5 ways to sober up from weed, from chewing lemon rinds to deep breathing

Weed marijuana smoking
  • Even the most experienced weed users can get more high than planned.
  • Taking CBD or eating foods rich in terpenes can balance out THC’s psychoactive effects.
  • Drinking water, taking deep breaths, and showering can also help you ride out a bad high.
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Although you’re extremely unlikely to die from taking too much cannabis, it’s possible to get so high you feel pretty shaky, wondering how long the paranoia will last and when your head will stop spinning.

The average high from smoking weed only lasts up to two hours at its peak, according to Leafly. The effects of edibles can last much longer, and it’s normal to feel foggy or tired in the hours afterwards.

As with alcohol, the only way to truly sober up from weed is to wait it out until your body metabolizes the THC (the psychoactive component in cannabis).

But there are a few tried-and-true tricks to calm you down if you get too high.

Balance out the THC with CBD

Taking more cannabis to get less high might sound counterintuitive. But the plant is full of various chemical compounds, and not all of them are psychoactive.

CBD, or cannabidiol, has been found to reduce the feelings of anxiety and intoxication associated with THC while enhancing its painkilling and anti-inflammatory effects.

What’s more, CBD binds to the same receptors as THC, but acts on them in an opposite way – literally balancing out the at-times overwhelming effects of THC. As Martin A. Lee wrote in his book, “Smoke Signals: A Social History of Marijuana“:

“Cannabidiol balances the buzz and softens the euphoria – or, in some cases, the dysphoria – induced by THC, which, in concentrated form, can make people feel very loopy and weird. CBD is the yin of THC’s yang.”

Chew on some peppercorns or lemon slices

Along with cannabinoids like THC and CBD, cannabis also contains aromatic oils called terpenes that can enhance or mellow out your high.

Eating, drinking, or smelling terpenes that promote alertness or reduce anxiety can help tone down any undesirable effects of THC – and you likely have some terpenes in your pantry already.

Black pepper contains the terpenes pinene and caryophyllene, both of which may balance out THC’s psychoactive effects. Lemons may also help you calm down if you feel anxious on weed, as they contain the stress-relieving terpene limonene.

While drinking lemonade may help a bit, smelling or chewing on the lemon rind is the best way to get some limonene in your system. You can also try snacking on pine nuts, which contain both pinene and limonene, according to a 2011 review of terpenes.

Drink some water

Hydrating is always a good idea, especially when you’re using cannabis.

If your mouth feels super dry when you’re high, that’s because cannabis actually inhibits your salivary glands. Cottonmouth can trouble even the most experienced stoners, so it’s a good idea to have some water or hard candies on hand.

Focusing on sipping and swallowing a cold drink can also help you feel more grounded in your body. Just be sure to choose your drink wisely – while coffee may sound like a good choice for sobering up, it may make you feel more anxious.

Consuming alcohol can also intensify the effects of THC, so don’t reach for a cold beer if you’re already too high. Regular water or lemonade is the best way to go.

Get comfortable and do some breathing exercises

As with regular anxiety, taking a few deep breaths can calm down cannabis-induced panic and paranoia. Start by finding a comfortable, quiet place where you can lie down.

You can try a few different breathing exercises designed for relaxation, such as diaphragmatic breathing into your belly. Another option is 4-7-8 breathing, where you breathe in for 4 seconds, hold for 7 seconds, and exhale for 8 seconds.

But if counting and holding your breath sounds like it would only stress you out more, you can focus on taking slow, deep breaths in through the nose and out through your mouth.

Take a shower

Taking a shower might not immediately sober you up, but there’s nothing like cold water to shock you back to reality. Cold showers are known to lower your heart rate, which is great if your heart is racing due to anxiety.

A warm shower or bath can also help you relax if you feel anxious – and if you play some music and use aromatic bath products, you may even enjoy it.

Just be careful not to relax too much. One woman suffered burns due falling asleep in a hot shower after experiencing nausea and vomiting due to cannabis overuse.