Although cannabis consumption is becoming increasingly mainstream, it remains federally illegal and, in some circles, a social taboo. For these reasons, you may not feel comfortable being openly high.
The more often you use cannabis, the easier it will become to control your actions around sober people. If you are new to cannabis, it will likely be extra difficult to hide the fact you’re high.
In that case, it is ideal to only consume cannabis with people you feel comfortable sharing that part of your life with. It is also best to consume cannabis in a safe environment—either your home or the home of someone you trust.
However, if you find yourself in the uncomfortable position of being high around an audience that might not be able to handle the truth, here are some things you can do.
Eliminate the Skunky Smell
Cannabis has a distinct, potent smell. You can thank terpenes for your pot’s perfume. If you have decided ahead of time that you will smoke but don’t want people to know you’re high, give yourself enough time to shower when your smoke session is over.
This is the most efficient way to get the smell of cannabis out of your hair and body. Make sure you change into a fresh set of clothes. You’ll also want to brush your teeth. If you don’t have time to shower, wash your hands thoroughly along with changing clothes and brushing your teeth.
If you’ve only got a few seconds, spray yourself with a fragrance and the surrounding area with deodorizing spray and pop a piece of gum in your mouth.
Clear Your Red Eyes
It is well known that cannabis consumption can cause corneal vasodilation, the widening of blood vessels in the eye. This is what causes the infamous red eyes after consuming weed. While this effect is beneficial for glaucoma patients as it also reduces ocular pressure, it is a classic sign of cannabis intoxication.
Here are two solutions for the discreet cannabis smoker: eye drops or sunglasses. Squirting a couple of drops in each eye with an eye solution meant to alleviate redness should help.
Alternatively, you can wear sunglasses if you plan to be outside. Wearing sunglasses indoors might raise suspicion.
Minimize the Weird Conversations
Pot can turn the most introverted person into a social butterfly. In addition to making people more talkative, cannabis can also inspire some odd ideation.
If you are trying to hide your high, do what you can to keep talking to a minimum. People like talking, so you may just come off as a great listener if you can engage the conversation with head nods and enthusiastic “mhms.”
If you are overcome with the desire to express yourself but aren’t sure if you’re about to say something you will regret later, write it out as a note on your phone.
For better or worse, it is not unusual these days to take a moment to use your phone in a social setting.
Get Out the Giggles Discreetly
Weed can make even the most mundane tasks seem hilarious. It can also make it very difficult to stop giggling. Non-stop giggling is one of pot’s most obvious tells.
Trying to stop yourself from laughing often has the opposite effect. If you feel yourself becoming overcome with the giggles, excuse yourself to the restroom and let it out.
Don’t rush it once you’ve gotten away. Think of all that is funny and laugh it out.
If you can’t excuse yourself, just tell the person you’re with that you suddenly remembered something really funny. You get extra credibility points if you can tell them a funny story.
That will give you both an opportunity to laugh without giving your high away. You could choose a story to always fall back on in this kind of situation so that you’re prepared in advance to explain your giggles away.
Don’t Draw Attention to Your Insatiable Appetite
Thanks to many stereotypical depictions of stoners in pop culture, everyone knows that smoking weed can make you really hungry.
If you’re trying to hide your high, do your best not to make your munchies the center of the conversation. Go ahead and eat, but don’t talk about how you’d choose a box of pizza if it came between that and a million dollars.
If and when you do eat, try to eat slowly. Count your chews until you feel like you are comfortable eating at a controlled pace.
If you know that you will be in this situation in advance, try eating before you are with the company you’re trying to hide your high from.
That way, you can at least tell yourself that you aren’t starving, even if THC wants you to think you are.
Take a Mental Break if You’re Anxious or Paranoid
The most common adverse responses to cannabis are anxiety and paranoia. After consuming pot, your heart may race and you may begin to feel anxious, worried, overwhelmed, breathless, or fixated on the irrational idea that someone is trying to hurt you.
If you want to hide your high and you begin to feel this way, excuse yourself to the restroom or somewhere where you can be alone. Take some breaths or call a trusted friend who you are comfortable sharing your cannabis experience with.
If you cannot find a way to calm down and you still don’t want your company to know that you are high, you can either arrange for a ride to pick you up (do not drive while you are high) or you can ask your company to leave.
You can tell them one version of the truth, which is that you suddenly are not feeling well and need to rest.
You should not have to hide your high, however, if you do not feel safe sharing your cannabis use, try to avoid being “caught” by consuming pot privately and during a time when you are not likely to be interrupted.
Otherwise, you may find yourself feeling paranoia and anxiety instead of enjoying what is a much more common cannabis experience—relief.