“Greening out” is a slang term for people who consume too much cannabis, making them feel ill.
Yup. I’ll admit that I greened out the first time I smoked a joint.
I saw bright white lights, and my motor coordination was way off, causing me to slip down a hill and land in a pile of snow.
It was very unpleasant, to say the least, and It took a few hours to disappear, but soon I was back to normal.
If this sounds like you, you may have greened out. So take some deep breaths and read on.
What Is Greening Out?
In our bodies, we have what is referred to as our endocannabinoid system.
When we use THC, it binds to (CB1 and CB2) receptors in this network, giving us the high feeling that results in psychotropic and psychoactive effects, like euphoria, relaxation, and many other potential benefits.
Greening out occurs when we overload our CB1 receptors in our endocannabinoid system, and this results in side effects that can be very unpleasant.
There are many mental and physical side effects of consuming too much weed. Which we cover below:
Greening Out Symptoms
While THC can help people with nausea, as we have seen in cancer patients who have stomach issues due to chemotherapy, it can also signify that you are greening out.
If you find yourself feeling sick to your stomach, you may have consumed too much weed. If you develop uncontrollable vomiting, it could be cannabinoid hyperemesis syndrome (CHS) and you should seek local emergency care.
As with nausea, anxiety may signify that you’ve taken too much THC into your system.
Many people use cannabis to conquer feeling anxious. But, if you take too much, it can make your anxiety worse.
In my experience, it’s a delicate balance, and some strains help while some don’t, especially when consumed in large doses.
Paranoia is an uneasy feeling that sometimes occurs if you green out.
You may get jumpy and are more reactive to your environment. Sound or lights may trigger you, and you may even fear someone discovering that you are using cannabis.
If you feel paranoid and the only substance you’ve had is marijuana, just remind yourself that it’s the THC, and it will pass.
4. Loss of balance or dizziness
Dizziness is a common symptom of being too high.
Falls may also occur if you are prone to them, are taking other sedating meds, or are elderly/frail. These are important to prevent, especially in older populations.
It may make you feel lightheaded and make things like walking a chore. If you close your eyes, and the room feels like it is still spinning, then you have probably overdone it.
Stay seated and avoid environments with too much stimulation until you don’t feel sick anymore.
Try some fruit juice to improve your blood sugar level if that doesn’t work. Staying hydrated with water is also important to prevent lightheadedness.
5. Increased heart rate
Tie in increased paranoia from consuming high THC products, and you’re probably going to suffer from an increased heart rate and reduced blood pressure.
If you have taken too much of an edible or smoked too much and feel your heart racing, it’s a good idea to focus on your breathing to calm yourself down.
Drowsiness is a common side effect of cannabis use. This may be amplified with alcohol and certain medications that should be avoided concurrently.
Indicas are known for their sedative effects and are used very successfully by insomniacs to fall asleep and deal with their sleep disorders.
But if you’re on the verge of greening out, you may feel barely awake.
7. Dry mouth and dehydration
THC inhibits saliva production leading to what some people refer to as dry mouth or cottonmouth.
If you’ve had too much THC and feel like your mouth is a desert, you should drink plenty of water to help reduce your symptoms. Don’t drink more than a gallon in a day, though for safety reasons.
However, if you are vomiting, you should also be aware of potential dehydration, so keep a water bottle or better yet an electrolyte drink handy!
8. Auditory and visual hallucinations
Though not as common, some people describe having auditory and visual hallucinations at extremely high doses of THC.
While these are classed as mild hallucinations, they can still be one of the scarier negative effects of greening out.
Some claim to see lights or hear an echoing sound. If this is the case for you, stay seated or even lay down and do your best to remain calm in a place with little visual or auditory stimulation.
9. Impaired motor coordination
Some people say that their greening-out experience gave them impaired coordination, and I will echo that with my experiences greening out as a teenager.
You may become a bit of a clutz and feel disoriented. Do not worry. You are not alone, it is a common symptom of greening out, and if you wait, it will go away.
10. Blurry vision
We’ve all heard about our eyes becoming dry and red due to consuming cannabis.
What helps this is keeping a pair of lubricating eye drops on hand. One or two drops should help with your vision and is the best quick fix to this problem.
How Long Does Greening Out Usually Last?
The length of time you may spend greening out can last from a few minutes to hours. In some rare cases, you might feel groggy up to a few days later.
It all depends on how much you consumed and the form of THC you took. For example, if you smoked a joint, you may recover in a shorter period than someone who ate a 100 mg edible.
Your best bet is to keep reminding yourself that it is just the weed making you feel this way and that it is only a matter of time before you will feel like yourself again.
