Category: Ask Mama

Ask Mama: Why Does Weed Make Your Eyes Red?

Published on May 27, 2022

high eyes

Oh, honey, you’ve got those high eyes, and that’s just not gonna work for your first shift, the Zoom call that could’ve been an email, or the wedding you forgot you agreed to go to six months ago. 

Like most of the good things about weed, high eyes happen because of THC, and we know weed is a well-tolerated remedy – so, no, your eyes ain’t gonna fall out no matter how eye-poppin’ that strain is. 

Now let Mama tell you what’s really going on, and what you can do about that mean ol’ stoner eye.

What Are High Eyes?

Mama doesn’t get high eyes, because her deep brown gorilla eyes contain only the multitudes of nature and a quiet whisper beckoning you back to the ways of your primal ancestors. But as a dolphin-smooth human, you may get them when you smoke weed – it’s a common thing confirmed by both anecdotal evidence and scientific studies.

Just to be clear, when Mama says “high eyes” or “stoner eyes” or what have you, Mama means the reddened sclera (the white part) of the eye, the sort of glassy look and the dilated pupils you may experience when you smoke a bunch of weed. We’re not getting into hard drugs, optical ailments, or anything else that makes your eyes red, but isn’t related to cannabis. (Mama doesn’t know what you do in your downtime, OK?)

What They Aren’t

Let’s get something straight right off the bat: people used to think that it was the smoke – a well-known eye-reddener – from, uh, smoking weed that made eyes go all red. But you may have noticed in recent years that we’ve got nearly smokeless “stealth” vapes. We’ve got more types of edible snacks than you can shake a 7-11 at, we’ve got tinctures, we’ve got shots, we’ve got all kinds of totally smoke-free methods to get you nice n’ high. And they still might make your eyes red. 

In case you haven’t figured it out yet? It’s not the smoke, ya’ll.

Why Does Weed Make Your Eyes Red?

So why does weed make your eyes red? That’s simple: vasodilation. Next question, Mama’s got places to be.

But…What’s Vas-o-di-la-tion?

You’re still here? Man, Mama really wishes you paid a little more attention in Intro to Human Physiology.

First off, it’s vasodilation, not Vaseline. Vasodilation is just the dilation – which basically means the widening, enlarging, or opening up – of your blood vessels. According to the same type of science people who taught Mama’s great aunt sign language, THC (or tetrahydrocannabinol, the active cannabinoid in weed that makes you feel high) interacts with the body via the cannabinoid receptors in the endocannabinoid system. That’s a lot of canna words, but basically, this built-in system is responsible for all the physical responses that happen when you smoke (or otherwise consume) weed.

One of those responses is to create an overall decrease in blood pressure. To do that, the endocannabinoid system widens up – or dilates – your blood vessels and capillaries, which you’ve got a bunch of in your eyeballs. This is what causes your eyes to take on a red, bloodshot look. It’s also what might make you feel lightheaded when you’re high, and the depressurizing is exactly why some glaucoma patients use cannabis as a treatment.   

How to Get Rid of High Eyes

Regular ol’ high eyes are more of a nuisance than anything to worry about, it’d be great if you could leave the house looking like a respectable member of society. While, ya know, still being a little high. Ideally.

Mama says that’s totally possible, and here’s how:

  • Use eye drops specifically formulated to reduce redness (you’ll see that right on the label). Just be sure to use them sparingly – only when you really need them – as relying on them like a crutch can cause your eyes to develop a dependency or lower their effectiveness.
  • Hydrate while you smoke up. This is just about always good advice (expect no less from this gorilla), but especially so if you regularly experience high eyes. Cannabis itself doesn’t cause dehydration, but smoking just about anything does. And dehydration doesn’t help with the whole bloodshot eyes thing.
  • Have a nice cup of coffee or tea. As a stimulant, caffeine is a vasoconstrictor. Remember vasodilation? Well, this is like the opposite. Vasoconstriction helps close or tighten blood vessels, which can reduce redness in the eyes. A splash of cold water or an ice pack around the eyes can have a similar effect 

Another surefire remedy? Just straight-up time. The people at the American Academy of Ophthalmology are pretty smart, and they estimate that high eyes typically only last a maximum of three to four hours after getting high. So drink a tall glass of water, smoke your pre-roll, and try not to worry so much – stress is a lot more dangerous than a little case of stoner eye.

