smoking weed on an empty stomach

What is greening out?

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  1. What causes someone to green out?
  2. What does greening out feel like?
  3. Can greening out cause damage?
  4. How do I prevent greening out?
  5. How do I stop getting too high?

Greening out is the experience of nausea, unease, and other distressing symptoms that sometimes occurs after consuming too much cannabis .

Symptoms differ individually, but greening out is usually accompanied by dizziness, vomiting, and severe anxiety. Greening out can also increase heart rate and reduce blood pressure due to the dilation of blood vessels caused by THC, as explained in a study of cannabinoids’ pharmacological effects , published in the Handbook of Experimental Psychology. Users feel dizziness, nausea, and some report experiencing mild hallucinations when they consume too much weed.

Greening out is the experience of nausea, unease, and other distressing symptoms that sometimes occurs after consuming too much cannabis. Photo by: Gina Coleman/Weedmaps

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Bear in mind that while greening out symptoms may feel overwhelming, no deaths from an overdose of cannabis have ever been reported. Symptoms of a green out can last anywhere from a few minutes to a couple of hours . While this can feel like a long time when you’re high, trust that there’s a light at the end of the tunnel.

What causes someone to green out?

THC and other cannabinoids interact with the body’s natural endocannabinoid system , including the CB1 receptors in the brain. The body has a natural analog to THC called anandamide that typically acts on these receptors and plays a role in appetite, pain, depression, memory, and other bodily functions.

When you consume too much THC, the CB1 receptors become overwhelmed, which may cause you to become sick. What symptoms you experience or whether you experience a green-out at all entirely depends on your physiological makeup, the potency of the cannabis, and your tolerance.

When you consume too much THC, the CB1 receptors become overwhelmed, which may cause you to become sick.

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What does greening out feel like?

Greening out can happen to anyone whether they smoke cannabis or ingest it. It all boils down to the amount of THC consumed and a person’s tolerance and previous experience with cannabis. Smoking does result in more rapid absorption than eating cannabis, which may result in a faster onset of greening out. That said, ingested cannabis stays in your bloodstream longer, resulting in green out symptoms that may last longer. Green out symptoms include:

  • Paranoia and anxiety
  • Limb heaviness or a lack of mobility
  • Increased heart rate
  • Dizziness or lack of focus
  • Nausea
  • Chills or sweats

These side effects vary in length the same way a regular cannabis high does, anywhere from a few minutes to a few hours. If weed is the only substance you’ve used, the symptoms should dissipate without requiring medical care. If you’re greening out after consuming a combination of weed with drinking or harder drugs, known as crossfading, you may want to seek medical attention.

Can greening out cause damage?

No evidence supports that greening out on cannabis alone can cause any damage. There are no verified instances of death due solely to cannabis toxicity. However, there are instances where, for example, cannabis can aggravate things in people with underlying heart issues or cause over-sedation, which suppresses breathing if one combines cannabis with a sedative like sleeping pills.

Consuming too much marijuana at once may feel alarming, but there’s no evidence it will cause lasting issues.

How do I prevent greening out?

Marijuana affects people differently, so a green out is more likely to happen to some individuals than others. People with prior cannabis experience have a good sense of their tolerance and often won’t consume more weed than they can handle. Those who haven’t tried weed before can prevent greening out by starting with a low dose and waiting an hour or more to judge the dose’s effect on their system.

If you’re someone who needs only one or two hits off a joint to get high, don’t feel compelled to smoke more. Know your limits and resist peer pressure if it heads your way.

Eating and drinking water before smoking can also help prevent symptoms of greening out. Like drinking alcohol, consuming cannabis on an empty stomach void of any nutrients can make the effects of weed stronger. Too, mixing your weed with alcohol or prescription drugs can also increase the likelihood of greening out.

If you don’t pay attention to how many milligrams of THC is in your edible, you can easily consume way too much and experience an unpleasant high. Photo by: Gina Coleman/Weedmaps

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When eating edibles, it’s also essential to carefully measure your dose. If you don’t pay attention to how many milligrams of THC is in your brownie, you can easily consume way too much and experience an unpleasant high.

How do I stop getting too high?

If you’re experiencing symptoms of greening out, there are a few things you can do to manage symptoms . Having a friendly face guide you through things is always helpful, as friends can help manage psychological symptoms with their reassuring presence.

Find a safe space to ride out the high, drink enough water, and boost blood sugar levels with food or fruit juice. Take deep breaths and try to distract yourself with a TV show or your favorite music. Do what you can to create a soothing environment in which to wait things out.

Some research, such as this study published in Frontiers Psychiatry , indicates that CBD oil can soothe the anxiety and paranoia associated with too much weed, among other benefits CBD may provide .

Additional research indicates that terpenes such as beta-caryophyllene (found in black peppercorn) and limonene (found in lemons) may play a role in soothing the overwhelming psychoactivity . Beta-caryophyllene binds to CB1 receptors in the brain, preventing THC from doing so and reducing the associated anxiety. Another 2013 study published in BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine found that limonene demonstrated anti-anxiety symptoms in animal models. Therefore, chewing black pepper or a lemon rind may be helpful.

Prevention is usually the best medicine when it comes to smoking too much weed. Staying hydrated and within your canna-limits will help ensure you enjoy a pleasant high, but if you go too far, remember to keep calm and ride out the wave. The unpleasantness of greening out won’t last forever, and you’ll be back to normal in time.

