Getting too high can seem like a joke—until it happens to you. Especially for new smokers, getting higher than you expect can easily happen, and the first time it does, you might get seriously freaked out.
The good news is that getting too high isn’t dangerous, and it isn’t worth a hospital visit (no matter how much you might feel like dialing 911). In this guide, learn some of the most common symptoms of getting too high on THC, and learn what to do to both cool down your high and avoid “greening out” ever again.
Can I get too high on THC?
Yes, it’s certainly possible to get too high from THC. Veteran stoners have developed an acclimation to this phytocannabinoid that persists even after they lose their tolerance. If you’ve never smoked weed before, though, or you’ve only gotten stoned a few times, it’s quite common to go through the terrifying experience of getting too high.
What are some symptoms of being too high?
If you’ve gotten too high, you can usually tell without needing to check for symptoms. If you experience any of the following symptoms during a smoke session, though, you should sit the rest of it out, and these symptoms are also clear indications you shouldn’t eat that next piece of your pot brownies:
Increased heart rate
If your heart starts beating faster than normal after smoking weed, it’s possible your body can’t tolerate the amount of THC you just consumed. Put your hand on your chest to find out how fast your heart is beating before you take another hit.
Paranoia is a common side effect of THC use that can become extremely exacerbated when you get too high. While some degree of paranoia is normal when you use THC, you may want to slow down if you become convinced your carpet is following you or that squirrel outside works for the CIA.
Using normal amounts of THC should enhance your sensory perceptions in a pleasant way. If normal lighting is way too bright or someone whispering across the room sounds like a rock concert, though, you may have gotten too high.
“Throbbing” field of vision
Sometimes, getting too high on THC can make it hard to see or cause your field of vision to turn red. If you get extremely stoned, this red tint may even begin to throb and make it hard to see anything at all.
Inability to stand up
The phenomenon called “couch lock” is a common and sometimes desirable consequence of smoking heavy indica strains of weed. if you’re completely unable to stand up to matter how hard you try, however, you’ve gotten far more stoned than you originally intended.
Smoking weed shouldn’t make you sweat unless you’re in a hot room or getting high suddenly made you want to run down the street. If you start to perspire after you smoke pot, you may have smoked more than you should have.
Difficulty thinking or speaking
Getting high has a way of making you so relaxed you don’t want to say anything at all. If you’re completely unable to speak no matter how hard you try, however, THC may have gotten the better of you.
Getting too stoned can sometimes make you nauseous. Nausea after smoking weed, however, is more commonly a sign of cannabinoid hyperemesis syndrome, a rare condition that may permanently take THC off the table.
What do I do if I get too high?
If you accidentally got too high off THC, don’t make matters worse by panicking. Your symptoms will naturally dissipate within less than an hour, and there are plenty of things you can do to hasten the process. Some examples include:
1. Take a deep breath
First, do your best to calm yourself down. Know that everything is going to be okay, and no matter how scary things seem right now, your high will naturally start to diminish in just a few minutes.
2. Drink some water
Drinking water can be grounding and help you reconnect with reality. It might not be enough to fully dissipate your symptoms, however.
3. Eat something
Much to the dismay of munchie-munchers everywhere, eating while you’re high has a tendency to make you feel more sober. In this case, that effect is exactly what you’re looking for.
4. Find some caryophyllene or limonene
Some people say to chew black pepper balls when you get too high. Others say to squeeze a lemon in your mouth. In reality, both approaches might be effective since black pepper contains caryophyllene and lemons contain limonene, two terpenes that have the ability to cut your high (despite also being present in many strains of cannabis).
5. Retreat to a safe place
Find a quiet place by yourself where you can calm down. Being around other people who are also high will most likely just make you feel more freaked out.
6. Call a friend
Sometimes, the calming words of someone you trust are all it takes to make you feel like everything’s going to be alright. If there’s no one with you who you can talk to, pull out your phone, and use one of your lifelines.
7. Try some CBD
Research indicates that, like certain terpenes, CBD might be able to reduce the effects of THC. Now’s the time to break out that CBD tincture you’ve been wanting to try—or even light up some low-THC, high-CBD hemp flower.
How do I keep myself from getting too high?
There are a few preemptive measures you can take if you’re concerned you might get too high from using THC. Some examples include getting high with friends and avoiding edibles or dabs. Let’s examine each option in more detail:
Don’t get high alone
Getting too high with the wrong people can be terrifying, but it can sometimes be even worse to get too high alone. Especially if this is your first time using THC, make sure you get high with one or two people you know you can trust to calm you down if you get too freaked out.
Know your limit
The best way to avoid the symptoms of being too high is to avoid smoking too much weed in the first place. It’s much more important to avoid getting too high than it is to impress your friends with how much you can smoke.
Don’t eat edibles
Edibles have a way of sneaking up on you and making you way higher than you ever planned. While veteran THC users might not be affected by even a high dose of edibles, stick to smoking if you still haven’t developed a significant tolerance to this intoxicating cannabinoid.
Taking dabs can seem a lot like smoking weed since both approaches to getting high involve inhaling cannabinoids. Even the strongest weed, however, only contains a maximum of 30% THC while dabs can contain 80% THC or even more. If you decide you absolutely must take a dab anyway, just make it a small one if you still aren’t used to the effects of cannabis.
FAQ: Getting too high on THC
Let’s finish up by answering some common questions related to getting too high:
Can I get too high on delta 8?
Yes, it is just as possible to get too high on the delta 8 form of THC as it is to get too high off this cannabinoid‘s conventional form, delta 9 THC. Your chances of getting overwhelmingly high are smaller when you use delta 8, however, due to this cannabinoid‘s inherently milder effects.
Can I get too high on CBD?
No, you cannot get too high on CBD no matter how you use it since this cannabinoid is not intoxicating. Even if you take CBD dabs or eat CBD edibles, the worst that might happen is you might get incredibly sleepy. What’s more, using CBD at the same time as THC might reduce your chances of getting too high due to the intoxication-reducing interaction between these two cannabinoids.
Do I need to go to the hospital if I get too high?
No, you probably shouldn’t call 911 or go to the hospital just because you get too high on THC. While it can be terrifying, getting too high is not dangerous or life-threatening.
Can I die if I get too high?
No, it does not appear possible to fatally overdose on THC or any other cannabinoid. Ingesting extremely high amounts of THC can lead to significant amounts of discomfort, but no matter how much you might feel like your life is ending, just know that THC doesn’t kill people.
What is “greening out?”
Within cannabis culture, the term “greening out” is sometimes used to refer to the symptoms you experience when you get too high. This term is most commonly used by veteran stoners to describe the blackout-like symptoms that sometimes accompany excessive THC use, and it isn’t used as often in reference to the extreme paranoia that new users can sometimes feel when they get too high.