When people think of the stereotypical stoner, they picture someone who is obviously under the influence of pot. Bloodshot eyes, draped over the couch, and with the smell of smoke.
While some of these are actually signs that a person is high on marijuana, it can be more challenging to determine for certain than most people think.
Many who use marijuana know its effects, allowing them to prepare for their high or only use it at a convenient time. Others may even feel they function better under the influence, leaving others even more unaware that they have recently used marijuana.
Discover some signs that may indicate someone is high or has recently taken marijuana and what it is exactly that causes these effects in users.
How Does Marijuana Make People High?
Marijuana, or weed, is made up of over 100 different types of cannabinoids. Although there is still much to learn about all the cannabinoids present in marijuana, there are two well-known to scientists and weed users alike: CBD and THC.
Of these two cannabinoids, THC, short for tetrahydrocannabinol, is responsible for giving users the “high” feeling many people associate with weed.
How quickly THC affects the body is different depending on how the weed is ingested. When it is smoked, the THC in cannabis is absorbed quickly through the lungs and into the blood, going into effect fast. When cannabis (and THC) are taken via something like an edible, though, it has to go through the liver, taking longer for users to feel effects.
Signs Someone Is High on Weed
It can be difficult to tell if someone is high on weed, especially if they are an experienced user. However, there are some signs others can see that may indicate someone has recently partaken in weed. These signs include:
- Bloodshot eyes
- Dilated pupils
- A relaxed state
- Delayed response/reactions
Weed is also known for having a very unique, very strong smell. Most everyone can quickly identify the smell of marijuana smoke. Users may find this smoke clinging to their clothing and is difficult to get rid of. The presence of this smoke can be another indicator someone has recently smoked or has smoked before.
There are also signs that someone is high that are not physical; they are something only the user may experience and notice. Users who are high may experience:
- Dry mouth
- Increased appetite
- Feelings of euphoria
- Distorted perceptions
It is important to note that weed can affect everyone differently, even those who are enjoying the same strain of marijuana together. Be sure to know the type of weed you are using to better anticipate the effects.
Weed and Drug Testing
As recreational weed becomes more and more common, many businesses may be looking for ways to tell if someone is high on weed at the workplace. To do this, many companies may turn to drug testing since it can be difficult to prove someone is high based solely on the above signs.
Weed can stay in a user’s system for a long time, depending on how often they use it. This can make testing difficult since urine and hair tests will detect previous use as well as recent use.
Too High: How to Come Down From a Marijuana High
First-time users, people who are trying a new strain, and even people who get higher than planned all may find themselves needing to come down from their high immediately or as quickly as possible. Thankfully, there are a few ways to sober up, including:
- Taking CBD. CBD is the second-most known cannabinoid found in weed. Unlike THC, it does not get users high. In fact, CBD is often used to counter THC’s effects. CBD can be found in gummies and edibles. Just be sure they are pure-CBD, so you do not ingest any more THC.
- Sleep it off. Take a nap or go to bed. If the high is making you anxious, find a place to lie down and wait for drowsiness to take you. Take some deep breaths and do some relaxation to help you drift off.
- Drink water. Hydrating can go a long way in helping you get rid of your high, including helping with any dry mouth you may experience. Just be sure to drink water, avoid caffeine or alcohol after taking weed.
- Get out the pepper. There is a compound found in peppercorn (black pepper) that increases THC’s sedating effects. Many users can calm down during a bad high by sniffing some (but not inhaling) or chewing on some peppercorns.
- Eat something. Just like when trying to sober up from drinking, putting some food in the belly can help those who are high sober up a bit too.
Tips for Finding Your Dose
When used responsibly, smoking, vaping, dabbing, or eating cannabis products can produce enjoyable effects. Depending on the type of strain you use, you may feel relaxed or energized, euphoric, or sleepy. Taking the correct amount for you is essential, though.
When trying weed for the first time, trying a new strain, or even using weed through a new medium, it is important to start slow. A small dose is the best way to start. Then, allow time for the weed to take effect. Users can then increase their dose (slowly and by small amounts) until they feel the desired effects.
Take note of how much THC is in the strain you are using. The higher the THC content, the more powerful the high. Adjust the dosage accordingly.
Determining if someone is high can be a little tricky. Although there are signs that may indicate someone is high, the effects of cannabis vary, meaning the signs also vary greatly.
Testing for cannabis use does not necessarily mean someone was high when the testing was done. Tests can detect traces of marijuana use for weeks or months after the fact. The best way to determine if someone is high is maybe just to ask.