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Medically Reviewed By:
Nidra Sidhu, M.D. Integrative Medicine
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    What is Greening Out: Understanding the Risks and Symptoms

    Happy woman smiling

    As the legal cannabis industry continues to grow and expand, it's important for both recreational and medical users to understand the potential risks and negative effects of consuming too much cannabis.

    One of these negative effects is known as "greening out," which refers to the experience of feeling sick and uncomfortable after consuming too much THC, the psychoactive compound found in marijuana.

    But what exactly is greening out and how can it be prevented?

    In this article, we'll explore the causes and symptoms of greening out, as well as some tips for avoiding it and seeking medical attention if necessary.

    What Causes Greening Out?

    Greening out is typically caused by consuming too much THC, either through smoking or inhaling weed, consuming cannabis edibles, or using other cannabis products like oils or tinctures.

    It's important to note that every person reacts differently to cannabis and the effects of THC can vary widely based on factors such as tolerance, body weight, and metabolism.

    However, there are a few common factors that can increase the risk of greening out:

    Consuming cannabis on an empty stomach:

    THC is absorbed more rapidly in the body when there is no food in the stomach to slow down digestion.

    This can lead to a stronger and more intense high, which can increase the risk of greening out.

    Consuming high doses of THC:

    THC levels in cannabis products can vary widely, with some strains and products containing much higher levels of THC than others.

    Consuming high doses of THC, especially for those with a lower tolerance, can increase the risk of greening out.

    Using cannabis products that are more rapidly absorbed:

    Cannabis edibles and oils tend to be absorbed more slowly into the body than smoked or vaporized cannabis.

    However, some methods of consumption, such as sublingual tinctures or sprays, can be more rapidly absorbed and may increase the risk of greening out.

    Consuming cannabis with alcohol:

    Drinking alcohol while using cannabis can increase the risk of greening out, as the effects of both substances can be intensified.

    Symptoms of Greening Out

    The symptoms of greening out can vary widely, but some common symptoms include:

    Nausea and vomiting

    Mild hallucinations

    Dry mouth

    Altered state of consciousness

    Dizziness and lightheadedness

    These symptoms can be uncomfortable and may last for a few hours, but they are typically not life-threatening.

    However, it's important to seek medical attention if you experience severe or prolonged symptoms, or if you have a pre-existing medical condition that could be made worse by consuming too much THC.

    How to Prevent Greening Out

    There are several steps you can take to prevent greening out, especially if you are new to using cannabis or are trying a new product with a high THC content:

    Start with a low dose:

    If you are consuming edibles or using a cannabis product with a known THC content, start with a low dose and gradually increase until you find the right amount for you.

    Avoid consuming cannabis on an empty stomach:

    Eating a small meal before using cannabis can help to slow down the absorption of THC and reduce the risk of greening out.

    Avoid mixing cannabis with alcohol:

    As mentioned above, consuming cannabis and alcohol together can increase the risk of greening out.

    If you do choose to use both substances, be sure to do so in moderation and give yourself plenty of time to sober up before driving

    Tips for Managing Greening Out Symptoms

    If you do find yourself experiencing the symptoms of greening out, there are a few things you can do to make yourself feel more comfortable:

    Find a quiet, safe space:

    Try to find a comfortable place where you can relax and take deep breaths. This could be a bedroom, a couch, or even a quiet bathroom.

    Drink plenty of water:

    Greening out can cause dehydration, so it's important to stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water. Avoid sugary or caffeinated drinks, as these can make symptoms worse.

    Eat a small snack:

    If you are feeling nauseous, a small snack can help to settle your stomach. Good options include crackers, bread, or fruit.

    Try a natural remedy:

    Some people find that certain natural remedies, such as ginger or black pepper, can help to alleviate greening out symptoms.

    Seeking Medical Attention

    While greening out is usually not a life-threatening condition, it's important to seek medical attention if you experience severe or prolonged symptoms, or if you have a pre-existing medical condition that could be made worse by consuming too much THC.

    It's also important to seek medical attention if you have consumed cannabis with other drugs or alcohol, as this can increase the risk of adverse effects.

    Can You Green Out on Edibles?

    Yes, it is possible to green out on edibles. While edibles tend to be absorbed more slowly into the body than smoked or vaporized cannabis, the effects of THC can still be strong and long-lasting.

    In fact, some people find that the effects of edibles are even more intense than smoked or vaporized cannabis, which can increase the risk of greening out.

    There are a few factors that can increase the risk of greening out on edibles:

    Consuming edibles on an empty stomach:

    As mentioned earlier, THC is absorbed more rapidly in the body when there is no food in the stomach to slow down digestion.

    This can lead to a stronger and more intense high, which can increase the risk of greening out.

    Consuming high doses of THC:

    Edibles can be particularly potent, with some products containing very high levels of THC. Consuming high doses of THC, especially for those with a lower tolerance, can increase the risk of greening out.

    Why it's Important to Seek Medical Attention if You Think You Are Greening Out

    It's important to seek medical attention if you experience severe or prolonged symptoms, or if you have a pre-existing medical condition that could be made worse by consuming too much THC.

    If you have consumed cannabis with other drugs or alcohol, it's also important to seek medical attention.

    The combination of drugs or alcohol and cannabis can increase the risk of adverse effects, and it's important to be monitored by a medical professional in case any additional treatment is needed.

    If you are unsure whether you should seek medical attention, it's always better to be safe and get checked out by a healthcare professional.

    They will be able to assess your symptoms and determine the best course of action.

    Delta North

    What Is Greening out? - Summary

    Greening out is a common side effect of consuming too much THC, the psychoactive compound found in marijuana. It can cause uncomfortable symptoms such as nausea, stress, and altered consciousness, but is typically not life-threatening.

    To prevent greening out, it's important to start with a low dose of THC, avoid consuming cannabis on an empty stomach, and avoid mixing cannabis with alcohol. If you do experience greening out symptoms, try to find a quiet, safe space, drink plenty of water, and consider trying a natural remedy.

    If symptoms are severe or prolonged, or if you have a pre-existing medical condition, it's important to seek medical attention.

    author avatar
    Clayton McCall

    Clayton is a Senior Content Specialist, researcher, and holistic healthcare practitioner. Having been in the supplement industry for more than 15 years, Clayton brings a wealth of experience to the delta 8 space. His publications include alternative therapy, stress and coping, and alternative health.

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