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What to Do When You've Eaten Too Much Cannabis Edibles

The way you’re consuming cannabis can make a considerable difference on how you might experience its effects. Unlike the high from smoked cannabis that hits in just a few minutes, the high from edibles takes a longer time to set in and diminish. When taken through the lungs, cannabis enters the bloodstream, immediately affecting the brain where it produces its psychoactive effects. The experience from this intake method peaks in just 10 to 30 minutes.

Infused edibles, on the other hand, go through the entire digestive system before it can take effect-- hence, the longer waiting time. The high from eating a brownie, for example, can kick in anytime between 30 minutes to 2 hours after the first bite, and the sensation can last up to 4 hours. Once the ingested cannabis reaches the liver, it is broken down to 11-hydroxy-THC -- a substance that is more bio-available or readily consumed by the body compared to the THC found in inhaled marijuana. This process gives ingested cannabis a stronger high compared to inhaled cannabis.

There are several reasons why the edibles you ate seem much more potent than anticipated. It’s possible that you ate too much. This introduces your body to a high amount of THC and leads to a high that is too strong to enjoy. Eating edibles on an empty stomach can also result to what is known as the first pass effect, a phenomenon that greatly reduces the concentration of the substance before it hits the systemic circulation. The liver may break down the THC so well that you won’t feel the effects of the first edible even if it has already been processed. Lastly, it may also be that you’re just not in the right mindset or you’re too tired to fully engage in the experience.

Eating too much infused edibles can produce the following reactions:

Anxiety and Paranoia.
Cannabis has cannabidiol or CBD, a cannabinoid that is known for its many health benefits, including relieving anxiety. Despite this, consuming too much weed edibles can still trigger an increase in heart rate as well as feelings of anxiety and paranoia. It can also trigger panic attacks in some. 

Cotton Mouth.
Mouth dryness is another common reaction to eating too much edibles.

Lethargy.
Once the initial high has worn off, it’s entirely possible that you’ll feel extremely tired. For this, the best you can do is drink water and get some rest.

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Calm Down -- It Won’t Kill You.

“Overdosing” on marijuana edibles may be far from a pleasant experience, but it’s not lethal. Compared to drinking too much alcohol, eating too much edibles is far safer in that it causes less harm to the body, and it’s less likely to contribute to violent or reckless behavior. Marijuana is virtually non-toxic to the human body, and it is impossible to eat an amount that will cause a fatal reaction. The symptoms of “greening out” or consuming too much cannabis can be a bit scary, but it will pass in a few hours with no lasting effects. 

What to Do Now?

In addition to calming down, the first thing you should do is to make yourself as comfortable as possible. Lie down or sit in your bedroom and ensure that you’re well hydrated while you’re at it. Should you feel anxious or if you feel that your heart beat is stronger than usual, concentrate on your breathing’s timing and depth. You can also sit down with a pet or ask a friend to check on you from time to time to help you calm down. Try to relax and remember that the experience will be over in a few hours.

In the meantime, you have to find activities that will help you chill out and prevent you from focusing on the negative sensations. This may include listening to your favorite albums, watching feel good movies, or even coloring and creating art. Eating and drinking foods and drinks high in natural sugar can also alleviate these effects. Some go-to food include lemons (freshly squeezed is best) and black pepper, both of which have terpenes that can bring a calming effect. Alternatively, sleeping it off is the best option.

Despite doing all these, you might still find the effects too intense to bear. When it comes down it this, you can dial 911 or call a friend to drive you to the nearest hospital. For safety’s and legal reasons, do not attempt to drive while you’re under the effects of cannabis.

Creating a Good Cannabis Experience

Every cannabis consumer has experienced these negative effects one time or another. The best way to go about it is to treat is as a learning experience by taking note of what led to these effects and what you can do to prevent it from happening again. 

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