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How to Survive Summer’s Cannabis-Friendly Music Festivals

With so many fun and exciting musical festivals to look forward to this summer, we put together this handy Summer Festival Survival Guide to make sure you know what to do should you decide to indulge in some cannabis while you’re dancing your way to autumn. What happens if you get too stoned, or if some sketchy dude hands you a mystery joint?

Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered.

What to Do if You Get Too Stoned at a Summer Music Festival

Holding a joint

Getting stoned with your closest friends as you watch your favorite musician perform sounds like an amazing time. But what should you do if you go a little overboard with the cannabis and begin to feel really uncomfortable? Here are some tips to bring you back down to a more comfortable state.

1. Get Some Air

If you’re feeling the overwhelming effects of that edible you devoured two hours ago, it’s probably not the best idea to remain in the mosh pit dazed and confused. Walk over to an open space where you can take a few deep breaths and sit down until you’re feeling more comfortable and less dizzy.

2. Drink Some Lemon Juice

If you happen to have an overly intense reaction to the THC, drink a glass of freshly squeezed lemonade. Did you know that lemons have the terpene limonene in it? The terpenes in lemons may reduce and alleviate the effects of THC on the brain. If you can, toss the peel of the lemon into your drink — that’s where the limonene is.

3. Listen to Your Friends

Bring your wingman/wingwoman with you if you know you’re going to be consuming at the festival just to be safe. It’s a smart idea to attend the festival with at least one friend who will remain sober and can think logically if things get a little out of control.

4. Take an Ibuprofen

Studies suggest that ibuprofen can help you feel noticeably less high. Ibuprofen affects the same receptors in the brain as THC, suppressing some of the less desirable side effects THC can have on your cognitive ability. (Just don’t go overboard with the ibuprofen, and take it with plenty of water.)

5. Bring Some Peppercorns or Another Peppery Snack

Black pepper contains beta-caryophyllene, which can affect cannabinoid receptors in the brain and work synergistically with cannabis’ THC to quell panic and anxiety.

6. Don’t be Afraid to Seek Medical Attention

We know the normal effects of smoking marijuana: red eyes, dry mouth, increased appetite and heart rate. But if you start to feel dizzy, lightheaded, or worse and the above tips don’t help, you should immediately stop consuming and seek medical attention. Many music festivals have emergency personnel and volunteers who are trained to assist festival-goers for a variety of medical issues, so don’t feel bad or embarrassed to ask for help. Remember that their purpose is to keep festival attendees safe and provide emergency aid to those who need it.

Be Safe and Aware of Your Surroundings

Security personnel at a music festival

You never know who you’re going to meet at a music festival. Don’t take cannabis or any other drugs from someone you don’t know or trust. If someone offers you a substance that you’re not sure about, just say no. Be aware of your surroundings and be mindful of those around you. If anyone is persistent in making you feel uncomfortable or is harassing you, don’t hesitate to contact security personnel.

Know Your Rights and Follow the Rules

Hempfest stage

Typically, before you enter festival grounds you have to go through security, where they check you and your possessions for weapons or drugs. Be mindful that security may be patting you down before you pass the entrance gates. If you’re caught trying to enter festival grounds with drugs, festival staff has the right to confiscate them before you enter. Yes, it’s a bummer, but it’s also a risk you take when you attempt to sneak in items that aren’t allowed.

Also, remember that cannabis may be legal in four states, but it’s still a federally regulated substance. Consumption laws vary, and it’s important to know your rights and educate yourself regarding cannabis consumption and possession laws, especially if you’re visiting from out of state.

Summer Music Festival Tips

Purse with a camera, hat, and sunglasses

Now that you’ve brushed up on some cannabis-specific festival advice, it doesn’t hurt to go over some general tips to make sure your summer music festival experience is fun and exciting. A good way to stay organized before you leave is to prepare a checklist and write down everything you’ll want or need to bring with you. Before you leave for the event, consult your checklist, going through each item and double-checking that you have everything packed (plus any extras just in case).

Here are some recommended items to pack in your cross-body bag or backpack.

