22nd Dec 2023

Greening Out: What Does It Mean & How Can You Avoid It?

Cannabis has many positive effects associated with it: it can help us relax, ease our physical and mental discomfort, help us sleep, stimulate our appetites and more. But despite all the positive effects weed can help us to experience, it is possible to take too much, and just like other controlled substances, bad things can happen when you over-consume. Though “overdosing” on weed is way less dangerous than overdosing on alcohol and other intoxicants, it can still be a scary and uncomfortable experience. Read on to find out more about greening out and what you can do to avoid it.

Key Takeaways

  • Greening out means you’ve consumed too much weed and it’s starting to make you sick
  • Greening out can cause scary side effects like nausea, panic, dizziness, paranoia, and more – but it will not kill you
  • If you do green out, try your hardest to stay clam
  • Water and rest are the keys to recover from greening out

What Does Greening Out Mean?

The phrase greening out refers to a situation where a person consumes too much cannabis and consequently starts to become ill. It’s basically an overdose on weed, except we don’t call it that, probably because though it can make us really sick, it is not lethal. Though greening out doesn’t cause any long term damage, it’s still a scary and uncomfortable experience, and if you have pre-existing health issues, it could cause more complications. It’s always best to pace yourself when it comes to cannabis and take it ‘low and slow’ like the classic stoner adage advises.

What Does Greening Out Feel Like?

Greening out can be an intense experience and can last a long time, so your best bet is to always be aware of what and how much you are consuming to avoid greening out all together. The symptoms of greening out can include nausea, vomiting, dizziness, panic and paranoia, racing heart, excessive sweating, extreme changes in perception, and in some severe cases, delusions and hallucinations. Though not as serious as the symptoms from over consuming other substances, it’s still not a good experience, and is best avoided at all costs.

The length of time a person experiences the negative effects of greening out is depending on how much of a psychoactive cannabinoid they’ve consumed. If you realize right away that you have had too much weed and are starting to feel sick, the effects of greening out probably won’t last as long, because you were paying attention to your body. But if a person is not paying attention to their consumption, and especially if they are consuming other substances.

What to do if You ‘Overdose’

Over consuming any mind-altering substance can be scary, so the first thing to do remember if you suspect that you’re greening out, is to stay calm. It can be hard to stay calm when your body doesn’t feel right, but remind yourself that you are going to be okay and that your body is just having a bad reaction that will pas.

Obviously, you’re gonna want to stop consuming the product immediately, and if you’re really not feeling great, call someone you trust to help you. Let them know what’s going on and have them help to keep you calm or distracted until the worst of it passes.

If you’re not already home, get home as quickly and safely as you can and do not drive yourself. Once you’re home, get yourself lots of water, and get to bed. The best thing for you is rest and lots of water to help your body filter out the THC. Remember to take deep breaths if you start to panic and remind yourself that you are sick, not dying. You’ll be fine, we promise.

What to do if Your Friend ‘Overdoses’ on Weed

If you’re helping a friend who you suspect has green out, there are couple things you can do to help your homie get through it. First, get them home or somewhere safe so they can ride this thing out in relative peace. Get them lots of water, have them take deep breaths and remind them that they’re going to be okay, even though they don’t feel like it. If you can get them to fall asleep, that’s going to be the best thing for them, but if you cannot, do you best to keep them calm and distracted. Watching movies, listening to music, or play non-violent video games are great ways to distract someone who’s greening out.

Tips to Avoid Greening Out

While greening out won’t cause any long term damage to your body, it’s still best to avoid the feeling altogether, if you can. Here are a few tips to help you manage your cannabis intake and avoid greening out.

  1. Don’t chain smoke your joints & blunts – chain smoking is a sure-fire way to green out, so avoid going back-to-back with joints & blunts.
  2. Eat and drink on occasions when you’re smoking heavily – eating and drinking when you’re smoking heavily will help you body to metabolize some of the THC you consume, if if you’re smoking heavily, make sure you’re also putting food and water into your system.
  3. Take rest days between heavy smoking sessions – a crazy sesh with your homies is cool once in a while, but don’t make it a habit, and always wait several days after one of these monster seshes before you do it again.
  4. Mix CBD with your THC – CBD counteracts some of the intoxicating effects of THC, making it a bit more mild and reducing the chances you’ll green out.
  5. Don’t mix substances – mixing weed with other mind-altering substances may sound like a good idea, but in reality, it’s not. Mixing your weed and other substances makes it more likely that the chemicals will interact badly at the expense of you.

While greening out or ‘overdosing’ on weed won’t kill you or cause any permanent damage, it can still be a scary and overwhelming experience. If you do find yourself having over-consumed weed, try not to panic. Get yourself home safe, stay hydrated and get to bed. It may not feel like it, but you will be okay, and the most important thing you can do is to try and stay calm to keep your symptoms from getting worse. Always be mindful of your consumption to avoid greening out, and stop consuming as soon as you realized you’ve crossed that line.

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