Greening Out
2 min

What Is Greening Out And What To Do About It

2 min
Facts News

The majority of smokers have never had the misfortune of greening out, luckily for them. Those who have greened out describe feeling paranoid, dizzy, and sometimes nauseous as a result of smoking too much cannabis.

It's common knowledge that people can't technically overdose on cannabis, but that doesn't mean it's impossible to consume more than necessary. This unpleasant experience is referred to in smoking circles as "Greening Out". It's certainly not the worst thing that could happen to you, but at the time you may feel differently.

It normally only lasts a couple of hours and the feeling can be remedied if you find a way to relax. Symptoms are often worse if other substances were used along with the cannabis. So if you've been drinking or using anything else, take it easy with the ganja at first.

What Exactly Is Greening Out


Greening out is the term for when someone feels sick or after consuming too much cannabis. Please keep in mind that even if you do green out, which some people describe as a "marijuana overdose", it is physically impossible for someone to die as a result of consuming just cannabis. Nevertheless, some greening out symptoms to watch out for are:

  • Paranoia, fear and anxiety
  • Heavy limbs/lack of mobility
  • Increased heart rate
  • Chills/sweats
  • Disorientation/lack of focus
  • Upset stomach/nausea

The symptoms can last anywhere from 30 minutes to 6 hours; it varies just like a regular marijuana high. If cannabis is the only substance you've used, then the symptoms will go away on their own without any professional intervention. If you've been drinking or using harder drugs as well, you might need to seek medical care.

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The Best Ways To Overcome A Weed Hangover

How To Prevent Greening Out


Everybody reacts differently to cannabis, so greening out is more likely to happen to some people than others. Most people who have smoked before will know how much it takes to get them high, and no, bodyweight is not a factor at all.

If you're the type of person that only needs a couple of hits to get high, don't let people pressure you into smoking more. Even if they make fun of you for being a "lightweight", think about how much more embarrassing it would be to have a mental breakdown and start vomiting in the middle of a smoke session. With that in mind, know your limits and stand your ground.

Being well-fed and hydrated before smoking can also help prevent greening out. Just like drinking alcohol on an empty stomach, smoking weed without any nutrients in your body could make the effects stronger. And speaking of alcohol, being drunk or using prescription drugs could lead to greening out if you add cannabis to the mix. If you have anything else in your system, always start off with just a hit or two of weed and wait it out to see how your body reacts.

It's also important to be very careful when trying edibles. The dosage levels can be difficult to monitor in them, which frequently leads to people consuming way too much and having a rather unpleasant high.

What To Do If You Or Someone You Know Is Greening Out


If you're ever in a situation where you or someone you know is greening out, there's really not much you can do except create a soothing environment and wait it out. Panicking will make everything worse and render you unable to concentrate.

Calming lights, your favourite music or TV show, or even meditation are all great ways to relax when you're greening out. Definitely stay hydrated and don't ever deny your munchies, getting nutrients into your body can help you calm down.

If you're looking for a quicker solution, there's something called the black pepper myth. Studies show that black pepper contains beta-caryophyllene, an essential oil in various plants that can be used to treat anxiety. Smokers who have the tendency to get paranoid often keep some black pepper balls to chew on in case things get out of hand. Unfortunately, black pepper can lower blood sugar levels, so diabetics and hypoglycemics should steer clear of this method.

Related article

Does Black Pepper Relieve Cannabis-Induced Anxiety?

As with anything of this nature, prevention is always better than trying to resolve the issue once it's already present. Remember to smoke within your limits, stay healthy and hydrated, and exercise caution when mixing cannabis with other substances. If it's too late for all that, just stay calm, lie down, and try to make the best of it. The greening out won't last forever and you'll be back to your upbeat, stoner ways in no time.


Written by: Alexandra Hicks
With years of both writing and cannabis industry experience, combining the two and writing about all the latest weed developments was the only thing that made sense. Alexandra is a Southern California native, currently fighting for cannabis in the American Midwest.

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