Written By: Daniel Cina
We all love being as elevated as the clouds, but like Icarus flying through the sky ,we sometimes get too close to the sun. Like anything in life overconsumption can have some negative effects that will turn your awesome smoke session with the buds into a not so nice time and this can be attributed to what the stoner community calls a green out.
What Is A Green Out
A green out occurs when there is an overconsumption of cannabis and some other other factors listed below. They key thing they all share however is that it is more than your system can handle. It is typically something that is more associated with those who are less experienced with cannabis, but an incredibly potent strain or overconsumption can still cause a green out for more seasoned stoners.
Greenouts can also happen when you begin to smoke cannabis after heavily drinking. Now some do enjoy and can handle being “cross-faded” but it is a very fine line to walk as it does increase the green out chances. It is important to note that UNLESS you have an existing medical condition or have mixed your cannabis with hard drugs or medications, green outs are non-life threatening by themselves.
Being aware of their causes is vital to you being able to help yourself by avoiding green outs, which while mostly non-life threatening from my own personal experience I can say are still not a fun thing to be experiencing. Here’s a quick list of the causes so you can know what to avoid.
- Being sleep deprived
- Not knowing your tolerance for cannabis
- Smoking Cannabis or taking edibles when drunk on alcohol
- Overconsumption of cannabis
- Not being properly hydrated and not having enough calories in your system(don’t smoke on an empty stomach)
- Smoking a Very Potent Strain
- Reacting with the wrong terpene(terpenes influence certain psychoactive effects when smoking cannabis. Learn about it more in our Indica vs. Sativa and Terpenes articles)
Symptoms Of a Green Out
Green outs are fairly easy to spot and when they happen they symptoms can be as follows..
- Turning a greenish pale color (hence the term green out)
- Disorientation and blurry vision
- Mobile impairment of bodily functions (arms and legs feel very heavy and can’t be moved)
- Potential Mild Hallucinations (I have never personally seen this one happen but it does exist)
- Trouble hearing
- Unstable balance
- Paranoia, Anxiety, and Panic Attacks
- Dizzy and Lightheadedness
- Losing the Ability to Focus
- Increased Heart Rate
- Decrease In Blood Sugar
- Nausea and some cases extreme vomiting (this is not as common as medical cannabis is often prescribed to alleviate nausea and vomiting, and why many cancer patients use medical cannabis to cope with chemotherapy)
How To Cure A Green Out
Just know that green outs happen and it’s okay, they happen to everyone. Not all of these symptoms happen at once when a green out occurs. Everyone reacts differently to cannabis and handles it differently. Some may only experience a couple of these symptoms while others may experience enough to cause them to reflect on their relationship with cannabis. It is so extremely important to know yourself and your limits with cannabis to avoid green outs.
I say this because truthfully there is no one-all miracle cure to instantly cure your green out, the symptoms of them can only be mitigated until they pass. So unfortunately for all of us the only cure is time, but depending on the severity of the green out the symptoms can be managed with a good degree of success. Here is a list of the ways you can mitigate the symptoms of a green out so you are equipped should one occur with you or a smoke buddy.
- Be In Your Happy Place: You will feel more at ease smoking in familiar and safe spaces which can help reduce paranoia and anxiety
- Grab Your Bud Buddy: smoke with friends and people you trust to reduce social anxiety and help you feel safe. Peer pressure can lead to a green out, so don’t let it get to you and enjoy your cannabis when you are ready.
- Nothing Lasts Forever: For some a green out can be a few minutes and for others it could be a few hours. The minutes may even feel like hours, but that’s cannabis folks. Just try to remind yourself that it won’t last forever and try to stay calm
- Hydrate Hydrate Hydrate: Yes I wrote it three times because it’s that important. You should always be hydrated when consuming cannabis, but if a green out occurs sipping water is a good way to stay calm and further rehydrate yourself. In cases where you feel a dip in blood sugar then you can sip some juice as well, but I personally just stick to water
- The Art of Distraction: Distracting yourself or someone else from the fact that they are greened out is a great way to help mitigate symptoms. Watching your favorite stoner movie, jamming to some relaxing music, or doing something simple that you enjoy offers great relaxation to help mitigate symptoms
- Take A Breather– If you feel the need then lying down is a great way to mitigate a green out. If you can get some sleep. This is often tough with more psychoactive cannabis, so if you can’t sleep simply close your eyes and meditate and recenter yourself and breathing (queue relaxing music) to help feel more calm and at peace.
- Home Remedies: Two famous home remedies are chewing on lemon rinds or black peppercorns when experiencing a green out. These two methods do actually have some science behind them as they contain the natural terpenes caryophyllene and limonene which can have some calming effects.
- Grab a Bite: Eating food is one of the quintessential methods to sobering up and it also applies to cannabis. I would personally recommend avoiding food that has a high fat content when you’re eating to cure a green out. I recommend snacking on smaller, simpler, more digestible foods that will absorb into your system quicker and more effectively such as nuts, berries, fruit, carrots, toast etc.
- Don’t Panic Over Something Organic: Remind yourself that cannabis is an organic substance that is virtually impossible to overdose on. You are not going to die from cannabis your brain would not physically allow it. So stay calm and remember that you are going to be fine.
As I stated earlier, green outs happen, it simply is what it is. They are nothing to be embarrassed about or something to be ashamed of as a stoner who has told you they’ve never had one is 99% percent chance lying to you. You just need to know yourself as someone who enjoys cannabis and you need to know your limit so you can mitigate the severity and occurrence of your green outs to avoid an overall bad time.
It’s also not a bad idea to occasionally scale down the thc percentage of your cannabis if you have been prone to green out or if you are a beginner with cannabis. You don’t need to smoke fat bowls of high percentage stuff all the time to feel a potent elevation. A much more sustainable smoking strategy that helps avoiding green outs is to smoke a larger number of smaller amounts so you can manage and mitigate your elevation in increments. Some lower percentage THC strains to try that can help mitigate your elevation and are available at your local Nectar would be Zamoa Cookies, Mangolicious, and Purple Wreck.
Be sure to take care of yourself and those around you when enjoying cannabis. Most importantly be sure to respect the herb you are smoking otherwise it’ll be the snack that smacks back with a vibe-ruining green out. I hope this information will help you keep your vibe intact, and keep your elevation enjoyable. Happy toking!