Drug and Alcohol

Greened Out: The Health Risks of Going Too Hard on Cannabis

What Does Greened Out Mean?

Being greened out can be a highly unpleasant experience while using cannabis. It might also be a sign of a problem with substances.

Written by

brian-mooreBrian Moore

Content Writer

Reviewed by

jeremy-arztJeremy Arzt

Chief Clinical Officer

Drug and Alcohol

October 3, 2023

Ever heard of the term “blacking out”? It’s when someone uses so much alcohol (or combines it with drugs like benzos) that it affects their memory and they have no memory of what happens afterward.

“Greening out” describes a similar condition from using too much cannabis, or using a powerful form of cannabis like shatter. While not as severe (or as dangerous) as other kinds of blackouts, someone who greens out after using a bit too much weed is in for a fairly unpleasant time.

What Does It Mean to Get Greened Out?

Greening out is a term used to describe an unpleasant experience that can happen when an individual consumes too much cannabis or has a negative reaction to it. It's like crossing a threshold from feeling high to feeling overwhelmed and uncomfortable. So, what does greening out mean exactly?

When a person greens out, that indicates that a person has consumed more cannabis than their body can manage. This can occur for many reasons, including not understanding their limits, experimenting with a new and strong strain, or consuming too much in a short duration of time. Greening out can affect different people, and not everyone will experience it.

Greening out can have both physical and psychological effects. These bodily sensations can be uncomfortable and throw a person off balance. On the psychological front, greening out might cause increased worry and paranoia. This includes feeling frightened or afraid even when there is no genuine threat. It can also make it difficult to think correctly. Or pay attention to what is going on around them.

How Long Does Greening Out Last?

The length of greening out varies from person to person. It may last a few hours, while it may last much longer for others. The good news is that greening out is usually temporary, & it does eventually pass. During this time, seek a peaceful and comfortable space, drink plenty of water to keep hydrated, and try to relax until the symptoms worsen.

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Greening Out Symptoms

Greening out can cause a variety of symptoms, both physical and psychological. Recognize these indicators to determine if someone is suffering greening out. Here are some of the most common greened-out effects and symptoms.

Greened Out: Heightened Anxiety

An acute sense of anxiety is one of the key symptoms of greening out. It might include discomfort, excessive concern, or an overall sense of being on edge. This increased anxiety can cause people to feel restless and uneasy in their surroundings.

Greened Out: Paranoia

Greening out can also trigger episodes of paranoia. Irrational thoughts and fears characterize paranoia, which can show up as the sense that others are watching, judging, or plotting against the individual. This raised level of doubt can add to a strong uneasiness and discomfort.

Greened Out: Rapid Heartbeat

Greening out can increase heart rate or palpitations. The sensation of the heart racing or pounding in the chest can be uncomfortable and unsettling for the person experiencing it.

Greened Out: Dizziness

Another typical symptom related to greening out is dizziness. It can cause lightheadedness or unsteadiness, making it difficult to maintain balance or carry out usual tasks.

Greened Out: Nausea

Greening up can trigger nausea, which can lead to an upset stomach and feelings of discomfort. This may be followed by a desire to vomit; however, not everyone who greens out vomits.

Greened Out: Vomiting

In extreme episodes of greening out, an individual may vomit. Acute discomfort and nausea can cause a person to vomit. This indicates that the body is straining to cope with the overwhelming effects of cannabis use.

Greened Out: Profuse Sweating

Even in cooler temperatures, excessive sweating is another possible symptom of greening out. The body's reaction to heavy cannabis consumption can cause excessive sweating.

Greened Out: Dry Mouth

A typical symptom of greening out is a dry mouth, often known as cottonmouth. It is characterized by dehydration and a lack of saliva production in the mouth. This dryness might cause pain and an ongoing need for fluids.

Greened Out: Cognitive Impairment

Greening out can cause cognitive impairment, impairing a person's ability to think clearly and coherently. It may impair an individual's focus, memory recall, and problem-solving abilities.

Greened Out: Confusion

Feeling mentally disoriented or confused is another possible symptom of greening out. The person may have difficulty understanding their surroundings or making sense of their thoughts and behaviors.

Greened Out: Sensory Distortion

Greening out can change sensory perception. This includes increased sensitivity to light, sound, and touch. Everyday sensations may become overpowering or distorted, thus increasing the individual's discomfort.

Greened Out: Feeling Overwhelmed

The combination of numerous greening-out symptoms can result in an emotional overload. Individuals unable to cope with the intensity of their experience may experience increased discomfort.

Greened Out: Loss of Coordination

Greening out can cause a lack of coordination by impairing motor abilities. Individuals may suffer clumsiness or difficulties keeping balance when their movements become uneven.

Greened Out: Fatigue

Following a greening-out episode, a person may feel exhausted. They may feel fatigued and drained due to the tremendous physical and psychological strain.

Greened Out: How to Help Someone Who Has Greened Out

Offer support and help to anyone who has greened out. Here are some steps to help someone who has greened out.

Stay Calm

Maintain your cool and composure. This will help create a comforting environment for the individual experiencing greening out.

