How to Recover From A Bad Edibles Experience

bad edibles recovery
By Halla Mannering Updated March 8th

Fact-checked by Deb Tharp

Medically reviewed by Dr. Brian Kessler, MD

There are multiple different ways to consume cannabis, but edibles are a favorite among people looking for a long-lasting or smoke-free high. 

While there are many benefits associated with edibles, it can be difficult to know what dosage is right for you. And because the effects of edibles take longer to set in compared to smoking, some people overestimate how much they can handle, which can result in a negative experience.

It can be an overwhelming and distressing experience when you’ve had too much THC, but it has happened to most consumers at one point or another. Thankfully, there are steps you can take to manage and recover as you come down from an overwhelming high. Let’s explore some of the ways that you can cope with a bad edibles experience.

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How Long Do Edibles Last?

There are a lot of different factors, such as your individual metabolism and your chosen cannabis product, that can affect how long an edible high will last. In general, most psychoactive effects from edibles last between 6-12 hours. 

There isn’t a definitive way to say how long the THC from edibles remains in the bloodstream. However, many consumers notice the beginning effects within 30 minutes to 2 hours of consuming an edible. 

Some effects of edibles include:

  • Feeling relaxed
  • Increased appetite
  • Lowered inhibitions
  • Induced sleep
  • Reduced pain
  • Faster heart rate

Edible effects typically peak at about 3 hours, but this can be dependent on your tolerance level, hydration, and even how much you’ve eaten or slept that day. Because of this, it’s typically recommended that you wait a full 2 hours before taking another edible dose, even if you aren’t initially feeling any effects from your first dose. If you don’t know how you respond to edibles or what the right dosage is for you, it can be easy to underestimate the effects and take another edible too soon. 

Everyone’s edible experience is unique. Someone’s weight, experience, specific product used, dosage, and environment can all impact an edible experience. When it doubt, play it safe and wait a little bit longer before taking another bite.

Like most consumable products, edibles also have a shelf life. So be sure to take note of the expiration date before you take a bite!

Top Five Ways To Recover From Edibles

how to recover from too many edibles

If you’ve experienced feeling “too high” and are wondering how to recover from edibles, you’ve come to the right place. Consuming too much THC can result in feeling anxious, nauseous, and paranoid,1 but rest assured that those feelings are temporary. The effects of THC will go away with time, but there are a few things you can do to lessen negative effects and feel balanced again as quickly as possible. 

Learning how to sober up from edible cannabis products can provide you with peace of mind, so let’s dive into some options.

  1. Stay Hydrated
edibles and hydration

Consuming water before and during a high can help you manage symptoms and flush the THC out of your system. 

It can be difficult to drink water when you’re feeling nauseous, but you’ll thank yourself later. If water doesn’t sound appealing, consider Gatorade, Nuun, or coconut water. If your stomach is upset, an herbal tea or cucumber juice can be a great way to restore balance, reduce nausea, and make sure you’re getting the nutrients you need to feel better.

If you think that you may have taken too many edibles but the effects haven’t set in fully yet, it’s a good idea to be proactive and increase your water consumption. 

While drinking liquids is important, it’s also essential to think about the foods you’re eating. Consuming salty foods can lead to faster dehydration, so think about what’s on your plate and how it might affect you. 

Remember that the goal is to hydrate, hydrate, hydrate!

  1. Have Something To Eat (Without THC) 
edible munchies

Food can play a big role in the way that your body responds to edibles. This may seem obvious, but if you’re feeling negative effects from cannabis, it’s best to stay away from foods with THC in them.

While it can be tempting to eat unhealthy options while you’re high, you’re probably going to feel better if you choose clean, healthy foods. Opting for options like fruits, nuts, and foods high in carbohydrates can help “soak up” the cannabinoids and help your body to naturally cycle them out of your system.

If you tend to feel nauseous after taking edibles, you may want to consider your food routine prior to getting high. You’ll be less likely to feel nauseous if you have a full stomach, so try to eat something (preferably something high in protein) before taking an edible.

Beneficial foods to consider:

  • Guacamole
  • Frozen yogurt (a healthier alternative to your favorite tub of Ben and Jerry’s)
  • Chicken
  • Granola bars

Eating can be a great way to work through the effects of edibles, but there are a few foods you may want to avoid. Some foods, like chocolate and beer, have been reported to increase the effects of THC, and consuming these options could lead to a more extreme high rather than reduced effects. 

  1. Exercise 
edibles and exercise

Working out may not seem ideal if you’ve taken too many edibles, but it can be a great option when your high begins to wear off. Working out can increase energy levels and help you clear your mind, so it can be helpful if you’re feeling overwhelmed from consuming too many edibles.

You don’t have to do a form of extreme movement in order to get the benefits of working out, either. Things like yoga and walking can be a great way to help your body regulate itself and restore balance.

While working out can be a great option for some, it’s not recommended if you’re feeling nauseous or dizzy. Pushing yourself to workout despite these feelings could leave you feeling worse, rather than better.

Because you’ll most likely not be at the top of your workout game, it’s best to stay away from heavy weights and complicated workout equipment. Consider reserving these exercise options for when you’re sober.

  1. Have A Nap 
napping after edibles

If you’ve ever had a bad edible experience, grab a pillow and a quiet room for some sack time.

Whether or not you can fall all the way asleep, resting and giving your brain a break from stimulation can help you feel better and reduce negative symptoms.

