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10 Ways To Ease Cannabinoid-Induced Anxiety

Updated: Feb 3

Freaking out because you took too much of a given cannabinoid is a very common thing. Just about everyone who has spent some time consuming cannabinoids has had a panic attack where they were sure they were about to be the first weed death on record.

Let's go through some strategies to help your anxiety and even avoid this situation in the first place:

Tip 1: Take Off Your Damn Smartwatch

This is one of the most common mistakes I see modern stoners making. People with smart watches that have automatic heart rate monitors. This very easily leads to a situation where an exciting high elevates your heart rate, causing an alert to go off on your watch.

Now the user is staring at their heart rate in real time, with the pretense that “their heart is beating irregularly” which in itself can cause anxiety. This leads to a vicious circle of the user staring at their heart rate going up, which causes anxiety, which makes their heart rate go up.

This is something I have first-hand experience with and is a major reason I don’t use smartwatches anymore. The straw that broke the camel's back for me was back in high school when I took a dab in the parking lot of an Albertsons and stared at my heart rate until it was at 212 BPM, at which point I solved the problem by taking off the watch and ravenously eating cold sweet and sour chicken with my bare hands like some sort of deranged street dog.

For the majority of the population having a heart rate monitor strapped to your wrist is just a glorified anxiety maker.

Tip 2: You Cannot Die From “Forgetting” How To Breathe

Another incredibly common mistake newer stoners make is thinking they have “forgotten how to breathe” which manifests when the user takes over their breathing manually and can’t quite figure out how to switch it back to automatic.

This was another one that ruined highs for me for years until I realized something. You cannot, no matter how hard you try, die from “forgetting how to breath”. If you did, somehow, forget how to breathe - all that would happen is you would pass out and immediately begin breathing again. You can’t die from holding your breath. Your body knows how to breathe, and the moment you become unconscious your body takes over for you. This comfort can take away all the weight of this issue and you can quickly move on in your mind from it.

Tip 3: Bossa Nova Jazz

If everything is going wild, putting on some bossa nova jazz can really give you something great and calming to focus on. The reason why I choose bossa nova is because it’s bright and bouncy while remaining slow and meandering. Jazz like this doesn’t repeat in a way that would cause thought loops, instead, it just wanders around in a certain vibe, in no hurry to do anything but soothe you. If you like regular jazz a bit more, try some coffee table jazz, it’s not quite as bright and happy as bossa nova but has that same great meandering element that makes it so great for calm.

Tip 4: “Safe” Comfort TV Shows (Sitcoms)

This is a great way to get out of a deep thought loop. Throw on an old show that you know inside and out. Make sure it’s a “safe” show, meaning minimal discussion of any heady or sad topics.

Some examples of shows like this are: Bob's Burgers, The Office, How I Met Your Mother, Everybody Loves Ramond and George Lopez. Make sure to skip any Halloween or death-centric episodes.

Something else to consider, especially if you are very familiar with the given episode, is to put on subtitles and make sure to read them. It will take mental effort but also will be easy because you already know the episode and what is going to be said next. This can put your brain into a very comfortable spot as you read a familiar script with familiar characters.

Tip 5: Ask A Friend About Their Day

Instead of focusing on the panic and trying to address it directly, sometimes it’s best to just offer yourself pure distraction. Choose your most trusted and understanding friend, call them on the phone, and explain your situation. Tell them, very briefly, about how you are panicking, then, just request to hear about their day. Engage with the story they tell you. This can make panic melt away as you slowly get engrossed in a dialogue with a friend. Usually, by the end of their recounting of the day, you feel a whole lot better.

Tip 6: Make Art

This is another in the “just distract yourself” category. Try grabbing a piece of paper or opening up Photoshop and just do whatever. Slowly find what the piece is by doing whatever comes to mind and then trying to do something with it. Often you get so wrapped up in what you are doing that you spend the whole high just making art.

Tip 7: Masturbate

Listen, this is crass, but it’s hard to be upset while you are pleasuring yourself. Beyond that, after completion, you will experience a “coming back down” to the original high, which will now seem less intense by comparison. Sorry, but it’s a very effective strategy and I’d be lying if I said it didn’t work.

Tip 8: Minecraft in Peaceful Mode

A pretty basic tip - just open a new survival or creative world and build yourself a house or a nice farm. Something simple and quiet. The lack of goals in Minecraft, along with the lack of enemies in peaceful mode, leads to a very relaxing and easy to get lost in the experience.

Tip 9: Eat and Drink

If you can, get your favorite foods and drinks together and chow down. Not only is food just generally better when you are high, but the intense good flavors will make it hard to be upset. When choosing a drink, make sure to get something nice cold or very hot - the temperature will make the beverage all that more enjoyable and distracting. Pizza, sour licorice, and ice-cold sparkling water are my favorite picks.

Tip 10: Sing

Choose a song you like, and get to singin’! Similar to the food and drink option, it’s hard to be upset while you are singing a song you like. To keep yourself from being self-conscious, try turning up the music until the singer’s voice is at the same level as yours so you can’t hear yourself too well. If you are able to let go and have fun you can quickly end any panic attack. Choose a “safe” song that isn’t about death or violence if you can help it.


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I heard a doctor recommend taking Citicoline AKA CDP choline in the high dose range (which is probably around 1000 mg for most). This is a very interesting and little-known option. He said the benefits may take around 40 minutes to kick in. One oft-touted benefit of Citicoline is that it promotes clearer thinking and has a nootropic effect. I haven't tried it as a cannabis "green out killer" myself. That reminds me, I should point out that the recommendation was more for green-out situations than for cannabis-induced anxiety, specifically. I'm sure people can find more information by Googling it.


Jan 16

Sweet article, to add another one, a change of environment can sometimes help a lot. Just stepping outside is like you're in a completely new world.

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