Whatever the reason for your extreme highness, you find yourself couch locked, just sitting there seemingly unable to move. What now?
It happens. And it happens more often than you might think. People bite off more than they can chew, literally, when they attack a friend’s homemade weed brownies without realizing the potency of the cannabutter. Or, they lost control at a party and took one too many passed puffs. Whatever the reason, if your functioning is impaired, the impulse might be to sit and stare at the wall or sit on your couch (because you likely can’t move), but here’s what you should do instead.
First off, don’t freak out. Find a place to sit. Breathe in and out. Focusing on your breath will help to calm you down. Unless you were also consuming alcohol, you’re super stoned not drunk. Unlike alcohol, one has ever died from OD’ing on cannabis. And this should give you comfort in your time of need.
While you will be fine, that doesn’t mean you aren’t having a bad experience. Dr. Alison Draisin, Psychologist at the AIMS Institute in Seattle and founder of Ettalew’s Edibles, says that cannabis is one of the safest medicines in our modern pharmacopeia, “but it is by no means without negative effects.” As she observes, “Feelings of discomfort, anxiety, restlessness or even panic are possible, and breathing, heart rate, and blood pressure may change.”
Here’s a few practical pointers offered by Dr. Draisin to mitigate the effects of delta 9 (THC). Drink citrus drinks or juices especially products that contain lemons or oranges, which helps counteract the psychoactive effects of THC. Eat pistachios or pine nuts (the terpene pinene has been known to offer mental clarity) or inhale pine essential oil. Another option is to inhale black pepper. In fact, the combination of citrus and black pepper is a one-two punch when warding off the effects of THC. Also, while high-dose CBD products can be used to counterbalance the effects of THC, CBD takes longer to work than these other products since it is a cannabinoid and needs to metabolize.
Cannabis Consumer Safety
According to Dr. Draisin, “new patients are advised to ‘ease into’ medical/recreational cannabis to get a feeling for the sensory and mood changes they experience.” Always start small. You can always add more, as it is harder to minimize the effects once you have taken too much.
Prior to consuming any cannabis be sure some non-alcoholic beverage like water is readily available to prevent dry mouth. Also, have some munchies around in case a given cannabis strain makes you really, really hungry.
Be mindful that the cannabis culture tends to be a social culture. Cannabis users may pass pipes, joints, and other dangerously-hot paraphernalia to each other without a care. You want to get buzzed not burned. Dr. Draisin suggests you should be be aware that placing your mouth on objects that have been in the mouths of others is akin to kissing that person on the mouth. “The best protection against communicable diseases is abstinence. Placing your hands between your mouth and the apparatus/joint keeps the germs away and you stay healthy!”
Finally, before heading out, pack along a to-go kit containing a few of Dr. Draisin’s recommendations along with a non-alcoholic beverage and a few munchies, so you can be prepared to practice self-care when couched.