Substance Use

How to Get Unhigh: Sober Up from Weed

stoned woman with marijuana joint

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How to Sober Up From Weed

Weed is among the most commonly used illegal substances in the United States amongst people of all age groups, including preteens. And although many users believe weed is without risks, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration state that one in 10 people who use it will become addicted, many before the age of 18.

Weed intoxication causes increased car accidents, physical violence, and hospital visits due to toxicity. The effects of THC cause these, and THC remains in your bloodstream for weeks after use.

The only way to minimize these risks is to sober up from weed use. Unlike opiates, sobering up from weed is a quicker process that doesn’t involve serious withdrawal symptoms. You might have heard that ibuprofen, pine nuts, or even cold water can help you sober up, but there aren’t enough studies pointing to the efficacy of these options.

To learn how you or a loved one can sober up from weed use, contact Zinnia Health at (855) 430-9439 or visit a Zinnia Health rehabilitation center near you. Our fully accredited facilities offer evidence-based treatment programs and medication-assisted detox nationwide. If you’re ready to take the first step, we’re here to guide you the rest of the way.

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How Does Weed Cause Me To Get High?

Weed (marijuana) – called cannabis sativa – is a dried mix of greenish flowers people smoke, vape, or eat to get a “buzz.” A natural compound in weed called THC (delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol) has psychoactive properties that alter how a person thinks and behaves. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, more than 500 chemicals closely related to THC are also found in weed.

Today’s weed is heavily adulterated, containing three times the THC content it contained 25 years ago. According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, this results in being too high. It also means that the effect of THC on the brain is more potent, leading to addiction.

Once THC reaches the bloodstream, it travels to cannabinoid receptors in the brain, where changes occur immediately. At this point, you’ll feel a rush of euphoria, which is the first sign of being high.

Other signs of being high include:

  • Impaired motor skills
  • Short-term memory loss
  • Nausea
  • Drowsiness
  • Heightened senses
  • Increases appetite
  • Impaired learning
  • Poor concentration
  • Distorted perception
  • Poor coordination
  • Dizziness
  • Loss of hydration

As the high continues, you may experience:

  • Increased heart rate
  • Merriment/happiness
  • Dry mouth
  • Coughing
  • Bloodshot eyes
  • Increased heart rate
  • Time distortion
  • Decreased mental clarity

Signs of Synthetic Cannabinoid Consumption

In some cases, people feel increased anxiety, paranoia, irritability, and panic after consuming weed. Many times, synthetic cannabinoids cause these reactions.

According to the Indiana Department of Health, synthetic cannabinoids like K2 and Spice are commonly sprayed on dried cannabis and then smoked or ingested. They are also illegally mixed into cannabidiol (CBD). These substances are illegal in most states and often produce negative effects.

These effects include:

  • Increased blood pressure
  • Extreme anxiety and agitation
  • Altered sensory perception
  • Hallucinations
  • Confusion

How Long Will My High Last?

The answer to this question varies since it isn’t possible to quantify the exact amount of THC you consumed. However, to get an idea, a typical joint contains 0.5 mg of weed and 60 to 115 mg of THC.

Using these figures, a high from smoking weed can last 1 to 3 hours, though THC stays in the body for weeks after the last use.

The Colorado Department of Transportation recommends waiting at least 6 hours to drive or participate in safety-sensitive activities if you’ve consumed less than 35 mg of THC. If you consumed more than 35mg, the CDOT recommends waiting 8 hours or longer.

Are you finding it difficult to stop cannabis use despite the negative side effects of being high? If so, contact Zinnia Health at (855) 430-9439 to find out how we can help.

Why Sober Up?

Getting high may be a temporary escape from unpleasant feelings or problems you might be experiencing. However, mistakes made under the influence can last a lifetime.

These include:

  • Fatal Car Accidents: Driving under the influence of weed increases lane weaving, poor reaction time and decreased attention. When weed is combined with alcohol, you’re at an increased risk of having a fatal accident. According to a 2021 study published in the National Survey on Drug Use and Health, 13.5 million people aged 16 and older admit to driving under the influence of drugs, including weed.
  • Violent Outbursts: A paper published by the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health (March 2020) found a direct correlation between cannabis-fueled paranoia and chronic violent behavior. In many cases, people under the influence lose touch with reality, leading to paranoia and unwarranted violence.
  • Homicide: In this same March 2020 study, one-third of incarcerated individuals who committed homicide admitted to using marijuana within 24 hours of committing the crime. Three-fourths of these inmates experienced one or more symptoms of being high at the time of the homicide.
  • Getting Too High: According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, mixing cannabis products into food – edibles – slows absorption, delaying the high up to an hour. This might encourage an individual to consume more than recommended, leading to toxicity. 

Symptoms of marijuana toxicity include:

  • Paranoia
  • Panic
  • Acute psychosis

One thing you can do if you notice that you’re too anxious or you start to panic is to take several deep breaths. People who panic often hyperventilate, increasing this negative feeling. Taking deep breaths allows oxygen levels to remain normal while slowing your racing heart rate.

Cold water also helps to regulate your heart rate. A cold shower can help reduce the psychoactive effects of THC, like anxiety and nervousness. According to Western Oregon University, cold water helps break dissociative feelings due to anxiety.

How To Sober Up

The only way to sober up is to flush the THC from your system. As previously mentioned, this process could take days or weeks to occur naturally, depending on how much you ingested. 

The following five tips will help you along your journey to get sober:

  • Refrain From Further Use: The easiest way to sober up from weed use is to discontinue using weed in all forms. This allows THC to work through your digestive tract and out of your bloodstream.
  • Let Time Go By: The longer you go without using THC-based products, the quicker you allow your body to release this chemical naturally. Distract yourself and stay around friends who can help you through an overwhelming high.
  • Meditation and Deep Breathing Exercises: According to Harvard Health Publishing, mindfulness practices like deep breathing and meditation have effectively reduced withdrawal symptoms. 
  • Avoid Alcohol and Drink Water: Water aids digestion and speeds up the time it takes THC to leave your bloodstream. It is important to avoid alcohol consumption while THC is in your body since it can amplify its effects.
  • Discover Why You Smoke Weed: The key to long-lasting sobriety is to confront the issues that cause you to use in the first place. 

Zinnia Health Can Help You Quit Weed

Even after discovering why you use weed despite its negative effects, it can be difficult to stop.

You may need professional assistance if you’re finding it hard to sober up despite trying multiple times. Drug rehabilitation centers such as Zinnia Health provide a safe and supportive environment needed for successful recovery. 

We offer inpatient, outpatient, and intensive outpatient programs to meet you with a level of care suitable to your goals. We have helped thousands of people with substance use disorders like marijuana use disorder stay clean even after graduation.

If you or a loved one has an addiction to weed, or need assistance getting sober, contact our compassionate care providers at Zinnia Health today at (855) 430-9439 to find out more.

Call us
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(855) 430-9439
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