1. Your Wristbands, Passes, or Tickets to the Festival

I know this seems obvious, but you’ll be incredibly irritated and pissed off if you end up at the festival entrance, reach into your bag, and realize that you don’t have your passes. What’s even more awkward than realizing you left behind the most important item you needed to bring is having to tell your friends back home that you missed seeing your favorite band or musician perform because you forgot your tickets in your hotel room. Seriously, this is probably the ULTIMATE music festival buzzkill. Nobody wants to miss an event they’ve planned months in advance for and just dished out hundreds of dollars to attend for an easily avoidable reason.

2. Reusable Water Bottle

Bottled water can cost a pretty penny at festivals, so keep a reusable water bottle with you at all times and refill it as often as possible. The sun will be blazing and one of the last things you’ll want to do is pass out in front of an enormous crowd of strangers because you’re severely dehydrated. Trust me, waking up in a grassy field feeling disoriented while a bunch of unfamiliar faces stare down at you can be super awkward and traumatic.

3. Money and Identification

Please don’t forget to bring your money and ID. I know that sounds like a no-brainer, but you wouldn’t believe how many people wind up forgetting to bring cash and ID. If you want to bring a credit card instead, consider a secure option like Apple Pay, where you can digitally store your banking cards in your smartphone (we all know how much of a hassle it is to call and cancel a credit card once you’ve realized you misplaced yours or it got stolen).

4. Hats, Sunglasses, and Sunscreen

Check yourself before you wreck yourself, because excessive sunlight can be bad for your health. I can’t stress enough the importance of wearing sunscreen and protective clothing, especially during the hot summer months. Sunburn is not only painful, but excessive sun exposure can lead to health problems down the line. One in five Americans will develop skin cancer in the course of their lifetime, so that summer tan may look good now, but your dried, wrinkled skin and melanoma a few years down the road aren’t a good look long-term.

Make sure to pack sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30. Apply the sunscreen throughout the day and be sure you protect your eyes from the beaming sun with your Leafly shades.

5. Hand Sanitizer and Tissues

Let’s be blunt here, Honey Bucket, porta-potties are disgusting. If you’ve ever had to use one, which I’m sure you have, you know how dirty and nasty they are. Bring plenty of hand sanitizer and tissues for yourself and your friends, as they’ll definitely come in handy on a hot, festival day.

6. Portable Cell Phone Charger

Let’s keep it real — you’re going to want to capture tons of moments during the festival of you and your friends having the time of your lives. By the time you get the perfect shot of everyone, and just as you’re about to upload the photo to Instagram, a notification pops up on your screen alerting you that your phone’s battery is slowly approaching death. What’s worse is that the festival’s headliners haven’t hit the stage yet and you’re already in the red.

Charge your cell phone the night before so you know it will be completely charged when you leave to go to the festival. Since music festivals are usually all-day events, make sure you invest in a portable charger (Amazon has a variety of affordable options to choose from) that you can toss in your bag and keep with you at all times. When your phone starts running low on battery life, grab your portable charger, plug it in, and you’re good to go. No longer will you have to worry about your phone giving up on you mid-Snapchat story or while you’re trying to find your friend among the massive crowd.

7. Comfortable Shoes

You’re going to be on your feet all day, so make sure you’re wearing shoes that won’t be a pain after several hours in them. Flip flops can break, so consider comfortable slip-ons or other alternatives that won’t feel bogged down if they get wet, muddy, or dirty.

Lastly, depending on the music festival’s location and how many people are set to attend, receiving service on your cell phone may be tricky. With so many people trying to use their cell phones to upload videos and images to social media, it can become extremely difficult to reach out and communicate with your squad.

Festival group meeting point

If you or one of your friends get separated from the rest of the group or if service becomes terrible, you should all decide on a designated location where you all know to meet at in case of emergency or if anyone gets lost.

Which festivals or concerts are you looking forward to this summer, and what are your festival survival tips? Share in the comments!

Nicolle Callier's Bio Image
Nicolle Callier

Nicolle is an editorial intern at Leafly.

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