Being too high can be an uncomfortable sensation, especially for novice marijuana users. Side effects like increased heart rate or paranoia can be disconcerting, and remembering you had to do something like go to the bank or the store right after you get high can make you curse your bad timing. Many like to get high before doing stuff, but it’s not for everybody. What if there was a way out for a first time smoker that gets uncomfortable? What if there was way to sober up if you need to do something serious?
According to some ancient texts and other more modern accounts, there exists a way to “tame the effects of THC
.” Taming THC: potential cannabis synergy and phytocannabinoid-terpenoid
entourage effects, is a very interesting read about cannabis chemistry which details the complexity of interactions between the many active constituents of the plant.
A lot of it has to do with the potential medical applications for cannabinoids and terpenes, and how using isolated compounds might take away from the full medical potential, but one section (pg. 17-19) is relevant to the recreational smoker. Terpenes have some psychoactive potential, and are involved in regulating that of THC; apparently there are ancient methods of stopping unwanted effects.
A 10th Century Persian doctor suggests drinking cold water and eating acid fruits to avoid “unwanted harms” of consuming cannabis or hashish. Sir Robert Christison, a Scottish toxicologist and doctor, brought ganja, back to Britain in 1843. One can only imagine the hilarity that ensued from a bunch of proper 19th Century Brits at the Royal College of Physicians getting high in the name of science. Christison cited lemon as an antidote for intoxication and “morning after residua,” and wrote:
“Next morning there was an ordinary appetite, much torpidity, great defect and shortness of memory, extreme apparent protraction of time, but no peculiarity of articulation or other effect; and these symptoms lasted until 2pm, when they ceased entirely in a few minutes after taking lemonade.”
Terpenes in the lemon juice are responsible for this effect. The juice can even have its terpene content enhanced by simply throwing in a lemon peel, as is traditionally done in North Africa.
An ancient text from the Indian Ayurvedic tradition gives mention to smoking dried Calamus root with cannabis as an antidote that moderates its effects during medicinal use. Roman naturalist and author, Pliny the Elder from the 1st Century suggested a concoction using pine nuts and black pepper. Pinene from the pine nuts can offer mental clarity, while myrcene and beta-caryophyllene from the black pepper can provide sedation.
Basically, the most most accessible antidote for an overly intense reaction to THC
is freshly squeezed lemon juice, with some of the peel thrown in. If not, a peppery snack might do the trick. If you need to sober up for whatever reason or you see someone having a bad time, the days of “just waiting it out” are over, try out some of these ancient remedies.