Illustration by James the Stanton

Illustration by James the Stanton


What to do when you get way too high.

Look, we’re heading into summer and that means it’s finally going to get hot, the days are going to last forever, and Seattleites are about to lose their minds. For some, that will result in overdoing it in the substance category. And while no one has ever overdosed on weed, you can get still get knocked down by headaches, nausea, dizziness, and anxiety. To be honest, going overboard with cannabis happens. It’s better to be ready for it than to pretend it never happens. To be clear, I am not a doctor—I don’t even play one on TV—but these are tips I’ve picked up along the way that have helped me have the best time possible.

The last time I was “too stoned” was about two years ago, the second time I did dabs. My mistake came because I didn’t know what I was doing the first time and took a crappy hit, so I overcompensated on my follow-up. But when that pure sativa vapor hit my lungs, it was only a couple seconds until I knew I had gotten reeeeeeeal high, real fast. Too fast. In those few seconds, my whole perspective shifted and my mind began to rush through all the things I needed to get done that day. I began to freak out about how stupid it was to spontaneously get high in the middle of the afternoon while I was so busy. I started to spiral into an anxiety-ridden self-hate trip. But then my veteran stoner experience kicked in.

First, I told my friends that I’d just gotten very stoned and needed a minute to get myself together. I carefully walked to the couch and laid down, gently stretching my body out and taking slow, deep breaths. One friend brought me a glass of water, and after a few minutes the intensity passed. I sat up, drank some water, and had a good laugh at how incredibly high that single dab got me.

If you find yourself in a similar position, taking yourself out of the action for a few moments is crucial. Generally, the feeling of being too high lasts only a few minutes, even if it seems like a long time. Get yourself to a spot where you can sit or lie down, do a little light stretching and some deep breathing, and quiet your mind. Fresh air and grass work wonders. Remind yourself that this is temporary and will pass soon. During these minutes, try not to take anything you think or feel too seriously. Calmly communicating to the people you’re with that you’re having “a moment” is important so they know what’s going on and are aware that you might need a little help. When you start to feel better, go slow. Sit before you stand, stand before you walk.

To further the comedown, eat something. Stay away from caffeine. Instead, focus on juices for a natural sugar boost. Eat grounding foods like cabbage, potatoes, tempeh, bread, beets, nuts, and beans. If you eat meat, go with beef.

Even after all this, you’re probably going to feel super-stoned for the next few hours, especially if you are not a regular cannabis consumer. If you are a novice, you might consider being done for the day; if you’re a pro, give it an hour or so before you get back on that horse.

Whatever you do, if you can describe yourself as having been too high in the past six to eight hours or so, please don’t drive. It might feel a little embarrassing to admit you’re too high, but it’s actually super-cute to be mature and proactive about your substance use. Catch a car or take the bus, or better yet—if it’s safe for you to walk—take the opportunity to wander in our lovely but fleeting summer weather, and let your stoned self be dazzled by the lushness of reality.


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