t consume enough to kill you. Nor does it cause organ damage, once it wears off, you feel normal again.
That being said if you have a serious health condition (like with your heart) do seek medical attention if you’ve consumed cannabis and you’re having bad side effects.
What does it feel like to take too much? Symptoms include:
-nausea and vomiting
-fast heart rate/raised blood pressure
Knowing that cannabis isn’t lethal is the key to staying calm if you accidently take too much weed and feel bad. However it can be uncomfortable to go through and there’s a few things you can do to help.
5 things can you do if you’ve taken too much cannabis and you’re way too high
CBD, nature’s magical elixir. First of all, you want to take a good dose of CBD before you take THC. This will help to reduce the side effects and I recommend you take at least a 1:1 but ideally a 2:1 or higher of CBD to THC every single time you take THC.
I emphasize this a lot on my blog because CBD protects your brain, it also boosts the positive effects of THC. The two cannabinoids work beautifully together.
However if you’re past that point and you’ve overconsumed and need a quick fix, you can also take another dose (20mg +) of CBD when you realize you’ve taken too much, this will help to calm down anxiety, and take the edge off the high.
The best CBD products to take when you’re too high
The best way to take CBD when you’ve overconsumed THC, is taking a fast-acting CBD edible. Some products that fall into this category are:
These dissolvable strips will start working within 15min for quick relief. Each strip has 10mg of CBD so I recommend taking 2 or 3 if you’re too high. I’ve reviewed the THC dissolvable strips and I wasn’t a fan of the strong peppermint taste, so if that bothers you, try a different product.
Water soluble drops like the one pictured by Veryvell, are fast-acting and will start to take effect within 15 min. You can add these drops to any drink or simply drop it straight into your mouth. I haven’t tried this product so I can’t speak for it’s taste however this is a great option for when you need CBD in a pinch.
Keep in mind there’s a small amount of THC in this product. 2 drops equals 1mg of CBD so you’ll need about 20 to 40 drops. Verse also makes water soluble drops that have 1mg of CBD per drop, so you’ll need less of that product.
Quatreau makes a couple of drinks that contain 20mg of CBD, this is the most budget friendly and accessible way to get your CBD fast. Pretty much all cannabis drink on the market are fast-acting as they have to be water soluble in order to be effective.
There’s others on the market as well, like Everie that contain around 15mg of CBD. Buy yourself a couple of these to drink to get your CBD dose fast.
Another option are CBD teas, there’s a few on the market such as Haven St Peace 150 that will give you the calming effect from the tea and the added CBD.
There’s a few CBD vape pens on the market that will get you that quick fix of CBD. Keep in mind they all have a bit of THC in them, this one by Pure Sunfarms has a very low dose of THC.
There is some science on peppercorns saying it can help to bring down a high, plus Neil Young swears by it, so I did try this a couple of times when I accidently over consumed. I found that it does work, to a point. Chewing peppercorns did seem to help at first but it could have been because I was so distracted by the fire in my mouth and horrible taste, that I forgot I was too high.
I still felt too high after however I did find the anxiety reduced somewhat. I also tried sniffing peppercorns as was suggested and that did nothing. So if you’re in a pinch, try chewing on some peppercorns but be warned, it’s not a pleasant experience.
One study suggests that ibuprofen may help to reduce the high. I haven’t tried this myself yet, so I can’t tell you if it actually works or not. However scientists found that by blocking an enzyme COX-2 (this is what Ibuprofen does), the benefits of THC remained but the high was reduced significantly.
This study is from 2013, I wasn’t able to find any current studies, however it’s worth a try if you find yourself too high from cannabis.
4- Drink water and add some citrus peels
It’s important to stay hydrated so keep drinking water. If you add some citrus peels, this may also help with the anxiety as citrus peels have the terpene limonene which has anti-anxiety properties. This won’t bring you right down however it may help to soothe you while you wait for the cannabis to wear off.
Myth– vitamin C doesn’t bring down your high, nor does it increase it.
5. Distract yourself and let it pass.
Find a calm place, take a bath, watch funny videos, do deep breathing and let it pass. Regardless of the sensations you’re feeling such as fast heart beat, panic, shaking etc. remind yourself that you’re safe and let it wear off.
I’ve accidently taken too much a few times and triggered a bad panic attack. Each time I remind myself what I know about cannabis, that it’s not going to kill me and I breathe through it, telling myself I just took too much THC and it will wear off soon.
One thing that really helps me is getting my husband to draw on my back, this has an immediate calming effect for me. Whatever works to calm you down, do that and let it pass.
Related article: 3 ahhhmazing ways to relieve stress and anxiety with cannabis
How to prevent over consumption of cannabis
It’s important to be mindful when using cannabis and be aware of how much you’re consuming. When you’re new to cannabis, first familiarize yourself with dose and what’s the best starter dose for you. Visit the learn section of this site and you’ll get the information you’ll need to start with cannabis.
The worst thing you can do if you don’t use cannabis very much, or if you’re trying it for the first time is to take a cannabis product from someone, when you don’t know how much you’re taking. Avoid that pot brownie your friend made because you don’t know how much is in there.
I don’t recommend smoking cannabis either, it’s too strong and often triggers anxiety in people who are prone. Dry herb vaporizing is the best way to inhale cannabis as you can control the dose.
Avoid concentrates when you’re new, or if you only occasionally use cannabis. Concentrates are potent and it’s very easy to overdo it with concentrates.
When you use cannabis on a more regular basis it’s easy to over consume as you may forget you took that edible an hour ago and accidently eat another one. Or if you’re smoking or vaporizing cannabis you may be distracted and inhale too much.
One thing you can do is when you take an edible, put a reminder on your phone that you took one, so you don’t forget and eat another one. When you’re smoking or vaping, be mindful. Sit with your joint or vape, and notice how you feel and then you will stop when you know you’ve had enough.
Cannabis is a plant with so many wonderful, healing properties when used properly. When you take too much, remember the dose and use less the next time you consume cannabis.