What is Greening Out?

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What is Greening Out? Understanding Symptoms, Causes, and the Path to Addiction Recovery

In the realm of cannabis consumption, the term “greening out” or “green out” is one that resonates within the cannabis community, serving as a warning sign for users who may have ventured a bit too far. It signifies an uncomfortable experience that can unfold after consuming an excessive amount of cannabis, marked by a spectrum of unsettling symptoms, including nausea, anxiety, rapid heart rate, dizziness, and in severe instances, even vomiting. To “green out” is to find oneself in the throes of an overpowering and unpleasant reaction, the result of pushing the boundaries of cannabis consumption beyond what one’s body can comfortably manage.

In this article, we will explore the phenomenon of greening out in detail, shedding light on its symptoms, causes, and the actions one can take when it occurs. Furthermore, we will turn our attention toward the critical topic of addiction recovery and addressing cannabis use disorder, emphasizing the importance of seeking professional assistance when cannabis consumption takes a detrimental turn. By the end of this article, readers will be well-informed about greening out and equipped with the knowledge needed to navigate the sometimes complex landscape of cannabis consumption and recovery.

What is Greening Out?

Greening out, sometimes referred to as “green out,” is a phrase widely used in the cannabis community to describe the uncomfortable experience that can occur after consuming an excessive amount of cannabis. It is characterized by a range of symptoms that may include nausea, anxiety, rapid heart rate, dizziness, and, in severe cases, vomiting. When someone “greens out,” it means they have ingested more cannabis than their body can comfortably handle, leading to an overwhelming and unpleasant reaction to the substance.

Greening Out Symptoms

The symptoms of greening out can vary significantly from person to person, influenced by factors such as individual tolerance, the cannabis strain consumed, and the method of consumption. Common symptoms of greening out include:

  1. Nausea: Feeling queasy and, in some cases, experiencing vomiting.
  2. Anxiety: Increased feelings of paranoia and anxiety.
  3. Rapid Heart Rate: Palpitations or a racing heartbeat.
  4. Dizziness: A sensation of lightheadedness or spinning.
  5. Confusion: Difficulty concentrating and maintaining focus.
  6. Sweating: Profuse sweating, often accompanied by chills.
  7. Dry Mouth: Known as “cottonmouth,” marked by a dry and sticky sensation in the mouth.

What Causes Greening Out?

Understanding the causes of greening out is essential for preventing this uncomfortable experience. Several factors contribute to greening out:

  1. Dosage: Consuming an excessive amount of cannabis in a single session can overwhelm the body, increasing the likelihood of greening out. It is crucial to start with a low dose, especially for novice users.
  2. Tolerance: Individuals with low or no tolerance to cannabis are more vulnerable to greening out, as their bodies may react strongly to even small amounts.
  3. Strain and Potency: Different cannabis strains have varying levels of THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), the psychoactive compound responsible for the “high.” High-THC strains are more likely to induce greening out.
  4. Method of Consumption: Smoking or vaping cannabis can lead to faster and more intense effects, increasing the risk of greening out compared to edibles, which have a slower onset.
  5. Setting: The environment and surroundings in which cannabis is consumed can significantly impact the overall experience. Unfamiliar or uncomfortable settings can lead to anxiety and paranoia.

What to Do When Someone Is Greening Out

If you or someone you know is experiencing greening out, it’s crucial to know how to manage the situation. Here are the steps to follow:

  1. Stay Calm: Keep the affected person calm and reassure them that the discomfort is temporary and will pass.
  2. Hydrate: Offer water to alleviate dry mouth and reduce the risk of dehydration.
  3. Rest: Encourage the person to lie down and rest in a comfortable and safe environment.
  4. Fresh Air: If possible, move to an area with fresh air to help with nausea and dizziness.
  5. CBD: Some users find that CBD (cannabidiol), another compound in cannabis, can help counteract the effects of THC and reduce discomfort.
  6. Time: Greening out is temporary, and the symptoms will generally subside within a few hours.

Greening Out Cure

While there is no instant “cure” for greening out, time and rest are generally the most effective ways to recover. It’s important to remember that greening out is not life-threatening. However, to prevent greening out, it’s crucial to follow responsible cannabis consumption practices. This includes:

  1. Start Low and Go Slow: Initiate cannabis consumption with a small dose, especially if you are new to it or have a low tolerance. You can always consume more if necessary, but you cannot undo the effects of a high dose.
  2. Know Your Tolerance: Understand your personal tolerance level and adjust your consumption accordingly.
  3. Choose the Right Strain: Research different cannabis strains and their effects to find one that aligns with your preferences and tolerance.
  4. Stay in a Comfortable Environment: Consume cannabis in a familiar and safe setting to reduce the risk of anxiety or paranoia.
  5. Avoid Mixing Substances: Combining cannabis with alcohol or other substances can increase the likelihood of greening out.

Addressing Cannabis Use Disorder and Addiction Recovery

Towards the end of this article, we will shift our focus towards addiction recovery and addressing cannabis use disorder. It is essential to recognize that while greening out is an unpleasant experience, it is only one aspect of cannabis consumption. For some individuals, cannabis use may develop into a pattern of dependency that requires professional help.

Cannabis use disorder, characterized by a pattern of compulsive cannabis use that may lead to negative consequences, can affect an individual’s physical and mental well-being. If you or someone you know is struggling with cannabis use disorder, seeking help from addiction recovery specialists is crucial.

Recovery options may include:

  1. Outpatient Treatment: Outpatient programs provide support and counseling while allowing individuals to maintain their daily routines.
  2. Inpatient Rehabilitation: Inpatient programs offer intensive treatment within a residential facility to provide a structured and supportive environment for recovery.
  3. Counseling and Therapy: Individual and group therapy sessions can help individuals address the underlying causes of their addiction and develop strategies for managing cravings.
  4. Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT): In some cases, medications may be prescribed to help manage withdrawal symptoms and cravings.
  5. Support Groups: Joining support groups, such as Narcotics Anonymous (NA) or Marijuana Anonymous (MA), can provide valuable peer support and guidance.


In conclusion, greening out is a term used to describe the uncomfortable symptoms that can result from consuming an excessive amount of cannabis. It is crucial to be aware of your tolerance, choose the right strain, and follow responsible consumption practices to avoid this unpleasant experience. If greening out does occur, remaining calm and taking simple steps to alleviate symptoms can help ensure a smoother recovery. Remember that greening out is temporary, and with time, the effects will subside.

Furthermore, it is vital to recognize that for some individuals, cannabis use may escalate into a pattern of dependency or addiction. In these cases, seeking professional help and addiction recovery options is essential for reclaiming one’s health and well-being. To learn more about addiction recovery and cannabis use disorder, consider consulting reputable sources such as the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) and the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). These organizations provide valuable information and resources to help individuals on the path to recovery.


  1. National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA): NIDA is a reliable source for information on substance abuse, including cannabis. They offer research-based information, treatment options, and resources related to addiction recovery. You can visit their website at www.drugabuse.gov.
  2. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA): SAMHSA provides information on behavioral health and addiction recovery services. Their website, www.samhsa.gov, offers resources, treatment locator tools, and publications related to addiction recovery.
  3. Narcotics Anonymous (NA): For information on support groups like Narcotics Anonymous, you can visit the official NA website at www.na.org.
  4. Marijuana Anonymous (MA): To learn more about support groups specifically focused on cannabis addiction, you can visit the Marijuana Anonymous website at www.marijuana-anonymous.org.