Ask Mama: Everything You Want to Know About Weed Hangovers

Published on April 29, 2022

Weed Hangovers Spins

by Tough Mama

You wake up in the morning, the sunlight hits you — and you know it’s not going to be the lovely day from that old song. You’re a little groggy, your eyes feel like someone shook out a bathing suit in them, and you’re feeling a little foggy. 

Could it be a weed hangover? Are weed hangovers even a real thing? And most important of all, how do you make it better? 

You’ve got questions about marijuana hangovers, and Mama’s got the answers you’re looking for. Here’s everything you need to know about how to handle the occasional morning-after yuck.

Weed Hangovers: the TL;DR

Mama knows sometimes you just want the facts without a lot of explanation, so here’s the TL;DR version.

  • Weed hangovers are probably a real thing. Yeah, Mama said it.
  • The main symptoms are dry eyes, cottonmouth, grogginess, brain fog, and sometimes, headache. 
  • They’re pretty rare.
  • They’re a lot less gnarly than hangovers caused by alcohol.
  • The main cause of weed hangovers is too much high-potency weed.
  • Not drinking enough water, eating too many Takis in a munchies-induced haze, and getting stoned on an empty stomach can also cause you to feel hungover. 
  • There are things you can do to feel better the morning after a serious session, like taking a shower, drinking some coffee, and eating a good breakfast.
  • The best way to avoid weed hangovers is to stick to your limits.

Are Weed Hangovers Real? Scientists Don’t Know, but Stoners Say So 

This is where Mama would usually whip out a few scientific studies to give you the down-low, but newsflash — scientists haven’t done a whole lot of research about marijuana hangovers. Maybe they were too busy trying to prove that it’s a gateway drug and all the other scare stories you read. Insert eye roll here. 

There are only a few studies on whether weed gives you a hangover. They’re pretty old, and only included young men as subjects, so they may not apply to everyone. 

  • One study in 1985 had 13 guys smoke either a joint or a placebo (a.k.a, a fake joint). Then, they had them do a bunch of simple tests that night and the next morning. They found that the guys who smoked the real deal didn’t judge the passage of time as accurately in the morning as the guys who smoked the fake doobies. The researchers concluded that smoking marijuana may have some subtle “residual” effects.
  • In a 1990 study, researchers had 12 guys smoke weed one weekend, and fake doobies the next. Each weekend, they had them answer questions and do tests the morning after they smoked. They found no real differences in their results between the two weekends and concluded that weed doesn’t cause hangover effects.
  • In 2015, researchers asked medical marijuana users what they liked best and least about using medical cannabis. Some of the people who answered mentioned “marijuana hangover” and “a foggy, non-alert feeling in the morning.” The study doesn’t mention how common those particular effects were. They were lumped in with the 21% of smokers who said they didn’t like the smell, the munchies, coughing, or feeling paranoia. 

So science is pretty split on whether or not weed hangovers even exist. But stoners have been talking about weed hangovers practically as long as they’ve been lighting up. That’s what scientists call “anecdotal evidence,” and anecdotal evidence often turns out to be on point. It’s obvious that some people have some kind of symptoms the morning after enjoying themselves, but the very fact that folks still have to ask if it’s a real thing suggests that it’s pretty rare.

The bottom line: Yeah, weed hangovers are a real thing. But they’re pretty rare and the effects are pretty tame. 

What Causes Weed Hangovers? 

The first answer to that one is pretty basic. The most common cause of being stoned-over is smoking or ingesting edibles beyond your tolerance level. Just like greening out, when you smoke more than your body is used to, you might feel crappy afterward. You’re more likely to experience some symptoms if you’re indulging in high THC products, especially if it’s more potent than you’re used to, or if you use more than usual.

Some folks suggest that the morning after grogginess, sleepiness, and general blah-ness isn’t actually a hangover. Instead, they say, you’re just still high from last night. This can be especially true with edibles, which take much longer to kick in and deliver a high that can last for hours. 

