Everyone experiences a marijuana high differently. While one person may feel happy and capable of winding down, someone else might feel anxious or sick to their stomach. If you find yourself in the latter category, you’re probably going to want to find out how to calm down when high.
It’s not uncommon to experience some paranoia after smoking or eating too much weed. There are a few factors that contribute to this feeling of marijuana paranoia, from your own genetic makeup to the kind of weed you ingested. Luckily, there are ways you can cope with feeling uneasy when high.
Keep reading to find out what marijuana paranoia is and how you can help ease the paranoia the next time you smoke.
What is Marijuana Paranoia?
Marijuana paranoia is the general uneasy feeling that people get when they smoke or eat marijuana.
When you smoke marijuana, the chemical that causes the uplifting, “high”, feeling enters your bloodstream and heads to your brain.
When you consume marijuana through an edible, the effects take a lot longer to kick in because it has to pass all the way through your digestive system for it to start working. It can take as long as 3 hours before you feel the effects of marijuana.
So, many people think that eating more will help them get high faster. But this isn’t the case.
When you take too much marijuana, you overload your system and cause you to feel anxious. This is where marijuana paranoia comes in.
While it’s not uncommon to feel paranoid after you smoke or eat too much weed, it is unpleasant. But you can accelerate the process of coming down off of your high to ease the symptoms.
How to Spot Marijuana Paranoia
Marijuana paranoia looks a little different on everyone. Here are a few things to look out for the next time you light up:
- Shaking or sweating
- Fast heartbeat
- Difficulty breathing
- Chest pain
- An unexplainable sense of dread
- Concern about others judging you
- Feelings of fear
- Choking sensation
- Stomach pain
- Numbness in your face or hands
- Feeling detached from your body
Some people also report feeling a sense of impending death or a complete loss of control.
These are some pretty intense feelings! But, all of these symptoms are indicative of a marijuana-induced anxiety attack.
How to Calm Down When High
Luckily enough, marijuana-induced paranoia and anxiety attacks are relatively harmless, even though they feel scary. It will go away on its own, given enough time.
If you’re looking for ways to come down from your high faster, we’ve got you covered.
Repeat a Safety Mantra
The first thing you should do when you encounter paranoia while high is reminding yourself that you’re safe. Most people who are in the middle of an anxiety attack feel like they’re having a medical emergency, especially if it’s their first panic attack.
The fear you’re feeling is real. However, your body is reacting to a threat that isn’t there. So, reminding yourself that you’re safe will help you work through those feelings.
You feel like you’re in danger, but smoking or eating too much cannabis won’t kill you.
Find a comfortable place to sit down and close your eyes. Repeat to yourself “I’m safe. I’m having a panic attack, but I’ll feel better in a few minutes.”
Not only will this help your brain function, but it can also be something to keep you busy while you’re waiting for the high to pass.
Foods That Calm You Down When High
There are a couple of foods that are said to have properties that can reduce the effects of your high.
Have a few toasted pine nuts on hand before you smoke. Pine nuts have pinene and limonene, chemicals present in cannabis. They can increase the neurotransmitters that form your memories, which can in turn clear up any mental fog you’re experiencing.
Lemon is another popular choice for reducing a high. In fact, doctors in the 10th century were calling for ice water and lemon to avoid the effects of cannabis. It can also help reduce feelings of anxiety and depression.
Sip some lemon zest in hot water the next time you’re feeling anxious while high.
Peppercorns are another option. Add some peppercorns into your lemon water to help improve your clarity of thought and lower your anxiety.
Practice Deep Breathing
If you find yourself experiencing rapid breathing, also known as hyperventilation, remember is common during panic attacks. But when you breathe too fast, you don’t get enough carbon dioxide. This leads to feelings of fainting or dizziness.
Of course, all of this only serves to make your panicky feelings worse.
If you can, force yourself to breathe slowly. There are a few techniques you can use to master this art.
First, get comfortable. Stand or sit with your back against a wall. Inhale slowly through your mouth for 3 to 4 seconds and try to pay attention to the way your breath feels as it fills your lungs.
Place your hand on your stomach, too, so you can feel the rise and fall of your stomach as you breathe.
Once you get to the top of your breath, hold it for 3 to 4 seconds. Then release, controlling the exhale for another 3 to 4 seconds.
Continue this pattern until your feeling of dizziness goes away.
Another method you could try is alternate nostril breathing. Keep your mouth closed, and with your finger close on of your nostrils.
Breath in slowly through your one nostril for 2 to 4 seconds, hold your breath for a second or two, and then exhale slowly. Run through that two times.
