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Tips for Recovering from Overconsumption of Cannabis Edibles

Tips for Recovering from Overconsumption of Cannabis Edibles

Cannabis edibles—like gummies, chews, and baked goods—can be incredibly useful tools in your trauma recovery journey.[1] But if you’re new to the world of medical cannabis, it can take time to find the dosage that’s right for you. This means that during your dose experimentation, you might overconsume.

While overconsumption (taking too high of a dose) might cause discomfort, it’s not dangerous.[2] And the good news is, if you’ve taken too much, it won’t take long to recover—especially if you use the tips below.

Understanding the Longevity of Edibles

Edibles are popular due to their ease of use—when you need a dose, all you have to do is take a bite. Plus, edibles typically offer longer-lasting effects than smokeables (like resins, oils, and flower).[3] This longer window can give you more time to enjoy the calming effects of THC and reflect and heal while your anxiety levels are low.

But there are important things to know about edibles and edible longevity:

  • They can take time to kick in – Edibles can take anywhere from one to two hours to start working, and many patients experience a slow progression—you might only feel mild effects at first, but these can intensify as your body absorbs more THC.[4]
  • Effects and longevity vary from person to person – Factors like weight, metabolism, diet, exercise habits, and tolerance levels can impact both your effects timeline and your absorption levels.
  • Edibles are more potent – When you consume edibles instead of smoke marijuana, your digestive system converts THC into a byproduct that’s much more potent than its original form—this is why its effects typically last longer.

While the longevity and potency of edibles can be beneficial to your healing journey when dosed properly, taking too high of a dose can lead to an overwhelming experience.

6 Helpful Strategies for Recovering from Edible Overconsumption

If you take a larger dose of edibles than you intended, or if the effects are more overwhelming than relaxing, there are a few simple ways to ride out your recovery.

#1 Hydrate

If you’re “greening out,” you might be too distracted by the stimuli in your environment to remember recovery basics—like drinking water.

While drinking water won’t dilute the THC in your system, it can help moderate the psychoactive effects of the THC by offering benefits like:[5]

  • Mood stability – Even mild dehydration can impact your memory, mood, and anxiety levels. Drinking water can help your brain perform at its best.
  • Temperature regulation – When you’re dehydrated, your body stores more heat. Drinking water can help you cool down if you’re feeling overheated (a common side effect of consuming too much THC).

In addition to water, you might also try sipping on soothing herbal tea, hydrating coconut water, or an electrolyte-rich drink.

#2 Eat Something Nutritious

Much like consuming alcohol on an empty stomach, eating an edible with nothing in your system (even if it’s your usual dose) can amplify the effects of THC for some patients.

So, if you’re feeling too high, eat something nutrient- and calorie-dense, like:

  • Fresh fruits or veggies
  • A sandwich with deli meat or peanut butter
  • Eggs
  • Cheese and crackers

Plus, eating can be a welcome distraction that takes your mind off of your symptoms.

#3 Light Exercise

Speaking of distractions, movement can also be helpful. But this isn’t the time to hop on the elliptical or break out your heavy weights. Instead, opt for low-impact activities, like:

  • Yoga
  • Stretching
  • A walk in the fresh air
  • Cleaning or tidying

If you choose to leave the house to exercise, consider bringing a buddy along for extra safety.

#4 Rest

One of the best recovery methods for overconsumption of edibles is sleep:

  • You’ll pass the time – Sleep is time-consuming—and recovery from greening out is a waiting game.
  • You’ll decrease your stimuli – Even just laying in bed will decrease the stimulus around you, especially if you can keep the lights low and keep noise to a minimum.
  • You’ll get much-needed rest – Rest is key to recovery in almost every circumstance. And, since THC can help people with sleep issues achieve deeper rest, this might be the perfect time to get some extra Zs.

#5 Utilize CBD

While it might sound counterintuitive, CBD can counteract some of the effects of THC.[6] If you have a CBD tincture, edible, or smokeable on hand, consider taking a dose to help reduce some of your overstimulation and discomfort.

If you take CBD, you’ll likely feel a little drowsy. This might help you fall asleep more easily or ease some residual anxiety as you try to ground yourself.

#6 Find Good Company

Nearly every medical marijuana patient and recreational user has experienced the green-out. So, if you know someone else who’s using THC as a recovery tool, there’s no shame in calling them up and asking for some company and support.

A recovery buddy can:

  • Supervise exercise – Having some company on a walk around the neighborhood is much safer than trekking alone—especially if you’re feeling overstimulated.
  • Prepare snacks and drinks – If you’re glued to your seat, your buddy can help keep you hydrated and fed as you recover.
  • Offer a listening ear – Reflection and recovery go hand-in-hand. Your buddy can be a sounding board as you think out loud.

Finding the Right Dose: Less Is More

While edibles can be extremely useful recovery tools for people living with anxiety disorders or PTSD, THC can be overwhelming when consumed in excess—whether you’re smoking, using a tincture, or eating an edible.

As you find your perfect dose, start with less than you think you need and slowly increase your intake until you achieve your desired effects.

If you’re looking for support on your recovery journey, turn to TeleLeaf. As patients ourselves, we understand how disruptive trauma and anxiety can be—and we’ve seen firsthand how medical cannabis treatments transform lives.

Learn more about our mission, and start your recovery journey with TeleLeaf.

 

Sources:

[1] Veterans of Foreign Wars. Federal Study Finds Cannabis Beneficial for PTSD Treatment. https://www.vfw.org/media-and-events/latest-releases/archives/2021/9/federal-study-finds-cannabis-beneficial-for-ptsd-treatment

[2] Cannigma. What is greening out? What you need to know about consuming too much cannabis. https://cannigma.com/physiology/greening-out/

[3] GoodRx. Your Cannabis Edibles Questions Answered: How Long Do Edibles Effects Last?. https://www.goodrx.com/health-topic/cannabis/edibles-vs-smoking

[4]  GoodRx. Your Cannabis Edibles Questions Answered: How Long Do Edibles Effects Last?. https://www.goodrx.com/health-topic/cannabis/edibles-vs-smoking

[5] National Council on Aging. 10 Reasons Why Hydration Is Important. https://www.ncoa.org/article/10-reasons-why-hydration-is-important

[6] Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology News. How CBD Blocks THC Euphoria Explained. https://www.genengnews.com/news/how-cbd-blocks-thc-euphoria-explained/

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