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So Your Friend Got Too High on Cannabis — Here’s How to Help Them

It happens to the best of us — here’s what you can do when it does.

With cannabis becoming more available to the average — and often inexperienced — person, it’s important that people get informed about how to responsibly consume weed. You know, in a way that allows them to enjoy the experience. But even all the well-meaning advice, suggestions and cautionary tales in the world might not be enough to prevent someone from unintentionally indulging a little too much.

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In these instances, it’s a good idea to have a game plan for keeping your companion calm until they feel like themselves again.

First things first, once someone realizes they are too high, it’s time to stop smoking, vaping, hitting the bong or taking dabs. It ends immediately. Even once the high starts to subside, just leave it alone — because honestly, it’s just not worth it. Naturally, the same goes for edibles, although the amount of time it will take for the effects to wear off will undoubtedly be much longer, due to the way the body processes THC ingested orally.

If your friend is freaking out, do not match your friend’s energy. Do not start panicking or seem alarmed in any way — that will only increase their sense of dread. Start by finding out how they are feeling by asking simple questions to see if they are just feeling momentarily overwhelmed or if there’s deeper cause for concern. Once you’re sure they are okay, then you can start with some basics: Get them a glass of water and guide them through taking some deep, measured breaths. It sounds too simple to be effective, but this tip goes a long way to helping redirect their attention and instilling a sense of groundedness.

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If your friend is willing, try to put them to bed. A solid nap can help put an end to a nerve-wracking experience. More often than not, staying awake to troubleshoot or “wait out” the high is unpleasant and unnecessary. Try offering them some snacks, a comfortable place to recline and then just let them float away. Keep in mind that it may be a quick nap, or it could be several hours before they sleep it off. Just check on them every hour or so and definitely have more water ready for them upon their rising.

You can also try some easy distraction from their overstimulation to bring some calm. This can mean that if you’re in a crowded, packed environment, take them to a quiet place to regroup. If you are at home, throw their favorite movie or find a stream of funny videos to keep them occupied. If sitting still isn’t working, try going to a walk outside where they can take in some fresh air and get distracted by what’s going on around them.

Lastly, if none of these other techniques work and you need another option before you start to get truly concerned, try CBD. It’s well-known for helping with anxiety, and can help take the edge off of a gnarly high by warding off the psychotropic effects of THC that can lead to feeling anxious, paranoid or overstimulated.

And it’s definitely worth noting that these suggestions are for weird or uncomfortable feelings that follow an individual consuming beyond their personal tolerance level, like the (irrational) fear that one will never stop being super stoned.

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If you or someone is experiencing medically-related symptoms, like shortness of breath or persistent faintness, then should take more serious action. But if your friend is just more affected than expected and needs someone to sit with them outside of a loud event for a little while or wants help just calming down a bit, then these tips will be useful — we promise.

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