It’s also possible that you’re feeling the effects of something else. *Cough*Alcohol*Cough*. If crossfading is your thing and you get that hungover feeling in the morning, you might be blaming the wrong intoxicant. Booze hangovers come with symptoms — like nausea and pounding headaches — that don’t usually happen when you stick to weed. 

If you like your intoxicants in liquid form, Tough Mama’s Yolo Shotz come in tasty flavors, mix well with your favorite mixers, and kick in fast to get the party started. Check out Mama’s recipe for Lucky Lemon Lime Elixir and follow on Insta for more tasty home-baked goodie ideas.

What Are the Symptoms of a Weed Hangover?

The most common symptoms of being stoned-over include… 

  • Fatigue
  • Sleepiness
  • Brain fog
  • Grogginess
  • Dry eyes 
  • Dry mouth
  • Mild headache

How to Get Rid of a Weed Hangover

The best way to get your day going if you wake up still feeling baked is to just get on with your day. That may sound like some of Mama’s Tough Love, but it turns out that a typical morning routine is just what the doctor ordered for those symptoms.

Here’s Mama’s weed hangover cure:

  • Take a shower. You can try alternating hot and cold water, but really, just getting under the water will help wake your system up and get your circulation going.
  • Drink a cup of coffee. Caffeine will help jumpstart your alertness.
  • Go for a brisk walk or do a quick workout. Just like the shower and the coffee, it will help wake you up.
  • Eat a good breakfast. Hey, good nutrition is the key to feeling right any time, and it’s especially helpful if you’ve overindulged in anything the night before. Keep it light, and hit all the important food groups.
  • Invest in some eye drops. Burning, grainy eyes? This, too, shall pass, but in the meantime, over-the-counter eye drops can help soothe them.
  • Get the juices flowing. To deal with cotton mouth, try chewing some gum or sucking on hard candy. Either of those will give your salivary glands a little poke.

How to Avoid a Weed Hangover 

The best way to deal with a weed hangover is not to get one in the first place. Duh. 

Here’s Mama’s best advice on getting properly baked without feeling burned in the morning.

  • Know your personal limits. If you’ve been around the block a bit, you know what yours are.
  • If you’re trying something new — especially if it’s stronger than your usual — start low and go slow. 
  • Listen to your body. It will let you know when you’ve hit the point of a little more is a little too much.
  • Avoid mixing your intoxicants. Or at least know that if you do, the chances of feeling grim in the morning are a lot higher.
  • Start the party earlier. If your late-night seshes make it hard for you to get going in the morning, try indulging earlier in the evening.
  • Eat before you toke. 

Weed hangovers aren’t inevitable — some people will never wake up twice-baked — but they can happen to even the toughest of us. The trick is knowing what to expect and what to do if it happens to you. 

Now that you’ve got all the info you need, Mama doesn’t want to hear any more whining. You know what to do.

Sources

PubMed – ‘Hangover’ Effects the Morning After Marijuana Smoking

Psychopharmacology Subjective and Behavioral Effects of Marijuana the Morning After Smoking

PubMed – Chronic Pain Patients’ Perspectives of Medical Cannabis

Ask Mama: WTF Are Weed Shakes

Published on April 27, 2022

Weed Shakes Spins

by Tough Mama

No, we’re not talking about shake weed. And, no, we’re not talking about the kinda shakes Daniel Day-Lewis and Kelis are into — though weed milkshakes are actually a thing but try to stay on topic, OK? Listen to Mama for a change.

Weed causes people to feel a lot of different stuff, and in some rare cases, THC can cause people to shake, shiver, or tremor. We call that the weed shakes. It’s always good to listen to your body, and the same kind of science that evolved Mama from a chimp to a gorilla has a perfectly legit explanation for weed shakes, too. Remember that weed shakes are usually harmless, take a deep breath, and we’ll get through this together.

OK, But What are Weed Shakes?

To be real, we don’t have studies in, like, Cannabis and Cannabinoid Research or The Journal of Neuroscience that dive into weed shakes. Honestly, as Herb reminds us, we have a lot more studies touting cannabis’ power to reduce tremors and spasms. 

