Looking After a Friend on Marijuana
This information was prepared by the National Cannabis Prevention and Information Centre in Australia, and used with permission. Some information may not be accurate for U.S. readers.
Using marijuana can have unpredictable effects.
Some of the unwanted physical and psychological effects that may be experienced by a person when they are "high" on marijuana may include:
If you are with someone who is affected by marijuana in this way, you can help.
What can you do if someone is physically sick?
"Greening out" is a term that refers to the situation where people feel sick after smoking marijuana. They can go pale and sweaty, feel dizzy, nauseous and may even start vomiting. They usually feel they have to lie down straight away.
You can assist them by:
If the person feels so sick that they start to vomit:
If someone is physically sick it is important that you never leave them on their own, not even for the shortest time.
What can you do if someone is experiencing panic attacks, anxiety or paranoia?
Unwanted psychological effects can range from depression to anxiety, which can go on to produce panic attacks and paranoia. Although this can be frightening for the person, most of the time these effects can be managed through reassurance.
If someone you know experiences these problems after they have used marijuana here are some things you can do to assist them:
If nothing you do is helping
If there is nothing you can do, and this person continues to feel bad or their condition gets worse then it is important to get more help. Call 000 or take them to get medical help so that they can be treated quickly and safely.
How you can help prevent this from happening again?
After the effects of marijuana wear off, talk to your friend about what happened, how it affected you and those around you, and how this can be prevented in future.
As a friend, you can do the following things that may help prevent this happening again.
Factsheet information taken with permission from the NCPIC web site.
Coming soon: updates to this page with U.S. data and information.