Overdosing on cannabis is extremely unlikely. But just because cannabis doesn’t send as many people to the hospital as other controlled substances doesn’t mean you can’t take too much. And experience awful symptoms as a result. In fact, they have a name for it: greening out.
Chances are you may have already experienced being “too high” and – rightfully – hated it. Here are eight common signs that you might be experiencing greening out.
Nausea might be one of the first symptoms you experience when you have too much THC in your system. Some people feel a mild upset stomach. Others get severe nausea, particularly if they have consumed cannabis products like edibles with high amounts of THC or taken higher concentrated cannabis.
If you or someone you know is experiencing extreme nausea and uncontrollable vomiting, head to the emergency room right away. Scromiting (scream vomiting) isn’t just an urban legend. It’s a critical set of symptoms that require medical assistance.
Feeling like you have the spins? That symptom isn’t unique to drinking too much alcohol. Too much weed can do it to you, too. And it’s the kind of dizziness that can almost paralyze you. Not physically paralyze you, but make you feel so uncomfortable that you don’t want to move.
So, if cannabis can ease pain, inflammation, and make you feel happy and relaxed, how can it make you feel dizzy too? Well, for starters, your heart rate increases, and so does your blood pressure, symptoms that can also trigger dizziness.
Some individuals may also experience a feeling of lightheadedness, akin to the sensation of being on a spinning ride. If you find yourself lightheaded, it’s advisable to sit or lie down and allow the sensation to pass.
Check out our resource page for more information on cannabis-induced dizziness and how to help ease the symptoms. Talk to your doctor if you experience this symptom of dizziness often.
Hear that sound? No? Is someone at the front door? Did you lock your car in the parking lot? The symptoms of paranoia only seem insignificant and mildly entertaining if you are not the one experiencing them. Otherwise, the anxiety and paranoia can feel like a full-blown panic attack when you are greening out.
Some strains that have a reputation for causing cannabis-induced paranoia are:
Delta-9 Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) creates neurological and hallucinatory effects. Cannabis-triggered paranoia can reflect things of which we are subliminally afraid.
For years, cultivators have been attempting to breed paranoia out of popular strains. Some of the most expensive strains are ones that have a low to no probability of creating paranoid feelings. Remember to research your strain carefully. Strains with higher CBD content may also help counteract the anxiety and paranoia associated with THC.
If you find yourself in the grips of anxiety or paranoia while greening out, creating a safe space can help. Find a quiet, familiar environment where you feel comfortable, and consider engaging in calming activities to ease the intensity of these feelings.
And remember that your mood and stressors can also trigger paranoid feelings, no matter what strain you use. Try to only use cannabis when you’re in a good headspace if possible.
Greening out can also caused slurred speech and inability to remember what you were talking about. Experiencing communication difficulties or cognitive impairment is an indicator that you may have consumed too much cannabis. It’s important to be aware of these signs to gauge the intensity of cannabis intoxication and take appropriate measures for recovery.
Sure, if you chose an indica strain that has a high probability of causing couchlock, you expect to get sleepy. But sometimes, feeling tired is also a sign of cannabis intoxication – or more THC than your body can manage.
So, why is your brain calling a system-wide shutdown? It needs to focus. One of the adaptive mechanisms of the brain, when it is dealing with a crisis, is to sedate the body and stop you from moving (and potentially injuring yourself). The brain does a full diagnostic to determine where the damage is and what to do about it.
If you have been smoking a high-potency Sativa that is supposed to create euphoria, energy, and alertness, and suddenly want to curl up and go to sleep, it’s a sign of intoxication. And falling asleep, depending on your condition, may not be the best or safest idea. Sit up, try to stay awake, and fuel yourself with snacks and plenty of water.
Keep in mind that certain cannabis strains may influence blood sugar levels, contributing to feelings of fatigue. Understanding how different strains affect your body can help manage potential side effects.
Sure, we all experience “cotton mouth” from time to time. But dry mouth is a real symptom. However, it’s not caused by the heat or dryness of the smoke. Your mouth feeling like the Sahara Desert has to do with the production of saliva reducing, thanks to your cannabinoid receptors. It may also mean you are greening out.
Inside the beloved healing herb are almost 100 different cannabinoids. And your body has cannabinoid receptors everywhere. You’d almost think humans were designed to benefit from cannabis or something.
