How To Deal With A Bad Cannabis Experience

Whether you're new to cannabis or a long-time user, it's important to know how to deal with a bad cannabis experience. Although not typical, a range of uncomfortable and unpleasant feelings such as headaches, dizziness, anxiousness, and paranoia can be brought on when one consumes too much cannabis, enters a stressful environment, or is caught off-guard by a potent strain. Also, we can't forget that sometimes cannabis (or a particular strain) just won't agree with us, but we shouldn't let it overwhelm us and ruin our affinity for marijuana.

The most important thing to remember is that any bad feelings or physical sensations brought on by “greening out” on cannabis are mild, temporary, and will ease themselves quickly. You're not in any danger and no one's ever died from using marijuana. Here we offer a few tips to help you (or a friend) deal with a bad cannabis experience.

1. Don't Panic
Take full, deep breaths in through your nose and exhale slowly through your mouth as you do your best to control your emotions and stay calm. Unfortunately, much of the anxiety and paranoia that are typical of a bad cannabis experience are induced by one's inability to stay calm once uncomfortable feelings set in. Try to rest or distract yourself with familiar activities that give you positive, happy feelings.

2. Hydrate Yourself
Drinking water or fruit juice (preferably a non-caffeinated beverage) can help ease some of the uncomfortable feelings of a bad cannabis experience. Also, avoid alcohol as we know it can definitely increase the concentrations of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) in the bloodstream.

3. Relocate
A change of scenery can often help you counteract a bad cannabis experience. Step outside for some fresh air or find a quiet area in a comfortable room to sit down and catch your breath. In more extreme cases, returning home may be the key to relieving your anxiety.

4. Relax
Take a shower, listen to some of your favorite music, indulge in a favorite snack, or lie down if you can to relax both your body and mind. In addition to soothing lavender, black peppercorn is a long-used remedy against anxiety in aromatherapy. Finding something to laugh at can also relieve anxiety and help you relax.

5. Try a CBD-Dominant Strain
A cannabis strain, or product, with high levels of cannabidiol (CBD), can actually help reduce any negative feelings of “being too high.” It does this by blocking THC from binding to receptors in the brain, thus reducing any psychoactive effects and unpleasant feelings you're trying to subside.

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I've been covering cannabis for nearly five years, and by now I'm all too accustomed to the impersonal cannabis conference at a stuffy, generic hotel or expo hall, brimming with white guys in suits, and generally lacking in the spirit of well, cannabis. (The woes of legalization, I suppose.) So it was a breath of fresh air when I walked into what felt like a giant atrium in downtown LA for a new kind of cannabis conference. Located in what's called the Valentine Grass Room in an industrial area past the hustle and bustle of the DTLA skyscrapers, Microscopes & Machines (M&M) boasted a diverse array of speakers, from doctors and lawyers to chemists and cultivators on the frontlines of the cannabis industry.

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