Most cannabis users can recall the time they got high from ingesting cannabis oil with THC and experiencing some “paranoid” episodes. At times, it manifests into mild anxiety. Others, they describe it as a never ending worry that may ultimately lead to death. Absurdly, there are people who still use cannabis as a way to eradicate their anxiety. Even patients suffering from PTSD utilize medical marijuana for treating stress and anxiety symptoms with high success rates.
Brain Chemistry and THC
When it boils down to cannabis and paranoia — all that is in your head. Cannabinoids attach themselves to receptors within the brain, a majority which are concentrated in the amygdala. The amygdala functions in processing and managing emotions including paranoia, fear, and paranoia. When THC (a Cannabinoid) reacts to the amygdala, it makes a natural modification on the neural communication.
THC has a tendency to overexcite neural pathways leading to paranoia and anxiety, especially for people are first time users or not used to cannabis. The process through which this occurs aren’t clear to scientists, but the human body’s endocannabinoid system seems to offer plenty of hints.
In layman’s terms, our body has receptor sites that not only get filled by cannabinoids but also from other biological compounds (endocannabinoids) that function similar to chemicals found in cannabis. A shortage of such endocannabinoids is seen in brains exposed to high trauma and stress, which explains why THC features an anti-anxiety and relaxed influence in certain individuals.
A review done several years ago on anxiety and cannabis showed that users utilizing cannabis seem to possess higher anxiety levels than those who don’t use it all. It was also noted that a large number of subjects ended up with an anxiety disorder before the initial symptoms of cannabis dependence. This led scientists to theorize that people vulnerable to anxiety tend to use more anxiety meds while refusing to admit that cannabis is the triggered their anxiety.
While cannabis usage is helpful in understanding a wide range of behavior tendencies, scientists believe that anxiety is individually based on numerous risk factors. These include:
- Genetically-acquired vulnerability
- Previous paranoid episodes
- Anxiety disorder
- Constant anxiety
- States of abstinence
While anxiety is unique in every person, scientists believed that regular cannabis users tend to have fewer anxiety levels. On the other hand, occasional and first-time users have a tendency to experience increased paranoia. Anxiety is also observed in individuals taking increased THC doses.
It’s hard to tell how cannabis will influence you personally unless you’ve given it a try yourself. But knowing the biological and environmental factors involved can help you gain a better experience.
Curbing Induced Anxiety and Paranoia
If you’re prone or worried of acquiring cannabis-induced paranoia and anxiety, don’t worry. There are different ways to curb them. Here are a few tips to keep in mind:
- Give THC or high-CBD strains a go in low doses
CBD is non-psychoactive that fights off anxiety while reversing the psychoactive effects of THC, leading to a calm state and a clear head.
- Take it easy with dosage intake
Vaping and smoking provide better dosage control than cannabis edibles and oils. Consider starting from that point if you’re scared of getting a little too high.
- Settle for a comfortable location
Having the right set and setting will lead to a worthwhile experience. Set up a comfortable place that eases paranoia and panic.
- Stick with a compatible strain
Each strain has something a bit different to provide chemically. Keep track on the ones that worked well for you. Sativa strains typically deliver energizing effects while indicia strains offer a more relaxed influence.