By the ounce  

How to handle a bad buzz

It’s long been established that cannabis affects people differently.

Longer than you might think, in fact.

Take the experience of a group of British sailors in the 1670s.

During their travels in Eastern India, they tried tea laced with cannabis (called bangha tea). Thomas Bowrey, an English merchant and mariner in the East Indies trade, recounted the tale in his report, A Geographical Account of Countries Round the Bay of Bengal.

The group of sailors paid a local man who had experience getting intoxicated off the drink to come along and watch over them (which is always a smart move for a rookie). The group told him to shut the doors and windows from the outside so nobody inside could run out into the streets, and nobody from the outside could come in to laugh at them after they drank by the pint.

Here’s their experience, starting with Bowrey himself:

  • “Myself and one more sat sweating for the space of three hours in exceeding measure,” wrote Bowrey.
  • Two people experienced no effects – something that’s fairly common when people try cannabis for the first time.
  • One “wept bitterly all the afternoon.”
  • One was “terrified with fear” and stuck his head into a giant pot, staying that way for four hours.
  • Four or five lay upon the carpets spread around the room and complimented each other highly – “each man fancying himself no less than an emperor.”
  • One was quarrelsome and fought with the pillars until there was little skin left on his fingers.

The point being it can affect us all differently.

Cannabis beverages have, of course, changed here in this century.

Health Canada, which regulates weed, says the happy effects of cannabis on the brain include euphoria, well-being, relaxation, and heightened senses.

There are also negative experiences, particularly intense for those who are inexperienced. They include unwanted and unpleasant thoughts, confusion, anxiety, fear, panic, paranoia and delusions.

I’ve had my own bad highs to contend with where I’ve felt very uncomfortable. One memorable episode happened after taking way too much cannabis oil. I woke up suddenly at 2 a.m., vibrating.

There are a few things you can do if you find yourself in the midst of a bad high.

In my case, I got out of bed and gulped down a big glass of cold water. Then I turned on the news and watched for hours as I reminded myself that everything was going to be OK.

The main thing to do is try your best to relax and distract yourself; lay down and listen to music, put on a TV show, cuddle a pet, take a bath or shower.

Using a CBD-only tincture can ease the THC effects, according to many different sources.

In her book Ganja Yoga, Dee Dussault advises dim lighting, colouring and kitty videos.

“Keep breathing and float downstream, knowing it won’t last forever and that many, many of us (myself included) have been there!” she says.

If you’re looking for cute videos to watch, I recommend r/aww.

Have you ever been too high? Email the author at [email protected]

This article is written by or on behalf of an outsourced columnist and does not necessarily reflect the views of Castanet.


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About the Author

David Wylie is publisher of the oz. — a cannabis newsletter that covers the growing legal weed industry from the Okanagan Valley.

He has been a journalist for nearly two decades, working in newsrooms all over Canada.  

David is active as okanaganz on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook and Reddit. Subscribe to the email newsletter at okanaganz.com.

An ounce of info goes a long way.



The views expressed are strictly those of the author and not necessarily those of Castanet. Castanet does not warrant the contents.

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