Some of the cannabinoids in the cannabis you ingested trigger receptors in your saliva glands. The Submandibular saliva glands make over 75% of the saliva in our mouth. Cannabis can make your brain send a message through the parasympathetic nervous system (brain-to-body hotline) to these glands that cause saliva production to slow down.
Some strains of cannabis are notorious for causing cotton mouth when you are greening out include:
If you are experiencing extreme dry mouth, and you have an aloe plant? You are in luck! Take the natural aloe gel and stir it into a glass of water, swish, and then drink. This aloe beverage can help restore moisture and counteract dry mouth.
Pro Tip: Don’t forget to drink water when you’re smoking! Staying hydrated can significantly alleviate the discomfort of dry mouth associated with greening out.
Smoke some weed or take a tincture, and you are going to feel your heart rate escalate. For some people, the feeling may not be noticeable. For others, it can feel like your heart is going to pound out of your chest. And it all depends on the potency of the cannabis and your tolerance for cannabinoids. Also, it can be a sign of greening out.
Several clinical studies also suggest that the risk of having a heart attack may be several times higher after ingesting or inhaling cannabis. Harvard Health shares a study by a researcher named Dr. Mukamal that suggests smoking marijuana can increase “long-term death rates among heart attack survivors.” And the incident rates of atrial fibrillation and ischemic stroke increase also. Particularly for people who engage in concentrated high-potency marijuana use.
Additionally, combining cannabis use with drinking alcohol can intensify the effects on heart rate. The interaction between cannabinoids and alcohol can result in a more pronounced increase in heart rate, leading to heightened cardiovascular effects.
Amidst the potential anxiety and elevated heart rate, a simple practice like taking deep breaths can offer relief. Inhale slowly, hold, and exhale—allowing the calming rhythm to counterbalance the physiological impact of cannabis.
Understanding the potential impact of smoking weed on cardiovascular health is crucial, especially for individuals with pre-existing heart conditions.
If you prefer vaping, be mindful that this method can also contribute to an increase in heart rate. Understanding the impact of different consumption methods is crucial in managing potential side effects.
Cannabis can make your body temperature drop. So, if your teeth start chattering and you reach for your hoodie, it’s not all in your head. It’s in your CB1 and CB2 cannabinoid receptors.
It is in your head, in terms of where the signal starts in the hypothalamus. This is the area in the front of the brain that controls some of the signals for the autonomic nervous system. Those are reactions to your body that happen so fast; they are automatic, like hunger, drowsiness, thirst, and body temperature.
Fun fact? Smoking cannabis on a hot day could help cool you off. Cannabis jives with the vanilloid receptors (TRPA-1 etc.). Receptors in the body register cannabis as something that could increase the body temperature and so there is an initiative-taking response to chill out.
People who use concentrates often experience something called “dab sweats.” After you take a dab hit, typically, you cough. If you take a hit that is way too big off your dabber, you are going to cough a lot. And that is usually where the dab sweats come in.
The cough is an attempt to get some of the THC out of your body. And so are the sweats. So, if you start coughing and sweating, pay attention to what your body is telling you. You are greening out and need to take some steps to help your body recover. Before you get some of the other unpleasant symptoms of cannabis overload.
In the process of recovery from greening out, allowing your body a gentle detox can be beneficial. Hydrate well, nourish your body with balanced meals, and give time for the cannabis to naturally leave your system.
Even experienced cannabis users can experience serious symptoms of greening out. But most often, it is people who don’t have a lot of experience using it that overestimate their natural tolerance level. And head into the danger zone of getting uncomfortable and “too high.”
There are some situations where you may, in fact, want to head to the clinic or your nearest emergency room. Especially if you feel like you could experience life-threatening symptoms or hallucinogenic effects that put you, or someone else, in danger. Seek help immediately, especially if you have certain mental health conditions for which cannabis is not recommended.
Individuals with pre-existing medical conditions should be particularly cautious and consult with a healthcare professional before using cannabis. It’s crucial to be aware of how cannabis may interact with existing medical conditions to avoid potential complications.
Never leave someone who has smoked or ingested too much cannabis alone. Just like alcohol intoxication, nausea and vomiting present a choking hazard. If someone loses consciousness, seek emergency medical help. And always make sure someone is lying on their side (not their back or face down) if they are experiencing severe cannabis-induced nausea.
Responsible cannabis use is crucial in avoiding the pitfalls of overconsumption. Understanding your tolerance, choosing appropriate strains, and being aware of your surroundings can contribute to a safer and more enjoyable experience.