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Cannabis is massively popular, with 9 states in the USA legalizing it for recreational use and 26 for medicinal users. Around the world, approximately 62 countries have either legalized or decriminalized the use of dry herb for either recreational or medicinal purposes.
Dry herb can lead to a state of anxiety and panic
It's an undeniable fact that cannabis has several medical effects, some of which can be life altering, to the extent that it allows people who couldn't function normally to get back to living life close to normal.
That being said, dry herb and its use in a social setting while relaxing and wonderful for many, can also spell panic and anxiety for some. Commonly referred to as a "bad trip", symptoms include the aforementioned anxiety and feelings of panic, along with increased heart rate, increase in blood pressure, feeling numb throughout the body and/or the face/other body parts and feeling warm and even dizzy.
While this may sound daunting and can deter non-smokers keen on taking their first ever toke, there are several things we can do to avoid a bad trip.
How can one get a bad trip?
There aren't any concrete reasons that we know of, but it's commonly accepted knowledge that anything can trigger a bad trip; it could be the music you're listening to, the company you're surrounded with or if it starts raining and if the weather changes.
But how do you remedy a bad trip? There has to be a solution, right?
The answer isn't so straightforward, but we do know how to go about dealing with one and allaying some of the symptoms to a respectable degree.
This is so important yet so many people forget about drinking a glass of water after taking a hit. Water is immensely helpful in calming us down when we're sober and is equally, if not more helpful in calming us down when we're high. Stay hydrated before and after a hit is priority #1.
Drink Green Tea
While its effectiveness is disputed, having green tea is said to help with feelings of anxiety and panic. This is perhaps in the case only when it is a mild bad trip and not when a person is in a situation where they're hallucinating or "feeling like dying". Regardless, green tea is a safe bet to come down from a bad trip (or coming down in general). Besides, green tea has several health benefits, so there's nothing wrong in having some anyway.
Ensure you're with good company
If you're uncomfortable around the people you are smoking or vaping with, there's a high chance that your trip won't be a lot of fun. In fact, it might be aggravated because of it. Excusing yourself to either cut your socializing short or to gather yourself would be a good move, but make sure you do so in a polite or respectful manner.
Talk to your friends
If you're around people you consider to be good friends who can be trusted, talk to them about what you're feeling, no matter how pointless it may seem or even if it feels like you cannot speak; Letting it out can be cathartic and depending on the friend (and their experiences, perhaps even they've had a bad trip), things can change pretty quickly and for the good.
Make yourself comfortable
If you're feeling overwhelmed, find a comfortable place to rest. This could be in a different room (if you're with people) or on a bean bag, recliner or a bed. Taking a "time out" or a break from socialising can be beneficial, especially when coupled with focus on breathing and hydrating yourself.
Go for a walk
This depends from person to person, but going for a walk can help you connect with your inner self as you try to calm down and make sense of what's happening. This is especially since fresh air, a change of surroundings and depending on your locale; exposure to greenery and nature can be refreshing and help changing your mood. Besides, any form of exercise when high can be beneficial.
However, if you're someone who lives in a crowded city and being around a lot of strangers is a source of discomfort, or if you live in a place where dry herb is illegal and the though of brushing into the cops can be a source of paranoia, perhaps this step isn't right for you. Choose wisely, but usually this particular tip does help.
Don't put on the TV or listen to Music
While for some people taking their mind off of a bad trip by watching a show, listening to music or browsing through the news can help, it never ends well for majority of people, mostly because there's always something that can be a trigger. However, watching something very familiar (comfort shows like Friends or Seinfeld) or listening to calm music can be of help. Again, it depends, but choose wisely.
Go to sleep
Maybe you've tried all of the above steps and none of them have worked and you're frustrated because this article said that it'll help alleviate a bad trip, but you're still going crazy. Well there's always the final option: the one to use if nothing seems to help: cosy up and fall asleep. Depending on the strain you've used, it might either be easy to fall asleep or it might take awhile. But once you wake up, you'll be feeling loads better.
It'll be alright
Depending on how chronic the situation might be, rationality might be a far fetch idea as one grapples with the though of an endless cycle of doom or impending death, or maybe you're just scared of pigeons and see a flock of them, it doesn't really matter. What does matter is that despite how bleak and endless it may seem at the moment, it'll all be alright. After a few hours or os, you'll realize that it was kind of silly to worry so much and go on with your day, and life.
Chill and enjoy life. More importantly, enjoy dry herb! It's a beautiful substance that can be very helpful, so make the best of it. But hey, sometimes cannabis might not be for you, so not partaking is perfectly alright too.