When you think of an overdose, you may picture a person who is unconscious after consuming too much alcohol are using too much heroin This overdose, if left untreated, may lead to death or long-term health complications. When it comes to marijuana use and abuse, overdoses are not a common occurrence. In fact, there have been no recorded overdoses or deaths in relation solely to weed. With that being said, however, an individual who has consumed too much marijuana may experience a phenomenon called “greening out,” which may be considered the marijuana version of overdosing.
Greening out takes place when someone has smoked or consumed too much marijuana for their body to handle. This occurs most frequently when edibles are consumed. It can also happen to someone when they smoke for the first time and do not know their body’s tolerance. Greening out may also happen when a person drinks alcohol before smoking, and the combination of weed and marijuana causes their body to react negatively.
Symptoms of Greening Out
It can be difficult to tell whether a person is greening out or if they are just high. Some of the common symptoms associated include:
- Pale or Ashy Complexion
- Dizziness or Light-Headedness
- Loss of Mobility
- Blurred Vision
- Inability to Focus
- Mild Hallucinations
- Intense Feelings of Anxiety or Paranoia
- Panic Attacks
- Decreased Blood Sugar
- Abnormally Rapid Heart Rate
- Nausea or Vomiting
In many cases, greening out will cause an individual to experience heightened anxiety. They may feel like something is very wrong, that they need to seek medical attention, or that the feelings of unease will never end.
What To Do If You Green Out
The best way to prevent greening out is to not consume any form of marijuana. If you choose to do so, however, make sure that you are only consuming small amounts at a time to ensure that you don’t overdo it. Below are more tips that may be helpful if you or someone you know is experiencing a green out.
Tip #1: Never Smoke Alone
If you are planning to smoke or consume marijuana, make sure that you are not alone and that the person you are with knows that you are going to do this. Having someone nearby can help, especially if you need them to help calm you down or make sure that you are okay throughout the entire experience. We also recommend that you smoke in a safe place. If you are out, you may be tempted to drink or smoke more which can increase the risk of greening out. Remaining in a safe space where you know the environment may ease your anxiety.
Tip #2: Remain Calm
Though it may feel like this will never end, greening out typically only last for a few minutes to an hour or two. When the panic sets in and you believe something is wrong, stop consuming any other marijuana products and ride this feeling out. It will not last forever.
Tip #3: Drink Water
Consuming large amounts of water may help to flush the marijuana out of your system more quickly. You can also drink some type of juice or Gatorade in order to increase your blood sugar which can address the light-headedness you feel.
Tip #4: Rest
When you begin to feel like you are greening out, lying down can help to calm both your body and your brain. Try to sleep. Many people become tired when they consume THC, so closing your eyes and trying to nap can help pass the time.
Tip #5: Eat, But Nothing High in Fats
Foods that are high in fats can make the symptoms of greening out worse, but it may help to eat something so that your body has something to metabolize. Foods like fruit, bread, or popcorn are a good option.
Tip #6: You Cannot Die From Marijuana
Though you might feel like something is wrong or that you are dying, pure marijuana will not cause an overdose or death. If you consumed marijuana that was laced with something, like fentanyl, you should seek medical help. But regular weed will not cause you to die.
Greening Out or Something Else?
Pure marijuana cannot cause a person to fatally overdose. With that being said, weed is an illegal and unregulated substance, so there is no telling what has been put into the plant you are consuming. In some cases, weed has been laced with substances like:
- Lead/Heavy Metals
- PCP – When marijuana is laced with PCP, symptoms will include intense hallucinations, delusions, confusion, suicidal behavior, and seizures.
- Heroin – Symptoms of this combination will include extreme lethargy, reduced respiration, and loss of consciousness.
- Embalming Fluid – Weed laced with embalming fluid can lead to cognitive impairment.
- LSD – LSD-laced weed can cause a person to experience hallucinations leading to a bad “trip” or high.
- Meth – This will cause extremely negative side effects like seizures, hallucinations, delusions, and confusion.
- Ketamine – This will cause a person to experience dehydration and severe overheating.
- Cocaine – This will cause intense hallucinations, paranoia, and seizures.