Find a Calm Space

Move the individual to a quiet and relaxing location where they can rest. External stimuli, such as loud noises or bright lights, should be avoided since they may worsen the condition.

Reassure and Comfort

Provide verbal comfort to the individual, assuring them they are secure and the effects will pass. Provide a calming presence and let them know you're there to help.

Encourage Deep Breathing

Deep breathing exercises can help one relax and reduce anxiety. Encourage the individual to take slow, deep breaths through their nose and mouth.


Provide the individual with water or a hydrating beverage. Being hydrated is necessary since greening out can cause dehydration. Drinking water can help to distract and calm the person who's suffering.

Take Breaks

If the individual feels comfortable, take breaks from stimulating activities or social interactions. It's beneficial for them to have a quiet moment for reflection and relaxation.

Offer Supportive Conversation

Engage in a helpful, calm conversation focusing on positive and comforting themes. Light conversation can potentially divert their focus away from their discomfort.

Monitor Their Condition

Keep an eye on the individual's condition and note any changes. Consider getting medical assistance or guidance if their symptoms worsen or continue for an extended period.

Avoid Making Things Worse

Do not introduce drugs or activities that can amplify the effects of greening out, such as other cannabis or alcohol consumption. It is also advisable to avoid intense physical activity or the use of other drugs during this time.

Stay with Them

Offer to remain with the person till they feel better or have someone else they trust to accompany them. Knowing that they have help can provide relief and assurance.

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How Long Does Greening Out Usually Last?

The duration of greening out varies from person to person. It is determined by several factors, including the amount and strength of cannabis taken, individual tolerance levels, and general health. Greening out can have effects that last anywhere from a few hours to several hours.

In most cases, the initial intensity of greening out tends to peak within the first hour or two after consuming excessive quantities of cannabis. During this peak period, symptoms may be stronger, and pain may be at its highest point. However, as time passes, the effects usually start to fade gradually.

After the peak, the symptoms of greening out may fade and become less painful. Individuals may begin to feel more relaxed, both physically & mentally. It may take several hours for the effects to wear off. This depends on the individual and their particular reaction.

Individual experiences may differ; some people may heal more quickly or slowly than others. The duration of the greened-out phase can be influenced by factors such as body metabolism, hydration levels, & general health.

If someone is experiencing greening out, provide a quiet and supportive environment. Encourage them to relax, remain hydrated, and take their time recovering. Monitor their health and seek medical attention if their symptoms worsen or continue longer. Remember that greening out is a temporary feeling that will fade with proper care and time.

Recovery From Cannabis Addiction

Recovery from cannabis addiction is a process that demands dedication, support, and personalized strategies. Cannabis is often regarded as less addictive than drugs. However, some people may develop a cannabis dependency or addiction that substantially impacts their everyday life. Here are some essential steps to take.

Acknowledge the Problem

Recognize and admit that cannabis use is a problem and that recovery is necessary. Recognize that addiction is a medical issue that needs attention and care.

Seek Professional Help

Contact substance abuse specialists such as medical professionals, addiction counselors, or therapists. They can offer advice, support, and evidence-based treatment alternatives tailored to the unique needs.

Develop a Support System

Surround yourself with people who are encouraging your recovery path. Sharing stories and gaining support from people who have faced similar issues may be quite beneficial.

Establish a Treatment Plan

Develop a customized treatment plan in collaboration with healthcare providers. This might involve counseling, support group participation, and even medication-assisted treatment.

Identify Triggers and Develop Coping Strategies

Recognize the circumstances, feelings, or settings that might lead to cravings or relapse. Learn healthy coping mechanisms and develop stress-management skills that do not involve the usage of cannabis.

Adopt a Healthy Lifestyle

Focus on self-care by engaging in regular physical activity, eating healthy food, and getting enough sleep. Taking care of your overall health will help you recover and restore balance in your life.

Practice Self-Reflection and Growth

Engage in introspection to better understand the root causes of cannabis addiction. Addressing any co-occurring mental health illnesses or underlying emotional concerns through therapy or counseling.

Stay Committed and Be Patient

Setbacks are common during the recovery process. Understand that challenges are natural, but long-term recovery from cannabis addiction is possible with dedication, support, and perseverance.

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Tired of Getting Greened Out? The Edge Treatment Center Will Help

The Edge Treatment Center is dedicated to assisting individuals and their loved ones in achieving recovery from drug and alcohol addiction. Our evidence-based treatment programs have been meticulously crafted to provide effective care and support.

Recognizing the importance of maintaining a balanced life, The Edge Treatment Center offers flexible scheduling options, allowing clients to manage treatment alongside work or education commitments. 

Acknowledging the significance of connections, we ensure clients can stay connected with their support networks. Family visits and counseling sessions are highly encouraged to support the healing process. With a team of licensed clinicians, personalized care is provided using evidence-based research. Client safety is paramount, with 24/7 access to medical staff. 

The Edge Treatment Center adopts a comprehensive approach to addressing co-occurring mental health disorders. We are dedicated to supporting individuals on their journey to long-term recovery and helping them achieve a fulfilling life free from addiction.

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If you or a loved one is struggling with addiction, there is hope. Our team can guide you on your journey to recovery. Call us today.