How To Tell If Someone Is High

While drugs have always been present throughout most cultures around the world, we are now starting to see the introduction of legalized, recreational highs entering the mainstream of society. 

This is especially true in the United States, where attitudes surrounding marijuana and its use have changed dramatically over the course of the last decade – with people from all walks of life partaking in this seemingly harmless pastime. 

How To Tell If Someone Is High

But how exactly can you tell if someone is high, and what are the signs to look out for? 

What Does ‘High’ Mean? 

When we talk about someone ‘being high’, we are referring to that person being intoxicated (in varying degrees) by a specific substance.

This is generally different from being ‘drunk’, a term that is almost exclusively reserved for those under the influence of alcohol. 

What Are The Signs Of Being ‘High’? 

While there might be less noticeable physical indicators of being high as there are to being drunk, there are still some notable signs to keep an eye out for – especially if you want to know whether someone you know is under the influence of a drug like marijuana. 

Their Eyes

The eyes are the windows to the soul, and while this might just be a poetic sentiment, it does hold some fact – at least when it comes to people’s emotions, and whether they are under the influence of substances. 

Firstly, when anyone is under the influence of a substance – be it alcohol or narcotics – they tend to develop a glassiness to their eyes, as well as larger pupils than is normal for that person.

This is because these kinds of drugs affect our central nervous systems – making normal ‘blink and you’ll miss it’ functions take much longer to occur. 

As such, the individual may take longer to blink, giving their eyes a glassy and dry appearance, due to the lack of lubrication. 

Some drugs like marijuana also cause red eyes in those who smoke large quantities.

This is because the initial smoking or ingestion of cannabis cause a spike in heart rate and blood pressure – a spike that usually lasts for around 10-15 minutes, before gradually lowering once more. 

This causes the capillaries – most notably the ocular capillaries – to dilate, as blood flow is increased as the pressure decreases. 

Their Smell

If anyone has been around marijuana – or indeed those who smoke it regularly – you will notice that a distinctive smell is present. This is generally a strong vegetation smell, and one that is characteristic of marijuana use. 

Unpleasant to some, and unnoticeable to others, this is one of the most prominent telltale signs of smoking marijuana, and as such is one thing to look out for if you suspect someone is under the influence. 

Due to the strong smell of smoking marijuana, they may also try to cover up the scent with various fragrances, air fresheners, or other masking agents – and an uncharacteristic presence of these smells may well be a sign that they have been smoking marijuana. 

Their Mood

Their Mood

If the person’s mood and personality seem different, then this could also be a sign that they are high or under the influence. 

Marijuana generally makes consumers feel more elated, relaxed, and jovial – but in some cases it can cause paranoia, anxiety, and depression, depending on the temperament of the user, and other mental conditions that may be present. 

Observing the mood of the person, and acknowledging whether or not they are behaving normally, can be a good indicator of whether or not that person has been smoking marijuana or not. 

Their Speech

Slurred and delayed speech is also a sign of being high, and could be an indicator that the person has been smoking marijuana. 

This once again is down to the effect that marijuana has on the central nervous system – namely the timeliness and control that the person has regarding various normal functions. 

They may also repeat themselves in conversation, recounting the same statements or anecdotes repeatedly without knowing they are doing so. 

Depending on the amount they have consumed, they may also be incoherent – that is, making no sense whatsoever.

This is a symptom of most kinds of intoxication – even alcohol – and is a clear indicator that someone is not behaving normally. 

Their Temperament/Behavior 

They might also be behaving differently – something that could manifest itself in erraticism, extreme happiness, or other behavioral signs that point to them not being entirely themselves.

This is another common factor of most forms of intoxication, and each one has a different effect on how the person behaves.

This is also related to the base nature of the individual, as well as any subconscious factors that might be at play in their own minds. 

With marijuana, some notable behavioral and temperamental changes include confusion – in that they cannot comprehend certain, basic situations and statements – seeing or hearing things that are not really there (i.e. sensory hallucinations), having poor coordination and being unable to either walk in a straight line or perform basic tasks, or even a generalized delayed reaction time when it comes to performing normal, everyday tasks. 

The latter is the reason why it is not recommended to operate heavy machinery while under the influence of any drug – as the reduced sense of self, and nervous system sharpness, can make things like driving dangerous. 

Final Thoughts

And there we have it, everything you need to know to tell if someone is high or not. 

It is true that in modern times recreational, legal drug use is becoming more and more common – particularly in the United States – and as such these ‘symptoms’ of being high are perhaps far more commonplace than ever before. 

So if you want to find out if someone you know is high, then why not look for these signs? Something tells me you won’t be disappointed!

If you liked this article, you might enjoy our post, ‘Does Weed Have Calories?‘.

Zack Finch
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