What Does it Mean to Be Green? [Explained]

And how to avoid it


Nobody died from smoking too much weed.” This is something we hear banded about the cannabis community a lot – whether it is as a helpful pick me up for a worried stoner, or as a means of defense against an anti-weed campaigner.

While the claim is very much valid, those of us who have ever actually smoked marijuana will know that yes, it won’t kill you – but it can do some pretty awful things if consumed incorrectly.

“Greening out” or “going green” is a well-known term in the weed world, and it is enough to send a shiver down the spine of anyone who has ever been unfortunate enough to experience it before. But what does it mean?

Whether you are one of the lucky ones who have never ‘gone green’ before, or you want to learn a little about how you can avoid it happening again – then you’ve come to the right place.

Today, let’s discuss what being green means – and how you can help yourself when it matters…

First Things First, What Does Being Green Mean?

 Okay, so you’re at your friend’s house having an impromptu weed gathering when you notice the dude sat across from you has turned a sickly shade of grey. He passes on the joint as it makes its way towards him, and before you know what’s happening, he has projectile vomited across the room. Vibe ruined.

Sound familiar?

If so, then you’ve witnessed the act of going green – and it sure isn’t pretty.

In essence, the act of going green can be likened to falling suddenly and severely sick, but in reality, there is so much more to it than just a bit of vomit. In its worst cases, being green can result in hallucinations and severe panic – but we will get to that shortly!

Going Green: Why Does It Happen?

 So what is to blame for the hellish sensation that is going green? Cannabis is beginning to be recognized the world over for its mental and physical benefits, as more states across the U.S. alone have started to sit up and take notice of all the humble plant can do. So why is it that with such positive benefits, we can still find ourselves struggling with feelings of overwhelming dread?

Well, let’s take a look first at why weed can have this unpleasant side effect. There are a few reasons why someone could go green from weed, and it can happen to you whether you have never smoked a joint before or you are a seasoned cannabis user. It is also important to note that you can go green from any method of consumption, so whether you’re smoking it or eating it, the risks are still there.

Here are the main reasons why weed may cause you to go green:

  • Have you combined weed and alcohol? Ah, yes – this is the most likely cause of why you might go green. The two drugs are designed to do different things within the body, and too much of either can combine to cause unpleasant, and sometimes even dangerous results. Remember, nobody died from too much cannabis alone, but combining it with other substances can be dangerous if done irresponsibly.
  • Is this your first time? If you have never experienced cannabis before, then the chances are your tolerance for it will be at rock bottom. This is going to increase the likelihood of going green, particularly if you have little more than you can tolerate to keep up with friends – peer pressure is a real driver of going green!
  • Do you have low THC tolerance levels? Whether you haven’t touched a joint since 1995 or you are an expert in the bud, sometimes THC can creep up on you and knock you for six. However, the chances of going green are vastly increased if you rarely indulge in cannabis, or if you are used to low-THC strains and suddenly test out a big daddy strain.
  • Have you gone OTT on the bud? Like with all of our favorite things – chocolate, alcohol, fast food, sex – moderation can be great, but too much can be pretty bad for us. If you have smoked a bit too much of the ganja, eaten one too many brownies or gotten carried away during a joint smoking sesh with heavyweight weed lovers – then there is a high likelihood that you could endure the feelings of going green.

What Does Going Green Feel Like?

 So how do you spot it? Any cannabis lover who has experienced going green will be able to reel off every symptom under the sun, but the chances are you won’t want to hear it at the time. There’s nothing quite like being told how you’re about to feel, just as the sensation begins creeping up on you!

That’s why we have given you this guide to going green – so you can learn what to expect and try to counteract the process as soon as the first symptoms occur (if you ever find yourself in the situation, of course, which we hope you never do!).

Symptoms of going green include:

  • Vomiting and nausea: Okay, so this is probably the most well-known side effects of being “too high,” and the one that many stoners fear the most because being sick is never pleasant, but being sick while high feels awful!
  • Sweating: This one sort of comes hand in hand with the sickness, but those who are experiencing going green are likely to feel extremely sweaty. This is often a side effect of other, more risky side effects of too much weed.
  • Increased heart rate: This can cause extreme sweating, but it can also induce panic and fear in the person experiencing it. In rare and extreme cases, it can lead to more serious cardiac issues.
  • Reduced blood pressure: Similarly to the increased heart rate, this usually occurs in more severe cases and is a result of vasodilation, or the dilation of the blood vessels.
  • Panic, paranoia, and anxiety: One of the most common symptoms of going green is becoming panicked and anxious. This can be made more severe if you are around strangers, in an unfamiliar place, or under stressful circumstances.
  • Green or white color: It’s not called going green for nothing. If you or a friend has suddenly lost all color in their cheeks, and instead have a sweaty, off-green shade, then the chances are it’s because they’ve had too much weed.

Okay, So What Can Be Done to Combat Symptoms of Going Green?

 While there isn’t much that can be done to stop going green when once it starts, there are things you can do to reduce the severity and make the experience markedly less unpleasant.

One thing we would mention before we get into the tips is that it is never a good idea to indulge in cannabis around strangers. We would always recommend that you have at least one person with you who you are comfortable around.

Another crucial point to make is that peer pressure is one of the biggest reasons why people consume too much weed, and so we encourage anyone indulging to be confident in saying when enough is enough.

So, with that – let’s get onto our 3 top tips for combating the dreaded green:

  1. Choose a safe space: Where you are when you’re high will usually have a direct impact on the experience you have when under the influence. A comfortable, familiar setting can result in a mellow, relaxed high, while a stranger’s bedroom may lead to feelings of claustrophobia and panic – and can even cause you to smoke more to calm down, leading to the inevitable greening out. With this in mind, we would suggest enjoying weed either in your own home or somewhere you know and feel safe in. If you do decide to smoke elsewhere, it can help to scout the place and pick a place where you can go if you begin to feel bad.
  2. H2O and sugar can make a huge difference: As we have already stated, weed can have a direct impact on our blood sugar levels. If they plummet, it can lead to a host of other nasty side effects – so what’s the best solution? You guessed it – sugar! Whether it’s a bag of sweets or a bar of chocolate, sugar can help balance things out and can help you recover quicker from a bad high. Just as important here is staying hydrated – and we would always recommend water for this. Avoid alcohol or caffeine, which can exacerbate symptoms of going green.
  3. Stay with people you trust: We have already touched on this, but we can’t stress the importance of being around the right people when getting high. If you are slightly apprehensive going in, then don’t even bother. Weed is likely to cause increased worry, which can quickly spiral into a panicked high that will ruin yours, and everyone else’s, experience. Stick with friends and people you can trust – so that way if you do go green, you can let people know and they can help you.

Final Thoughts on Going Green – Is It Worth the Risk?

 As regular weed users, we have to say that the going green is almost like a right of passage for any stoner. However, it doesn’t make it any less unpleasant when it happens – and for the unlucky few, it can ruin cannabis for them forever.

So, what we would love to know is whether you feel the risk of going green is worth the sweet bud, or whether you would instead steer clear and avoid any potential mishaps!

Let us know below, and we hope our handy guide to going green will serve its purpose in your hour of need, heaven forbid you to need it!