But what we do have is a heap of anecdotal evidence, where people who have smoked cannabis or taken edibles report involuntary tremors, shivers, and shakes, ranging from unsteady hands to Parkinson-like vibrations. And these stories come from a whole range of sources, from Reddit users to medical pros to cannabis industry CEOs.

Why Shakes Happen

When you smoke weed, shaking is not the ideal result. Munchies, yes, high eyes, sure, but tremors are no bueno. Try not to worry your pretty little human head about it, though, because Mama has a perfectly good explanation. 

THC can actually lower your body temperature as it interacts with nitric oxide in the body, and you know what happens when you’re cold? That’s right, you shiver. But more likely, weed shakes happen when you don’t listen to your mom’s excellent advice about “everything in moderation.” 

Too much THC – whether that’s too many hits or going too hard on a high-concentration strain – can lead not only to psychoactive effects but also to paranoia and even shaking. 

Other reasons people smarter than Mama (THERE AREN’T MANY) suggest for weed shakes include: 

  • Anxiety. 😰 While marijuana is typically a one-way ticket to the Mellow Zone™️, every person’s reaction is different because every person’s body is different. Sometimes, that reaction includes anxious feelings, which can physically manifest with the shakes.
  • Over-Stimulation. 😵‍💫Speaking to Cannigma, Ministry of Hemp CEO Erin Zadoorian says that over-stimulation “usually occurs when you take your weed with other substances, like tobacco or caffeine.” So THC + stimulants = maybe some shakes.
  • Low Blood Sugar. 😪 Because the endocannabinoid system, the built-in bodily network that processes cannabis, helps us maintain a healthy glucose balance, it’s possible that shaking happens as a response to low blood sugar. An American Journal of Medicine piece even found that stoners have a tendency to be more sensitive to the effects of insulin, which adds some weight to this theory.  

Tough Mama’s Cure for Weed Shakes

Usually, Mama’s best health advice is “smoke more weed,” but that’s not the brightest idea here. Try these ancient gorilla healing remedies instead:

  • Cut out the stimulants. If weed shaking is a thing for you, avoid tobacco, Coke, tea, coffee, matcha, fair-trade lattes, Red Bulls, Four Lokos…you get the idea. Cut out any caffeine, nicotine or other sorts of uppers. Mama knows what you did in college.
  • Bundle up. In case those shakes are related to weed’s effect on body temp, get a warm blanket or cozy up by the fire. Doing this will help calm you down, too, which might ease anxiety-induced effects. A little cuddle never hurt anybody, either.
  • Breathe in, breathe out. Mama loves the sound of one hand clapping (silence, for those of you who need a bit of help here), and mindfulness, breathing, and meditation exercises are a great remedy for weed shakes. Get away from hectic environments or chaotic people, focus on your steady inhales and long exhales, and clear your mind in a safe, quiet space.

As Healthline says, you can’t overdose on weed, but you can overdo it. 

Your body reacts to weed differently than anybody else’s body because Mama made you beautiful. So remember to start low and go slow, and keep good, safe company when you’re experimenting with new strains or edibles. Most of the time, you can expect weed shakes to last for no more than 30 minutes, or a few hours with slow-metabolizing edibles. Just rest your head on Mama’s bosom till they pass.

Sources

The Cannigma – What Are the ‘Weed Shakes’ and How Can You Prevent Them?

National Library of Medicine – PubMed.gov: American Journal of Medicine: The Impact of Marijuana Use on Glucose, Insulin, and Insulin Resistance Among US Adults

Herb – Does Smoking Give You the Shakes?

Healthline – You Might Not Overdose on Cannabis, But You Can Still Overdo It

Real Talk: Here’s How to Tell If Weed Is Laced

Published on April 27, 2022

how to tell if weed is laced

by Tough Mama

Gather round, kids. It’s time for some real talk on a tough subject: laced weed. You all know what I’m talking about. We’ve all heard of weed that’s been mixed with something else to make it stronger, weirder, or to fool you into thinking it’s higher quality than it really is. 

