Photo by Nik Shuliahin

Learn | 03.11.2024

What To Do When Greening Out: Effects & Symptoms

Useful tips for when we overestimate our tolerance to THC and want to sober up.

Greening out is not a pleasant experience, but, in case you didn’t know, it’s not possible to overdose on THC, although you probably won’t feel good if you take a little too much.

As we know, sometimes we get excited and our cannabis consumption gets a little out of hand, which is why we’ve compiled some helpful tips for sobering up when you’re a little too high. We’ve all been there and we know it’s no fun.

What Is Greening Out?

Photo by Javi Hoffens

Simply put, greening out means that you have gotten too high. Specifically when you’ve gone overboard with THC – or its close relatives like THC-B, THC-O, THC-P, and more.

This means you have more THC than your cannabinoid receptors can handle, triggering a host of physical and mental side effects as a result.

Although THC is responsible for the pleasurable effects of weed, it can also trigger an undesirable experience when consumed in excess. Here again, the golden rule applies: moderation is key, even when it comes to the delicious weed we all love.

Typically, a “green out” occurs when too much marijuana is consumed in a short space of time or when the dosage is significantly high. Although the symptoms can be quite unpleasant, they usually do not pose a serious risk and often disappear within a few hours.

Symptoms Of Being Too High

But how do you know when you have consumed too much weed? Well, first of all, because the experience stops being fun or relaxing and takes a dark turn, some of the effects can be:

  • Anxiety

  • Nausea

  • Dizziness

  • Panic

  • Paranoia

  • Confusion

  • Excessive Sweating

Why Greening Out Happens

The main psychoactive ingredient in marijuana, THC, interacts with the central nervous system, influencing our perception and mood. When consumed, THC activates cannabinoid receptors in the brain, causing the effects we usually associate with marijuana.

However, THC can overstimulate these receptors, causing an excessive release of neurotransmitters. A “green out” usually occurs when consumption exceeds the personal tolerance threshold.

Factors such as the potency of marijuana, individual tolerance, and the amount consumed, as well as time, can influence the severity and duration of these symptoms.

When I Get Too High, What Happens?

Let’s start by making something very clear: it is not possible to consume enough THC to die, nor does THC affect parts of the brain that could affect your breathing. It’s normal to feel shortness of breath and anxiety, but you’re not dying; it’s your beautiful brain doing mischief.

Remember that everything or almost everything is in your mind, because THC, which is responsible for the psychedelic effect, binds to the receptors of our endocannabinoid system.

Remember that continuing to use cannabis even when you have reached your limit will not get you higher; it will only make the experience less exciting, and you will waste valuable weed.

While typically not dangerous, greening out can bring about potential risks and side effects. It may trigger increased anxiety or panic attacks and possibly exacerbate pre-existing mental conditions in some cases.

Most of the symptoms pass when you give them time and the effect of the cannabis decreases, but if you feel like you are dying – spoiler alert: you are not -, using these tips can be very useful.

Useful Tips To Get Out Of A Greening Out

Photo by Eli Defaria

Take It Easy

You are fine and everything is going to be fine. Always remember that.

Most of the symptoms of “greening out” will dissipate in a matter of minutes or hours, with no lasting effects beyond a little drowsiness and something similar to a hangover.

Remember, there have been no recorded deaths from cannabis overdose in history, so despite how scared you may feel or how sweaty you may get, you won’t die from excessive consumption.

Breathe

Breathing is essential to staying calm and collected. Try to take deep inhalations and exhalations, don’t get upset, and remember that everything is temporary.

Conscious breathing can help you decrease your body’s alertness and return to normalcy more quickly.

Hydrate

Drinking beverages, preferably cold, will help lessen the side effects of consuming too much. This will help combat dry mouth and allow you to concentrate on a simple and familiar act: sipping and swallowing.

We are talking about drinking beverages that hydrate, and as a tip we likely all know that alcohol doesn’t fit the bill.

Consume Lemon

The taste of a lemon may be just what you need to recover after getting too high. Smelling and tasting it can be a great aid to sober up.

This is believed to be because of the terpene limonene, which is found in citrus fruits and many strains of cannabis.

Black Pepper

Believe it or not, black pepper is the number one ally when it comes to downing a cannabis high.

Just sniffing or chewing a few black peppercorns is enough to get almost instant relief. Although unproven, many of the terpenes in black pepper also appear in numerous cannabis strains, which may contribute to its calming effects.

Sleep

It may also seem obvious, but sleep is a perfect solution to many ailments. Including excessive cannabis consumption.

Find a quiet place, without many stimuli, where you can rest and breathe deeply. Remember that the intense discomfort you feel will pass. Breathe in deeply through your nose and out through your mouth.

Concentrate on the sound of your breathing and rest for a while.

Distract Yourself

There is a saying that a busy mind misses no one. Well, a busy mind doesn’t feel the side effects of consuming too much weed either.

Fun and entertaining activities are a great way to distract yourself while trying to get back to Earth. Try to keep activities on the friendly and warm spectrum. Your brain will focus on positive feelings and remind you that you are safe and well.

CBD

CBD is known to counteract the effects of smoking too much weed, plus it also serves to decrease anxiety and stress, which can be very helpful when you’re in a state of paranoia.

Also, because CBD does not bind to the CB1 receptors in the brain like THC, it can balance and reduce the intensity of the high.

Seek Professional Help

If none of these tips have helped and you feel that you are alarmingly unwell, seek help from a medical center. They are experts in health issues and if you tell them you are having a cannabis anxiety attack they will be able to give you a hand.

As a general rule, they cannot arrest you or take legal action against you for being too high.

Safeguarding Your Experience

Set limits for yourself. If you know before your cannabis session how far you can go, it will be easier to be in control and not overdo it.

Keep in mind that each type of product is metabolized differently; it is not the same to consume weed by taking two puffs of a joint as to eating a whole gummy infused with THC.

Reading the labels of the products and the recommendations on them gives a good idea of the starting point for determining how much to consume.

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