10 Ways To Feel Better If You Get Too High

Illustrated by Anna Sudit.
In honor of 4/20 we're revisiting some of our greatest…hits.
In the history of the world, there is no record of a fatal marijuana overdose. Nevertheless, many people have gotten so high that they've wished they were dead, which is terrifying.
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Beyond psychic meltdowns, many other people have gotten high and simply not liked it, with all the expected feelings of euphoria and sensual enhancement eclipsed by panic, paranoia, and a racing heart rate. Should you ever find yourself in the grip of an unpleasant marijuana high, there are things you can do.
Before we get there, though, you should know some “don’ts”: Don’t answer the phone unless you know who’s calling and want to talk. Don’t use a stove or drive a car. Don’t stare at yourself in a mirror or give yourself a haircut. And when your bad bout of highness is over, don’t neglect to google “Maureen Dowd Colorado” to confirm how not alone you are.
Ahead, 10 tips that actually can help.
*©2016 By David Schmader. All rights reserved. Excerpted from Weed: The User’s Guide by permission of Sasquatch Books.
Refinery29 in no way encourages illegal activity and would like to remind its readers that marijuana usage continues to be an offense under Federal Law, regardless of state marijuana laws. To learn more click here. This excerpt of Mr. Schmader’s book is not intended to and should not be construed to constitute professional medical or health advice. Always seek the advice of a qualified professional.
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Illustrated by Anna Sudit.
1. Relax

Remember how I said no one’s ever died from getting too high? It’s true. And you should ruminate on that fact as you take at least three deep breaths, slowly in and slowly out. You’re going to be fine. You just need to be patient and take care of yourself as you ride out your unpleasant — but not dangerous — high.
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Illustrated by Anna Sudit.
2. Squeeze A Lemon

One of the few things known to diminish extreme highness is limonene, a terpene that modulates THC’s effects on the brain and is conveniently found in lemons. Should you find yourself too high for your taste, squeeze juice from a fresh lemon, zest in a bit of peel, add as much sugar as necessary, and toss the whole thing down your throat. According to science, it should help.
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Illustrated by Anna Sudit.
3. Smell Some Pepper

Another terpene-based maneuver, this one involves beta-caryophyllene, a terpene found in black pepper that’s specifically cited for its ability to combat weed-based paranoia. To activate it, smash or grind a few fresh peppercorns, then get your nose down close and take a big whiff. Sneeze afterward if you must.
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Illustrated by Anna Sudit.
4. Be Nice To Yourself

Remind yourself that you’re in no danger and the state you’re in is temporary. Surround yourself with stuff that makes you feel safe. (If this means pajamas in bed, so be it.) Don’t fixate on your inability to think straight or berate yourself over a word you can’t remember — steer yourself toward things that make you feel secure.
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Illustrated by Anna Sudit.
5. Take A Cold Shower

This probably won’t feel so much like “being nice to yourself,” but there’s no denying the power of a cold shower to reboot a nervous system.
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Illustrated by Anna Sudit.
6. Get Some Fresh Air

Deep breaths are good, and deep breaths of fresh air are better. If you’re not up for taking a walk, open a window.
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Illustrated by Anna Sudit.
7. Eat Something

Aim for something substantial and nutritious: yogurt, fresh fruit, microwaved soup, healthy cereal.
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Illustrated by Anna Sudit.
8. Drink Water

Not only does it keep you hydrated, it also helps flush your system.
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Illustrated by Anna Sudit.
9. Talk To Someone

Have a trusted friend who’s familiar with weed? Sharing your too-high experience with someone who understands can help a ton. Ask for what you need, up to and including, “I need you to call me every 45 minutes to remind me that I’m fine until I tell you to stop.”
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Illustrated by Anna Sudit.
10. Rest

Lie down. Close your eyes. Get comfortable. Whether or not you actually doze is immaterial — just restricting your world to your bed or couch and the backs of your eyelids helps. Take deep breaths, following each breath in and each breath out.
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