What Is Greening Out?
Cannabis is an ancient and powerful plant that continues to provide users with enormous therapeutic effects for a variety of conditions including pain, inflammation, anxiety, seizures, and more.
Unfortunately, using cannabis can be a double-edged sword when overindulging or when consumed during the wrong circumstances producing a state of being called “greening out.”
What does greening out mean for someone who smokes weed or is a marijuana enthusiast? Well, it is simple. It means when someone who smokes marijuana consumes too much, especially in a situation where the cannabis strain used has a high level of THC. Of course, this won’t do any harm to you as overconsumption of hard drugs would do. However, it might make you not feel so good.
Greening Out & Accidental Overdose
Over the years, cannabis bud potency has increased dramatically. One study on the potency of cannabis products seized by the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) found that cannabis potency increased from about 4 percent THC in 1995 to about 12 percent in 2014.
In 2017, another study found that black market cannabis contained up to 17 percent THC. That’s not even considering cannabis extracts that contain between 80 and 90 percent THC.
In a cannabis industry that’s hyper-focused on breeding strains with the highest THC concentration possible, consumers are left to handle these powerful products on their own.
Myths surrounding cannabis still prevail making it harder to find accurate information about how to use cannabis and its many infused products.
For beginners, greening out can be a frightening right of passage that may scare them away from cannabis forever.
It’s never been easier to treat serious medical conditions with high-strength cannabis products, but this has also increased the risk of greening out for unsuspecting individuals or those less able to handle high doses of THC.
Some people will overdose accidentally while others will be so greedy or feel like they can manage to consume higher levels of THC. In some cases, some individuals might choose to consume higher doses of dabs or cannabis concentrates. This might include wax, hash oil and shatter. In addition, if you were drinking any form of alcoholic beverage prior to smoking weed, it makes the situation even worse as your rate of absorption would be doubled. Greening out is not good news for the person who has to maintain a job or other essential responsibilities.
Edibles are convenient and delicious infused products but are ripe for misuse. Consuming an entire brownie can be temping and doable, but can lead to a really bad experience if you’re a low-tolerance user.
Unlike smoking or vaping, which provides users with fast-acting effects, eating infused edibles takes about an hour for the onset of effects. Inexperienced or impatient users may end up taking more than the desired amount before fully knowing their tolerance.
Plus, beginners can have a hard time dosing or figuring out how much they can handle.
Following some common edible consumption guidelines can keep you, your friends, and your family safe from greening out in any situation.
Greening Out Symptoms
When greening out occurs, the CB2 and CB1 receptors are activated by the level of THC via the endocannabinoid system, affecting the body, but especially the brain and other bodily functions. It might also affect your concentration, memory, appetite, and coordination. Greening out is the opposite of experiencing that perfect high. It gives an unpleasant feeling, physically and mentally. You can also feel some type of paranoia, lack of energy, lack of mobility and even anxiety. Other things such as dry mouth, shaking, cold chills, burning eyes, upset stomach, and disorientation could be noticeable indicators of greening out.
Fortunately, greening out sounds worse than it really is. It’s extremely unlikely to cause death directly, but can worsen some pre-existing conditions such as cardiovascular problems due to an increased heart rate.
For those on sedating medication, cannabis can further enhance the sedation, which can slow down breathing.
Greening out symptoms are generally mild, but we won’t rule out the possibility of death as was the case for a Denver man who fell to death after eating cannabis-infused cookies.
Starting with low doses and gradually building up to your desired effects can keep you safe and happy.
Common Occurrences of Being Greened Out
Unfortunately, greening out has gotten more common. The side effects are negative. The body is going to react to the high level of THC that will get into the bloodstream. You won’t have a fatal reaction to your overconsumption, but you may get physically sick to your stomach. There are certain tips that you can follow to avoid over-consuming marijuana or greening out. Let’s take a look at what you should do, if you had too much cannabis edibles to eat or if you did not have the discipline to stop when you should.
Surviving the Green Out
If you are in the middle of greening out, you should never go into panic mode. Don’t get too anxious because the feelings will eventually pass. If you get too worried or panicky, then the situation will get worse. Give it a few hours or at least 24 hours for the feelings to go away, after which you will bounce back to your usual self. In the meantime, while you wait, there are certain things you can do such as taking medication, relaxing, not freaking out and going for a walk to free your mind. Getting up and moving around will help diminish the greening out phase! If you can muster the focus, try taking a few deep and slow breaths through your nose and out your mouth. Close your eyes if needed to become mindful of how you’re feeling. If you don’t feel too silly doing it, try singing and belting out a few tunes. Research shows that singing can release endorphins that can make you feel happy and at ease.
As far as hydration goes, opt for good old H2O or some juice or caffeine-free tea.
If these tips are futile, try lying down in a quiet and safe space and closing your eyes. Anxiety can make it hard to take a nap and fall asleep, which could help you speed through the green out. If you’re feeling too anxious to sleep, lie down and listen to some relaxing music, white noise, or anything else that will calm you down.
Sleep or music not working? Try the complete opposite. Exercise can improve your blood flow and reduce stress, albeit, exercise can also release THC from fat cells.
Feeling hot and anxious? Cool down with a refreshing shower or bath.
Massaging your tense muscles can also help bring you down from your bad experience.
Other Things to Consider
It is also important to take deep breaths while you are lying down and relaxing. Next, you should try to dehydrate yourself by drinking lots of liquid (juice and water). Make sure you put something in your stomach (food). Using black pepper or pepper kernel is a good way to reduce the intense high that marijuana smoking produces. This is what really works the most. CBD oil is another solution if you have any handy around the house. CBD is thought to mitigate the negative side effects of taking too much THC.Get sufficient rest and if you still do not feel well after all of this, make your way to a nearby hospital. Let the doctors at the hospital know exactly what happened to you.
How to Take Care of Someone Who Is Greening Out?
If your friend is the one who is having a bad trip after consuming too much cannabis, there are a few things you can do to reduce panic levels and keep the situation under control.
First, reassure your friend that everything will be alright and the negative side effects will soon pass. Amidst the paranoia and hallucinations, your friend may act in a bizarre manner.
Remain with them throughout the entire time, if possible, to keep them safe and worry-free. If you’re in a crowded or unfamiliar place, it’s best to take your friend to a safe place where they feel comfortable and at home.
Help them into a comfortable seating or lying position and bring them some water to satiate their thirst and get rid of the dry mouth.
If the situation gets too out of hand and your friend is feeling very sick, don’t hesitate to call emergency services.
Greening Out vs. Cannabinoid Hyperemesis Syndrome (CHS)
It’s important to make a distinction between greening out and cannabinoid hyperemesis syndrome (CHS), a fairly misunderstood and controversial condition that can cause extreme vomiting, nausea, and stabbing pains in the chest and abdomen.
When you’re feeling the pangs of anxiety and nausea collide, you may be paranoid and disconcert yourself by thinking you have CHS.
CHS is a rare condition, which was first thought to be caused by long-term and heavy cannabis use, but there is limited evidence to support this hypothesis.
CHS continues to elude researchers. As a consumer, you can protect yourself by being aware of the symptoms and knowing the difference between greening out and something more serious.
After you have reduced the high, be sure to go on a sabbatical from greening out, meaning you will not consume any more weed for at least three days to a week. If you want to know more about greening out and THC levels, go to the Cannabis Training University now.
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