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With the growing acceptance and accessibility of marijuana, it is crucial to understand that despite its many wonderful health benefits and widely advertised – and true – safety, there are potential mild risks associated with marijuana use. One such rare risk is “greening out.”


But, what does greening out mean? Is it just one of the many pieces of jargon in the cannabis community?


In this article, we’ll answer that and explore other essential questions like “How long does greening out usually last?” and “What are the greening out symptoms?”

What Does Greening Out Mean?

Greening out, also known as a whitey or a green-out, refers to the adverse reactions from consuming more marijuana than your body can handle.


It typically happens when a user consumes a higher potency or dosage of marijuana that they are not used to.


Greening out is a play on the term “blackout,” so you could call it a marijuana blackout. Also, it’s more likely to occur in new users or users who don’t consume marijuana often and don’t know their limits.


Consumers taking edibles for the first time may also green out because edibles can be very potent.

Is Greening Out Overdosing?

Now that we’ve answered the question: “What does greening out mean?” You may wonder if greening out is the same as overdosing. Well, not particularly.


Overdosing usually conjures images of near-fatal or fatal overdose incidents after someone uses harmful substances like opioids.


Greening out is typically used to refer to a marijuana overdose, but deaths or severe injuries from a marijuana overdose are very rare.


So, unlike synthetic substances that cause injury and death from overdose, marijuana is natural and safe.


If you green out, you’ll live to see another day and probably laugh about it.

Factors that Contribute to Greening Out

“What is greening out?” is out of the way. Now, you need to understand the factors that can cause it.


Greening out is hard to predict because everyone’s endocannabinoid system is different, and we all process marijuana differently.


However, factors that can make you experience greening out symptoms include the following:

Potency of the Product You Consume

The potency of the marijuana refers to how much THC it contains, and the higher the potency of marijuana consumed, the more likely you are to experience greening out symptoms.


THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) is the psychoactive compound in marijuana responsible for the “highness.”

Your Tolerance Level

Tolerance refers to how your body reacts to marijuana. When someone uses marijuana regularly, their body becomes accustomed to the cannabinoids in the plant. With time, the body adjusts to the presence of THC, and the same dose that once produced noticeable effects may become less potent. 


Users who consume marijuana often are less likely to experience greening out symptoms.


On the other hand, novice users or those with low marijuana tolerance are more susceptible. 

How You Consume It

Different methods of consuming marijuana can have varying effects. Inhalation methods such as smoking or vaping produce more immediate and potent results than edibles or topicals.


Edibles can take up to two hours before you feel the effects, and beginners may accidentally overindulge, thinking it’s not potent because they don’t feel the effects immediately. 


With inhalation methods, users will likely stop consuming marijuana when they feel heavy effects. However, because the effects are not immediate with edibles, greening out is more likely to occur. 

Setting and Your State of Mind

The environment and the user’s state of mind also contribute to the greening out experience.


You’re most likely to consume high amounts of marijuana if you’re in the company of friends who are heavy consumers. You could get caught up in the fun and forget your limits.


Also, if you’re taking marijuana to deal with stress, anxiety, or fatigue, you may go overboard and consume too much because you’re seeking instant or deep relief.


Marijuana does provide relief for the symptoms of stress and anxiety, and fatigue, but you must stick to your limits.

Alcohol Consumption

You’re more likely to experience greening out symptoms if you consume marijuana and alcohol together because alcohol increases the absorption of cannabinoids. 

How Long Does Greening Out Usually Last?

There’s no standard time for how long greening out lasts, but it typically lasts for the duration of your high.


Different factors affect the duration of your high, including method of consumption, tolerance, metabolism, and quantity consumed.


Typically, high from smoking or vaping lasts for one to three hours and up to eight hours on some occasions.


A high from edibles last much longer, as much as twenty-four hours. You may still feel groggy one or two days after you green out.

What Does Greening Out Feel Like?

As a curious and savvy user, you’ll naturally wonder, “What does greening out feel like?”


Admittedly, greening out is an unpleasant experience, and you may panic, but the effects will wear off with time, and you’ll return to your usual self.


It is normal to feel distressed when you green out, but it’s all temporary. Read on for our explanation of how to stop greening out.