But here’s the deal: Laced weed can be straight-up dangerous. Any self-respecting stoner needs to be able to spot if something funky has been mixed in with their flower. And Tough Mama’s here to teach you how.

Here’s everything you should know about laced weed, including…

  • how to tell if weed is laced.
  • how to tell what it’s laced with.
  • what you should do if you accidentally smoke laced weed.
  • how to avoid buying laced weed in the first place.

How Common Is Laced Weed? 

Kids who grew up watching cartoons and action shows in the ’80s and ’90s thought quicksand would be a much bigger problem in their adult lives. You can say the same thing about the chances of accidentally coming across laced weed. If you go by the headlines and viral posts on Facebook, it seems like a really huge problem. But the facts tell a different story, especially if you’re talking about fentanyl, which is the most likely to get into the headlines. A recent case in Connecticut is a good example. 

In November 2021, the Connecticut Department of Public Health issued a warning about fentanyl in weed. Just a few months later, in February 2022, they had to walk back their warning after testing lots of weed and finding fentanyl in exactly one sample. Even cops agree that it’s pretty rare to find weed laced with fentanyl. 

So How Does It Happen?

Probably by accident. The stories you hear about weed laced with fentanyl, cocaine, heroin, angel dust, and other street drugs don’t pass the smell test. Just like nobody is handing out $20 edibles to kids at Halloween (bummer, Mama knows), no dealer is wasting money by dusting cheap weed with more expensive drugs. 

What’s more likely is that they packaged their weed on the same table where they package other drugs. If they didn’t do a good job of cleaning up between batches, some of the fentanyl might get mixed in with the bud.

Why Do People Lace Weed?

Some stoners lace their own weed with another drug to change the high. That’s cool — Mama doesn’t judge. You might run into it if they bring it to a party or offer to share it with you. If you’re expecting pure flower, though, their little addition might be an unwelcome surprise. 

Street dealers may mix low-quality weed with other things to make it heavier or to fake higher-quality strains. If you know what to look for, you can avoid getting ripped off — or worse, ending up in the ER.

How to Tell If Weed Is Laced

Fentanyl and other street drugs may grab the most headlines, but they’re not the only things you might find in your bud, especially if you’re buying it on the street. Here’s how to tell if weed is laced and what it’s laced with — preferably before you light it up.

  • Know your weed. Know how it should look, taste, smell, and feel. 
  • Smell it. Different strains have very different smells, but they should all have that rich, earthy smell underneath it all. If it smells chemical or fake, it probably is.
  • Feel it. Roll a nug between your fingers. It should be slightly sticky, and some of the trichomes might stick to your fingers. 
  • Look for excess white powder that might be crushed drugs or laundry detergent. The kief should be greenish with maybe a tinge of brown or yellow. 
  • Watch for weird effects when you light up. If it sparks, pops, or burns in weird colors, there’s probably something off with it.

Here are some specific things to check.

Fentanyl

Like Mama said it’s rare to find fentanyl in weed. If you’re still worried about it, though, you can use a fentanyl test strip (here’s how to use them) on a small sample. It will tell you if there is any fentanyl in it. 

Special Note: Fentanyl is more dangerous if you inject it or absorb it through mucous membranes, like under your tongue. It’s also a lot easier to test tinctures and oils for fentanyl.

Cocaine

There are two ways to tell if weed is laced with coke:

  1. a lot of white powder shakes off the buds.
  2. your mouth goes numb when you spark it up.

What you might feel after smoking weed laced with cocaine:

  • agitation
  • excitation
  • high energy
  • paranoia
  • heart racing
  • shallow breathing

What to do: Call someone you trust — if you’re not already with a friend. They can get medical help for you if your physical symptoms get too extreme.

Acid

Weed isn’t exactly laced with acid because the psychedelic compounds in acid will break down when you light up. Instead, people soak the mouth tip of a joint or blunt in acid to make a rainbow joint. There’s no real way to tell if you’ve got a rainbow joint before you smoke it and start tripping. It can be scary AF if you’re not expecting it.

