Sometimes when I smoke or eat edibles, I become anxious and paranoid. When this happens, what is the best way to handle it?
Okay, so you are nervous because you are worried cannabis might make you fret about something? With that thought pattern rolling around in your head already, a freak-out is a sure thing. No need to worry about what you know will happen! Better start accepting it... or you could try to prevent it.
Let’s talk about prevention because why deal with something that you can avoid? A good rule to smoke by is: Don’t smoke shifty street weed that an old punk with blue hair swept off his floor. Or maybe that is all you should smoke. My point is, know yourself and what strains make your body feel the way you want. The only way to get to know what strains work for you is to have a reliable source and try inhaling everything they have to offer.
If you are prone to bad trips, strain selection needs to be your top priority. Choose indica-dominant strains and try strains containing more than one percent cannabidiol (CBD). Avoid high tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) sativa strains. Embrace strains with less than 60 percent sativa if you are feeling brave. Also, don’t let some weird guy with face tattoos convince you to smoke weed he found in his mom’s attic.
Do not forget, dose is as important as strain selection. Whether edibles or inhalation, whenever I’m debating if I’m too high, I simply get higher, and it all kind of works its way out one way or another. Genius, I know. This tactic seems to magically fix a too-high problem or lead to a nice nap, and naps solve everything.
So what should you do when you smoked a high THC sativa and have a meltdown? How I answer this question really depends on what kind of anxiety we are talking about. Do you trip out and think you’ll be the first person to die from using cannabis? You’d be famous, and I’m sure it wouldn’t be the worst way to go. Or do you hyperventilate thinking about what you said to your crush? Assess how valid your fear is, whatever it is.
For example, I just ate a gram of cannabis and walked down to the corner store to get snacks. The full gram kicked in while I was reaching for a pack of gumballs, and by the time I got to the counter to pay, the world was a different place. My fear was the cashier was looking at me funny. Realistically, this is true, but it is also true that I couldn’t care less. What I’m getting at is, if you assess your fear as truth, then convince yourself to laugh at the risk you feel looming.
Cannabis makes you stare your fears in the face sometimes. This is true. If you can’t handle a trip high, you can’t handle it in real sober life either. The cannabis is just letting you know where you are at. I think, out of all the life skills that I have, being able to handle a serious drug experience and crawl my way back to reality, eventually, is one of my most prized life skills. Just like rolling a joint, these things take practice.
Bodies can go through a lot of different things, and depending on the circumstance, we can interpret bodily sensations like goosebumps and a rapid heart beat as either good or evil. Whether you think goosebumps and rapid heart beats sound stressful or sexy might be a clue to where your mind likes to go. I’ve heard sativas just like coffee can make your heart race. Don’t choose to interpret your racing heart as bad nerves or an impending cardiac arrest. Convince yourself that what you are interpreting as anxiety is something else—like excitement or pure joy!
What makes you feel good when you feel good will help you feel better when you feel bad. Have a cup of hot tea. Wrap yourself in a warm blankie. Hug a cat. Dance with your eyes closed. Use music, food or a new space as a way to jolt you out of your cranium funk. Do what makes your mind feel at peace. Watch Broad City? Put on your favorite lounge clothes? Draw a cat smoking a jay?
If you don’t know what helps you feel better, you have bigger problems than your bad trip. If you can’t calm yourself down when you’re high, you can’t do it when you’re sober. So maybe the pot isn’t giving you a bad buzz, but rather, it is simply reminding you that you have some things you need to learn to tackle, process and move past.
If all else fails, and as my best friend always says, “Call your mother and confess all of the bad things you have done in your life. That's what the drugs want.”