Greening Out Symptoms

We can’t answer “what is greening out” without telling you the symptoms.

If you consume more marijuana than your body can handle, you are likely to experience the following symptoms:


  • Anxiety
  • Dizziness 
  • Elevated heart rate
  • Hallucination
  • Mobility loss
  • Nausea and vomiting 
  • Numbness
  • Sweating

How to Stop Greening Out

If you green out, it is essential for you to stay calm and don’t panic. The effects will eventually wear out, but you can do the following things to make it wear off faster or make the greening-out period easier on you: 

Lie Down in a Quiet, Comfortable Place

Get away from the noise and pick a nice comfortable place to lie down. Noise and physical discomfort can increase your panic, which you don’t want.


Also, avoid bright lights, and keep a bowl by your side in case you feel sick and want to throw up.

Drink Lots of Water

Poor hydration can worsen the greening out symptoms, so drink enough water. Water can help stabilize your internal systems and flush the marijuana out of your body faster.

Take a Sugary Snack

If you green out, you must keep your blood sugar stable. Snack on a sugary treat that is easy to digest, like fruits or crackers.

Perform Breathing Exercises

Panic is one of the most prominent greening out symptoms, but you can counter it with breathing exercises. Close your eyes and take long, deep breaths to help steady yourself. 


Call for Help

Your green-out phase will pass, but in the meantime, you must avoid actions that worsen the situation. If you follow all the steps above, you’ll feel relieved after a few hours.


However, call emergency services if the effects are still intense after six hours.

How Proper Dosing Prevents Greening Out

Dosing is crucial in preventing greening out because staying within your limit ensures the marijuana cannot overwhelm your system, and you’ll have a pleasant experience.


Here are some ways proper dosing can prevent greening out:

Start With a Low Dose

If you’re new to marijuana or trying out a new marijuana product or strain, start with a low dose and gradually increase it when you know how your body reacts. This will allow you to gauge your tolerance and sensitivity to the effects of marijuana.


A low dose will help you avoid greening out, so you won’t have to worry about questions like “How long does greening out usually last?”

Understand THC Levels and Know Your Limits

As we’ve said, THC is the psychoactive compound in marijuana responsible for giving you a high and the primary cause of greening out.


That said, all marijuana products and strains are not equal; they have varying levels of THC. So, it’s essential to be aware of the THC content in your product and adjust your dosage accordingly.


Remember, high-THC products are more likely to cause greening out, so opting for lower-THC strains or products can help prevent over-consumption. If you buy marijuana from licensed dispensaries, you’ll find the THC level stated on the label.

Consume CBD Products

Just as THC produces psychoactive effects, CBD can give you the effects of marijuana without the psychoactivity and can help counteract the intoxicating effects of THC.


CBD has calming and anti-anxiety properties and can help mitigate the potential adverse effects of consuming too much THC.


If you’re concerned about greening out, consider using CBD-rich products alongside THC to help balance the effects and deliver a more rounded and enjoyable experience.

Enjoy Safe, Responsible Cannabis Consumption With Elevate Holistics

Cannabis is safe and enjoyable, and it is rare to fatally overdose on it. But if you consume too much cannabis, greening out is the most that can happen.


That’s why today we’ve answered salient questions like “What is greening out,” “What are greening out symptoms,” What does greening out feel like,” and “How long does greening out usually last?”


Elevate Holistics is your gateway to safe and legal consumption. If you need any information about cannabis, we have it.


We can also help you get your medical marijuana card so you have access to safe, high-quality marijuana products.


Click here or the link below to schedule a call, and let’s help you experience the benefits of nature’s wonder plant.

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With Elevate Holistics, your appointment will last less than 15 minutes. Getting your medical card online has never been so easy.

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About the author

Ally Hilbert is the Content and SEO Manager here at Elevate Holistics, working to publish and run Elevate’s blogs and landing pages, as well as conduct keyword research, competitor analysis, and more. After having brain surgery at the age of 17, Ally became fascinated with medical cannabis and its benefits, and, at 18, had her first CBD-related piece published. Today, she’s been writing about cannabis for the past six years, and simply can’t think of a better company to get to do it for. When she’s not writing or editing, Ally’s side-by-side with her pup Sadie in Seattle.
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