How To Stop Greening Out From Too Much Cannabis
Know Your Tolerance
The first step to stopping you from greening out is to know your tolerance. If you are new to cannabis or rarely smoke, you have a good chance of overdoing it. It is very easy for a beginner or older individual to overdo cannabis; start low and go slow.
One bong rip, a large blunt, or a potent dab can cause you to green out. So limit your consumption and take precautions to ensure you don’t pass your tolerance level.
Smoking Weed & Drinking?
If you plan on drinking alcohol and using THC, start with the THC, see how you are feeling after a bit, and then drink accordingly. This can increase your chance of dizziness and falls, though, so this is at your own risk.
Take your time, and don’t slam your drinks back because you are setting yourself up to feel both greened out and hungover. Of course, remember never to drive, work, or operate heavy machinery while under the influence of alcohol, cannabis, or other drugs.
Avoid Other Substances
Smoking a joint while under the influence of other drugs can leave you feeling even more delicate than when drinking and smoking.
And yes. This includes prescription drugs such as sleeping pills! This can make you more susceptible to falls and may increase the levels of certain medications.
Hydration is Essential
Also, it is essential to make sure you have something in your stomach and that you are well-hydrated.
Remember that excess cannabis can cause cannabinoid hyperemesis syndrome, which is a medical emergency due to the dehydration it causes.
Be Wary of Edibles
The majority of greening-out experiences occur due to edibles, especially on an empty stomach.
While the effects are dose-related, green outs are more likely if you haven’t eaten anything as the edible will hit you harder.
It’s also essential to note that this way of consuming cannabis takes a while to see the effects, averaging two or more hours to really hit.
Some newbie cannabis consumers think that this is because they are not consuming enough, leading to them taking more before they feel the effects from the first dose.
Yup. An unpleasant experience for sure!
You can prevent greening out this way by waiting at least two hours to feel the effects and increasing your dose in small increments. Safest bet is to wait up to four hours.
Consume CBD and Other Terpenes
Scientific research suggests that if you take some CBD or certain terpenes, it may help you overcome the negative effects of THC intoxication and overconsumption.
Choose your strains carefully by ensuring they have a lot of CBD or terpenes like limonene which is found in lemons, and beta-caryophyllene, which is present in black pepper.
These components, when used together, should, in theory, produce a calming effect.
Chewing on a few peppercorns or smelling the spice may calm you and reduce the likelihood of feeling greened out.
Change Your Environment
If you are at a party, head outside and get some fresh air.
You could also lay down on a comfy bed to help calm your senses. Or go out for a walk and into nature. Sometimes just a change in your environment can help you manage psychological symptoms.
Have a Bath or Shower
Having a nice relaxing bath or shower can work wonders if you feel unwell in my experience. It will also help people who sweat when they green out by having a cold shower.
Alternatively, if you are looking to calm down, opt for a hot and steamy shower.
Sleep It Off
Consuming too much cannabis, specifically, THC can lead to a feeling of sedation. So, try to sleep it off in a safe space when all else fails.
The Greened Out Hangover
The science as to why we feel a greened-out hangover is inconclusive at this point.
But, in my experience, smoking cannabis may lead to fatigue the next day if you consume too much or are new to cannabis.
Common symptoms of a weed hangover include:
- Brain Fog
- Dry Mouth and Eyes
- Nausea and/or vomiting
If you are feeling these symptoms, there are a few simple remedies that will get you feeling like your pre-cannabis self again.
Day After Greening Out
First and foremost, stay hydrated.
Do not attempt to drive, work, or operate machinery if you still feel intoxicated.
Drink water before, during, and after consuming THC. Then it would be best if you had a good breakfast with whole-grain carbohydrates, lean proteins, and healthy fats.
The next thing you should do is have a long shower.
In my experience, it will make you feel refreshed, but it will also help hydrate your entire body. The steam will also open up your airways if your lungs feel the punishment of a few too many puffs.
For nausea, you might want to try some ginger tea.
Add grated ginger to a lemon and honey mixture, and your stomach should be feeling better in no time. Avoid over-the-counter nausea products because they may make you drowsy and worsen the effects of the weed you’ve consumed.
If you need to be alert, drink caffeine. But keep your pain relievers on hand in case you have a headache.
Wrapping Up Greening Out
Hopefully, you can avoid feeling greened out with this advice and preventative measures.
Whatever happens, remember that It is a common experience, and you will not die from such an unpleasant high.
Nonetheless, if you still feel like something else is going on, have excessive vomiting, or have used harder drugs, seek local medical attention.
Next time you use cannabis, remember the golden rule – you can always have more, so start low and go slow!