5 Ways to Counteract a Negative Marijuana Experience

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Shanti Ryle - Content Writer

Jul 23 2021 - 4 min read

Culturally, we are moving into a whole new world of MMJ. No longer is it merely flower, hash, and edibles of varying degrees of trustworthiness. Nowadays, dispensaries offer huge ranges of beautiful foodstuffs, pharmaceutical-grade tinctures, oils, and products unimaginable in the 60s and 70s.

With this new wave of – admittedly confusingly regulated – products is an increase in people having negative experiences. People who may have been casual cannabis users in their youth have returned, trying out what’s out there now and having their minds blown by the leaps in average potency levels. Here are some time-honored ways to stop a too-intense cannabis high from ruining what could be the start (or renewal) of a beautiful relationship.

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1. Relax, Hydrate, and Stay Calm

relax if you've had too much cannabis

One of the most reassuring things about using cannabis alone is that you can’t overdose on it. So remember: no matter how paranoid and angsty you’re feeling, the likelihood of you dying from natural cannabis ingestion is nigh-on impossible.

One of the best ways to counteract a negative marijuana experience comes from one’s own psychology in the first instance. Thinking thoughts like “this will last forever” or “when will this end?” is the wrong way to go about it, though it is an understandable train of thought if you are in significant physical or psychological distress.

Simply listening to some music (classical music is often seen as a good choice, as is), going for a long walk and watching a movie are all helpful in keeping your mind off your paranoia. Additionally, keeping your belly full, body hydrated, and mind occupied can help prevent an already bad experience from becoming worse. When the going gets tough, use your noggin!

2. Hot Showers & Capsaicin Cream

People who suffer from the rarely occurring Cannabis Hyperemesis Syndrome (CHS) take hot showers in order to beat the nausea, vomiting and stomach cramps they get after using cannabis. The reason why the steam and heat seems to beat the nausea is the same reason as why capsaicin cream, a topical analgesic used to provide temporary joint and muscle pain associated with arthritis, sprains, aches, pains and bruises:

“The transient receptor potential vanilloid 1 (TRPV1) receptor may be involved in this syndrome. Topical capsaicin is a proposed treatment for CHS; it binds TRPV1 with high specificity, impairing substance P signaling in the area postrema and nucleus tractus solitarius via overstimulation of TRPV1. This may explain its apparent antiemetic effect in this syndrome.” – Dezieck, L., et. al.

A one-off negative feeling of vomiting, nausea and stomach cramps after consuming cannabis doesn’t necessarily mean you have CHS, but it’s worth bearing your options in mind if you do feel this way. High doses of cannabigerol (CBG) and cannabidiol (CBD) may actually induce nausea in some as well, so be careful and keep your cannabinoid use in balance.

3. Chew Some Black Peppercorns

peppercorn help fight a negative high from cannabis

If you’re facing a severe attack of paranoia, chewing on a few black peppercorns might well help. Interestingly, black pepper contains the terpene beta-caryophyllene, which is also found in some cannabis strains like Super Silver Haze. There is also ongoing research on beta-caryophyllene’s anti-cancer properties. But how does it help relieve cannabis-induced paranoia?

The research article, ‘Taming THC …’, might help us answer this question. The paper states: “Scientific evidence is presented for non-cannabinoid plant components as putative antidotes to intoxicating effects of THC that could increase its therapeutic index. Methods for investigating entourage effects in future experiments will be proposed. Phytocannabinoid and terpenoid synergy, if proven, increases the likelihood that an extensive pipeline of new therapeutic products is possible from this venerable plant.”

One section in the article describes some of beta-caryophyllene’s antiemetic, anti-inflammatory, gastric cytoprotective and antimalarial properties. Much like capsaicin cream, beta-caryophyllene may “awaken the senses” and help break you out of a negative thought spiral and prevent weed-induced paranoia.

4. Ingest Some Other Terpenoids

circus fruits can help stop a negative high

Different terpenes seem capable of increasing or decreasing the intoxicating effects of THC. For example, citrus fruits are good at livening the senses thanks to their high content of alpha-limonene. Some have also said that eating mangoes can help increase the strength of low-THC strains if eaten an hour before cannabis ingestion, thanks to its beta-myrcene content. Linalool, which is found in lavender, may help aid relaxation, while alpha-pinene (one of the most abundant terpenes in nature) can help beat short-term memory problems.

5. Balance Things Out with Another Cannabis Product

In the legendary film Withnail & I, we see Withnail having a panic attack after having a puff on Danny’s Camberwell carrot. Withnail demands some downers, but Danny suggests smoking some more, wisely stating, “Why trust one drug and not the other? It’s politics, innit?”

Danny may have been correct to some extent: some consumers use a high-CBD strain or product to help “bring them down” from a too-intense THC experience. Interestingly, low doses of tetrahydrocannabivarin (THCV) may also help block THC’s effects – but be careful, as too high a dose of THCV is psychoactive in its own right and may even further THC’S psychoactivity! Using other cannabinoids and terpenoids to “modulate” the THC high makes sense, and learning how to do this in combination with one’s diet could prove to be hugely beneficial, healthwise.

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Hopefully, these tips knowing this will help you feel at ease if you’re a beginner cannabis user. There is still plenty of science to uncover, and so much of a positive cannabis experience is simple trial-and-error that it is difficult to say with certainty what will help counteract the effects of too-much-THC.

What we do know, though, is that cannabis has the potential to be one of the safest medications around, with one of the broadest therapeutic indexes to be found among all the drugs of the world. Get your medical marijuana card today and see if cannabis is the thing you’ve been looking for to beat your pain and discomfort.

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Written by
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Shanti Ryle

Shanti Ryle is a content marketer with more than half a decades’ experience writing about cannabis science and culture. Her work has been featured in Forbes, Weedmaps News/Marijuana.com, Wall Street Journal, and other publications.

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