Those who have taken an almighty dab or eaten one too many cannabis cookies may know the dreaded feeling of “greening out.” Greening out is marijuana’s version of the more common “blacking out,” which usually references a night of overindulgence in alcohol, the ensuing mayhem, and the following morning’s amnesia. While the effects are not usually as detrimental as a blackout, spending even a few hours greened out can still be stressful.
What is Greening Out?
Greening out refers to the general symptoms of being too high. It can manifest itself as a combination of negative effects including paranoia, anxiety, nausea, dizziness, and increased heart rate. The negative experience is brought on by an overload of THC. Novice smokers are especially susceptible to greening out as their tolerance for cannabis is much lower.
Today, we are going to explore a few ways to prevent a green out from occurring, and what to do if you feel some uncomfortable cannabis side effects coming on.
Ditch the Blunt Wraps
If you are trying to avoid feeling sick, then mixing substances is never a good idea. Blunt wraps are commonly made of tobacco leaves. The effects of tobacco and cannabis can often mix poorly and amplify any feelings of greening out. This is especially true for non-cigarette smokers. Blunts can also contain a large amount of cannabis which can easily lead to overconsumption.
Those who enjoy the heavy blunt smoke may benefit from tobacco-free alternatives like King Palm’s Cordia Leaf Pre-Rolled Cones. The palm leaf cones provide the same slow-burning effects of blunt wraps without the harshness of tobacco. They come in a variety of sizes to accommodate everyone in the cannabis community. And with these wraps, there’s no rolling necessary. Just pack it and you’re good to go.
Know Your Tolerance
You can prevent the overconsumption of THC and its negative effects by knowing your tolerance. If you are an infrequent smoker, the likelihood of greening out is greatly increased. Taking even one heroic dab or giant bong rip has a high chance of causing a green out.
Setting limits ahead of time can help you monitor your intake. Give yourself a set amount of time between puffs to make sure you can handle another one.
Hydrate and Fuel Up
Dehydration can magnify the effects of greening out, so water should be used as both preventative and diagnostic care. Health experts commonly recommend the consumption of at least 8 glasses of water a day. If you aren’t hitting that mark, you may increase your chances of greening out.
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Having a meal can also help prevent your bud from hitting you too hard. You know your body best, but sometimes a warm plate of your favorite comfort food can be the best medicine.
If you are already experiencing a green out episode, drinking a glass of water is sure to give you a boost in the right direction. In the same vein, giving in to the munchies and having a meal will usually ease your body.
Beware of the Edibles
Edibles have the potential to cause some of the worst green out situations. Edibles can take two or more hours to really take effect. For this reason, some people assume that the cannabis-infused cookie they ate wasn’t very strong and decide to eat another one. Then, a double-dose of effects hits at once, often rendering them immobile or asleep.
You can avoid this unfortunate situation by being extra cautious of edibles and the amount of THC you are consuming. When possible, edibles purchased from dispensaries are the safest to use. They have been precisely tested for THC content so you know exactly what you are consuming. Most cannabis-infused goods produced at home don’t offer this comforting knowledge, so they may be stronger than you originally intended.
CBD and Terpenes
Although not quite confirmed, many theories and anecdotal evidence point to CBD’s ability to reduce the negative effects of THC overconsumption. Puffing on strains that contain substantial amounts of both CBD and THC can help prevent greening out. The effects of cannabis seem to be at their best when all of the plant’s components are present. This phenomenon is referred to as the “entourage effect.”
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Similarly, certain terpenes are known to help soothe the effects of greening out. One of these terpenes, Caryophyllene, is found in black pepper and certain strains of weed. It is noted for its herbal, woody aromas and has been found to calm cannabis-induced anxiety. If you begin feeling nauseous or anxious after smoking, eating a snack with black pepper (or even just smelling the spice) may help calm you.
Change Your Environment
Your surroundings will often play a big role in causing a green out. If you feel any negative effects coming on, you may want to change your environment. Stepping out into nature or just laying down in a quiet room can help calm your senses, especially if you were previously in a loud party environment. Likewise, breathing in some fresh air will certainly put your mind at ease (especially if you were previously sitting in a hot-boxed room).
If all else fails, just sleep it off. A nice, long nap will almost always do the trick. Be careful though, as your body may want more sleep than you are used to!
Wash It Away
If you’ve already begun to feel the effects of a green out, a steamy shower may be all you need to calm down. In a similar fashion, a cool shower will come to the aid of those who experience the sweats during a green out. Either way, you will usually come out feeling calmed and refreshed.
Marijuana provides people with relief and joy. But like any good thing, too much of it may have negative effects. Next time you’re about to embark on an epic smoke session, consider your tolerance and current hydration levels before sparking up. Take precautionary measures like avoiding tobacco, eating well, and monitoring your THC intake so you can avoid greening out.
This article originally appeared on Green Market Report and has been reposted with permission.