What is Greening Out and What to do if it Happens to you?

Cannabis has many medical and therapeutic purposes, but it’s also one of the safest and most common recreational drugs. 

Like with all anything, you can have too much of it, and that’s where things can turn from good to bad. 

When you consume too much weed, there is a chance of experience what stoners call “greening out.” This can have some unpleasant side effects such as anxiety, nausea, dizziness, sweating, increased heart rate, and blood pressure. 

What is greening out?

Have you ever started feeling unwell and ill after smoking a lot of weed? 

Uncomfortable feelings such as nausea, anxiety, dizziness, and maybe even vomiting? These are all symptoms of greening out. 

While it’s impossible to overdose from consuming too much cannabis, like you can from other drugs such as cocaine, heroin, or even alcohol, you can still have a bad experience. While these symptoms are unpleasant, there isn’t any immediate direct harm to your body from smoking too much cannabis. However, if you’re mixing your cannabis intake with other substances, are taking medication, or have preexisting health conditions, the consequences can be heightened significantly. 

What makes you green out?

Everyone’s bodies react differently to cannabis, and some have more tolerance than others which makes it hard to pinpoint the exact cause or threshold some people cross, causing them to green out while others don’t. 

However, it is widely accepted that THC, the psychoactive compound in cannabis, is what makes you feel sick when you do green out.

THC or delta-nine tetrahydrocannabinol, to give it its full name, acts on the cannabinoid receptors in the brain; these are naturally triggered by the neurotransmitter anandamide. When these receptors are overly activated by consuming too much THC, it has the potential to make you feel sick. 

If the cannabis you’re smoking was grown using fertilizers and pesticides, residues of these chemicals in the plant could add to these side effects; however, people smoking organic leaf seem just as susceptible to greening out. While greening out tends to be more common in people who are not regular cannabis smokers, regular smokers are not immune to it. 

Blood sugar levels concerning greening out. 

Cannabis is proven to be antiemetic, meaning it controls nausea and makes you less prone to vomiting. However, too much of this can have a reverse effect and make you feel nauseous or causing you to vomit. 

But these two things seem counter-intuitive, so how’s this work? Well, one explanation comes down to blood sugar levels.

If your blood sugar levels are not in the healthy range, you can experience all manner of negative symptoms such as feeling lightheaded, nauseous, shaky, anxious, sweaty.

A number of studies have shown that Consuming THC can decrease insulin resistance which allows your body to break down glucose more efficiently. This lowers your blood sugar levels, and should you already have low blood sugar from not eating regularly, and it can cause you to green out. 

So if you feel like you’re getting lightheaded or dizzy, try having a sugary drink or eating some sweet food. 

Mixing alcohol with weed. 

For many people, weed and alcohol are often consumed together, 

and if you can find the right balance, they can go well together. 

However, if you’re consuming weed and alcohol together, you are much more likely to overdo it and green out. 

The main reason appears to be that when you consume alcohol, your body absorbs THC faster. So even if you smoke what would be an average amount, the addition of alcohol in your blood can intensify the feelings from THC because it is being absorbed much faster. 

Additionally, since alcohol and weed both create a sedative effect, they could substantially slow your nervous system down, lowing your heart rate and breathing. 

As we mentioned earlier, cannabis makes it harder to throw up as it has an antiemetic effect. Throwing up is a mechanism our bodies use to expel poisons, e.g., puking out alcohol when the body can’t process it, so you don’t get alcohol poisoning. 

If you drink a lot of alcohol and then smoke some weed, you may not be able to vomit properly and purge the alcohol, putting you at a higher risk of alcohol poising. 

If you’re going to do it, get it right.

Despite this, there’s no reason you can’t pair alcohol with weed.

You just have to do remember the correct order to enjoy them. 

“Beer before grass, and you’ll be on your ass; grass before beer, and you’re in the clear” 

Be aware that smoking weed will intensify the feeling of intoxication. So if you usually feel drunk after 5 beers, if you also smoked weed, then you may only need 2-3 pints to feel just as drunk.

This is why it’s better to smoke before you drink and don’t drink quickly, such as downing several shots in quick succession. Drink slowly so you can gauge how much effect the alcohol is having on you. 

I find that after smoking weed, I only need about half the amount of alcohol I’d typically drink to feel the same effects. 

The other benefit of smoking before you drink is it’s better for your liver as you don’t need to drink as much. It is also an excellent way to save some money because you’ll be spending less on expensive drinks. 

The dangers of greening out 

Nobody has ever directly died from cannabis toxicity; the amount of weed you’d need to consume to overdose is virtually impossible. However, you could die indirectly by mixing cannabis with other sedative drugs, which could suppress breathing or aggravate underlying heart conditions. 

How to deal with greening out

1) Eat and drink 

Make sure you keep hydrated and eat something before seshing. 

Keep some juice or sweet snacks to hand that you can have if you start feeling symptoms of greening out. 

This will let you regulate your blood sugar levels, and it’s always good to be prepared for the munchies.  

2) Smoke before drink

If you want to have some alcohol and weed, be sure to have the weed first. Smoking weed will likely intensify the effects of alcohol, so drink less than you usually would. 

3) Keep calm  

In the words of Douglas Adams, “Don’t Panic!” Some of the symptoms of greening out are anxiety and panic attacks, but they are mostly harmless. Try playing some relaxing music, find a safe place, maybe lay down and try to chill out, avoid being in crowds.

Keep in mind all the psychological effects are just in your mind and will pass. Once you calm down, those symptoms of a panic attack will fade away.

It may help to have a supportive friend to accompany you and talk you through the experience, especially if you’re not used to smoking weed. 

Remedies for greening out

If you’re feeling too high, you can try using peppercorns THC-free CBD products, or olivetol capsules can also help you feel less high. 

If you’re planning to consume weed for the first time, you may like to read these tips for your first time smoking weed to help you know your limits and be sure to take it slowly. If you’re looking for a quality smoking experience, check out the vapes and glass from Lookah to take your next session to a new high.