Top Ten Teen Toking Tip-offs!

How do you know if your child is acting like a normal teenager or if you’re seeing cannabis use? Here are ten true-or-false statements covering the most likely tip-offs that your teen is using marijuana.

1.  If my teen used marijuana, I’d be able to smell it.

FALSE – While smoked marijuana has a distinctive, skunky smell, vaped marijuana,[1] whether in oil or solid form, often has little or no smell. You won’t be able to smell it on your teen’s breath and clothes, and the vapors can easily dissipate in a well-ventilated place. Teens can use a “sploof,” which is a handmade filter made from a cardboard tube and a dryer sheet. A room deodorizer or incense can also effectively mask the smell of marijuana. Or, your teen may wear more perfume or cologne than normal.
2.  My teen often has red, bloodshot eyes and uses eye drops frequently, which could indicate marijuana use.  

TRUE – Marijuana users often have very bloodshot eyes because marijuana is a vasodilator.[2] It lowers your blood pressure which causes the capillaries in your eyes to relax and increases the blood flow to those vessels. To counter this effect, users often use eye drops specially formulated for redness which decreases the size of the capillaries in the eyes to make the bloodshot appearance go away. If you note your teen using a lot of eye drops for no apparent reason or you find bottles of eye drops and don’t know why, he or she may be using marijuana.
3.  My teen has suddenly changed his circle of friends, but this can’t signal possible marijuana use.  

FALSE –  Your teen suddenly changing a circle of friends may signal marijuana use. If his friends all use drugs or old friends who don’t do drugs no longer associate with your teen, that’s another red flag.
  1. “Vaping and Marijuana: What You Need to Know.” Partnership to End Addiction, May 2020,
  2. Conkiln, Mark. “Why Does Marijuana Cause Red Eyes & What to Do About It.” THC Physicians, 14 Dec. 2020,