How to Prevent and Fix a Bad Trip?

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Added 07 May 2022

When you consume cannabis, you expect to have a good time — you talk about deep subjects with your friends, watch funny movies, or munch on your favorite pizza. This is why we recreationally use cannabis — it's so much fun.

But one day, you consume cannabis and start feeling anxious, paranoid, or scared. And it might even escalate into a panic attack. It's super scary because the herb you loved seems to be working against you. 

Well, it happens more often than you think. It's nothing but a bad trip. And, there's nothing to be scared of, despite what you think at that moment. 

Note that you may not experience a bad trip at all, even if you use high-THC strains. On the other hand, you might not be able to handle cannabis — all of us are wired differently. Thus, you can chill if you're enjoying cannabis. However, if you've experienced bad trips frequently, this article will throw some light on how you can avoid them. 

What is a Bad Trip?


Many people love consuming cannabis before starting a creative task like writing or painting because cannabis helps you go deeper into your thoughts and focus on the details.

When you smoke up, cannabis helps you be alert to your thoughts and amplifies your emotions of happiness or joy. 

However, there is a dark side to this effect, too. When you consume cannabis in an uncomfortable or risky situation, you can experience a bad trip. It can also happen if you're not in the right frame of mind. 

During a bad trip, cannabis amplifies negative thoughts like anxiety, sadness, paranoia, fear, etc. And once it increases these emotions, you find yourself in a negative spiral until you start breathing heavily with wide eyes, which is just the beginning of anxiety.

A bad trip is usually caused due to smoking too much cannabis. Your body does not know how to respond to it appropriately — more on this below.

But there is nothing to worry about. A bad trip ends soon, but you must remember that cannabis enhances your thoughts. In this case, it is enhancing the negative thoughts. 

Is a Bad Trip the Same as Greening Out?

Many cannabis users confuse a bad trip with greening out, but both are slightly different. 

Greening out occurs when you consume too much THC, which exhibits itself in the form of physical side effects. Typically, it happens when you have too much THC on an empty stomach or are tired.

Common symptoms of greening out include upset stomach, vomiting, nausea, shaking, sweating, tiredness, or an irresistible urge to sleep.

Since greening out and a bad trip can occur due to abusing THC, some users experience both together. But still, you can experience greening out without a bad trip and vice versa.

How Long Does a Bad Trip Last?

A bad trip lasts just as long as a good trip, so expect it to go on for at least 30 minutes to a couple of hours. On the other hand, an edible bad trip may last up to 6 to 8 hours, depending on the edible's cannabis dosage.

However, there is a chance that your body's response to the bad trip may cut the time significantly because your body releases a lot of adrenaline when you get agitated or paranoid, which can quickly sober you up. 

How to Identify a Bad Trip?

bad trip

While a bad trip is not typical, you may still find yourself experiencing it someday. Fortunately, recognizing a bad trip is easy. Here are some of the most common symptoms of a bad trip.

Intense Anxiety or Paranoia 

One of the most common symptoms of a bad trip is intense anxiety or paranoia, where you might feel that your worst fears are coming true. In such a case, you might think that you are in trouble, something has gone wrong, or you will die.

Such thoughts range from menial anxieties like leaving the stove on to unreasonable fears, like the person looking at you is an undercover cop.

Such emotions often run through your mind, but cannabis can exaggerate these feelings during a bad trip, leading to intense anxiety or paranoia.


Another common symptom of a bad trip is fear, similar to anxiety. This symptom is triggered when you go through a bad trip but don't know what is happening, so you might fear that something is wrong.

Physical Symptoms

On the other hand, you may experience symptoms of greening out if you have consumed too much cannabis. Such symptoms include racing heartbeats, excessive sweating, stomach discomfort, shaking, numbness in limbs, etc.

But don't worry — while these symptoms are scary, they don't escalate into an emergency. Instead, you have to try and curb your high and wait it out. 


Hallucinations are rare when you consume cannabis, but you can experience them when you're going through a particularly lousy cannabis trip. It is more common with edibles than with smoking. An individual experiencing hallucinations will see things that don't exist, which can be scary for the user and others around him. 

