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10 Tips on How to Handle a Cannabis Green Out

Posted by Canna Randa on Jul 20, 2021

Updated on June 7, 2024

Cannabis is becoming more available and commonplace with each passing day. While CBD, which is a compound derived from cannabis, can often provide medicinal benefits, many users consume cannabis for its THC, which produces the psychoactive effects that cause the “high.”

Unlike most substances, it is very difficult to overdose on THC. Still, THC can be consumed to the point where it causes intense effects on the body and mind, causing what some refer to as a “green out.”

What is a Cannabis Green Out?

What happens if you smoke too much weed in one sitting? When a regular recreational marijuana user or cannabis newbie smokes or over-consumes too much weed, they can experience what is known as a cannabis green out or “greening out.” 

Situations that typically induce marijuana green outs include, but are not limited to: 

  • Not knowing your tolerance for weed,
  • Going above the typical amount you consume,
  • Getting drunk before consuming edibles or smoking weed,
  • Not having enough fluids and calories in your body,
  • Being sleep-deprived. 

Of course, it is also even more likely that cannabis users will green out if they smoke or consume while being in multiple of the above categories. Before we give you our ten tips on how to handle a cannabis green out, you need to know -- based on your symptoms -- whether or not you are greening out.

Symptoms Associated with a Marijuana Green Out

As mentioned, when recreational marijuana users over-consume, they may start to exhibit symptoms of smoking too much weed and green out. While a green-out can be different for different users, it tends to make one feel like passing out or falling asleep. It can sometimes also cause nausea and dizziness. Other common symptoms can include:

  • Turning pale
  • Becoming dizzy and light-headed
  • Perceived impaired mobile functions (feeling like your arms and legs are too heavy to move)
  • Becoming disoriented with blurry vision
  • Unstable balance 
  • Trouble hearing 
  • Losing the ability to focus
  • Mildly hallucinating
  • Increased anxiety, unease, paranoia, or panic attacks 
  • Decreased blood sugar 
  • Increased heart rate
  • Feeling nausea after smoking and, in severe cases, vomiting. This is not as common since medical marijuana is often prescribed to help those with qualifying medical conditions cope with nausea they experience as a symptom of their medical condition. 

·         It’s important to remember that while this list of symptoms linked to greening out may seem daunting, every stoner who partakes in getting too high will react differently to over-consumption. Greening out can be dangerous if your motor functions and decision making skills are altered. Just remember that if you’re feeling sick after smoking, it might be time to take a break.

10 Tips to Handle Greening Out

So, you now know what a green out is and the symptoms or effects of smoking too much cannabis. Yet, the next time you light up a joint or consume edibles, you are busy enjoying the high, and may lose track of how much you are consuming.

It may be that you begin to realize that you have already started to green out during your smoking session. How do you handle greening out and cope with the symptoms in a safe way? While there is no magical method of how to become “un-high,” there are a few remedies and preventative measures to help sober up from weed quickly.

  1. Have a bud buddy - Always make sure to smoke with a friend or a group of close friends that you trust. Sometimes even grown-ups need a babysitter. If you see a friend getting dizzy from weed, don’t hesitate to speak up. 
  2. Consume cannabis in a safe space - Make sure that you are in the comfort of your own home or a place you know well. If you’ve smoked too much, being in a comfortable environment will make the experience less stressful. Familiar places make happy faces. If you're not in a comfortable environment, ask your friends to help take you to one.
  3. Know that the green out will not last forever – If you are feeling extreme symptoms, you should seek medical assistance immediately. While it is possible that your situation is not medically serious, be sure to always make the best decision for yourself. That said, if you choose to, you can just give it some time and ride out the high. The high from cannabis is not permanent and should end with time. Greening out differs for each individual and can last from minutes to a couple of hours. It may seem like seconds last hours while you are too high, but that’s just the weed. Try to remind yourself that time will pass and you will be ok.
  4. Consume tons of water - Staying hydrated while you smoke cannabis is always advised, even if you're not feeling any symptoms at all. In acute cases of over-consumption, you may need to drink juice to raise your blood sugar, but be sure to check with a  trusted medical professional first. 
  5. Lie down and get rest – If cannabis is making you feel tired, listen to your body and get lots of relaxation and rest. Unless you've been smoking weed strains for sleep, sleeping may feel impossible, so close your eyes and meditate if you can. You can sleep off a high, but anything to quiet your mind will help get you through the symptoms of smoking too much weed.
  6. Find good distractions - Talk with your bud buddies, text or call a friend, watch TV, listen to your favorite music, get a massage, or go for a walk. Do what you can to take your mind off of how long it takes to stop being high.
  7. Homeopathic Remedies – While these are homeopathic in nature, some have reported that chewing on black peppercorns and lemon rinds can alleviate some of these symptoms with their known calming properties. 
  8. Eat something - Smoking on an empty stomach can result in more prominent effects from your weed. Avoid foods high in fat, but eating something may help you feel sober quicker. Good choices are popcorn, carrots, toast, and fruits. Healthy choices are good choices.
  9.  It happens, and that’s OK - Everyone reacts differently when they over-consume marijuana. Even though you may feel sick, greening out will not damage your body.

Side note: If you mix recreational cannabis with medications, hard drugs, or alcohol, and you have a medical condition, greening out can be life-threatening. You should immediately seek medical assistance.

How to Prevent a Cannabis Green Out

If you smoke weed and also like to drink, it's recommended to not combine the substances. This could possibly exacerbate or complicate any symptoms you might feel.

When consuming edibles, remember to start with a small dose and increase it after monitoring how you feel. Always measure and keep track of how much you consume, as this will affect how long it takes to stop being high. You can always eat more if you want to feel more lifted.

Never give in to peer pressure -- better yet, don’t smoke with people who will push you to consume more than you are comfortable with. It’s easier said than done, but since everyone reacts differently to the over-consumption of marijuana, you may not be able to sober up from weed as quickly, and your green out could be 10x worse than your friend’s. Potent herb is no joke and should be treated with respect.

If you don’t know how it feels to be high, make sure you take it easy during your first few sessions. Being “too high” is no fun, so if you're starting to notice that smoking enough to green out is a common occurrence, you may want to take some time off of the plant. You can learn more about how to detox from marijuana on our site.

Now that you know more about greening out and what to do if you smoke too much weed, please accept my friendly pothead reminder not to smoke or consume edibles on an empty stomach. After you visit our dispensary near O'Hare, stop at a grocery store to pick up some healthy snacks to enjoy.

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