Updated on April 23, 2024
6 min read

15 Common Signs of Being Too High

Key Takeaways

Marijuana is one of the most widely used drugs in the U.S., and in some states, it’s legal. Although you can’t fatally overdose on weed, you can still experience uncomfortable side effects from taking too much.

Fifteen common signs of being too high on marijuana include:1

  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Mood changes
  • Anxiety or paranoia
  • Impaired coordination
  • Slow reaction time
  • Confusion or disorientation
  • Fatigue or lethargy
  • Increased blood pressure
  • Red eyes
  • Dry mouth
  • Memory problems
  • Warped perception of time
  • Difficulty thinking
  • Altered senses, like seeing brighter colors
  • Hallucinations

What is “Greening Out?”

“Greening out” refers to a sick or unpleasant feeling some get when smoking too much marijuana. It typically happens when you take too much weed. While it’s sometimes referred to as a marijuana “overdose,” it is not life-threatening.

This can happen if you’ve taken too much, but also if you’re new to cannabis, don’t take it often, or haven’t sufficiently slept, eaten, or hydrated.

Some physical symptoms of greening out are:

  • Rapid heartbeat and elevated blood pressure
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Dizziness or lightheadedness
  • Headache or migraine
  • Profuse sweating
  • Pale or ashy complexion
  • Loss of mobility, feeling like limbs are too heavy to move
  • Disorientation with blurry vision
  • Unstable balance and trouble hearing

Some psychological symptoms of greening out are:

  • Intense anxiety or paranoia
  • Panic attacks
  • Feeling disoriented or confused
  • Persistent feelings of unease or discomfort
  • Heightened sensitivity to stimuli, such as light, sound, or touch

Greening out can also happen when you drink alcohol while smoking. When you have alcohol in your system, your body absorbs tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) much faster. THC is the compound in marijuana that gets you stoned.

Additionally, 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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6 Ways to Calm Down When You’re High

If you want to calm down while you’re high on marijuana, the first thing you should do is to stop using weed. Additionally, there are various things you can do to feel better if you feel too high or you’re greening out:

1. Find a Quiet Place to Relax

Sometimes, finding a quiet and comfortable place to relax can be incredibly helpful. Especially if the weed is making you panic or feel anxious. 

Try some breathing exercises or listen to music to help you relax. Eventually, the high will fade to a feeling of relaxation and drowsiness.

Because you’re in a safe and comfortable place, you can fall asleep when you feel tired. This is better than going somewhere else when you just want to sleep.

2. Stay Hydrated

Drinking water before, during, and after smoking weed can be very helpful. Drinking water can prevent dry mouth and dehydration caused by cannabis.

However, you should avoid drinking coffee or caffeinated sodas. These drinks can increase your heart rate and blood pressure, worsening your experience.

3. Distract Yourself

Shifting your focus to something other than your high can help stop you from thinking too much about it. Try watching a TV show or playing a video game to distract yourself.

You can even focus on a good memory to keep you grounded. However, you should definitely avoid anything anxiety-inducing like graphic material or horror movies.

4. Eat Something

You should consider eating a light meal even if you're not hungry. This can help reduce cannabis’ effects. It can even help you calm down if you’re panicking.

Not eating before using marijuana can also be unpleasant. Try eating high-fat or carb-heavy foods to fill your stomach beforehand.

Additionally, some studies suggest that terpenes found in lemons and black pepper can help ease the effects of THC.10 So consider chewing on some peppercorns or drinking a glass of lemonade.

5. Talk to a Friend

Talking to a friend can help you calm down when feeling too high. Call a trusted and sober friend to spend time with until you feel better. They can also help you avoid trouble while under the influence.

6. Take a Walk

If you feel stable enough to go on a walk, try it. A good 10 to 15 minutes of light movement can keep your mind off the high.

A walk can also lower your blood pressure, relieve stress, and it might even improve your mood. Just don’t try to walk when you feel woozy or unbalanced, and remember to walk in a safe area.

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Can CBD Help You Calm Down When You’re High?

There are no clear answers to this yet. Cannabidiol (CBD) is a cannabinoid found in cannabis, similar to THC. However, CBD interacts with different brain receptors and doesn’t cause a high.

Because of this, people believe that CBD can counteract the effects of THC. But the evidence around this is mixed. Some studies have shown that CBD can affect the psychological effects of THC, decreasing anxiety.7

In other studies high doses of CBD may increase the concentration of THC in the blood, leading to stronger and longer-lasting effects.8 Additionally, recent studies suggest that CBD doesn’t reduce the adverse effects of THC in cannabis.9

How Long Does a High Last?

A cannabis high can last between two 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 weed:

Smoking or Vaping

When you smoke or vape marijuana, you’ll start to feel the effects within minutes. It typically kicks in within two to 10 minutes as it enters your bloodstream via the lungs.


Your digestive system metabolizes marijuana when you eat it, which can take a while. Edibles typically kick in between 30 to 60 minutes. But, the effects of edibles can sometimes take as long as two hours to present themselves.2

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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 April 23, 2024
10 sources cited
Updated on April 23, 2024
  1. NIDA. "Cannabis (Marijuana) DrugFacts." National Institute on Drug Abuse, 2019.
  2. NIDA. "What are marijuana's effects?." National Institute on Drug Abuse, 2021.
  3. Volkow et al. “Adverse health effects of marijuana use.” The New England Journal of Medicine, 2014.
  4. Turner et al.Marijuana Toxicity.” Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing, 2021. 
  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 Therapeutic Effects of Cannabis and Cannabinoids.” Washington (DC): National Academies Press (US), 2017.
  6. Lafaye et al. “Cannabis, cannabinoids, and health.” Dialogues in Clinical Neuroscience, 2017.
  7. Niesink R, & van Laar M. “Does Cannabidiol Protect Against Adverse Psychological Effects of THC?” Front Psychiatry, 2013.
  8. Martinez, M. “CBD May Increase the Adverse Effects of THC in Edible Cannabis Products, Study Shows.” John Hopkins Medicine, 2023.
  9. Lawn et al. “The acute effects of cannabis with and without cannabidiol in adults andadolescents: A randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled,crossover experiment.” Addiction,  2023.
  10. Hwang et al. “Antidepressant-like effects of β-caryophyllene on restraint plus stress-induced depression.” Behavioural Brain Research, 2020.

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