However, the hallucinations are mild — not as severe as those of an LSD or acid bad trip.

How to Recognize a Bad Trip in Others?

The symptoms mentioned above are first-person symptoms that may not be apparent to others. However, you can help yourself and others when experiencing a bad trip if you know how to recognize some signs. 

Here are a few apparent symptoms of a typical bad trip:

  • Anxiety, paranoid, or delusion
  • Heavy breathing or shortness of breath
  • Physical agitation
  • Delusion or hallucination
  • Pale complexion
  • Sweating, trembling, or shaking
  • Upset stomach or vomiting

If you recognize these symptoms in your friend, you need to act fast and help them get through the bad trip. You can use various methods to help them, but most importantly, you must talk to them. We have discussed ways to deal with a bad trip later in this article.

What Causes a Bad Trip?

High THC

A bad trip is more common in beginners who don't know what to experience, but even long-time cannabis users can sometimes experience a bad trip. They occur due to various reasons, such as the following.

Consuming Strains with High THC Levels

The most common cause of a bad trip when consuming cannabis is high THC levels. This problem is becoming more and more common every year because high-potency cannabis strains are readily available these days.

For instance, nobody bats an eyelid before purchasing strains containing more than 30% THC. 

In addition, dabbing is on the rise, and individuals inexperienced with concentrates can have bad trips. Even experienced users often need to take tolerance breaks after repeated exposure to THC. 

When you frequently consume a high THC strain, your brain does not know how to process the high. And in some cases, you may start feeling anxious or scared, as if something is wrong with you because you don't know what is happening to you.

Eating a Lot of Edibles

cannabis edibles

When you smoke cannabis, THC binds to the CB1 receptors in the brain, leading to psychoactive effects. And the various terpenes — compounds that give cannabis its aroma — add to the psychoactive effects.

However, when you consume edibles, the THC present in them is converted into 11-hydroxy-THC, which is more potent than regular THC. This is the reason cannabis edibles are famous for taking to the clouds.

However, if you eat too many edibles too fast, the high can overwhelm you, pushing your brain into a bad trip. This can happen even with a 10 mg edible.

Consuming Laced Cannabis

Many cannabis dealers — often unlicensed — sell cannabis laced with other drugs like MDMA or rat poison to make them more potent. Unsurprisingly, this often has a negative side effect on the users. 

If you smoke laced cannabis, you can experience a bad trip, but that's not all. The side effects of laced cannabis, especially synthetic cannabis, can be much worse. It can even cause fatal heart attacks.

Being in the Wrong State of Mind

As mentioned earlier, cannabis exaggerates your emotions and feelings like a magnifying glass. So, if you consume cannabis when you are stressed or suppressing emotions, cannabis will bring them out firmly. 

For instance, if you are worried about an upcoming presentation or a complicated relationship, cannabis can turn this little worry into a full-fledged panic attack during a bad trip.

We recommend you consume cannabis when you have a clear state of mind.

Being in an Unsafe Environment

Similarly, an unsafe environment may also cause a bad trip. This usually occurs when you are in an environment where you're slightly uncomfortable, worried about the cops, or something similar.

For example, smoking cannabis in a park where the cops might catch you can lead to a bad trip, where you believe that everyone walking toward you is a cop. This is nothing but cannabis magnifying your fears.

How to Stop a Cannabis Bad Trip?

deep breath

You might feel helpless or overwhelmed when you're experiencing a bad trip. That's normal, but remember that the symptoms are temporary, and nothing will happen to you. With time, the bad trip will end.

On the other hand, if your friend is experiencing a bad trip, you have to be there with them and ensure that they do not panic. Bad trips may seem scary, but it eases the difficulty if someone supports you.

Here are a few ways to stop a cannabis bat trip in yourself or your friends.

Take Deep Breaths

When you enter a terrible trip, your mind goes into flight or fight mode. As a result, your breathing becomes shallow. If you don't stop yourself, this shallow breathing can escalate into a panic attack.

So, the first thing you need to do when you experience a bad trip is to take deep breaths. This lets your brain know that you are safe and can relax.