What you might feel after smoking weed laced with acid:

  • hallucinations
  • euphoria
  • intense emotions
  • time distortion

What to do: Again, get a friend to babysit. You’ll be fine in a few hours.

PCP (Angel Dust)

There are two ways to lace weed with PCP: mix it with the weed or soak the rolling papers in it. If it’s mixed in with the weed, you’ll see more white powder on the buds than there should be. If the papers have been soaked, you might be able to see the dried crystals. but don’t count on it. You will taste it, though. PCP has a strong, harsh smell and taste.

What you might feel after smoking weed laced with angel dust:

  • hallucinations
  • euphoria
  • relaxation
  • excitement
  • feelings of invincibility
  • wired
  • agitated
  • anxious
  • nausea
  • panic
  • racing heartbeat
  • psychosis

What to do: Mama’s starting to feel like a broken record here but — yeah, call a buddy to sit it out with you. They can get help for you if you need it, and keep you company if you don’t.

Other Weird Additives

Some shady dealers try to pass off ditch weed as top-shelf green by doctoring their stash with some pretty nasty stuff. If you pay attention, you can usually catch it before you roll it up and toke.

Ground Glass

Um, yeah, it’s a thing. — and not even a new thing. Back in 2007, Brits had an epidemic of grit weed. Dealers were spraying shwag with the stuff they use to make signs reflective. The buds looked rich and sticky with trichomes — but they were tiny glass beads. 

How to tell: Rub a nug between your fingers. If it’s been laced with glass, it will feel gritty. Or rub against the back of a CD. If it leaves scratches, it’s probably laced.

What to do: Throw it out — and don’t buy from that dealer again.

Laundry Detergent

Again, they’re trying to fake the trichomes you get on dank weed. 

How to tell: Use your eyes. Laundry powder will be pure white or have blue speckles. Or break off a bit of bud and swish it around in a glass of warm water. If it suds — well, trichomes don’t do that.

What to do: Same as before. You don’t really want to smoke bargain-basement laundry soap, do you?

Butane or Fuel

Some strains of weed have a very distinct smell. Sometimes a dealer will try to fake something like Sour Diesel by spraying crap weed with lighter fluid or some kind of fuel. 

How to tell: Break off a chunk and hold it to a lit flame. If it flares right up, it’s probably dipped in something flammable.

What to do: You know the drill by now.

How to Avoid Getting Laced Weed

Mama doesn’t say “don’t” very often, but here’s a big don’t — don’t buy your weed on the street corner. The one sure way to make sure you’re getting the real deal is to buy from a trusted source, like a dispensary. That way, you don’t look like a fool swishing your nugs in a dishpan to see if they suds up.

Sources

WebMD Connect to Care – Fentanyl Laced Weed: 3 Myths You Should Stop Believing Now

Ohio Harm Reduction Network – False Reports of Fentanyl in Cannabis

CT Insider- Dozens of CT Overdoses Were Falsely Linked to Fentanyl-laced Marijuana

The Guardian – Warning Issued Over Cannabis Adulterated with Glass Beads

Annenberg Media – Fentanyl-laced Weed: Fact or Fiction?

Filter Mag – The Pernicious Myth of Fentanyl-laced Cannabis

NYC.gov – How to Test Drugs with a Fentanyl Test Strip

Ask Mama: Is Greening Out a Real Thing?

Published on April 19, 2022

what is greening out

by Tough Mama

All right, kids, gather round. It’s time for a tough talk about a tough subject: greening out. You’ve got questions, like

  • What is greening out? 
  • Is greening out even for real or is it just more reefer madness scare stories?
  • What do I do if I get too high? 
  • Is there anything I can do to avoid a greenout?
  • And the biggie: What’s the worst that could happen? 

If you’ve read Mama’s Story, you already know we don’t mess around with the facts, so here are some straight answers to all of your questions.

The TL;DR on Greening Out

The bad news is that greening out is a thing that can happen. The good news is that it won’t kill you…and what doesn’t kill you teaches you a little more about your tolerance. 

