Updated on November 27, 2023
4 min read

Signs of Being Too High: What Should You Know?

Key Takeaways

Marijuana is one of the most widely used drugs in the U.S. Although legal in many states, marijuana still runs the risk of overdosing.

Ten common signs of being high on marijuana include:1

  1. Altered senses, like seeing brighter colors
  2. Altered sense of time
  3. Mood changes
  4. Impaired body movement
  5. Difficulty thinking and problem-solving
  6. Impaired memory
  7. Hallucinations
  8. Delusions
  9. Psychosis 
  10. Red, bloodshot eyes

What is “Greening Out?”

“Greening out” is a casual term used to describe when a person feels sick after smoking marijuana. It's often described as a cannabis overdose and often happens when you drink alcohol before smoking marijuana.

This happens because having alcohol in your blood causes your body to absorb tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) faster. THC is the compound in marijuana that gets you stoned.

Smoking marijuana after drinking can lead to stronger and more unpleasant side effects. These side effects range from mild to severe and may include:

  • Turning green or pale
  • Sweating
  • Dizziness or nausea
  • Vomiting or prolonged vomiting
  • Anxiety or panic
  • Hallucinations

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7 Ways to Calm Down When You’re High

If you believe you are high, stop marijuana use. The following are seven ways to calm down and feel better if you are high:

Find a quiet place to sit or lie down

Breathing exercises or listening to calm music can help you relax after using marijuana. If you decide to listen to music, choose something you know all the words to. This can help you stay grounded in the moment. 

Eventually, the high will fade to a feeling of relaxation or drowsiness. If you feel tired, allow yourself to fall asleep if you’re in a safe and comfortable place.

Drink water

Drinking water before, during, and after marijuana use can help if you feel too high. Cannabis can often lead to a dry mouth, so drinking water can help. It also gives you something to focus on.

Shift your focus

Changing your focus to something other than your high can stop you from thinking about it too much. Consider something simple, like a good memory, and avoid anything anxiety-inducing like graphic video games or horror films.


Not eating enough before using marijuana can be dangerous or unpleasant. Eating something can help you feel better. Try eating high-fat or carb-heavy foods to fill your stomach.

Talk to a friend

Speaking to a close friend can calm you if you feel too high. Call a trusted and sober friend and have them talk to you or spend time with you until you feel better. The buddy system is also an excellent way to keep you from risky behavior while under the influence.

Take a walk

If you feel stable enough, go on a walk, even if it’s just for 10 to 15 minutes. Some light movement can distract you from the high. A walk can also lower your blood pressure, relieve stress and anxiety, and improve your mood.


It may sound counterintuitive, but some people use CBD to counteract the effects of THC. Like THC, CBD is a cannabinoid found in cannabis. However, CBD interacts with different brain receptors and doesn't cause a high. 

Several animal and human studies have shown the benefits of CBD for various forms of anxiety. CBD may also help some people sleep.

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How Long Does a High Last?

A cannabis high can last between 2 to 10 hours, depending on various factors.

These factors include:

  • How much THC you’ve consumed
  • Weight and body fat percentage
  • Metabolism
  • Whether or not you’ve eaten
  • Tolerance

The duration of a high also depends on how you consume the marijuana:


You can start to feel the effects of marijuana within 2 to 10 minutes after smoking it. It kicks in within minutes of inhaling as it enters your bloodstream via your lungs.


Your digestive system metabolizes marijuana when you eat it. This can take a while.

Edibles typically kick in between 30 to 60 minutes. But, the effects of edibles can sometimes take as long as 2 hours to present themselves.2


Like smoking marijuana, the effects of vaping should kick in within 2 to 10 minutes.

How to Make Sure You Don’t Get too High

If you haven't smoked marijuana before, consider the following to avoid getting too high:

  • Pace yourself
  • Eat edibles instead of smoking
  • Avoid using marijuana on an empty stomach
  • Stay close to trustworthy people
  • Avoid going to a public place or a party
  • Try marijuana at a safe and comfortable place

Although edibles have a delayed effect compared to smoking, you should still be careful. Edibles have different effects on people, and a certain amount for some people may be too much for you.

Know your limits and take the drug in small amounts. Also wait a few hours before eating or smoking more.

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Updated on November 27, 2023
6 sources cited
Updated on November 27, 2023
  1. NIDA. "Cannabis (Marijuana) DrugFacts." National Institute on Drug Abuse, 24 Dec. 2019
  2. NIDA. "What are marijuana's effects?." National Institute on Drug Abuse, 19 Apr. 2021
  3. Volkow, Nora D et al. “Adverse health effects of marijuana use.” The New England journal of medicine vol. 370,23 : 2219-27
  4. Turner AR, Spurling BC, Agrawal S. Marijuana Toxicity. [Updated 2021 Aug 2]. In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2022 Jan-. 
  5. National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine; Health and Medicine Division; Board on Population Health and Public Health Practice; Committee on the Health Effects of Marijuana: An Evidence Review and Research Agenda. The Health Effects of Cannabis and Cannabinoids: The Current State of Evidence and Recommendations for Research. Washington (DC): National Academies Press (US); 2017 Jan 12. 4, Therapeutic Effects of Cannabis and Cannabinoids
  6. Lafaye, Genevieve et al. “Cannabis, cannabinoids, and health.” Dialogues in clinical neuroscience vol. 19,3 : 309-316

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