Marijuana, like anything, is best enjoyed in moderation. Knowing and respecting limits can lead to a fun, interesting, and mind-enhancing consumption experience. When you smoke weed correctly, there are no limits when it comes to great experiences – creativity, social skills, adventures, and more can be boosted and bumped up to the next level.
But that only happens when cannabis is used appropriately.
There are examples, unfortunately, of overdoing it. Those experiences are much less fun. Even though not a single person has died from a marijuana overdose, there are definite icky symptoms of smoking too much weed.
If possible, it would be best to avoid this major cannabis infraction and keep its consequences far, far away from any consumer.
Symptoms of Smoking Too Much Weed
There are very clear symptoms of smoking too much weed, though they are considered pretty rare. Sometimes over-use comes very accidentally; edibles, for example, can be a top cause. Since it can take a while before the effects of an edible kick in, some consumers think the edibles aren't working and start adding more marijuana into the mix. This is a bad idea, and can easily lead to these nasty side effects.
An overdose (which, remember, just means taking more than you are supposed to) is known to increase the heart rate, produce hallucinations or delusions, lead to severe paranoia and mental confusion or unawareness, and cause panic attacks, according to Project Know. Also, be prepared for cold sweats, low blood sugar, dizziness, paleness, and vomiting. If the weed is laced with other types of drugs, this will be a different scenario. It can get way more dangerous; seizures, irregular heartbeats, or strokes can be a result.
A lot of the time, over-use looks a lot like panic and the weight of something feeling very, very off. Something is wrong, and those feelings of paranoia start to kick in overtime. There will be major discomfort, since your body is essentially rejecting the heavy high you've produced.
Buckle in: depending on how much THC you have in your system, the ultra-high can last between 4-12 hours.
What Causes This?
For many people, marijuana is a great resource for kickstarting relaxation. Because of this, it might seem counterintuitive that paranoia is a major symptom of smoking too much weed.
However, some people have more negative reactions to THC – the compound in cannabis that is responsible for the high – which can contribute to feelings of paranoia. Research conducted in 2014 injected adults with a significant amount of THC – more than any recommended serving – and nearly half the subjects had increased anxiety and negative thoughts about themselves.
Essentially, the studied found that the extra dose of THC enhanced worries and negative thoughts, about the user and the high itself; as put by Refinery 29, "it can create a loop of negativity: You feel weird, then you feel weird about feeling weird, and then your weirdness makes you jump to the worst-case scenario that everyone is out to get you."
Low blood sugar is the other major symptom of smoking too much weed, especially when eating infused edibles. This is the portion of the problem responsible for the dizziness and nausea. Low blood sugar can really mess with your body and your system, and needs to be remedied.
The main problem comes, again, from too much of a good thing. THC in moderation does not typically lead to these loops of fear and self-hostility.
Ways to Help Yourself
When the going gets tough and you’re in the thralls of negative symptoms from smoking too much weed, keep these helpful tips in mind.
First thing's first: when you’re too high, it’s important to stay calm. Because you have likely have an extreme case of THC on the brain, you might feel like you’re dying. But you’re not; you will be fine. Breathing and taking slow and steady breaths will start the healing process. You are okay and will be just fine and dandy soon!
If you honestly believe that you require medical attention, do not let being high stop you from contacting a medical professional. Just know, however, that there likely is not much that they can do to help you. They will probably just tell you that you will have to wait it out.
Black Pepper to the Rescue
Oddly enough, people swear by black pepper as a helpful tool to combat anxiety and paranoia. Chewing on peppercorns can offer near-instant relief for those large flare ups of uncertainty and negativity, and will allow the user to calm down significantly.
Get Some Sugar
Low blood sugar? Let's raise that sucker. Reach for something sweet to make up for the dropping level. If you’ve gotten a little too high, a little too quickly, adding sugar into your body will decrease the time you spend suffering.
Solid and accessible items include juice, candy (make sure they are NOT edibles!), cakes, fruit snacks, etc. They won't offer immediate relief, but they will speed up the timeline to normalcy.
Fill Your Stomach
Having a full stomach can also help to decrease the symptoms of smoking too much weed. Having more yummy in your tummy – especially those high in fat and fiber – can slow down the rate that THC is absorbed in your bloodstream. Foods with a higher fat content can trap the THC, while foods high in fiber can slow down the digestive system. While you’re at it, be sure to stock up on water, too. Hydration is key.
The best-case scenario of getting through this too-strong high is to not be alone. Having a friend there is an effective means both of having the comfort of companionship (someone to audibly tell you everything is going to be alright), as well as an effective means of distraction. If you’re alone, consider doing something that will take your mind off of things: watch a movie, go for a walk (if it’s safe), call someone, play a video game, do some art, read. Try not to think about your discomfort – it will only make things worse.
For anyone who has used sleep as a way to avoid their responsibilities or emotions, you’re in luck; you can also sleep to avoid your symptoms of smoking too much weed. Falling asleep can be a truly effective way to get through the discomfort and pass the time until everything is all better, plus it puts a pause on those worrying psychoactive woes. A shower can help you relax beforehand. Cozy up with a furry blanket and sweat pants, and let comfort take you into dreamland.
Prepare for Tomorrow
When people have concerning symptoms of smoking too much weed, they also will probably have a weed hangover of sorts the next day. Similar to an alcohol-related hangover, these symptoms can lead to sluggishness, fatigue, headache, and a slight "I might still be high" feeling. Depending on the severity of the high and factors like age, body health, and how often you smoke weed, this hangover can last up to a few days, though it won't be nearly as brutal as the bad high.
You'll Make it Through
In the end, it’s important to realize and understand that you’ll make it through your cannabis overdose. For the worst symptoms of smoking too much weed, it just takes a little self-grounding and self-help to make it through.
And next time, you’ll hopefully know to consume in moderation, be wary of edibles, and understand your limits a little better.