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Greening Out From Too Much Weed

Greening Out From Too Much Weed

Greening Out is a slang term that is becoming popular with marijuana users to describe the effects of consuming too much weed or very strong strains.

When a person smokes or eats high potency cannabis, they may experience a “green out” that can last for a few minutes to several hours depending on the circumstances and nature of use.

Now that marijuana is legal medically or recreationally in most states across the country, the number of people who are using it has grown significantly.

The potency has also increased substantially in recent years. This increases the chance of getting too high and having a bad experience for some people.

Most regular cannabis users are familiar with the effects of a green out. It’s important for new users to understand the typical symptoms, causes, and ways to avoid having a bad weed experience.

What is Greening Out?

Greening out from too much weed is somewhat similar to being blackout drunk from too much alcohol, although the effects are unique to marijuana use.

In fact, some people attribute the term “greening out” to “blacking out” from excessive alcohol use, while others say the name comes from turning a pale shade of green when they get too high.

Regardless of where the name comes from, the effects are considered by some to be an overdose of Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), which is the psychoactive ingredient in marijuana that causes a person to get high.

Calling a green out a marijuana overdose is technically correct because it suggests an individual consumed too much THC, or the dose was too much for them to handle.

A THC overdose is much different than an overdose of other drugs like opioids that can be fatal and require immediate medical attention.

Greening out or consuming too much THC can be a very scary experience for some people, although it is not life threatening like other substances.

While there are many known negative weed side effects, nobody has ever died from ingesting too much marijuana.

Greening Out Symptoms

Each person may experience different greening out symptoms depending on the strength and type of marijuana they ingested, along with other variables.

The symptoms can be physical (nausea, lightheaded), psychological (anxiety, paranoia), or both at the same time. The intensity and length of time the green out lasts also varies for a number of reasons.

First time or new marijuana users may freak out because they have never experienced these symptoms before and it’s hard to know how long they will last. This only makes the situation worse.

Green Out Symptoms From Too Much Weed

Common Green Out Symptoms

  • Dizziness and lightheadedness
  • Vertigo or disorientation
  • Loss of coordination
  • Blurred vision
  • Rapid heart rate
  • Increased blood pressure
  • Anxiety or panic attacks
  • Paranoia
  • Hallucinations
  • Confusion
  • Pale or flushed skin
  • Profuse sweating
  • Chills
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Inability to move
  • Unable to speak
  • Fainting or passing out

Mild green out symptoms may only last a short time, although severe or intense side effects can last for several hours.

Unlike alcohol hangover symptoms that last for a full day after drinking, symptoms of greening out usually subside when a person comes down from the initial high.

It’s possible that some people will have minor lasting psychological effects the following day, but these will be from remembering the negative experience and not the acute effects of getting too high.

The physical effects would be minor and are usually limited to being more tired or sluggish than normal.

What Causes a Person to Green Out?

The main cause of greening out is ingesting too much weed or high potency THC, but other factors can play a role in the intensity and duration of the experience.

A user’s tolerance and the way it was ingested (smoking vs edibles) also have a lot to do with getting too high.

Common Causes of Greening Out

  • Method of Ingestion
  • High THC Potency Levels
  • Low Tolerance
  • Mixing Substances
  • Physiological Factors
  • Dehydration
  • Empty Stomach

1. Method of Ingestion

Historically, most people smoked marijuana as the preferred method of getting high.

Today, edibles are very popular, but they take much longer for the effects to occur, and they create a different feeling than smoking weed because they are processed by the liver instead of the lungs. Many times, the effects are much stronger too.

Dab drug concentrates like shatter or wax are a relatively new method of smoking weed and they are extremely potent.

Edibles and concentrates can be so strong or different than smoking marijuana that it’s possible for them to cause even long-term, experienced users to green out.

2. High THC Potency Levels

Cannabis potency has steadily increased since the 1990s when the average THC levels hovered around 4%, up from 2% in the 1970s.

By 2017, many popular strains had increased to THC levels between 17% and 28% or higher.

Since that time, THC concentrates have reached THC levels of 95%, which causes a person to get extremely high with just a small amount. No wonder people are greening out now more than ever.

Causes of Greening Out

3. Low Tolerance

People who smoke or use marijuana regularly build a tolerance to the effects of THC, just like with alcohol or other drugs. New or infrequent users who have not developed a tolerance will be more susceptible to greening out.

4. Mixing Substances

Mixing marijuana with alcohol or other drugs, produces a synergism that amplifies the effects of all substances and makes them more potent.