We recommend using the Wim Hoff breathing technique, where you breathe in for four counts, stop for two, exhale for six, and stop for two. 

Take a Walk or Workout

Another effective way to stop a bad trip from cannabis is to move your body — you can either go for a walk or workout at home — to get your blood pumping. Plus, the fresh air will help clear your head.

As you work out, the body will begin to metabolize THC at a much faster rate, shortening your high duration and quickly sobering you up.

Drink Lots of Water and Eat Something

Drinking enough water can help you deal with many things, a bad trip being one of them. Also, an empty stomach can cause many problems, just like drinking too much alcohol on an empty stomach.

So, drink some water and eat some light snacks. You might feel nauseous during a bad trip and refuse to eat; however, try and eat something light. Along with water, foods high in fat and carbs can help reduce your cannabis high.

You can even drink some lemon juice. Lemon is rich in limonene and terpene, which calms your body and negates the effect of THC to some extent.

On the other hand, you can even eat a couple of peppercorns since they are rich in caryophyllene, a potent selective CB2 antagonist, which enhances THC's sedating effects that may calm you down. However, don't chew peppercorns immediately. Instead, roll them in your mouth for as long as possible and feel the high fade away.

Drink Herbal Tea

Many people reach out for a cup of coffee when they are experiencing a bad trip, thinking it will sober them up. But coffee can make things worse for some people. Similarly, do not mix alcohol and cannabis if you're prone to panic attacks, as it can increase the THC levels in your blood.

Instead, it would help if you drank some herbal tea containing rosemary or lemon balm that has dietary cannabinoid beta-caryophyllene and terpenes to help you relax and put your mind at ease.

Have Some Natural Sugar

People often think that sugar can get you even higher, but that only applies in some cases, like chocolate with artificial sugar. Chocolate slows down the absorption of sugar, which can exacerbate your high.

How so? A study published in the American Journal of Medicine (2013), studied 4,600 adults. According to the study, low blood sugar in the bloodstream of a cannabis user could lead to a bad trip.

So, drinking something like honey mixed with a glass of water or fruit juice can be enough to beat a bad trip. Just ensure the sugar is natural.

Jump in a Cold Shower

There is a reason why US Navy Seals and almost all fitness experts recommend cold water showers, no matter the temperature in your region. This is because cold water showers can bring down your heart rate, decrease body temperature, conserve energy, and preserve oxygen.

So, if you have a cold shower during a bad trip, it can help you calm down and bring your mind and body at ease.

Listen to Some Calming Music

Similarly, you can even try calming yourself with some music. You can try any genre that makes you comfortable — it can be death metal or old jazz — but the idea is to distract your mind away from negative thoughts. You can even sing along, which will help keep you remain focused.

And if you start falling asleep, don't stop yourself. 

Try Sleeping

It's difficult to sleep when you're on edge, but music can help you fall asleep often.

Sleeping will help you escape the bad trip and negative thoughts, and while you are asleep, your body will clear out the toxins and repair itself. So, when you wake up, you will no longer experience a bad trip.

Consume CBD

You can also consume CBD during a bad trip, which is a non-psychoactive cannabinoid. 

CBD is one of the more effective ways of dealing with anxiety and other mental disorders, and it relaxes the body. And since one of the significant symptoms of a bad trip is anxiety and agitation, CBD can go a long way in reducing the bad trip.

Just ensure the CBD product that you consume does not contain any THC, as it can make the trip worse for you.

Talk It Out

Lastly, you can talk to yourself or someone around you. The thoughts in your head are not real — they are just amplified emotions. So, you can talk about it and rationalize them. Talking can help lighten the bad trip.

How to Prevent a Bad Trip?

Experiencing a bad trip is scary, but you can save yourself or your friends from the trouble if you are well prepared. Follow these tips to prevent a bad trip when consuming cannabis.

Clear Your Mind First

Cannabis amplifies your thoughts, whether they are negative or positive. So, the first thing you should do is clear your mind of things that bother you. 

If something is bothering you, don't smoke up too much. Little THC can help relax you, but too much can backfire, amplifying the negative thoughts. 

