We all know the story: person gets high, person gets too high, person suddenly has to be way less high, like, now. While the people and places may change, this classic tragicomedy cautionary tale stands the test of time.
So, how do you sober up from marijuana, and quickly? Unfortunately, there’s no real, quickfire way to “sober up” in a chemical sense — your body needs to metabolize, and that takes time.
But while there’s no way to significantly speed up your physical sobriety, that doesn’t mean people don’t have their ways of getting it together before that Big Family Thing You Totally Forgot About Until Just Now Oh No, Oh No, Oh No….
This is a pretty common refrain amongst imbibers: if you need to feel sober fast, get your heart rate up. Exercising does speed the metabolism, which may help flush the marijuana from your system slightly faster. That said, the benefits probably come more from the rush of oxygenated blood to your brain and the release of endorphins. (NOTE: As of now, no one has yet commented on the potential Super High that could come from a runner’s high mixed with bong hits, though this guy probably knows what’s up.)
Another standby of almost any indulgence aftermath, coffee has sweet, sweet caffeine, which can help boost your energy levels in a pinch. Our brains contain a nucleoside called adenosine, which builds with every hour we’re awake. Basically, adenosine is a little molecule that, when attached to its corresponding adenosine receptor, causes drowsiness and acts as a nervous system depressant. Think of a hypnotist going “you are getting very sleepy” but the longer you’re awake, the more hypnotists appear. Now imagine a big cup of coffee standing in between you and each of the hypnotists, and imagine the cup of coffee covering its ears and yelling “LA LA LA LA LA.” That’s what caffeine is doing in your brain: it binds with the adenosine receptors so the chemicals can’t, allowing you to feel more alert. Just maybe avoid cold brew; that stuff is hard.
If you have Instagram you probably don’t need us to tell you to hydrate, hydrate, hydrate. Water is everything to our body: it’s in all of our cells, tissues, and organs, and we need it to regulate temperature and transport materials and waste. And since we lose water just by living, it’s always good to hydrate. If you’re feeling out of it, sometimes a large glass of water can give you that “re-start” feeling in your body. And some good news: the sensation of “cotton mouth” isn’t actually caused by dehydration, but by the THC binding to certain receptors which regulate saliva production. Saliva is important, too, though! So if your mouth is feeling dry, make sure to still drink some water.
4. CONSIDER YOUR HIGH
Now, the boring advice: The best way to sober up is to not get too high in the first place. Lame, I know. If you’re continually finding yourself needing to kill your buzz on a dime, re-consider your method of consuming cannabis. Try low dose vape pens, or (very) small amounts of edibles and see how you feel. Try smoking less or waiting longer between hits if it takes your body awhile to really feel it.
5. BONUS TIP
If you find yourself panicking because you feel you’ve gotten too high, take a breath! And remember that you’d have to smoke about 1000 pounds of marijuana in an extremely short amount of time to actually overdose and kill yourself. But symptoms like paranoia and rapid heart beat, mixed with an anxiety attack that can cause chest pains, aren’t fun for anyone. If this happens, take a minute to close your eyes and inhale on the count of seven, then exhale on the count of seven. Doing this for a minute or so helps return the body to its normal rhythm. Then, if you can, grab a cozy blanket and a snack and try to relax while your body does its thing.
Youtube some videos to distract yourself while waiting: there are quite a few good ones of hedgehogs taking a bath, and this delightful one called simply, “Mr. Turtle eats mashed potatoes.”
No matter the reason for sobering on a dime, we salute your attempt to get it together, and wish you Godspeed on the family dinner/PTA meeting/subway ride.