By Luke Sumpter

People smoke weed to relax, laugh, enjoy food, and hang out. Most of the time, the herb provides a pleasant high that makes the simple things in life more pleasurable. But this isn’t always the case.

Sometimes, smoking weed can backfire. Hitting too many bong bowls or eating one too many edibles can easily make us feel uncomfortable, extremely sleepy, and put us on our backs.

Known as greening out, this physical state really does suck. Learn e verything about it below, from what it feels like to how to prevent it.

What Does Greening Out Mean?

Greening out, also known as “whiteying”, refers to the physical side effects of consuming too much THC, in a short period of time. Sometimes smoking when your body is tired or with an empty stomach can also provoke it.

Small doses relax the body and enhance the senses. Medium doses offer new perspectives and ramp up the appetite. It’s the large doses that pose the risk of greening out.

Upon consuming too much cannabis, the body starts to feel detrimental effects. During this experience, users “green out”. As well as feeling mentally uneasy, greening out also comes with a list of physical symptoms, including upset stomach and elevated heart rate.

When Does Greening Out Happen?

Greening out can happen to any smoker, no matter their experience. However, beginners are much more prone to greening out than veteran smokers. These are the most common causes for greening out:

  • Beginner error: Those new to cannabis are still discovering how weed acts on their body. It takes some time to find that individual sweet spot. During that pursuit, they’re likely to smoke too much too quick and green out. Smoking with an empty stomach is also a cause for Greening Out.
  • Veterans that push the boundaries: Seasoned cannabis users are much less likely to green out. However, they are more likely to push past their boundaries. Veterans looking for new highs opt for dabs and high-powered edibles. When trying these for the first time, greening out is a strong possibility.
  • Edibles: Edibles are very different to smoking cannabis. The intense and long-lasting high hits much harder. Almost every cannabis user greens out during their first couple of edibles experiences.

When Does Greening Out Happen?

What Does Greening Out Look Like?

During a green out, you’ll likely experience some of these common symptoms that accompany it:

  • Upset stomach, nausea and vomiting: Too much THC can affect the belly, especially if you fell prey to the munchies before greening out. This uneasy feeling passes in most cases but can result in being sick if you’ve gone way overboard with the blunts.
  • Shaking, sweating, pallor: Muscle shakes and twitches can happen after consuming THC, most commonly in the legs. Sweating and loss of colourin the face, hence the term "whitey", are possible as well.
  • Tiredness: Chances are you’ve passed out on the couch countless times when smoking weed. High levels of THC and sleepy terpenes like myrcene are enough to lull you off to sleep, even in a lively environment.
  • Lightheadedness: Have you ever been so high that the room starts spinning? Cannabis can affect blood pressure, and smoking a ton of THC can cause a sudden drop.

How Long Will Greening Out Last?

How long you green out depends on how much weed you consumed, and how you took it.

The effects of smoked/vaped cannabis peak at around 30 minutes, and usually last 1–2 hours. At most, you’ll feel the effects of greening out for around 1 hour at their full intensity before they begin to wane.

How Long Will Greening Out Last?

Edible cannabis lasts much longer and takes users on a more intense ride. The effects last between 6–8 hours, and greening out from edibles can last for the majority of this time.

How Long Will Greening Out Last?

  • Long-Term Effects of Greening Out

The good news: greening out is temporary. Once you’re done feeling sick, shaking, or napping, you’ll wake up the next morning feeling restored and refreshed. If anything, it’s a welcome change from the devastating effects of an alcohol hangover!

What To Do When Someone Is Greening Out

Although temporary, greening out sucks. If you've experienced it before, you probably asked yourself, “Am I going to die!?”.

Sure, it feels terrible, but you’re going to be fine. Plus, there are a few things you can do to help yourself, or your friend, feel better during a green out. Use the tips below to minimise the uncomfortable effects.

Stay Calm
Freaking out makes greening out much worse. Instead of needlessly panicking and questioning your mortality, take it easy. Stop smoking, get some fresh air, and talk to a friend if you need some reassurance.
Sit or Lie Down
Feel like you're about to pass out? Listen to your body. Sit down and relax, or lie down on the couch or in your bed. Play a comedy podcast, close your eyes, and wait for the unpleasant sensations to end. Pro tip: they will!
Take Deep Breaths
Breathing has a powerful effect on our nervous system and the way we perceive danger. When you’re too high, you’ll find yourself taking short and shallow breaths, an action that tells your body you're in trouble.

To counter this, take long and deep breaths, hold them in for a count of three, and exhale slowly. Breathing like this literally hacks the nervous system and lets your reptilian mind know that you’re all good.
Eat or Drink Something Sugary
Smoking cannabis can lead to a drop in blood sugar. While beneficial for some, it can cause you to crash, especially if you skipped breakfast. Low blood sugar alone feels terrible. Adding an intense high into the mix can really mess with your head.

Sip on a cool glass of fruit juice, or tuck into some sugary snacks to boost your blood sugar levels and balance yourself out.
Try a Few Drops of CBD
CBD clears the mind and settles the soul. The non-psychotropic cannabinoid works wonders at taming a high that you didn’t sign up for. Take a few drops and hold them under your tongue for a minute for rapid absorption into the bloodstream.
Wait It Out
After using the tips above, you simply need to exercise your patience. Listen to some inspiring music, watch a comedy, or talk to someone you trust. Within an hour or so, you’ll feel so much better.

Tips for Avoiding a Green Out

Avoiding a green out all boils down to being sensible. Know your body and how it reacts to weed. If you’re new to cannabis, respect the herb. Follow these guidelines to enjoy smoking weed:

Go easy
When smoking, take things one hit at a time. Wait a few minutes and see how you feel. If you’re suitably high, then enjoy the ride. If you’re not quite there yet, indulge a little more.
Choose your strains wisely
Strain selection also plays a big role. You might want to leave the high-THC flowers to your experienced friends. Try a strain with equal parts THC and CBD for a balanced effect that won’t overwhelm you.
Are you only going for a quick smoke? Or are you planning on wolfing down an edible and chilling for the next day? Plan appropriately for the kind of session you want. Bring some water, some sugary foods, and some high-quality CBD oil. If you’re going to the woods, you better remember to pack a hammock!

Can You Die From Greening Out?

Absolutely not. It might feel like it at the time, but just remember it’s going to end within an hour or so (a few hours with edibles). Use the tips above to make the experience as easy as possible and prevent this feeling in the future. Cannabis should be a fun treat, not a dreaded chore. Treat the herb with respect, and you’ll have the time of your life.

Promoting Responsible Cannabis UseRQS emphasizes the importance of responsible cannabis consumption.

While many individuals use cannabis frequently without complications, some may be susceptible to developing adverse behaviours. We believe the herb should enhance one’s life, not hinder it.

Responsible use involves limiting consumption to adults only, refusing to operate cars or machinery while under the influence, and making an effort to resist abuse.

Stay Cultivated.

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