You can clear your mind by going for a walk, journaling, meditating, or breathing. Once your mind is clear, you can start consuming cannabis.

Have a Safety Plan Ready

You and your friends must always have a safety plan ready if something goes wrong. So, talk about what may happen if one of you experiences a bad trip, keep some remedies ready like natural sugar, herbal tea, and snacks, and learn to understand the symptoms of a bad trip.

Here, it is also best to consume cannabis with friends. Consuming cannabis with people in the same mood and energy can help you take the edge off, and they can help you if things go wrong.

Know What You are Using

First-time users often experience a terrible trip because they have no idea what to expect. Similarly, if you underestimate your cannabis, you can also have a bad trip.

So, understand what kind of cannabis product you are using, including its THC levels, potency, and source. You only need some light research to know what to expect from the strain you consume. 

And avoid high-THC strains as they may challenge your tolerance. 

Choose the Right Method of Consumption

Understand your tolerance levels and only use consumption methods that fit you. For example, if you are smoking a joint, smoke it slowly and take breaks — don't finish the entire joint in one go to evenly distribute the dose.

If you eat edibles, don't overeat them. Edibles act slowly, so wait for your body to react before consuming more.

And if you are dabbing or using water pipes, take it slow. Both these methods purify cannabis intake and increase its potency. 

Control Your Surroundings

Unsafe or uncomfortable surroundings are another major cause of a bad trip, so always use cannabis where you feel safe. The best places are usually your bedroom, out in nature, or at the beach. Avoid places with a lot of crowd or noise like a pub or a park.

Take a Tolerance Break

If you're repeatedly experiencing bad trips, take a tolerance break. Now, a tolerance break will vary from one individual to another, but a 30-day break can do wonders. A break is much better than avoiding cannabis forever, eh?

Summary: How to Prevent and Fix a Bad Trip?

Remember that it is almost impossible to overdose on cannabis despite how bad a bad trip may feel. And consuming too much cannabis is not lethal. However, a bad trip is as bad as it can get when you use cannabis.

So, if you go through a bad trip, remember that it will end soon, and you will make it through. Cannabis bad trips don't alter your state of being like LSD or shrooms can. Just take things slow, try to reduce the high and bad trips, and you will be alright.

And on the other hand, always be prepared before smoking cannabis. You never know when you might get a bad trip, but it is best to try and avoid it. So, smoke in a safe place when you are in a happy state of mind and know exactly what you are consuming and how. 


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I have heard of the urban myth people spraying their plants with Windex for extra crystally looking buds for bag appeal back in the late 90's early 00's but rat poison? I'd like to see the source for that one. As for the low blood sugar, that study did not talk about bad trips at all, in fact this is its conclusions, [Conclusions: We found that marijuana use was associated with lower levels of fasting insulin and HOMA-IR, and smaller waist circumference. ] Fasting insulin is not current glucose in the bloodstream. Its the measurement of the hormone in the blood stream after a fast "8-12 hours". HOMA-IR is also the measurement of insulin resistance, and it was also lower. This is found in healthy individuals. Nothing to state weed causes lower blood sugar or in taking sugar will help fix a bad trip. misquoting the study grossly. It can be said that regular users are less likely to develop type 2 diabetes from the data presented and was quoted in the study. This is a link to the full study.
@Scratchie, higher chance of meth I bet at that point. I knew of one person who did that, they where a massive piece of shit and no one liked them, their only "clients" where other meth heads. You know when you get laced shit and you never buy from them again... in this day and age dispensaries are everywhere so its all redundant. no one in their right mind is going to the street to try weed for their first time if they have any common sense, they will get it from a trusted source. but maybe, JUST MAYBE, we are trying to knock down the addicted rat population who are threatening our precious weed supply shortages because the supply chain? there was one really shit article a while back something about top 10 gadgets for growers. It was the worst thing they ever wrote and got a lot of criticism. They don't know wtf they are talking about half the time or even at best a quarter of the time and that's unacceptable. someone is getting paid for this garbage.
@m0use, thought the same about rat poison, nobody's making cannabis hot shots