The most common symptoms of greening out are

  • Nausea
  • Anxiety
  • Panic
  • Increased heart rate
  • Low blood pressure
  • Dizziness
  • Drowsiness
  • Hallucinations (in extreme cases)

For most people, the effects only last a couple of hours, and you can ride it out with a few common-sense ways to cope (which Mama will share later in this article). There are also things you can do to make greenouts a lot less likely, like not getting cross-faded on weed and booze at the same time, or making sure you’re fed and watered before you start. 

If you have a heart condition or history of heart disease, you should definitely talk with your medical professional about consuming cannabis. 

What Is Greening Out?

Greening out is what happens when you consume more THC than your body can handle. It’s not uncommon — in fact, most stoners will probably experience a greenout at least once, especially when using high potency products or trying a new form of cannabis. It has a range of nasty effects, including nausea, dizziness, discomfort, paranoia, generalized anxiety, racing heartbeat, drowsiness, and, you know, generally feeling like you’re going to die. (Don’t worry, it happens to the toughest of us!)

What Causes Greening Out?

Like Mama already said (so listen up this time), the simple answer is “consuming too much THC.” 

But what exactly is “too much”? This is where things get complicated. The line between vibing and greening out can be different for every person — and it even can vary for each person depending on different circumstances. To understand it, you need to know a little about how weed gets you high. 

Here’s a down-and-dirty primer. 

The Endocannabinoid System and Greening Out

The endocannabinoid system (known as the ECS, for short) is the most recently discovered bodily system and may be the most important system in our bodies. Stoner science for the win.

The ECS helps maintain homeostasis in all of the cells in the body. In other words, whenever something in our environment changes, the ECS goes to work to keep the body functioning at its best level. It does this by releasing certain enzymes that bind to receptors on the surface of our cells, which trigger chain reactions that help us feel warmer, cooler, less anxious, calmer, hornier — the list goes on and on. 

Basically, the ECS is what keeps our brains and bodies working the way they should.

Some of those enzymes our body makes are virtually identical to enzymes found in the cannabis plant, most notably THC and CBD. When you take in THC, it binds to certain receptors, triggering your body to release chemicals that make you feel happier, calmer, more nervous, hornier, etc., etc. When you take in more THC than your system can handle, your body is flooded with those chemicals, which results in — you guessed it — greening out. 

Does Greening Out Mean I’m a Lightweight?

It’s not a shame game, okay? While newbies or folks that haven’t toked up in a while are more likely to get too high, it can happen to anyone at any time, especially if they’re partaking in a high-potency product for the first time. 

There are a few things that can make you more susceptible to that way-too-high feeling, though. They include…

  • Partaking in weed AND other substances, especially alcohol
  • Getting stoned on an empty stomach
  • Being high in a situation that makes you anxious
  • Using a higher dosage or different form of cannabis than you’re used to
  • Genetics (maybe)

In other words, if you’re already feeling a little off, there’s a higher risk that you may have a bad reaction. There are ways to counterbalance most of those factors in the tips section below. (Mama’s got you!!)

Symptoms of Getting Too High 

Let’s take a closer look at the most common symptoms of getting too high.

  • Nausea 🤢 : While weed is well-known as a way to fight nausea, it’s also one of the most common symptoms of over-consumption. It will pass.
  • Anxiety 😬 : Some (unlucky!) people get anxious when they indulge, but the anxiety that comes along with a greenout can be next level. If you find yourself wondering whether you’ll ever come down from this high, chances are you’re mid-greenout. Roll with it, and be careful not to call 911 and tell them you are literally dying — especially if you’re a cop.
  • Paranoia 👀 : Paranoia is another common reaction to weed, so it doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re on the way to greening out. It is a pretty good signal that you should chill for a bit, though. If you’re feeling extra jumpy or panicking at every little sound, it’s time for a little self-care.
  • Increased heart rate ❤️: One of the physical side effects of weed is an increase in your heart rate. When you’re all in your head, though, that increase can feel really scary. Combine it with paranoia and anxiety, and it’s almost a closed feedback loop. Unless you have an underlying heart condition, this, too, shall pass in due time.
  • Drowsiness 😴 : That pleasant, mellow dreaminess you get from a nice hit of Indica can sometimes cross the line to knocking you out for the count. If you’re not in a good place to sleep it off, that can be a big problem.
  • Dry mouth 😛 : Cottonmouth is a real thing, and it’s not just from dehydration. Turns out that THC makes you produce less saliva. Chew some gum, or suck on hard candy.

