Many regular cannabis users will know what it feels like to green out; however, for beginners, it can be quite overwhelming. Despite the therapeutic uses of cannabis, too much THC intake can lead to serious side effects, such as nausea, anxiety, loss of balance, palpitations, and more.
Whether you’re a novice or veteran cannabis smoker, greening out is unpleasant and can be frightening. Though nobody has died from a cannabis overdose, it’s important to note that it can cause heart issues for some people with certain health conditions.
To learn more about greening out, its signs and symptoms, and how to remedy it, continue reading below.
- What is greening out?
- What are the symptoms of greening out?
- How do you avoid greening out?
- What should you do if you take too much weed?
“Greening out” is a slang term that means somebody has consumed too much weed. It can be described as an unpleasant mental and physical effect caused by excessive intake of THC.
People who are greening out may go pale and start to sweat. They may also feel dizzy and nauseous or start vomiting. The experience can be frightening, causing users to become very anxious and panicky. In a really bad case, the user may experience prolonged vomiting and hallucinations.
Greening out is often described as a “cannabis overdose” and is more likely to occur if someone drinks alcohol before smoking. It’s because when you have alcohol in your blood, the absorption of THC is much faster. So even if you believe you have smoked a “normal” amount of cannabis, it can lead to a stronger and unpleasant effect because you’ve drunk alcohol.
To explain how greening out occurs, here’s what happens:
Our body has a natural endocannabinoid system that relies on receptors called CB1 and CB2, which are responsible for the uptake of internal cannabinoids released by the body. The CB1 receptors are located mainly in the central nervous system, while the CB2 receptors are found throughout the body.
Both receptors work directly and indirectly with phytocannabinoids (external cannabinoids), such as THC. THC can directly affect both CB1 and CB2 receptors located in the central nervous system and the body. This is why THC has both mental and physical effects.
Greening out happens when the nervous system’s CB1 receptors receive more THC than they can handle, leading to severe mental effects that can be unpleasant and frightening. If you have heart issues, this can get dangerous.
If you want to know more about greening out from a medical perspective, you can watch this video.
Greening out is actually easy to spot. The symptoms are mostly obvious, and here’s what to look for:
Cannabis is known for its ability to relieve nausea. We’ve all heard about what it can do for cancer patients experiencing stomach issues from chemotherapy.
But if the opposite happens to you – that is, you become nauseous during or after cannabis use – then you’re probably greening out.
Paranoia is often associated with being high, so just because you have paranoid thoughts, it doesn’t necessarily mean you’ve taken too much cannabis.
If you’re not familiar with paranoia, it means a feeling of uneasiness, as if something’s not right. It could lead to disruptive and intrusive thoughts. For instance, you’re in an area where cannabis use isn’t legal, the fear of getting caught can trigger paranoia thoughts.
You may also get jumpy and react more intensely to sounds and movements. If these feelings become extreme, it’s a warning sign that you’re greening out.
Many people use cannabis to manage anxiety, however, the dose should be within a suitable range. At low, careful doses, THC can combat stress and anxiety, but in high doses, it could lead to even more anxiety.
Though some strains can make you feel more anxious than others, it’s primarily about the degree of intake. If you begin to feel highly anxious after smoking lots of weed, you should stop for a while.
Dizziness might be normal when you take cannabis. You may feel a bit lightheaded and off-balance. But when you green out, the dizziness goes beyond that minimal lightheadedness.
Lie down or close your eyes for a second. If you feel like the room is still spinning, you’ve probably pushed past your limit.
An increased heart rate is common after using cannabis, but too much THC can cause serious problems, particularly in the cardiovascular system.
If you don’t have a heart condition, then you’ll probably be fine once the high wears off, since your heart rate will go back to normal. However, those with heart disease, hypertension, and other cardiovascular conditions should avoid cannabis until they consult a doctor.
One of the most common effects of using cannabis is drowsiness, but it depends on the strain. Indica variants usually have sedating properties that are a great help for many people struggling with insomnia and irregular sleep patterns.
When you’re greening out, the drowsiness can get pretty severe. It can change a mellow and relaxed state into one where you’re barely awake.
Another common side effect of using marijuana is cottonmouth. It’s because THC can inhibit saliva production, leading to a dry mouth. This is the reason many long-term cannabis users tend to suffer from gum disease.
But when you’re greening out, the mouth dryness is severe and very uncomfortable. You can remedy it by drinking plenty of water.