Then, switch the sides that you’re closing and repeat the process. Eventually, your breathing will slow and you’ll start to feel better.
Use Grounding Techniques
If you find that your thoughts are spinning and you’re stuck in the fear/doom cycle, there are a few things you can do to relax your body. Sure, you know you aren’t going to die, but you still feel pretty crummy, right?
It’s hard to stay grounded when you’re dealing with overwhelming paranoia and anxiety. Grounding techniques are designed to help you anchor yourself to the present so you can start to focus on feeling better.
If you find yourself feeling out of control while high, you can try
- Holding ice cubes in your palms until you can’t anymore
- Running your hands under cold or warm water
- Touch the first three objects you see
- Start with the letter A and name items in a category in alphabetical order
- Cuddle your pet
You can also use something known as the 5-4-3-2-1 technique. Identify five sounds you can hear, four things you can hear, three things you can see, two things you can smell, and one thing you can taste.
Doing this is a good way to ground yourself to reality and remind yourself that you are in the present moment. It can help you let go of paranoia and worry while you wait for your high to come down.
If you’re deep in the throes of an anxiety attack, you definitely don’t feel like exercising. But if you can manage some light exercise, you may be able to reduce feelings those feelings.
Moving your body can help distract from those feelings of fear or other sensations that are overwhelming you. Physical activity can also release endorphins that can calm you down.
If you’re feeling a lot of anxiety or paranoia when high, go outside for a brisk walk. Or, you could try some indoor activities if you don’t feel safe enough to leave your house.
Yoga, stretching, jumping jacks, or jogging in place are all things that can help release endorphins to calm you down.
Smelling salts have been used for centuries to help revive fainted people or people experiencing a shock. While smelling salts probably won’t help you escape your feelings of paranoia while high, some nice smells could help.
Essential oils like lavender are naturally relaxing. And as we mentioned before, pine and lemon have chemicals in them that help to clear up brain fog to allow you to think more clearly.
If you don’t have essential oils on hand, you could still try lighting a candle or putting on some scented lotion. Good-smelling herbal tea is also great as aromatherapy. Plus, the tea is super hydrating, which is a win-win in our book.
Take a Shower
Taking a warm shower can be the key to turning a bad high into a good high. The feeling of the warm water on your body can help to soothe you and take your mind off of the things you’re feeling paranoid about
If you don’t feel up to a whole shower, splash some water on your face. This can lower your heart rate and help leave you feeling calm.
Find a Friend
Sometimes, all we need to feel better about weird situations we’re in is to say it out loud. When you find yourself unnecessarily paranoid during a high, find a friend and let them know how you feel.
When you sit down and talk about the things you’re worried about, it lets you see them in a new light. It feels better to get things off your chest. Sometimes, you’ll realize that they sound silly or unimportant in the end.
Also, a friend can give you a different perspective on the thing you’re paranoid about, which can be a huge help to deciding what feelings you should consider and which you should try to let go of.
CBD and Marijuana Paranoia
CBD is the non-psychoactive component in the cannabis plant. It can reduce the anxiety and paranoia that THC can cause, according to a few studies.
CBD can bind to the same receptors that THC does, blocking its effects.
There is still research that needs to be done when it comes to how CBD can help tame the high you feel when you’re using THC. However, CBD is worth a shot as it is virtually void of negative side effects.
Take a Nap
Ultimately, the best way to get rid of the paranoia and anxiety you feel when you’ve taken too much THC is to sleep it off. Not only does this help ease your feelings of anxiety, but it allows your brain to work through the THC while you’re unconscious.
You may have a few weird dreams, but you’ll wake up feeling better.
Anti-inflammatory drugs, like ibuprofen, are known to lessen the buzz you feel when you’re high. Some research suggests that it may reduce the negative effects that THC has on your brain’s cognition as well.
How to Prevent Marijuana Paranoia
So now that you know how to lessen marijuana paranoia, let’s talk about how you can prevent it in the first place. As we mentioned earlier, one way to prevent it is to make sure you’re not taking too high of a dose. When you take edibles, make sure you’re allowing the full 3-4 hour window to pass before you decide that you need to take more.
Also, consider giving Delta 8 THC a try. Delta 8 is a kind of THC that has a more mellow high and, as a bonus, it’s legal in most states as it qualifies as hemp.
Kick the Marijuana Paranoia
When you light up, you’re looking to feel mellowed out and relaxed, not stressed out and paranoid. If you start to experience symptoms of marijuana paranoia and anxiety, follow these steps for how to calm down when high so you can get back to your chilled-out experience.
For more information on how to live a better life, keep reading!