Greening Out: Causes, Symptoms, and Management

greening out

Greening Out: Causes, Symptoms, and Management

Imagine you’re sitting on a couch, passing out a joint, surrounded by friends. The room is filled with joy and laughter, but suddenly, you start feeling unpleasant. Your heart starts racing, and a wave of nausea washes over you. The chances are you might be greening out.

Experiencing a “White Out” or “Green Out” can be alarming, especially for novice cannabis users. This phenomenon refers to an uneasy sensation a person feels after ingesting too much marijuana.

Though greening out can be scary, leading to anxiety or paranoia, it’s still manageable. Also, the symptoms of this state typically fade within a few minutes to hours.

What causes greening out? What are its symptoms? And how long does green out last? These are a few critical questions every cannabis user must understand to avoid the unnecessary effects of consuming a large quantity of cannabis. Our guide will walk you through almost every aspect of greening out.

What is Greening Out: Everything You Need to Know

Greening out is basically a “cannabis overdose” that happens when you smoke or consume too much marijuana or cannabis. If you’re greened out, you might experience different psychological and physical effects, such as memory loss, panic attacks, loss of mobility, or dizziness. Additionally, you may experience nausea or sweat excessively.

It is worth mentioning that a few cannabis products tend to deliver an intense high, while others are preferred for medicinal usage. The cannabis products that can make you high typically contain a higher content of THC (Delta-9-Tetrahydrocannabinol).

What is the Role of THC in Greening Out?

According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, the primary psychoactive chemical in marijuana is responsible for delivering the intoxicating effects that most people seek. Since THC is the main psychoactive cannabinoid in cannabis, its overdose might cause feelings of euphoria, an altered state of consciousness, heightened senses, and relaxation.

It might be hard to believe that THC could be responsible for the adverse effects associated with greening out because this cannabis compound is widely used in medical cases. So, what exactly happens in your body during a THC overdose?

The human body has an endocannabinoid system that includes CB1 and CB2 receptors and anandamide. These receptors bind with cannabinoids to improve psychological functions throughout the body.

When you consume THC in excess, it binds with CB1 receptors and affects serotonin levels. This interaction is the reason why THC produces mind-altering effects. Although serotonin is a happiness hormone, it can give undesired effects when produced in larger quantities.

Greening out happens when you ingest THC in large amounts. It leads to overstimulation of the brain while prompting the higher production of serotonin.

cbd greening out

What is the Role of CBD in Greening Out?

Greening out is typically associated with an undesirable reaction to high doses of cannabis, particularly tetrahydrocannabinol, but the role of cannabidiol (CBD) is not obvious in this context.

Unlike THC, CBD does not lead to an intense high. Rather, it is known for its therapeutic advantages, according to a study observed in a Canadian Medical Cannabis Clinic.

While there is no direct evidence, preliminary studies suggest that CBD does not directly contribute to greening out. In fact, it offers some protective effects against discomfort and anxiety that are accompanied by a THC-related greened out.

What Are the Causes of a Green Out?

Greening out usually occurs in new cannabis users, but it’s not very common. Here are a few common causes of greening out from various sources:

  • Some people assume that the method of consuming cannabis influences whether or not you will green out. However, that’s not the case! You could experience greening out from edibles, smoking, or dabbing if the THC levels are high.
  • Greening out is more common in individuals who consume alcohol before ingesting cannabis.
  • Eating decarboxylated cannabis may also increase the chances of greening out.
  • You might be greened out by inhaling too much cannabis too quickly.

What are the Signs and Symptoms of Greening Out?

Greening out can be an unpleasant and distressing experience for new cannabis users. The overconsumption of marijuana can lead to an uncomfortable and overwhelming set of symptoms.

Although the effects of greening out are temporary, it is advised to be aware of the psychological and physical symptoms.

greening out symptoms

Psychological Symptoms of Greening Out

Greening out can result in the following psychological effects:

Pain Attacks: Greening out can cause pain attacks along with overwhelming and sudden feelings of dread.

Intense Anxiety: You might experience paranoia or heightened levels of anxiety when greened out.

Discomfort & Unease: Throughout the duration of greening out, a sense of discomfort and unease may persist.

Sensitivity to Stimuli: During greening out, you may also become more sensitive to stimuli, such as touch, sound, and light.

Physical Symptoms of Greening Out

When greening out, you may experience the following alarming physical signs:

Excessive Sweating: Profuse sweating can occur, contributing to unease and discomfort.

Headache: Migraine and intense headache are also common symptoms of greening out.

Dizziness: A feeling of lightheadedness or dizziness may occur during greening out, which makes it challenging to maintain balance.

Vomiting and Nausea: Some individuals with less tolerance to THC can vomit or feel nauseous.

Hyperventilation: The high dose of THC increases your heart rate, which can restrict the oxygen supply, making breathing harder.

Increased Blood Pressure: Elevated blood pressure is also a common symptom of greening out.

Raid Heartbeat: Your heart may start racing if you’re greened out.


It is important to note that the signs of greening out mentioned above can occur in singular or in combination. Even though this phenomenon does not lead to any long-term health risks, marijuana users with underlying conditions must be aware.

For example, if you have a pre-existing heart disease, healthcare professionals suggest avoiding THC. This cannabis compound can lead to the thinning of blood vessels, a drop in blood pressure, and an increased heart rate.

Furthermore, the overdose of THC may interact negatively with other prescribed medications. Therefore, always consult your medical care provider before using THC or CBD.

How Long Does Greening Out Last?

The effects of greening out can last for the duration of your high. And this duration can vary significantly depending on the following factors:

  • THC levels in the product
  • The amount of cannabis consumed
  • Your tolerance level
  • Your body weight
  • Your metabolism

In general, a cannabis high lasts for 1-24 hours. However, the effects may last longer if you consume marijuana through edibles.

Check out this table to understand how long the effects of cannabis high can last depending on the method of consumption:

Mode of Cannabis Consumption Duration of Effects
Edibles 24 hours
Smoking and Vaping 1 to 3 hours
Dabbing 1 to 3 hours

How to Stop Greening Out?

Here are a few proven tips for handling greening out:

  • Remove yourself from the stimulating environment, find a calming place, and ride the wave out.
  • Some studies prove that sugary drinks can help mitigate the effects of greening out.
  • Identify your personal tolerance levels and start slow, especially if you’re experimenting with different cannabis products.
  • Source cannabis products from reputable providers to ensure accurate THC and CBD levels.
  • Try CBD oil to manage the symptoms of intense anxiety and paranoia caused by greening out.
  • Use rosemary, black pepper, or cloves to soothe the psychoactive effects of cannabis products.
  • Don’t mix cannabis with alcohol, as it can exacerbate greening out symptoms.
  • Stay informed about the adverse effects of cannabis and its overuse.


“Prevention is better than a cure.” this saying is equally true for greening out as well. The overuse of cannabis products can result in greening out.

Though this phenomenon does not lead to life-threatening risks, it can be problematic if you’re taking marijuana to treat medical health conditions. The inexperienced cannabis user may also experience vomiting, loss of mobility, nausea, lack of focus, increased heart rate, breathing problems, and hallucinations due to greening out.

In order to prevent greening out, it is advised to build up your tolerance. Consult a healthcare professional and start with small doses. Also, make sure to observe how your body reacts to different cannabis doses. This approach will give you a better idea of what you can handle without facing any potential side effects.

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