The best way to manage a greenout is to prevent it from happening in the first place. Ultimately, it’s very simple: you just need to be cautious and avoid taking more THC than you can tolerate.
Weed doses vary and everyone’s endocannabinoid system is different. What works for others may not work for you.
The sensitivity of the cannabis receptors in the body can greatly affect how well you handle THC. Moreover, your experience as a user will also dictate your tolerance. First-time users should be extra careful and avoid excessive intake of high-THC strains.
Getting high alone in your own home can be relaxing, especially on the weekend. However, if you’re trying to push your limit, it’s best to do it with a trusted group of friends.
In case you green out, your friends can take care of you. Having them around can also reduce paranoia since the assurance that your friends can help you has a calming effect.
But, there are some people who woud rather be left alone when they’re greening out.
Greening out occurs when you take in more THC than your body can handle. The key to preventing it is to avoid that threshold.
If you’re a newcomer, you should start below 10% THC and take only a puff or two, and then observe how you feel after 10 minutes. If you’re okay with that, you can try more.
To give you an idea of what the best low THC strains are, check out this page.
Many people like edibles because of their extended effects. The main problem is that greening out on edibles is easy to do but difficult to manage.
Smoking weed can hit you quickly, so it’s easy to tell if you’re reaching your limit. Edibles have delayed effects, so you can consume as much as 1000 mg of THC initially and still feel okay after some time.
Edibles usually take around 30 to 60 minutes to kick in, but it depends on a lot of factors. Some people have to wait a full day for the effect to kick in. An edible may seem weak at first, then creep up on you.
The ultimate motto in the cannabis community is to “start slow and go slow”, and users of any skill level should stick to this rule. The only way to know how much you need is through gradual experimentation. Get your weed products legally so that the THC content is clearly labeled.
Click here to see some of the best THC edibles you can try.
Even when you’re careful with your dosing, something could go wrong occasionally. In case that happens, it’s best to have a plan ready.
Though you can’t stop a THC overdose instantly, you can shorten the effects.
Cottonmouth is a common side effect for many cannabis users, but it’s more severe if you green out. Drinking plenty of water or a drink with little to no caffeine in it works best. You can also try sucking on ice chips until you feel better.
Avoid drinking alcohol and caffeinated beverages like coffee, as they can lead to further dehydration.
Taking a shower can help you drowsiness and combat other negative effects you might be experiencing. If you feel too hot, use cold water.
Terpenes are oily compounds that play a vital role in the recreational and pharmaceutical effects of cannabis. Moreover, it gives marijuana its distinct fragrance and flavor. When dealing with a greenout, terpenes, particularly beta-caryophyllene and limonene, can be helpful. Luckily, you can find them easily.
Beta-caryophyllene and limonene are present in black peppercorn and lemon. They’re also common in many cannabis strains, and these terpenes are known for reducing anxiety and paranoia.
To get a quick caryophyllene fix, chew on some peppercorns. As for limonene, you can eat lemon slices or drink lemon juice. Don’t use lemonade because it’s diluted and full of sugar that aggravates dehydration.
You can find hemp-derived oils and other ingestible forms of CBD online or at your local dispensary.
If you consume weed with your friends, tell them when you’re feeling sick and think you’re greening out. They can help you through the ordeal by simply talking.
But if you’re alone, you should text or call a trusted friend who knows that you use cannabis. Inform them that you suspect you’re greening out. Stay on the phone until you feel comfortable or have enough strength to deal on your own.
Sometimes getting up and changing the environment can help to manage a greenout. Try going outdoors for a few minutes to get some fresh air, and it will also get rid of any lingering weed smell.
It’s also an excellent idea to stay away from loud music and annoying noises. You can put on a relaxing movie to calm you down.
When greening out, you’re your own worst enemy because of the negative and intrusive thoughts that are going through your head. Just tell yourself that everything will go back to normal soon. Also, you’ll learn other valuable things, such as your THC limits.
Sometimes the cure to a mild greenout is simply positive thinking. Just keep in mind that what you’re experiencing is the result of weed consumption, and once it’s out of your system, the unpleasant symptoms of greening out will disappear too.
Greening out isn’t a pleasant experience, but remember that the effects aren’t permanent. If you’ve consumed too much cannabis, remind yourself that you’re going to be okay once it wears off. Give it some time, and you’ll slowly feel your normal self again.
The next time you feel uneasy after consuming cannabis, try some of the tips that we’ve compiled for you. Just remember the golden rule: “Start slow, and go slow”. You should take some time to understand how your body reacts to cannabis since everyone has a different response.