5. Physiological Factors

A person’s age, weight, metabolism, and health can have an impact on how they respond to ingesting marijuana. Mental or emotional conditions like stress, anxiety, and depression can intensify the effects of weed and may increase the chances of having a bad experience.

6. Dehydration

Dehydration from not drinking enough water or being hungover from drinking too much alcohol can increase feeling dizzy or lightheaded and may contribute to the physical symptoms associated with too much weed.

7. Empty Stomach

Eating cannabis edibles on an empty stomach can increase the amount of THC that enters the bloodstream and may lead to greening out symptoms.

What to Do if You Green Out

If you or someone you’re with is having a green out, remain calm and remember that what you’re experiencing is only temporary and it will pass.

As scary and uncomfortable as it can be, taking too much weed isn’t fatal and the effects will subside shortly.

Much like CHS weed sickness from Cannabinoid Hyperemesis Syndrome, the effects will wear off after you stop using marijuana.

In the meantime, below are some tips that can help, and may even shorten the time it takes to feel better.

How to Reduce Greening Out Symptoms

  1. Remain Calm
  2. Find a Safe Place to Ride it Out
  3. Hydrate
  4. Get Fresh Air
  5. Eat Something if Possible
  6. Use CBD
  7. Breathe
  8. Play Music or Watch a Movie
  9. Stay with Other People

Remaining calm is crucial because many people freak out or become extremely anxious from the effects of taking too much weed. Getting excited will only make things worse.

Find a safe place to sit or lie down where you can stay calm while you ride out the symptoms. Greening out causes some people to get dizzy or lightheaded, so it is safer to sit than stand in case you pass out.

Hydrating with water or electrolytes is key because dehydration is a main cause of greening out. Don’t drink alcohol since it will add to the dehydration and avoid caffeine because it will make you more jittery and nervous.

Get fresh air, either by opening windows or going outside if it’s not too difficult to get up and walk around. Make sure there is a safe place to sit.

Eating something can help to feel better and offset the negative effects. Fresh fruit or something sweet can restore low blood sugar levels and eating salty crackers may help if you’re dehydrated. It sounds counterintuitive but it actually works.

Taking CBD is one of the most powerful ways to overcome greening out and come down from being too high. CBD is the non-psychoactive component of cannabis, and it is known to neutralize the intensity of THC.

Breathing calmly and exhaling deeply activates the parasympathetic nervous system to reduce anxiety and calm racing thoughts. Many of the symptoms are caused by the mental distress of having too much weed in your system.

Playing music or watching a movie, especially something funny, will distract your mind from thinking about your condition. The Grateful Dead had a line in song, “When you get confused, listen to the music play,” and it was meant to help people who got too high.

Stay with other people and don’t go off alone. Make sure to let others know what you’re feeling and hopefully they can help you stay calm.

How to Prevent Greening Out

The best way to avoid greening out is to prevent it from happening by following some simple guidelines.

Ways to Avoid Greening Out

  • Know what you’re taking
  • Go easy the first time
  • Don’t mix THC with other substances
  • Stay hydrated
  • Eat something first
  • Have a guide or friend
  • Choose the right environment
  • Keep CBD on hand

It’s important to know what you’re taking before you take it to avoid greening out. Everyone knows how much alcohol is in a bottle of beer or a glass of wine. But there are many different strains of weed, and some are much stronger than others.

Edibles are a whole different thing, and even if they’re labeled, it can be difficult to know how much THC is too much unless you’ve done the same amount previously.

It’s important to take it slowly the first time when using a new type of weed or edible and start with a low dose. If you’ve never taken concentrates before, they are stronger than almost everything else and cause the highest number of green outs.

Avoid mixing with alcohol or other drugs, like Adderall and weed, to steer clear of having too much anxiety or getting too high.

Staying hydrated before, during, and after will reduce the chances of greening out, and be sure to hydrate if things get too bad.

Eat something first, especially if taking edibles.

Don’t use alone and always have a guide or friend with you in case you have a green out. There’s safety in numbers and it’s best to have somebody to get help if needed.

Choosing the right environment is always advised to ensure you are safe and comfortable in case you need to lay down.

Keep CBD on hand to counteract the THC effects of greening out if it happens. Even though it won’t help immediately, it will combat the negative symptoms much more quickly.

Greening out can be a scary and unpleasant experience for many people, especially for those who aren’t regular cannabis users.

Practicing prevention tips before using potent marijuana and understanding that the anxiety and uncomfortable feelings are only temporary can help keep you calm in the moment.

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