Though marijuana is hardly a dangerous substance, and poses little threat to a person’s general well-being, even the crustiest of fanatical stoners would agree that, sometimes, maybe due to low-blood sugar, a bad mood, or the constant negativity of the sober world, the casual smoker may sometimes encounter a weed trip gone bad. This list should help you remember what to do, if you ever run into this bind.

1. Don’t panic.

You may feel like your heart is about to explode, but that’s just your high mind paying way more attention to your heartbeat than you normally would. Except, of course, if you have a history of heart failure in your family, plus don’t forget that your uncle Ted did have three heart attacks and a stroke, or was it three strokes and a heart attack? Maybe you’re only struggling to remember because you’re in the middle of a heart attack! Or a stroke! Which one’s worse? It’s not easy to tell, but it’s safe to say you don’t want either one. So don’t panic, and try not to have a stroke.

2. Find a comfortable pillow and cling to it like a drowning sailor.

There’s nothing more reassuring and safe than a comfortable pillow. What harm could ever come to you if you’re holding a pillow? Not much, unless of course you felt so reassured you fell asleep face-down on the pillow and suffocated to death. On second thought, forget the pillow.

3. Remind yourself that if someone wanted to break into your house and murder you for no reason whatsoever, they would have done it already.

An extremely high person with massive paranoia would probably not be the most difficult person to stalk and kill. Remember that paranoia can be the side effect of any drug use, and that scratching sound you heard is probably just a tree branch outside or the creaking of your kitchen floor that you never noticed before. On the other hand, by total coincidence, this might be the one time a killer is actually trying to break into your apartment, and if you don’t freak out you might miss your one chance at escape. Better keep on your toes.

4. Keep in mind that all the stories you’ve ever heard about things going wrong on weed were merely anti-weed propaganda.

You know the history, you know how prohibition works, you know these stories are just designed to keep the masses placated and ignorant. Yet, you do know that all legends have a grain of truth to them. Those stories have to come from somewhere, don’t they? Maybe you’re one of the rare cases that are allergic.

5. Keep breathing.

One thing that can always help you, in any situation, is calm, deep, breathing. Unless of course you’re actually breathing super hard and don’t realize because you’re too high. You could be breathing so hard you could be ripping your lungs in two, and you wouldn’t even realize. In fact, you might have already done this, and that’s why you’re  freaking out. Maybe you’re already dying, which brings us to the next point.

6. Don’t think about how scary death is.

You’ve probably never considered how truly frightening the concept of death is. It probably hasn’t occurred to you until now, that someday you will cease to exist. Not like sleep, like total non-existence. I mean, you could fend off this fear with a belief in an afterlife, but are you really willing to take that chance? Are you? What if the fruits of all your mortal labours come to nothing? Try not to think about this as you slowly expire on the living room floor.

7. Don’t worry about the police.

The police aren’t coming, so why would you even think about them? You didn’t call them, so why would they come? Unless of course your nosy neighbour heard you writhing around on the floor and decided to call emergency because they’re a total nark and they would totally do something like that. Also, don’t try to think about which is worse—dying because you were afraid to call the cops so no one was around to save you, or being totally fine health-wise, but then going to jail because you called the cops and they found your stash. Don’t think about this.

8. Don’t call your mom.


Your mom is not your friend. Don’t call your mom.

9. You should probably smoke more weed.

Weed got you into this mess, and weed can get you out. Maybe you’re just not high enough. Maybe that last bit of sobriety is holding you back from really getting relaxed. That’s what’s keeping you paranoid. It’s like all that stuff Jim Morrison said, about breaking through to the other side, and riding the snake, and all that other cool stuff. You just need to give in to the ride. I mean, nothing bad ever happened to Jim Morrison, right? Oh, wait. Don’t think about heart attacks.

10. Go pray to a deity you may or may not believe in.

Don’t let logic come into it. If you feel like divine intervention is the only way to get you off this dark path, you pray as much as you please. Do not think about the empty void where all these endless prayers decay eternally unheeded. Do not think about how, if god was like, boss of the universe, and had, like, really important shit to do, like moving planets around and creating complex ecosystems and such, that god might be a little peeved that you chose to interrupt he or she with, like, your little weed tantrum. They might even be so angry at your interruption that they give you cancer, or scabies, or something. Don’t think about your insignificance as a fleeting blip on the radar of time. Just don’t. You’ll be fine. Maybe.