Greening Out: What to Do When You're Too High

Even the seasoned cannabis user can fall victim to the cannabis high that is far too intense, and ‘greening out’ happens to the best of us. The good news is that there are ways to counteract it, should you find yourself dealing with the symptoms of a cannabis overload. The first way is to read this article!

It is not uncommon for a first-time cannabis user (or even the seasoned user) to smoke a little too much and end up with the feeling that they might be a little bit too high. It’s so common that it has earned its own name: Greening out.

The thing is that with forms of cannabis like edibles, it can be really hard to control dosages at times. The same goes with those really potent forms of weed like dabs and other extracts. So, it’s not your fault. If you find yourself a little bit higher than you would like to be, there are some ways out of it.

Being “too high” (which for some is impossible) manifests itself in a bunch of different ways. Some people break out into the sweats, others become dizzy or nauseous, and this usually results in some form of social anxiety. Then of course, the anxiety can feed all of the other symptoms! So, here are some ways that you can counteract the high when it is just too intense!

1. Breathe, and relax

The first thing is to try not to panic. If you can identify that there are symptoms of a green-out upon you, just sit down, breathe, and meditate. If you agitate your body further by breathing heavily or even hyperventilating, you’re just going to make the situation worse. Despite the feeling that you could be dying, you can take some solace in the fact that no one has ever died of a cannabis overdose, and you’re going to be fine in a couple of hours.

2. Drink water

You would be amazed what a little bit of hydration can do for your clarity and your state of mind. It is refreshing to the body and will nourish it with that little bit of extra energy for remaining calm. Plus, it’s a really familiar and easy thing to do, to drink a cup of water or orange juice. Dizziness and headaches when stoned can also be the result of dehydration, in which case drinking a cup of water might be all you need to combat the high.

3. Black pepper

This might be an old wives’ tale, but even Neil Young swears by it. Black pepper is the solution to a bad case of social anxiety or social paranoia. All that you have to do is chew on a couple of black peppercorns or smell the spiciness, and it should bring you right back. There is probably something about the taste and smell that invigorates your senses and helps you focus on something other than greening out.

4. Go for a walk

Walking is great meditation and a great way to switch off the mind if it just won’t stop racing. Pick a nice spot in nature where you can go and meditate, remembering that the longer you walk, the more your mind will be at ease. It also helps to walk somewhere familiar to avoid getting lost and feeling more anxious.

5. Find somewhere to lie down and chill out

After you’ve gone for a walk, perhaps you can find a nice quiet spot in the park to lie down, chill out, and watch the sky for a little while. After all, if you are smoking with friends and you’re feeling a bit nervous being too high and socialising, maybe all you need is to step away for a minute and relax. You can lie down and listen to music somewhere or watch a movie.

6. Take a shower or have a bath

Although it might be uncomfortable, taking a cold shower is the perfect way to switch off a racing mind. The cold water and sensations to the body take the focus straight out of the mind and into the body. The idea of doing this might be a little nerve-racking at the moment when you decide you’re too high, but it’s an extremely effective way of counteracting the high. Haven’t you ever been stoned and swam in the sea or a swimming pool and found you were basically sober when you came out? Cold water awakens the skin and the senses and can clear the mind.

Otherwise, just have a warm bath. Soothing the muscles and the body is a good way to soothe the mind, too. And a hot bath can create just the relaxing environment you need to chill out after a big dose.

7. Distract yourself

Get creative in your too-stoned moment about what you can do to help yourself. At the end of the day, all of these suggestions are just different ways for you to distract yourself from what is going on in your brain by participating in a simple act that you know how to do really well. Avoid doing irrational things like calling the hospital or your parents by listening to some music, drawing, watching a movie, playing a video game, or reading a book. Pick something you love doing so that you can tune into the positive feelings that you get from participating in that act.

8. Know yourself before you blaze yourself

If you know your limits, you can avoid a situation like this entirely. Unfortunately, this piece of advice doesn’t really apply to those who have just smoked weed for the first time, because there hasn’t really been a chance to experiment. But seasoned smokers shouldn’t be finding themselves in this situation.

Knowing your limits is really important and will ensure that you get the best out of your weed experience every time. There’s nothing worse than looking forward to a relaxing and chilled night with friends and then finding yourself freaking out because you took it a little too far with the dabs!

In any case, cannabis use is completely safe! Remember that basically no matter how much you smoke, you can’t die. It also pays to be the person reminding your friends of that fact if they are in this situation!

The most important thing is to breathe and always remember that your anxious feeling will pass after some short time, after which you and your friends will probably find the whole thing very hilarious.


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  • Author_profiles-WSS-Emma Ryte

    Emma Ryte

    Born in Germany, lived in England my childhood years and spent my high school era in the US. My parents are basically hippies and that is why I have had the possibility to speak freely and explore my passion for the cannabis plant. My love for writing followed soon after. Writing about this subject has taught me so many things about the use, cultivation, health benefits and industrial options, and I love that I can share this knowledge with you! I visit Amsterdam as often as I can and I love the vibe there when it comes to weed, it lets me try new things and learn about the newest developments in the industry. The one person I would love to smoke some with would have to be Stevie Wonder. I love relaxing to his music while high and I would love to meet him!
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