Sooner or later, most people who regularly take edibles will have an unpleasant experience. Edibles can take up to two hours to take effect, so a common mistake is for a user to get impatient for the high to kick in and take more.
The safety advice is “start low and go slow” to avoid taking too much. Jordan Tishler, a Boston-area physician with a cannabis-focused practice, recommends 5mg of THC to start, and taking low doses for several days before escalating. Some states and companies consider 10mg the norm, which is supposed to be roughly equivalent to one drink, in terms of intoxication. Dowd’s episode was probably induced by a 100mg candy bar, and larger doses could potentially lead to even longer episodes.
If you do overdo it, the best treatment doesn’t involve medicine. “Get to a quiet, safe space, relax, have a trusted person stay with you and perhaps hold your hand,” Tishler writes. “These things can help amazingly.”
Bonni Goldstein, a cannabis physician in southern California and a medical adviser to Weedmaps, a Yelp-like site for locating dispensaries, writes: “First, and most important: talk yourself down. You are not going to stop breathing and you are not going to die … Try to take your mind off it. Watch television for the distraction, or lie down and take a nap.”
Tishler cautions against taking anything to treat it, no matter what the internet recommends. “CBD won’t work. Chewing peppercorns is downright dangerous. Some commercial products exist but are unproven and not necessarily safe.”
For a non-medical remedy, I can recommend Will Ferrell movies. Watch two and then try to fall asleep.