15 Signs of Teen Marijuana Use

Many parents are shocked to realize that their child has been using marijuana when they catch their teen in the act or are informed of a positive drug test by the school or police. But there are many warning signs that they may have missed.


Keep an eye out for these tell-tale signs that might indicate your child has been smoking marijuana. Separately, these may not be cause for concern, but when combined, you may want to investigate further.

  1. Lack of motivation: Has your child lost interest in the hobbies or activities they used to enjoy? Whether it is school clubs, a garage band, or a personal passion, teens often identify very strongly with their hobbies. If they seem to have suddenly lost interest, it may be because a different kind of “hobby” is taking up most of their time.
  2. Respiratory problems: Heavy marijuana users often develop a “smoker’s cough.” If your child starts to experience lung infections or other respiratory problems, they are most likely smoking cigarettes or marijuana.
  3. Incense & air fresheners: These are often used to cover up the scent of marijuana. You may also notice a sudden desire to use mouthwash, breath mints, or other methods of disguising the smell of marijuana on a person.
  4. Signs of depression or isolation: It is normal for teens to seek independence and want time alone, but if your teen seems very withdrawn and reluctant to join in family activities, you may have cause for concern.
  5. Change in friends: Has your child started hanging out with a new group of people? Do you not see their old friends around anymore? This kind of dramatic change may indicate that your teen has started experimenting with things their old friends do not participate in.
  6. Visine: If you are not aware of a reason for your teen to be using eye-strain medication, be suspicious if you find Visine around. This is commonly used by marijuana users to treat tell-tale red eyes.
  7. Burns on the thumb and forefinger: Small burns on your child’s thumb and forefinger are almost certainly caused by smoking a joint all the way to the end.
  8. Pro-marijuana decorations: Many teens who experiment with marijuana identify strongly with “pot culture.” Stickers, pins, and posters that glorify marijuana use are very likely signs that your teen feels they are part of this culture.
  9. Blocking bedroom door cracks: Blocking the bottom of a bedroom door with a rolled up towel or setting up a fan in the window are both common tactics for preventing other members of the household from smelling marijuana smoke.
  10. Bong, rolling papers, pipes, : If you find this kind of drug paraphernalia, your teen has almost certainly started using marijuana on a regular basis. Casual experimenters usually do not possess multiple drug-related accessories.
  11. Hidden edibles: Although marijuana is most commonly smoked, it can also be baked into brownies and other “edibles.” If you find hidden baked goods around your teen’s room or they develop a sudden desire to bake without you present in the kitchen, it may be because of marijuana use.
  12. Increase in spending: Lots of teens seek out part-time work or odd jobs for extra spending money at the mall or to save up for a car. If your teen starts making and spending more money, but doesn’t seem to have anything to show for it, they may be working to support an expensive marijuana habit.
  13. Drop in academic performance: A sudden dip in grades is almost always a sign that something is going on with your child. It may be emotional struggles, a new boyfriend or girlfriend, or it may be rooted in drugs.
  14. Talking in code: Every teen has secrets they want to keep from their parents, but if you notice your child seems to be speaking in code with friends when you are in earshot, you will want to take a closer look to see if you’ve noticed some of the other indicators on this list.
  15. Seeming stoned: This basic indicator may seem too obvious to include, but it is one that too many parents miss. You want to believe the best of your child, but if they seem sluggish or distracted, laugh at strange times, or their short-term memory seems to be damaged, you must consider the strong possibility that they are under the influence of marijuana.


Pay attention to these common indicators that your child may be using marijuana. If you do come to suspect that your teen is using, try not to panic. Approaching your child in a calm, adult manner is the best way to have a productive conversation about marijuana use. If you’d like to speak to a Cumming, GA criminal defense attorney about your child’s likelihood of drug use and how to proceed legally, we are here to offer support.