What To Do If You — Or Your Buddy — Gets Too High 

Despite your best efforts and experience, it happens. You — or one of your bud buddies — are way too high. Here’s what you can do to get through it.

  1. Don’t Panic. Yes, that’s easier said than done, but it really helps to keep reminding yourself that no one ever died of a weed overdose. You’ll be fine. It will just take time. 
  2. Get with Friends. If you’re alone, call a friend to be with you. Pick someone that gets it, and will hang with you, reassure you, and distract you. This is not the time for that one friend — you know who they are — that thinks it’s funny to pop a balloon behind your head.
  3. Hydrate. Water and a light snack will help take the edge off. A glass of fruit juice can be especially helpful since it will give your blood sugar a little lift. Just avoid alcohol, since research shows that alcohol increases the concentration of THC in the blood. This is the exact opposite of what you want to happen when you’re already greening out.
  4. Distract Yourself. Play a video game, go for a walk, watch your favorite comfort show. Do whatever it takes to just take your mind off your symptoms and make the time pass more quickly.
  5. Try Some CBD. CBD can help manage the over-the-top effects of too much THC. Keep a few gummies handy just in case.
  6. Sniff Some Pepper. Or a Lemon. It sounds weird, but there are a lot of folks that swear by lemon or black peppercorns to help them come down when they’re too high. It’s probably because they both contain natural terpenes that help relieve anxiety.
  7. Take a Nap. Sleeping it off works. 

When to Get Help

In most cases, greening out is nothing to worry about. You should call for medical help if:

  • someone is continually vomiting.
  • someone has a heart condition and is experiencing chest pain.
  • they seem overly sedated (i.e., you can’t keep them awake).

Tips to Avoid Greening Out 

Our vape carts and infused pre-rolls may be a little stronger than you’re used to — tough as a silverback, remember? If this is your first trip on the silverback express, here are a few things you can do to ensure that you bliss-out, instead of greenout. 

  1. Indulge in a Safe Space. Yeah, yeah, you’re not a baby. Still, being in a place where you’re comfortable with people you like makes everything better, right?
  2. Go Easy on the Alcohol. If you do decide to crossfade, the accepted wisdom is weed first, then booze
  3. Know Your Tolerance. If you’re trying a new strain, product, or different method of ingesting, go easy at first ( especially if you’re going for something with higher THC than you’ve tried before). Take it one hit at a time, and wait to judge how high you are before hitting it again.
  4. Know the Dosage. Okay, real talk here. Look for the dose on the label before you buy — and only buy from those you trust to put the truth on their labels. 
  5. Eat a Little Something Before You Get High. Weed on an empty stomach is an invitation to the greenout gremlins. 
  6. Take it Low and Slow. Mama knows that’s standard advice, but it’s especially important when you’re experimenting with something new like Mama’s Yolo SHOTZ. Even if you’re used to edibles packing 100-200mg, nanoemulsions come up quick and let your body absorb more THC. Mama’s suggestion: start with 5mg microdoses and proceed with caution.

Mama’s Got Your Back

We’re all about putting the fun back into getting high. That’s why we never cut corners when it comes to getting properly baked. Every cart and pre-roll is high-quality, high-potency, and tasty as Mama’s home cooking. Check it out — and be ready to party.

Sources

Leafly – 8 Ways to Sober Up from Being High

Drug and Alcohol Research and Training Australia – How Do You Look After Someone Who Is Greening Out on Cannabis?

Harvard Health – Marijuana and Heart Health: What You Should Know

Canigma – What Is Greening Out? What Does It Mean and Is It Dangerous?

Healthline – Can You Overdose on Cannabis? Separating Myth from Fact

NORML – Introduction to the Endocannabinoid System

Way of Leaf – The Science Behind Weed and  Cotton Mouth

Leafly – Can CBD Undo the Anxious Side Effects of THC?

Herb – What Is Crossfading and How to Do It Properly

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