Greening out is a term that describes the physical and mental effects of consuming too much cannabis. We’ve all been there a time or two, and it’s not a pleasant feeling! Sometimes it happens by mistake, and other times, you probably could have passed on that final hit or nibble of an edible.
So, what is greening out? And how can you avoid it? We have a few practical tips to help you consume cannabis more mindfully and have a great experience every time. Plus, let’s chat about what you can do if you or a pal is greening out.
What Causes Greening Out?
Greening out is what happens when you’ve overindulged in cannabis. THC works by interacting with CB1 and CB2 receptors in the body’s endocannabinoid system. CB1 receptors are primarily located in the central nervous system, while CB2 receptors are found throughout the body. THC affects both types of receptors, leading to various physiological and psychological effects.
When the CB1 receptors in the nervous system receive more THC than they can handle, greening out occurs. This can result in scary and uncomfortable mental effects, particularly for those with heart issues. Sometimes, greening out may cause nausea, dizziness, sweating, vomiting, and panic.
We’ve all heard a story about getting a bit too blitzed on pot brownies, but it’s not just form factor that affects the possibility of overdoing it. Greening out can be caused by several factors, such as the level of THC in the marijuana consumed, the method of consumption, and individual tolerance.
Type of Cannabis
Different strains of marijuana can also affect the likelihood of greening out, with some strains having higher THC levels than others. Indicas, or myrcene-dominant strains, are often a bit heavier hitting than lighter sativas or limonene-rich strains. One way to watch your THC consumption is to blend your joints with other smokable herbs, or add a little CBD flower to the mix.
Method of Consumption
The method of consumption can also affect the likelihood of greening out. Smoking and vaping can lead to quicker onset of effects, which can make it harder to regulate consumption. Yet, the effects aren’t terribly long-lasting. Edibles, on the other hand, take longer to take effect but can have more potent effects, leading to an increased likelihood of greening out. An edibles high can last for several hours, while a weed high might only last a couple of hours.
Tolerance and Body Composition
Individual tolerance also plays a significant role in the likelihood of greening out. Some individuals may be more sensitive to weed’s effects, making them more likely to experience greening out. This is especially true for infrequent or new users.
Signs and Symptoms of Greening Out
Greening out can be compared to alcohol intoxication, as both substances can impair judgment and decision-making abilities. However, greening out can be more unpredictable and may last longer than the effects of alcohol. Most of all – it just makes you feel icky.
The signs and symptoms of greening out can vary depending on the individual and the circumstances. Common physical symptoms include:
- Red eyes
- Rapid heartbeat
Yeah, not so fun, right? Don’t worry, there are plenty of things you can do to avoid greening out. Keep reading to find out what to do if it happens to you or a pal.
How to Avoid Greening Out
While greening out can be a scary experience, there are steps you can take to minimize your risk of experiencing it. Here are some tips for avoiding greening out:
- Start with a low dose: One of the main causes of greening out is consuming too much marijuana too quickly. To avoid this, start with a low dose and gradually increase it over time. This will allow you to gauge your tolerance and avoid overwhelming your system.
- Stay hydrated: Drinking plenty of water before, during, and after marijuana consumption can help prevent dehydration, which can exacerbate symptoms of greening out. If you’re into the art of the wake and bake, keep your caffeine intake to a minimum. Or, go against the grain and try decaf for your hippie speedball.
- Take breaks: It’s essential to take breaks between consumption to allow your body to process the THC and avoid overwhelming your system. This can help prevent symptoms of greening out and ensure a more pleasant overall experience. Practice really tasting cannabis instead of just inhaling and exhaling.
- Recognize your limits: Everyone’s tolerance is different, so it’s vital to recognize your own limits and adjust your consumption accordingly. If you’re new to cannabis, start with a low dose and gradually work your way up as you become more comfortable with its effects.
- Use harm reduction techniques: Certain strains of marijuana or methods of consumption are more likely to cause greening out than others. For example, edibles can be more difficult to dose accurately, and certain strains with high THC levels may be more potent than others. To minimize your risk of greening out, choose strains and consumption methods that are less likely to cause it.
Most importantly, practice mindfulness when you use cannabis. Instead of just trying to get high, why not tap in and assess why you want to use cannabis in the first place? Are you looking for pain relief or relaxation, or do you want to inspire creativity? Taking a moment to consider the reason can help you slow down a minute and consume more consciously.
How to Help A Pal Who’s Greening Out
Even if you’re careful with your cannabis dosage, there is still a chance that you might overdo it. If that happens, don’t worry – the next few hours may be physically and mentally challenging to some extent. But remember – you will be okay. If you are greening out, or are helping a friend that is too stoned, keep in mind that this will all be over soon.
Having a plan can help you feel more in control of the situation. While you can’t entirely stop the effects of THC right in its tracks, you can reduce or shorten its effects and help provide a better state of mind for your buddy who overdid it.
Have a Drink
And we don’t mean alcohol or caffeine! Mixing alcohol with weed can make things worse. Get hydrated with fresh water, juice, or herbal tea. Dry mouth is a common side effect of many cannabis strains, especially when you overconsume. However, if you’re experiencing nausea or vomiting, try taking small sips or sucking on ice chips until you feel better.
One way to mitigate the effects of a green out is by turning to terpenes. Caryophyllene and limonene are two terpenes that can help reduce anxiety and paranoia from being too high. These terpenes are found in black peppercorn and lemon, respectively, which are likely to be found in most households. Nibbling on a few black peppercorns can really help reduce some of the anxious feelings associated with greening out.
CBD is another way to mitigate the effects of THC. CBD is a known THC antagonist, which means it can mitigate the effects of THC. You can find hemp-derived oils and other ingestible forms of CBD, or you can use a vape cartridge. Just make sure it doesn’t have any THC in it!
Talk it Out
It’s essential to talk to someone when experiencing a green out. If you’re with friends, tell them how you’re feeling so they can help you through the experience. If you’re alone, try texting or calling someone you trust, preferably someone who knows about your cannabis use.
Get Fresh Air
Changing your environment can also help. Try going outside for a few minutes to get some fresh air away from any lingering cannabis smell. Also, avoid intense background noise like loud music and opt for low-key or funny movies to keep your mind busy.
A Final Toke
When greened out, it’s crucial to reassure yourself that what you’re experiencing is temporary. Positive thinking can go a long way in mitigating the effects! Remind yourself that the symptoms are the result of THC and will go away once the THC wears off.
If you are looking after someone who is experiencing a green out, it’s essential to remain calm and confident. Ensure they are in a safe place and monitor them closely, removing any potential hazards. Reassure them that they are not alone and encourage them to stay hydrated.
Most of all, remember – it’s just weed, y’all! It will wear off with time, and you’ll be back to your same old self. When you level out, head on over to the shop and stock up on some Old Pal shareable flower. Practice the tips above and you’ll be avoiding green out in the future.