5 Ways to Counteract a Negative Marijuana Experience

We are moving into a new world of MMJ. No longer is it just flowers, hash and edibles of varying degrees of quality. Nowadays, there’s huge ranges of beautiful foodstuffs, near enough pharmaceutical-grade tinctures, oils and products unimaginable in the 60s and 70s, though we’re sure some people had the foresight to see at least some of this coming – we wouldn’t be where we are now, otherwise!

With this new wave of – admittedly not-the-best-regulated – products has come an increase in people having negative experiences. People who may have been casual users in their youth have been coming back, trying out what’s out there now, and going “This is crazy!” Here’s some time-honoured ways to stop a too-intense a cannabis high from ruining what could be the start (or re-start) of a beautiful relationship …

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1. The Classics – Relax, Drink Some Water, Put Your Feet Up and Remember “It’ll All Be Over Soon” aka “Don’t Panic!”

relax if you've had too much cannabis

One of the best things about using marijuana 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. Maybe in the future we’ll create a strain that’s like ingesting thousands of pounds of cannabis in one go, but we’re not sure if that’s scientifically possible as of yet!

One of the best ways to counteract a negative marijuana experience comes from one’s own psychology in the first instance. Thinking “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 and/or psychological distress.

Simply listening to some music (classical music is often seen as a good choice – big up the Bach man! – although your tastes may lean towards jazz, classical Hindustani & Carnatic music and so on), going for a long walk, watching a movie, and otherwise keeping the belly full, the body hydrated and the 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 thankfully-rarely occurring Cannabis Hyperemesis Syndrome (CHS) tend to take hot showers in order to beat the nausea, vomiting and stomach cramps they get after using cannabis. The reason why this seems to beat the nausea is the same reason why capsaicin cream, the 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 doesn’t necessarily mean you have CHS, but it’s worth bearing in mind what you can do 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. 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 (Piper nigrum), contains the terpene beta-caryophyllene, which is also found in some cannabis strains like Super Silver Haze. There is also research taking place on beta-caryophyllene’s anti-cancer properties. But how does it help relieve cannabis-induced paranoia?

The 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-terpenoid synergy, if proven, increases the likelihood that an extensive pipeline of new therapeutic products is possible from this venerable plant.”

The section entitled “Cannabis terpenoids: neglected entourage compounds?” is interesting, and 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, which helps prevent paranoia.

4. Other Terpenoids?

circus fruits can help stop a negative high

Citrus fruits are also good at livening the senses due to the alpha-limonene. Some have said that eating mangoes can help increase the strength of low-THC strains if eaten an hour before cannabis ingestion due to the beta-myrcene. Linalool, which is found in lavender, may help aide relaxation, whilst alpha-pinene (one of the most abundant terpenes in nature, with the potential to beat MRSA) can help beat short-term memory problems.

5. Vaporize Some More? Use Another Cannabinoid Like CBD?

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, and some people 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 help block THC’s effects to some extent – but be careful, as too high a dose of THCV is psychoactive in its own right and may even potentiate 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, health wise.

Hopefully, knowing this will help you feel at ease if you’re a first-time or beginner cannabis user. There is still lots of science to uncover, and so much of it is simple trial-and-error that it is difficult to say for certain what will help counteract the effects of too-much-THC.

What we do know, though, is that it could be one of the safest medications around, with one of the broadest therapeutic indexes to be found amongst all the drugs of this 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
Dipak Hemraj
Dipak Hemraj

Dipak Hemraj is a published author, grower, product maker, and Leafwell’s resident cannabis expert. From botany & horticulture to culture & economics, he wishes to help educate the public on why cannabis is medicine (or a “pharmacy in a plant”) and how it can be used to treat a plethora of health problems. Dipak wants to unlock the power of the plant, and see if there are specific cannabinoid-terpene-flavonoid profiles suitable for different conditions.

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