What is greening out? Copy article link to clipboard. Link copied to clipboard. Contents What causes someone to green out? What does greening out feel like? Can greening

Does Consuming Cannabis on an Empty Stomach Make You Higher?

Thursday February 7, 2019

D o you feel stronger cannabis effects on an empty stomach? This is likely a question most have asked about countless foods, drinks and much more we consume in our lives. Often, we tend to wonder how different experiences would be when we don’t eat before consuming. Why that is the case is far from certain. Regardless, it is a topic long discussed. More often than not, these debates lack any conclusion and leave many to go off of their own experiences and anecdotal findings. PotGuide readers have asked us to address this situation and try to unearth a definitive answer on whether or not you get higher on an empty stomach. For those seeking such an outcome, there still isn’t a whole lot of concrete information. Nevertheless, we tried our best to provide some sort of answer.

The Debate with Little Data

Cannabis research lags pretty much across the board at this point. Significant points of concern surrounding patient care, mental health and scores of other pressing concerns lack the needed research due to the current prohibition in countries such as the United States. So, it should come with little surprise that research into the efficacy of consuming cannabis on an empty stomach remains minimal at this time. That said, the importance of the issue impacts several consumption experiences from the desired effect a patient needs to get through the day to how stoned someone wants to be out in the world.

To delve further into the discussion, we turn to where most go to diagnose our illnesses: the Internet.

In most cases, cannabis experts tell folks not to consume edibles on an empty stomach. The reasoning behind this rule, which some consider an essential point in edible consumption, is that edibles make a user feel effects longer and more substantially. While this is a commonly held belief, little to no actual evidence exists to prove it’s true. In fact, some point towards certain studies to show that may not be the case at all.

In one case, The Prof of Pot pointed towards studies such as the 1999 study which found THC to delay digestion by almost 50 percent. Additionally, they highlighted a 2012 study which found that THC and CBD were absorbed quicker on empty stomachs compared to those who were well fed. That said, the Prof elaborated that total absorption of cannabinoids was higher in those that ate prior to consuming. They elaborated, “Although food did delay the time to peak concentrations, the actual levels were otherwise very similar.”

While much of the focus has centered on edibles, discussions around smoking and general consumption have been bandied about for years – extending well beyond the days of online forums. Thankfully, the last few years has at least given us a way to preserve this anecdotal information until a more accurate analysis can come in. For now, a quick scan of Reddit, Quora, Grass City and countless other forums fetch varying results. In one recent Reddit account, user throwthatweedawaynow gave their own first-hand experience in eating a 250mg edible on an empty stomach. In their short live update, they had noted an improved sense of taste and developed a newfound appreciation for sausage. So, take that as you may.

The Empty Stomach Debate Beyond Cannabis

The effects of an empty stomach are often brought up when discussing a person’s vice of choices. Alcohol consumption and hunger have long been discussed. That includes a 1993 study of nine participants, six men and three women. Researchers tested subjects’ drinking during a full stomach and after a few hours of going hungry, with the tests separated by one week. Unsurprisingly, the data found that the effects of alcohol took longer to react on subjects who had recently eaten, while the overall level of consumption remained the same throughout all scenarios – much like cannabis.

For coffee and tea lovers, an empty stomach’s effect on caffeine absorption can leave some feeling sick to their stomachs, with achey heads or jittery limbs. In some cases, physicians have gone so far as to suggest drinking coffee in the mid-morning or early afternoon rather than straight out the gate in the morning. Dr. Adam Simon told Express in 2017 that consuming caffeine on an empty stomach can lead to damaged stomachs and mood changes as well. This may one day prove true that those people that say you shouldn’t talk to them until they’ve had their coffee are actually accurate.

Even sex has come into question. The common perception seems to be that unlike most other things, you should engage in the act of coitus on an empty stomach. With the amount of energy it takes the body to digest a meal, a person’s stamina may be diverted from what it takes to meet the demands of their partner(s). Plus, a full stomach potentially leaves a person feeling bloated, tired and not looking how they may want to when it’s time to get to business.

What to Do with Weed?

In this writer’s case, situations vary. Empty stomachs and the rest of the day’s factors certainly play into how your high will turn out. While an edible seems to be the method of consumption most likely to impact you on an empty stomach, conflicting data and personal reports leave us with no clear answers.

Instead, approach edibles or any consumption method the same whether fully fed or starving: start low and go slow. Pacing out doses is always wise, even if the products come from reputable brands. That said, fight the urge to gorge on edibles if you do go in with an empty stomach. Have a non-THC snack in hand. Bonus points if you have CBD on hand nearby. If the adverse effects of an empty stomach high kick in, a CBD product may help offset the negative effects. Either way, consume safely, friends.

Do you think consuming cannabis on an empty stomach increases effects? Why or why not? Share your experiences below!

Andrew Ward is a Brooklyn-based cannabis writer and creative. His work has appeared on Benzinga, High Times, PROHBTD and several other publications and brand blogs. He has covered the cannabis space for over three years, and has written professionally since 2011. His first book, “Cannabis Jobs,” was released in October 2019. Connect with Andrew on LinkedIn to stay up to date.

Many people have asked us, do you get higher on an empty stomach? We set out to find the answers to this sometimes ambiguous question. Keep reading to learn whether or not consuming cannabis on an empty stomach has any impact on overall effects.