Got Too High By Accident?
You ate a half brownie... Then another after 30 minutes of not "feeling it".
You think to yourself that maybe your tolerance has gotten way out of hand. Either that or those were bunk brownies.
All of a sudden your head sinks and you can't feel your body. You might be panicking or feeling uncomfortable. Maybe even a little paranoid.
You just made the classic mistake of eating too many edibles.
Click here to skip to the remedy
Here's why edibles hit differently.
Many cannabis enthusiasts have heard stories about over-consuming cannabis edibles. It can be uncomfortable and the effects last much longer than smoking.
Some experiences are less than enjoyable as you can hear from this 911 phone call from a policeman who had eaten too much on his day off.
As you can hear in the video, the most danger that comes from over consumption of THC edibles is panic and anxiety. THC mainly interacts with cannabinoid receptors found in your brain known as CB1 receptors.
The stimulation of CB1 receptors make you feel high but also play a part in causing anxiety and paranoia.
Thanks to modern extraction methods it is easier than ever to find great edibles (and take too much). Here we will examine why edibles are so powerful and how we can somewhat control how high we feel.
What is it that makes edibles so powerful?
The answer to this is multifaceted. First let's take a look at the delivery method.
Consuming cannabis edibles is a great way to avoid stressing your lungs with smoke or vapor. It is also a great way to moderate pain and help with inflammation.
As with any medication, dosage is very important to pay attention to in order to achieve the desired results.
The first hurdle with edibles is the slow metabolization of the contents in your stomach. Instead of feeling the effects of cannabis immediately, like you would if it were smoked or vaporized, edibles take time to kick in. More time than you would think.
It can take up to 2 hours to metabolize cannabis enough to feel the effects.
Because of this, many unseasoned cannabis consumers become impatient thinking they need to consume more, often leading to an uncomfortable and intense high.
Once the cannabis is consumed it reaches the small intestines and the liver where most of the THC becomes metabolized.
Metabolization in the stomach adds oxygen and hydrogen to the THC which converts the THC into 11-Hydroxy-THC (11-OH-THC).
This metabolite is known for it's enhanced sedative and psychoactive effects.
This means cannabis edibles are much more psychoactive than smoking or vaping due to the conversion of THC into 11-OH-THC in the stomach.
This more powerful chemical contributes to the overwhelming effects edibles have on consumers.
Mix the more psychoactive effects of this metabolite with the slow onset of effects from edibles and it becomes a hard beast to tame for the uninitiated cannabis consumer.
Due to the more psychoactive compounds resulting from edibles, there is a higher risk of cannabis-induced psychosis so tread extra carefully if you are a newer cannabis user.
Luckily taking too much THC can be mitigated by taking CBD.
11-OH-THC is then converted to 11-COOH-THC and passed through the digestive system.
What to do when you eat too many edibles?
Besides drinking water - take more cannabis!
"Hair of the dog" comes to mind here but it's true. The anti-venom is found in the venom.
CBD has been shown to lower anxiety as well as mitigate the effects of THC.
CBD is the counterbalance to THC.
Having a good dose of CBD with your THC products helps keep everything under control as far as getting uncomfortably stoned.
In summary, results obtained in this work show that CBD is able to bind in an allosteric site of the CB1R and thereby promote conformational changes that can be associated to the transition towards an inactive or impaired signaling receptor state. - An In Silico study
The above study discusses the possible mechanisms of CBD acting upon CB1 receptors rendering them less susceptible to binding with THC molecules. Less THC binding with the CB1 receptors means you will feel less high.
So, CBD not only has anti-inflammatory, anti-anxiety and pain relief properties, but help limit cannabinoid receptor's exposure to THC and its effects.
This is great for medical cannabis patients because it means they can take the needed amount of cannabis without the worry of feeling too high.
No CBD? No Problem, Take A Hike!
The outdoors are not only refreshing, but therapeutic. Most of the effects of taking too much THC edibles is anxiety and paranoia.
Walks in nature have been shown to help with many things including anxiety. So much so that physicians in Japan have been prescribing patients to take regular walks in nature known as "forrest bathing".
If you live in an area with pine trees, the calming effects of terpenoids like pinene have a powerful effect. The same is true for lemon and pepper terpenes.
Metabolizing THC changes the chemical makeup of the compound and makes it more psychoactive.
Knowing this allows us to approach edible THC in a different way.
Knowing consumption of THC through the digestive tract renders a more powerful compound, we can take measures to counteract and limit the side effects by using CBD or other therapeutic means.
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