Last week, I wrote about cannabis and paranoia and laid out a three-step plan to avoid it. But, I realize that some of you may not have read it yet. And others, though you may have read it, have still wound up too high. And now you need help.

Picture this. You just smoked or vaped or ate an edible and you’re starting to cross your THC limits. You can feel that seed of anxiety begin to sprout.

Stop. Breathe.

Find the CBD

CBD is the non-psychoactive compound in cannabis. But more than that, it’s actually powerful enough to counteract the psychoactive effects of the THC. Any good cannabis consumer should have some kicking around just in case. I like a nice tincture or some CBD-only edibles.

Lemons + Black Pepper

Both lemons and black pepper contain terpenes—think aromatic properties—which blunt the effects of THC. And by extension, they ease the paranoia too. Make yourself a hot lemon and pepper drink. It’ll sober you up more quickly than most other drinks. But brace yourself because it tastes terrible.

If lemon or pepper aren’t handy, drink a tall glass of water. Your skin and internal organs will thank you and your energy levels will spike. When you’re high, water is a great way to detox your body and can help clear up that foggy head feeling.

Change Your Setting

Take a few deep breaths and tell yourself the truth: this will pass. Try putting on some relaxing music or go outside for fresh air. Exercise can be really great if you’re feeling anxious, so a nice walk or some yoga stretches will feel good. Even changing seats can make a big difference.

Cannabis paranoia


Okay, it might be a little strange to take a shower while all your friends are smoking, but they’re your friends and friends understand. If a shower is just too much, wash your hands and while they’re still wet run them through your hair and down your face and neck. This has the same effect without all the fanfare.

Love Yo Self

Just remember that everything will be just fine. You are loved. You are pretty freakin’ cool and brave for opening yourself up. You’re funny and intelligent and, like your friends always say, a really interesting person. Your thoughts have value and you’re sexy as hell, right?

It will be okay, I promise.

By Meryl Montgomery

March 30, 2018

Meryl is a Portland- and New York-based cannabis advocate and founder of Barbari, a cannabis brand committed to bringing back the herbal spliff.