words by Skyla Patton

Marijuana carries with it a plethora of medical benefits, relaxing qualities and an overall mellow vibe for most consumers. However, it’s still possible to take just a little too much and end up having a bad time. This is known as “greening out.” Eating a dosage too high for your tolerance or even taking one puff too many on a joint can lead to some undesirable side effects, but fear not; If you ever end up with unpleasant side effects, there are a few things you can do to nullify the experience. Check out these guidelines on taking the appropriate amount and how to calm down if you get a little too high.

Take 5

When trying an edible for the first time or experimenting with a new one you’ve never had, dosing can be a daunting challenge—especially because the right dosage isn’t always clear with every product. A good rule of thumb to follow is the “take five” standard, introduced by Leafly in an article a few years back. For most beginners, 5mg is the sweet spot with most edibles. It’s a great way to test the actual strength of the product without taking too much and ending up greening out. For veteran cannabis users, you’ll eventually want to go beyond the standard 5mg to 10mg or even 15mg, depending on the product. Still, it’s always better to stay on the safe side, especially the first time. Once you’re used to an edible, experiment with larger doses as soon as you feel comfortable doing so.

Tips to Calm Down

You’re a little too stoned, and that’s OK—it happens to the best of us. It’s important to remember the bottom line: you’ll be okay! If you’re feeling weird or starting to experience anxiety, follow these tips to mellow out and stay calm.

1. Find A Quiet Place

Whether you’re at a party or with friends when you start feeling uncomfortable, you’re more prone to feel paranoid or anxious in stressful or high-energy environments. If possible, separate yourself and take a short walk outside or find a quiet room where you can sit or lie down for a few moments to gather yourself. If you’re in public or can’t leave, take a bathroom break to breathe or find a comfortable seat to relax in until you feel more in control.

2. Controlled Breathing

A common practice for panic or anxiety attacks is controlled, structured breathing. This will control your heart rate and give you something to focus on. Along with this, breathing slowly and calmly will serve as a good reminder that you’re okay and help you concentrate on relaxing your body and mind. Popular exercises include breathing in through your nose and out through your mouth, or the 5/7 rule: inhale for five full seconds, hold it for a brief moment, and then exhale slowly for seven seconds.

3. Play Calming Music

Music is a tool for many different ailments and can rapidly relax your mind even in high-stress situations. Headphones are ideal for isolating your thoughts, but if that sounds uncomfortable, playing something soothing on a stereo or the TV works just as well. Despite your regular taste, try to avoid music with rapid tempos or intense rhythms — even though you usually enjoy it, it can be stressful when experiencing negative side effects. Opt for something calm like indie instrumentals or music designed for sleeping.

4. Eat Some Snacks and DRINK WATER!

Drinking water is literally never a bad idea. Keeping your body hydrated is crucial for overall health and can actually help regulate your system effectively enough that it can nullify anxious feelings or stress. Along with this, eating a few light snacks like crackers or a piece of toast can add some substance to your stomach and get you a step closer to normality.

5. Distract Yourself

If all else fails, finding a task or something relaxing to occupy yourself with can absolutely help calm your mind and provide your busy brain with something to focus on instead of the nervous feeling in your stomach. The worst thing to do is remain in an environment or situation where all there is to do is concentrate on your rising anxiety. Journaling, watching a TV show, or even a hot bath (or cold shower) can help you concentrate and relax your body and mind. However, it’s important to listen to your body and not shut out everything; pay attention to your symptoms in case you need help or some extra TLC from a friend.