How to Prevent and Subdue a Bad Marijuana High

You can use marijuana safely, legally, and responsibly for treating different ailments. And, in places like Canada, it’s now recreationally legal.

However, marijuana is still a powerful drug and can cause a bad high—but can master its use with a little bit of knowledge and practice. Consult your physician to identify the right dose and the right way to consume that is the best-suited option for you. But, if you still experience an accidental bad high, here are some ways to subdue it.

What Makes a “Bad” Trip?

A “bad high” or “bad trip” occurs when you have an overdose or an adverse reaction to marijuana. Some of the common symptoms of a bad trip include:

  • Extreme confusion
  • Anxiety
  • Paranoia
  • Panic
  • Fast heart rate
  • Delusions
  • Hallucinations
  • Increased blood pressure
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting

Preventative Measures

Especially if you have limited experience using cannabis, you want to control your environment and take precautions to prevent a bad high. A few actions you can take include:

  • Choose a Method You’re Comfortable With– From smoking to tinctures, there are numerous ways to consume cannabis, and it may take a bit of experimentation to find what works best for you. Just be sure you understand the unique effects of whatever method you try.

    For example, people who don’t like the act of smoking often choose edibles. While it takes longer for the high to kick in than when smoking, it tends to hit the user harder once it does take effect. So, if you don’t feel THC working, you should wait it out before taking another dose.

    If you’re unsure where to buy edibles in Canada, know that the legal way to procure it is through cannabis dispensaries and government retail outlets.

  • Set Boundaries– Especially when taking edibles, which can take an hour or two to produce a high, set strict limitations of how much you plan to take in a given sitting.
  • Have a Sober Friend Around– The effects of marijuana can take you by surprise if you’re a new user or if you react poorly to a certain strain. Consider having a sober friend around to help you calm down if you feel too high.


Even if you take the right precautions, a bad trip can happen. This often occurs if you’re trying a new strain or consumption method or if you’re uncomfortable in your environment. Should you find yourself in this situation, you can try the following tactics to soothe yourself until the high passes:

  • Relax– It may be easier said than done, but the best way to cut the buzz is to relax. Find a quiet place to sit or lie down and practice breathing techniques. Listening to music can help you too. Try to sing along to stay grounded.
  • Try CBD– The component that makes you high is the presence of THC in cannabis. CBD is the other component found in cannabis, which doesn’t make you high. Instead, it helps to get some good sleep. So counteracting the effect of THC with CBD may help reduce the high.
  • Take a Cold Shower– A cold shower is a great way to combat a bad marijuana high because it triggers the mammalian diving reflex that helps to reduce the heart rate. Cold water also lowers body temperature and helps to conserve your energy.
  • Distract Yourself– Focus on something else and change the surrounding scene. If you’re indoor, try to go out for a walk, listen to a piece of soothing music, try adult coloring books, talk to friends, play a video game, watch something funny, or simply lie down and sleep.
  • Consume Fresh Juice or Fruits– One of the common symptoms of marijuana high is anxiety. Fruits like orange, grapes, and lemons have a compound called limonene, which may reduce anxiety.

Starting Slow

Different people react to cannabis differently depending on the dose, the cannabis strain, and overall body condition. It is hard to predict how you will respond, especially if you have it for the first time. The thumb rule is to start with a small dose until you’re comfortable and gradually increase your intake if you feel you can handle it.