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How to Tell If Someone Is High: Signs & Symptoms

How to Tell If Someone Is High

Those high on marijuana often go unnoticed in places where sobriety is expected. Even when someone notices a change, they often attribute the strange behavior to illness or fatigue. Many people wonder how to tell if someone is high, especially those who have never used marijuana.

Marijuana is the most commonly used illegal drug in the United States. It is frequently used by people of all ages, especially among teens and young adults. This demographic’s recreational marijuana use concerns many parents, partners, school teachers, and employers. They occasionally worry about someone being high. In this article, we explain common marijuana symptoms in long-term and occasional users.

The Effects of Marijuana on the Brain

THC (also known as delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol) is a psychoactive chemical that causes people to get high on weed. THC is considered to be a cannabinoid since it is a chemical found in cannabis (marijuana). The blood carries the chemical to the brain, where it lands on cannabinoid receptors. Cannabinoids occur naturally in our bodies and when a cannabinoid acts on a cannabinoid receptor, it slows down communication between the brain and the cells in the body. A similar calming effect takes place with THC, which is why marijuana is often deemed a relaxation drug. The chemical also triggers our brain’s reward system. Therefore, joy and pleasure usually follow the feeling of relaxation.

Signs of Use

It's important to know how to tell if someone is high, especially if that person's marijuana abuse affects your life.

One of the most common symptoms of being high is a lack of motivation and avoiding social gatherings. High people stop spending time with certain social groups because they feel uncomfortable around them.  Being secretive and losing interest in joyous activities is the first sign of a marijuana high. In addition, short term memory loss is common. Another symptom is increased appetite. Uncontrollable laughter and so-called weed eyes or stoned eyes are signs of marijuana abuse, as well.

Methods to Use Marijuana

A weed high usually lasts up to a couple of hours. The duration of the effect depends on how the drug is consumed. One of the most popular methods of using marijuana is inhaling it through rolled papers or bongs. Users may even use vaporizers, but also tonics and various tinctures. 

However, the most popular method, in addition to smoking, is through food --marijuana edibles. Various cookies with added marijuana are a favorite sweet for many young Americans. 

Hazards of Use

THC takes a much longer time to reach the blood through edibles than through inhaled smoke. As a result, the person eating the edibles often consumes too much trying to compensate for the lack of high. It can be very dangerous because high levels of THC may cause acute marijuana toxicity.

While sometimes marijuana alone may be enough to cause toxicity, regardless of intake method, a user is also at risk of illegal drug dealers mixing marijuana with other drugs, like hallucinogens. These drug combinations can have various hazardous effects on the body and can cause dangerous toxic shocks.  

Increased Potency

For the past several decades, the potency of marijuana has been on a constant rise. According to the National Institute of Drug Abuse, the amount of THC in today's marijuana is much higher when compared to past decades. Cultivators continuously produce new marijuana strains, mixing breeds and creating new, more powerful plants. 

The increase in THC brings many side effects. One of the most common symptoms is random psychotic symptoms. In this case, the person looks and feels as though they are disconnected from reality.

Finding Marijuana and Related Paraphernalia

If you’d like to learn how to tell if someone is high, you must first understand where to find marijuana and related paraphernalia. Some of the paraphernalia closely associated with smoking weed includes: 

  • Rolling papers
  • Bongs 
  • Pipes made from different materials
  • E-cigarettes
  • Cigar wrappings
  • Roach clips

Locating marijuana-related items is usually enough to confirm your suspicions.

It’s good to know that marijuana doesn't just come in one form – a leaf typically depicted in photos or greenish plants. Sometimes, it may be wax, hash, tinctures, or candy.

Additional Signs

Continual marijuana use may cause a user to experience a withdrawal period. Withdrawal symptoms include restlessness, difficulty sleeping, and irritability.  Another sign is a lack of motivation and energy for everyday chores, followed by unusually reckless behavior. Not to mention, spending their time all alone or only with a certain group of people is another common characteristic.

If a person is moody, nervous, looks and feels tired, and avoids social gatherings, it's possible that they are using marijuana or going through a withdrawal period. 

At Countrywide Testing, we tackle any issue related to drug testing. We offer a wide range of marijuana drug test products and services to discover any drug problems experienced by you or someone you know. We've helped many individuals and companies with our expertise and would be happy to help you. Contact us to address your drug test related questions or concerns.