There are various degrees of “bad” high experiences. If you’re experiencing a high on the more extreme side of the spectrum, then taking a nap could be your best option. Many people find that edibles help them sleep better, so it may be easier to fall asleep than you’d expect.

If you know you’ve taken more edibles than you needed but aren’t feeling the full effects yet, consider taking a nap at that point. The goal would be that you would sleep through the most extreme effects.

Going to sleep will never increase the effects of edibles. However, if you’ve taken a high dose it’s possible you may wake up still intoxicated or feeling slightly foggy (an experience known as a “weed hangover”).

  1. Try Some CBD 
edibles and CBD

Taking CBD may seem like the opposite thing you’d want to do, but cannabidiol has been reported to help alleviate some of the psychoactive effects of THC. It’s important to note that CBD isn’t psychoactive, so even if it doesn’t end up reducing your high, it won’t worsen the effects you’re currently feeling.

THC is responsible for getting you high and is a completely different compound2 than CBD. It’s likely that CBD’s potential to lessen psychoactive effects is due to its ability to block THC interacting with the CB1 receptor. CBD also works with the endocannabinoid system to suppress the enzyme responsible for breaking down anandamide, which amplifies a THC reaction. By blocking this enzyme, CBD can provide you relief during a bad high.

While CBD will not remove THC from your symptom, it has shown some potential to help manage negative effects from a bad high. CBD has demonstrated the ability to lessen anxiety and also reduce nausea.3 

CBD is available in many different forms, but edibles are one of the most popular choices. When buying CBD edibles, it’s essential to check the amount of THC that they contain. You’ll want to opt for edibles that have the lowest amount of THC possible.

Know Your Limits (Dosage Amounts) 

edibles dosage

When it comes to avoiding a bad high, it’s essential to know what dosage is right for you. If you’re new to edibles, it’s recommended that you start slowly and note your body’s reaction before increasing your dose.

Many dispensary edibles come in doses of 10mg THC, but that doesn’t mean you have to consume the whole serving. Consider starting with 2.5mg or 5mg and then wait at least two hours. This will allow you to note the effects you’re feeling and make an informed decision about whether you should consume more edibles.

Edibles will provide a longer-lasting high than smoking and vaping cannabis will, but the effects will also take longer to set in. Many people find that edibles are stronger for them than other consumption methods, which is due to the specific way the body breaks them down.

If you’re going to cook your own edibles, then an edible calculator is a great way to understand the exact dosage in each serving. Making sure that you have an accurate idea of dosage is essential for a pleasant experience, so let the calculator do the math for you and you’ll be on your way to a great high.

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What Is Cannabinoid Hyperemesis Syndrome (CHS)?

If you consistently feel nauseous after consuming edibles, there is a chance you’re experiencing Cannabinoid Hyperemesis Syndrome (CHS). CHS has only been recently medically recognized. This syndrome4 is marked by consistent vomiting and typically only manifests in daily cannabis users.

Symptoms include:

  • Intense vomiting
  • Abdominal pain
  • Reduced appetite
  • Dehydration
  • Cramping

CHS is not often diagnosed, primarily because it’s so rare. By eliminating other conditions, practitioners typically are able to be confident in their CHS diagnosis, though there are no official tests for this condition.

Final Thoughts 

If you’ve experienced a bad high, you know how alarming it can be. The good news is that there are many steps you can take to cope with negative effects and get yourself on the mend as soon as possible.

If you find that edibles aren’t providing the effects they used to for you, it may be time to take a tolerance break. By stopping cannabis use for a period of time, you can lower your tolerance.

Edibles are not dangerous when consumed properly. In fact, they can provide many benefits including pain relief, increasing appetite, and inducing sleep. But it’s essential to find the right product and know what dosage is best for you. 


1 Freeman, Daniel, Graham Dunn, Robin M. Murray, Nicole Evans, Rachel Lister, Angus Antley, Mel Slater, et al. 2014. “How Cannabis Causes Paranoia: Using the Intravenous Administration of ∆ 9 -Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) to Identify Key Cognitive Mechanisms Leading to Paranoia.” Schizophrenia Bulletin 41 (2): 391–99.

2 Perry, Danielle, Joey Ton, and G. Michael Allan. 2018. “Evidence for THC versus CBD in Cannabinoids.” Canadian Family Physician 64 (7): 519.

3 Rock, Erin M., Cheryl L. Limebeer, Roger G. Pertwee, Raphael Mechoulam, and Linda A. Parker. 2021. “Therapeutic Potential of Cannabidiol, Cannabidiolic Acid, and Cannabidiolic Acid Methyl Ester as Treatments for Nausea and Vomiting.” Cannabis and Cannabinoid Research, June.

4 Venkatesan, Thangam, David J. Levinthal, B U. K. Li, Sally E. Tarbell, Kathleen A. Adams, Robert M. Issenman, Irene Sarosiek, et al. 2019. “Role of Chronic Cannabis Use: Cyclic Vomiting Syndrome vs Cannabinoid Hyperemesis Syndrome.” Neurogastroenterology & Motility 31 (S2).

The information in this article and any included images or charts are for educational purposes only. This information is neither a substitute for, nor does it replace, professional legal advice or medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. If you have any concerns or questions about laws, regulations, or your health, you should always consult with an attorney, physician or other licensed professional.

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