It’s all very well saying “don’t overdo it”, but sometimes that’s easier said than done. Especially when you’re new to cannabis.  Even though the standard advice is to start low and go slow, you can still find yourself getting a bit too high for your liking.  The good news is that if this happens to you, there are ways to bring yourself down off your high.

Originally posted on 4th June 2018, Updated on 28th January 2019

5 ways to sober up from being high

1. Count (sheep)

counting sheep

A lot of people advise taking a nap to come down from a high. Which is very good advice as far as it goes, the problem is you may need to calm down somewhat first. Counting is a simple, repetitive activity, which changes the focus of your mind.  If regular counting is too easy to distract you, try doing your times tables or counting backwards.  Once you’ve steadied yourself a bit, then having a sleep is a great idea. If you have time, although you probably want to set an alarm for about half an hour to ensure you don’t end up sleeping for ages and then lying awake at night.  There are marijuana strains which can help with insomnia but there’s a limit to what they can do if your body’s just not ready for sleep.

2. Swap cannabis for citrus

There is some (limited) scientific evidence that the chemicals in lemon and black pepper react with the chemicals in marijuana to create a more relaxed experience. In other words, they blunt the edge of the THC.  This study focuses on black pepper.

Even without this, the fact remains that aromatherapists use citrus scents, such as lemon, to create a positive, relaxed mood and black pepper is used to soothe and relax.  If you’re new to cannabis then you may want to have these essential oils on hand, ideally pre-blended, so that if you do find you’re a bit too high, you can just set them in a diffuser.  For safety, you would be best to use an electric one rather than one which involves using candles.  Even if you’re familiar with cannabis, having them on standby isn’t likely to do any harm.

3. Drink (and eat)


When we say drink, we mean water or something like milk or fruit juice, rather than alcohol or heavy-duty caffeine.  A nice cup of tea or a mild coffee is probably going to be fine, but when your body is already dealing with THC the last thing you want to do is give it more strong chemicals to deal with.The marijuana munchies are real and THC does trigger them, as shown in this study. If you’re high there’s a good chance you’re hungry anyway, which isn’t likely to help your mood.  What you ideally want are snacks which are full of complex carbohydrates and/or protein.  These will fill you up nicely and as you will probably have noticed already, when your belly is full of food not only can the world seem a happier place, but you are basically forced to slow down and chill out. Pistachios and pine nuts are a particularly good choice as they contain pinene, which counteracts THC.

4. Take a shower

While baths can be a good way to relax, showers are a far better way to deal with a cannabis high. First of all, the fact that the water immediately drains away means that there is zero chance of you drowning in them and secondly, the action of water falling on you gives you a gentle massage which stimulates your body’s systems and encourages it to work harder to process the THC which is causing your high.  These days, there’s lots of great shower products out there so you could use some soothing goodies to make your shower even more relaxing.

5. Breathe (in some fresh air)

When a person gets stressed for any reason, one of the first things most people will say is “take deep breaths”.  They may well add “in through the nose and out through the mouth”.  There are many scientific studies that have proven this, but the key point is that it works and it also works to help you come down from a high.  If you have to stay indoors, then at least see if you can open a window and get some proper fresh air into the place.  This is particularly useful if you’ve been smoking your marijuana because it will help to clear the smell, which may well help to clear your head.  If you can go somewhere quiet outside, so much the better.