If you’re new to cannabis, or if it’s been a while since you last consumed, it’s a good idea to “go slow, start low.” We know, you’ve heard this adage from us on multiple occasions – but as your mother would tell you, it’s for your own good! Over-consumption of cannabis can increase your risk of experiencing adverse effects and/or cause greater impairment.(1) Ingesting cannabis (oils and edibles) tends to react differently than inhaling cannabis (smoking or vaporizing), meaning you may be more likely to overdo it or “green out.” If that ever happens, either to yourself or to someone you’re with, we’ve compiled eight tips to help get you through it.
Keep in mind, everyone responds to cannabis differently regardless of the method of consumption.(2) This content is not intended as professional or healthcare advice, or as a substitute for professional healthcare advice. The information below is intended solely as an educational aid to present you with some tips that might work for you.
1. Deep breaths
One of the first clues that you’ve greened out is an elevated sense of anxiety. Don’t worry, there’s no reason to panic. Start by paying attention to your breath, like in a yoga class. Breathe deeply and slowly, in through your nose and out through the mouth.(3) Singing can also help to regulate your breathing and elevate your mood. Sing something simple that you know well, like a nursery rhyme or even make up words as you go.
2. Drink up
If you’re experiencing dry mouth and feeling lightheaded, drink plenty of fluids to stay hydrated. Keep in mind it doesn’t have to be water; juice and herbal teas will also help if you’re greening out (just avoid alcohol or excessive amounts of caffeine).
One of the most effective ways to combat greening out is to sleep it off. Find a quiet place away from too much stimulation and get some shut-eye until it passes. If you’re too anxious to sleep, try lying down and listening to some relaxing music. (In fact, that might be just what you need to doze off.) Still can’t sleep? Try exercise. Moving your body can help increase blood flow, reduce stress and redirect your attention from racing thoughts when greening out, allowing you to drift away afterward.
4. Wash it off
Still feeling some unpleasant effects from greening out? Take a shower to try to relax and cool down your body if you’re feeling too warm.(3)
5. Massage it out
Gently massaging your limbs in slow and smooth motions can help to relieve anxiety and stress when you’re greening out. Massages also help to refocus your mind on the part of your body that is receiving attention. It’s even better if you can find a friend to help.
6. Talk through it
If you are with a friend, talking about how you feel when greening out can be relieving. Friends can offer a perspective that you may currently be missing. Sometimes you need to unload to unwind. If you don’t have a friend handy, reach out to one with a text message or turn on the voice recorder and talk to your phone.
7. CBD is your (and THC’s) friend
Pure CBD (CBD isolate) may help to limit the negative effects of THC.(4) If you don’t usually take CBD, consider maybe having some pure CBD (CBD isolate) on hand just in case.
8. Remember, it’ll pass
It might not be an enjoyable experience, but greening out isn’t dangerous or permanent. If you’ve consumed too much cannabis too quickly, just remind yourself that you’re going to be okay. Give it some time, and you’ll slowly start to feel like your normal self again.
So, next time you feel queasy or uneasy after consuming cannabis, try some of the tips we have compiled above and find out what works for you. Make sure you take the time to understand how your body reacts to cannabis as everyone’s response is different.(5)
Please note that this content on greening out is not intended as professional medical or healthcare advice or as a substitute for either professional healthcare advice or services from a qualified healthcare provider, such as a physician, or other professional familiar with your unique situation. This content is intended solely as a general product and educational aid. If you have any questions, please consult your physician or pharmacist.
- Boggs DL, JD Nguyen, D Morgenson, MA Taffe, and M Ranganathan. 2018. “Clinical and Preclinical Evidence for Functional Interactions of Cannabidiol and Δ9-Tetrahydrocannabinol.” Neuropsychopharmacology 43 (1): 142–54.