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Wednesday June 5, 2019

By Andrew Ward


As the potency of cannabis increases, so does the market's demand for products to help remedy when a person overdoes it. This is especially true in Colorado where cannabis tourism has some going a bit too hard on their trip. Scores of DIY remedies have been used throughout the years to various effects. Most of these methods stem from household solutions. You may even use one without knowing it. However, one of the most effective, pepper, can sometimes prove to be difficult when not consuming in the home. In this piece, we’ll explore the validity of pepper and CBD as an offsetter of highs and how you can make your own “too high” capsules for on the go purposes if you encounter any negative cannabis effects.

How Black Peppercorn Offsets a High

Before diving into how to make your own “too high” capsules, let’s explore one of the key ingredients. A 2011 study of phytocannabinoid-terpenoid entourage effects and easing THC effects found that pepper remedies on THC were supported by modern justifications. The report noted, "The black pepper might offer the mental clarity afforded by pinene, sedation via myrcene and helpful contributions by β-caryophyllene. The historical suggestions for cannabis antidotes are thus supported by modern scientific rationales for the claims, and if proven experimentally would provide additional evidence of synergy."

Black pepper has been shown to reduce the effects of THC. photo credit

The author of the study, Dr. Ethan B. Russo, noted that pepper was effective in taming THC due to certain terpenes in its profile. Caryophyllene is considered the terpene in pepper's profile that is most likely to be effective. While not blocking THC, it is credited with providing consumers with relaxing effects that stave off anxiety.

CBD’s Influence on THC

Much like pepper, CBD has also shown to reduce the negative side effects of THC and quell some of the more uncomfortable feelings like anxiety, rapid thoughts/psychosis and, of course, the feeling of being simply too high. While there isn’t a ton of research on the matter, there is scientific evidence dating back to the early ‘80s that CBD suppressed symptoms of anxiety and psychosis in subjects who consumed THC.

More recent research has even uncovered the area of the brain responsible for the negative effects of THC – the striatum.

A study from the Journal of Neuropsychopharmacology identified negative effects of THC to be correlated with declined brain activity in the striatum, an area of that brain that has shown to actually increase with CBD consumption. This could be a good explanation for understanding why CBD seems to reduce the effects of THC and eliminate any negative feelings as well. In a more general sense, another study concluded that CBD simply tends to exhibit opposite effects of THC on neurological activity. While there is more research needed into this matter, it’s clear that adding CBD to your “too high” capsules has some science supporting its effectiveness.

Make Your Own CBD and Pepper-Based “Too High” Capsules

Now that we know there’s science backing up the two ingredients for out “too high” capsules, it’s time to make your very own! Capsules are a perfect option for on-the-go use and can be taken in a moment’s notice if you’re out and about and start to feel too high. A pill works in just about any situation and they’re easy to carry, too! Follow along below as we go step-by-step on how to make your very own “too high” capsules at home.

What You’ll Need:

  • 1 Gram Pepper (Or Desired Amount)
  • 1 Gram CBD Isolate (Or Desired Amount)
  • Empty Capsules
  • Funnel
  • Capsule Filling Machine
  • Digital Scale (Optional)


  1. Gather your ingredients and prepare your workstation for potential spills. Since you’ll be working with ground pepper and CBD isolate, it’s best to put a sheet of paper down so you can collect spillage as needed.
  2. If un-separated (most capsules come this way), separate capsules so that each one is in two pieces. Conduct this step for every capsule you are planning to make.
  3. Calculate your desired dose of CBD per capsule and weigh out even portions with your digital scale. If you do not have a scale, try starting with a set amount of CBD isolate (i.e. 1 gram) and separating it into even doses
  4. Thoroughly incorporate each dose of CBD with equal parts ground pepper
  5. If using a capsule maker, fill the slots with empty capsule halves and use your funnel to carefully fill each capsule with your pre-dosed CBD and pepper mixture. If you are less concerned with homogenized dosing, simply do your best to distribute the CBD and pepper mixture evenly throughout all capsules
  6. If filling capsules by hand, carefully use your funnel to fill each capsule with your CBD and pepper mixture.
  7. Once your capsules are filled, either close them by hand or use your capsule filling machine to combine both ends of the capsule and create a seal
  8. Store your “too high” capsules in a cool, dry place

There you have it! An easy, homemade remedy for when you get too high. And if you’re curious where to get some capsules, most health food stores sell them. Bags of capsules usually sell for just a few dollars and can also be bought online. Just be sure to take a look at the ingredients if you have any special dietary restrictions (a lot of capsules have gelatin, so be careful vegan friends!) and you should be good to go. You can also opt for a less sophisticated DIY methods in place of a funnel, like a rolled sticky note.

Other Methods to Reduce Your THC Buzz

Pepper is largely safe for people to consume, save for a few scenarios. As such, it is a useful method to consider when someone needs to lessen a high – especially when combined with CBD. That said, these homemade capsules are not the only method people have relied upon to reduce the negative effects of THC. Check out the video below for a couple more ideas:

Most solutions are rather basic and can be applied to many symptoms beyond THC overconsumption. They include drinking water, taking a walk and having a small snack. Other ideas include doing relaxing activities like meditation, watching your favorite movie or show and other soothing situations or practices. To avoid such an outcome altogether, consume wisely. The start low, go slow method is always a good idea. Remember, you can always take more, but you can’t reverse time and take less!

Do you have any tips for reducing the negative effects of THC in the case of overconsumption? Share them in the comments below!

Photo Credit: Pexels (license)


Andrew Ward Andrew Ward

Andrew Ward is a Brooklyn-based cannabis writer and creative. His work has appeared on Benzinga, High Times, PROHBTD and several other publications and brand blogs. He has covered the cannabis space for over three years, and has written professionally since 2011. His first book, "Cannabis Jobs," was released in October 2019. Connect with Andrew on LinkedIn to stay up to date.

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