There’s nothing like kicking back and relaxing with good friends and good music, and lighting up some good weed. But like all things, cannabis should be consumed in moderation. Yes, believe it or not folks, you can get too high.
If it’s happened to you before, then you know exactly what I’m talking about. If it’s never happened to you… Congratulations! You have better judgment and self-control than the vast majority of the pot smoking population. Either that or you are a total newbie. Probably the latter.
Either way, it can be helpful to know what to look for — in yourself and others — warning signs to help you know when enough is enough. So how do you know when you or a friend has had too much? These are the 8 most common symptoms of being too high:
Probably the first and most common sign is that of dizziness, weakness, or disorientation. I’m not talking about the fleeting head rush you get after taking a huge bong hit, or standing up too fast. But a sustained and overpowering dizziness that won’t go away, making it difficult to stand, walk and otherwise function normally. This is usually a sign that you overdid it. You might wanna go lie down for a bit, before you fall over.
2. Tingling or Numbness
You might also feel tingling or numbness, usually in your hands, feet, arms or legs. You know, that “pins and needles” feeling you get when one of your limbs goes to sleep? It’s a lot like that, and it can adversely affect your coordination and manual dexterity. Makes it very difficult to roll a joint when you can’t feel your fingers, you know? But then again, if you can’t feel your fingers, you don’t really need to roll that next joint anyway. You’ve probably had enough.
3. Accelerated or Irregular Heartbeat
Cannabis directly affects parts of the brain that help regulate your heart rate. So when you get super, duper high, it’s not uncommon to find your heart racing a mile a minute, pounding in your chest like a bass drum. Or you might notice irregularities in the rhythm of your heartbeat. This can be scary if you let your mind run away with you (see #7 below). But just relax, it’s normal. Don’t panic. Take some slow, deep breaths, and eventually you’ll level out.
4. Sweats or Chills
Unusual sweating, chills, and pale clammy skin can all be symptoms of being too high. So if you start sweating profusely for no reason, or develop a sudden case of the chills, it might be time to put down the reefer.
This is also pretty easy to spot in your friends: if they seem unusually quiet or withdrawn, have beads of sweat on their forehead, and all the color drained out of their face, you can bet they’re probably too high for their own good. Might wanna get them a pillow and blanket. And maybe a puke bucket (see #8).
5. Sensory Overload
Being too high can often cause hypersensitivity, resulting in distorted perceptions and mild hallucinations. For instance, you might find yourself seeing undulating patterns in the carpet, or looking at everything through tunnel vision. When the lights seem overwhelmingly bright, sounds are too loud and aggressive, that house plant in the corner is waving at you, and it’s all just too much man, and all you wanna do is just close your eyes and make it all disappear…
Yeah, you’re too high.
6. Difficulty Speaking
Have you ever been so high you couldn’t talk? I have. Someone asks you a question, and you heard them just fine. Your mind seems to be working alright because you have an answer, a response… But somehow you just can’t get your lips and tongue and vocal chords all on the same page. Forming sounds into words, and words into complete sentences, just takes more effort than you are able to muster at the moment. So you end up gesturing feebly until the person gives up and goes away.
You guessed it. You my friend, are too high.
This is one of the worst, and every stoner gets it at least once. That sudden, palpable fear that comes over when you’re sure that “everybody knows”. Everybody’s whispering behind your back, and they’re talking about you. Every sound you hear is somehow menacing, and you keep muting the TV and running to the window to peak out of the blinds. “Omg, the cops are coming! They know! I don’t know how they know, but they know!”
Relax, buddy. Nobody knows. Nobody’s coming. You’re just way, way too high. Go find a dark room and curl up with a blanket. You’ll be fine.
Wait, nausea? Isn’t marijuana used to treat nausea?! Why yes, it is. And when used in moderation, it does have the effect of stimulating the appetite and fortifying the digestive system. But smoke too much, and look out: all the symptoms listed above — dizziness, tingling, racing pulse, uncontrolled sweating and hypersensitivity to everything — wash over you in a stomach churning tidal wave of misery, leaving you puking your guts out and praying for the soft, sweet darkness of sleep.
The more extreme symptoms happen only rarely, and usually only to inexperienced smokers without much of a tolerance. If you pace yourself and pay attention to the warning signs above, you’ll know when to stop before you ever get to that point.
But then again… If there’s anything we humans are especially good at, it’s ignoring the warning signs and plowing stubbornly ahead toward some cruel fate we could have easily avoided. (Did someone say climate change?)
So, humans being humans, sooner or later you or one of your smoking buddies is bound to overdo it. When that happens, your high can go from good to bad really quick. Whatever you do, don’t panic. It’s important to remember: no one has ever overdosed on weed. You’re not gonna die. This too shall pass.
Ask for a glass of water and a quiet place to lie down. Close your eyes and take some deep breaths, and it will all be over soon.