The "Green Out" Guide: What to do & How to Sober up ASAP

Naima Karp
The "Green Out" Guide: What to do & How to Sober up ASAP

After surviving over a decade of 4/20s without greening out, I was confident that my tolerance was too high for this phenomenon to happen to me.

However, when I ate the strongest edible of my life about a year ago, I realized just how naive I really was. Back in the day, a weak batch of brownies was the norm. But today, in the everlasting quest of the public to consume higher and higher THC levels, we have products with a never-before-seen potency level. Since I don’t drink, edibles are usually my way of letting loose, and while a decent amount of dispensary-bought drinks and gummies can get me buzzed, the maximum 10mg doesn’t do much for my seasoned stoner baseline. So when my husband came home with an epic 2,000mg chocolate bar, I knew I had to try a nibble at least and then decided to finish off half a square. No biggie — after all, seasoned stoners like me are immune to greening out, right?

Pot producers find a creative way around THC limits for gummies — and  Health Canada is not amused | The Star

After a couple of hours passed and I was pleasantly stoned, I started to get dizziness with a side of racing thoughts and began to feel like a rookie. As a non-drinker who has only experienced dizziness from drinking in the past, I realized that I would need to sober myself up from weed for the first time ever. This happens to the best of us at the least expected times, and it’s nothing to be ashamed of.  Here’s everything you need to know about greening out and the hacks that I rely on when things start getting a little too real.


What is Greening out?

Greening out happens when you take too much THC for your tolerance to handle. Your CB1 receptors get overwhelmed by this, and those not-so-nice side effects can kick in. For some, this can manifest in anxiety, nausea increased heart rate and paranoia or delusions. Some people even worry that they’re dying (remember that cop and his wife who called 911 after eating too many brownies?), but don’t worry, overdosing on THC isn’t life-threatening.


Greening Out - What Does It Mean and Is It Dangerous? | The Cannigma

While the effects are less intense than drinking too much, it’s definitely not a pleasant sensation. Fortunately, there are some hacks you can employ to not be so ridiculously high. This is particularly useful for anyone who gets stoned from edibles since those effects last significantly longer than smoking or vaping cannabis. 

Take CBD in some form

CBD reduces the psychoactive effects of cannabis, and I know this from first-hand experience. Smoking pure CBD flower can help mellow out some of the side effects of THC that can result in getting too high, and if you don’t have this on hand, you can take CBD tinctures orally to counter the high. I took a dropper of approximately 40mg and felt significantly better within 45 minutes. You can also consume CBD edibles with little to no THC.  To double down on that cannabidiol magic, I soaked in a warm bath with a fizzy CBD bath bomb while this set in, which helped me relax even further.


CBD Dominant Oils – Kindling

Consume black pepper or lemon rinds

While we all react differently to terpenes based on our physiological makeup, these terpenes Opt for strains with beta-caryophyllene and limonene can help soothe those overwhelming effects that THC can bring. While limonene is famous for its anti-anxiety properties, beta-cayophyllene binds to the brain’s CB1 receptors, which prevents THC from doing so. As a result, things like anxiety and paranoia are reduced. Along with munching on the foods in which these terpenes are naturally occurring, you can purchase strains that are high in these terpenes to avoid greening out. Also, you don’t just have to eat peppercorn and lemon peels - you can make some lemonade or sprinkle pepper over your food to experience similar benefits.

What Are Cannabis Terpenes and What Do They Do? | Discover Magazine

Water is your best friend

Just like the water in my bath provided some much-needed soothing energy, drinking water when you’re too high can also help, as water can help flush THC out of your system. If you have the munchies, you can also snack on some fruits and veggies with a high water content. A weird, little-known hack that some of you might have seen on TikTok also worked for me. Applying a cool washcloth or ice pack can stimulate your vagus nerve, which in turn can ease anxiety or panic attack symptoms. Place it on your sternum (this is where your vagus nerve is) to reduce anxious side effects from greening out.

The effects of rainwater, tap water, and groundwater on cannabis -  CannaConnection

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