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About Cannabis

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What can a bad experience on cannabis feel like?

You cannot die from a cannabis overdose. However, smoking too much cannabis can create an unpleasant experience. It is important to remember that this is only the case if you are using cannabis alone as the effects can change or become more dangerous when mixed with alcohol or other drugs and medications. In some cases, synthetic cannabinoids might be sold as cannabis. These drugs have a much higher potential to cause overdose or serious harm.

If you …

Then …

Feel very thirsty (called ‘cotton mouth’)

Experience sore or dry eyes

Have headaches

Feel dizzy

Feel nauseous

Feel uncoordinated

Have heart palpitations

Feel anxious

Experience social anxiety

Experience mild paranoia

Try these things at home:

  • Focus on breathing – try taking slow, deep breaths.
  • If you are able, call and talk to somebody you trust and ask them to help keep you calm.
  • Do not take more cannabis, caffeine, alcohol or other drugs, as these can make you feel worse.
  • Move to somewhere quiet – try to sit or lie down and do something relaxing.
  • Drink water to stay hydrated.

Feel very dizzy or feel you might faint

Feel very uncoordinated

Trip, stumble or fall over

Have an irregular heartbeat

Experience increased anxiety

Experience increased paranoia

Are emotionally distressed

Feel panicked

Have a panic attack

Have severe nausea or vomiting

Have disturbing hallucinations

Call a doctor or Healthline (0800 611 116)

They can talk you through the next steps.


Have chest pains

Experience severe emotional distress

Act violently

Experience psychosis

Lose consciousness

Call 111  

These are signs that something more serious is going on. You or the people around you should act quickly.

If you experience unexpected or concerning effects from cannabis you can notify High Alert to help keep others safe.

A male in his 20s talks about his experience of using more cannabis than he was comfortable with:

“I took a few puffs, and I didn’t feel anything. If I had waited for a bit, it would have kicked in. But instead, I had a lot more puffs. And it was like, a train had just hit me. I was like holy sh*t, I am really high right now. I felt super paranoid and thought everyone was talking about me. When it was pretty obvious they weren’t.”

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