Marijuana is mostly associated with feelings of relaxation and euphoria but aside from these, it can also give you unpleasant experiences like anxiety and paranoia? Why does weed make you paranoid anyway? This guide will help explain why paranoia is common with cannabis use and how you can deal with it as well.
Why Does Weed Make You Paranoid? – Explaining Paranoia
Experts that study the effects of marijuana, specifically THC reveal that our endocannabinoid system plays an important role in paranoia with weed use. When you consume cannabis, compounds like THC, also known as the psychoactive cannabinoid compound, binds with the endocannabinoid receptors in the brain, especially in the amygdala.
The amygdala is responsible for the regulation of your responses to emotions like fear, anxiety, stress, and paranoia. When you use high THC cannabis strains, the brain gets more cannabinoid compounds. Studies say that this excess may trigger the amygdala and thus, you’ll feel anxious and fearful. This also explains why CBD-rich products do not lead to paranoia, unlike THC-rich ones.
Why are Other People Prone to Experiencing Paranoia?
Paranoia is common in cannabis strains with high THC but not everyone may experience it. What makes people prone to experiencing paranoia with weed use? There are many factors that you should consider:
Your Genes Play a Huge Role
From research on animals in 2019, cannabis may produce relaxation and reduced anxiety as it stimulates the front area of the brain. Researchers say that this has to do with the area’s many reward-producing receptors located along the front area of the brain known as opioid receptors.
Meanwhile, the back portion of the brain has higher THC sensitivity compared to the front. You may experience side effects including anxiety and paranoia.
The THC Amount in Cannabis Plays a Huge Role
When you consume marijuana with higher THC levels may lead to paranoia and other side effects. According to research released in 2017, adults who consumed 7.5 mg of THC had reduced feelings that are related to a particularly stressful activity. Adults who received a higher 12.5 mg dose of THC experienced the opposite effect and had an increase in stressful feelings.
Also, your THC tolerance, brain chemistry, and genetics may affect your THC response. You may likely suffer from paranoia and other side effects when you use cannabis in high doses at one time or when you use high THC cannabis strains.
Gender Also Plays a Crucial Role
According to 2014 about THC tolerance, women with higher estrogen levels can enhance sensitivity to cannabis up to 30 percent and thus have a lower tolerance to cannabis. Therefore, if you’re a female, expect to be more sensitive to the effects of cannabis. You will also be more likely to reap the therapeutic effects of weed like its analgesic, anti-inflammatory, and anti-anxiety effects as well.
How to Deal with Cannabis-induced Paranoia?
Most importantly, if you think you’re experiencing paranoia due to weed, stop taking cannabis, and relax. Consider the following ways to deal with paranoia:
Just Relax and Let it Ride
The best advice for people who are experiencing paranoia right after taking cannabis is to just relax. This effect or side effect will pass soon enough. If you feel unsafe and you think you can’t handle it, ask a trusted someone to help you out. Just stay where you are, don’t drive and don’t commute.
If you have a phone or a music player, switch to music that you like. Use a headset to listen to the sound intently. This will help you block out all external stimuli. It’s just you and your favorite song. This weird feeling might just be over even before your song is done.
Try Natural Remedies for Paranoia and Anxiety
There are many ways to deal with anxiety and paranoia, naturally. One way is to do alternate breathing or nostril breathing: keep one side of your nose closed and slowly take a breath in and out for a few times. Switch nostrils and do the same thing.
You may also try smelling pepper. This is rich in terpenes that can counter the effects of high THC. Peppercorns will do just fine; crush them and smell. And if you have lemons, you can smell them or take a small amount to benefit from the terpene limonene.
Divert Your Attention
When you feel restless, anxious, and paranoid, try to divert your attention to other things like talking to a friend, listening to chill-out music, or work on some projects, arts and crafts, or housework. Anything to keep your mind off things will help you deal with paranoid thoughts.
Wrap Yourself in Bed
Create a sense of security by wrapping yourself in your blanket in bed. The familiar smell of your pillows, bed, and blanket would be enough to help you stop anxiety and stress and can also help control paranoia.
A Pet Can Calm You Down
This is a good time to cuddle your best buddy! Studies show that stroking and petting a warm and fuzzy pet dog or cat can reduce anxiety and relieve high blood pressure in humans.
Avoiding Paranoia in Weed
You can avoid paranoia when you consume weed with the following techniques:
- Microdose on weed – if you are new to weed or you’re new to taking a strain, start with the smallest dose that’s enough to keep you high. Stay with this dose; take a higher one if you don’t feel any side effects like paranoia.
- Use only a moderate dose – if you’re already familiar with the strain, take a moderate dose only. This can help avoid unwanted side effects especially paranoia.
- Use CBD-rich strains – avoid THC strains as paranoia is common in this kind of strain.
- Ask help from a professional – if you’re feeling paranoid more often, it may be time to take a break from weed and consult a professional
Now that you know why does weed makes you paranoid, you may now be able to avoid paranoia and other side effects effectively. Always use a moderate dose with weed and you won’t need to worry about any untoward effects.