Simple Deep Breathing Exercise
Youll breathe with your mouth for this technique:
- Get comfortable. It may help to sit or stand with your back against something supportive.
- Slowly inhale for 3 to 4 seconds, paying attention to the sensation of your breath filling your lungs. Some people find it helpful to place a hand on their stomach and feel it expand with each breath.
- Hold the breath for a second or two.
- Slowly exhale for 3 to 4 seconds.
- Continue until the lightheaded feeling passes and you can breathe more naturally on your own.
How Does It Feel To Have A Marijuana Panic Attack
While 100 different people may describe 100 different experiences, there are a few thoughts and sensations that are frequent offenders in weed panic attacks. Intensified feelings of social anxiety are very common from general concerns like what if my friends/partner/co-workers/pets secretly hate me? to concerns directly related to your current experience, like Does everyone in the room think Im weak for being unable to handle my weed?
You also might feel intense paranoia that law enforcement officers or other authority figures will somehow discover that you are high on cannabis even if you are totally alone in your own apartment. Its very common to begin wondering if you have overdosed, or if your weed has somehow been laced with poison. You may interpret the physical symptoms of the panic attack as evidence that you are life-threateningly ill. Any stimuli may feel overwhelming noise, lights, the temperature of the room, or the presence of other people. You may feel stuck in place, as though something as simple as getting up and walking across the room is an insurmountable feat.
Intensified feelings of social anxiety are very common
Understanding Thc Cbd And Marijuana Strains
When purchasing marijuana from a dispensary, you can be sure of the THC content. Labels will let you know exactly how much THC is in those gummies or cookies. When it comes to using marijuana to relax, less is more when it comes to THC, especially when starting out.
CBD , the other active compound found in the plant, is linked to more relaxation. So, for maximum anxiety relief, try strains with lower THC and higher CBD, or both high THC and high CBD . There are some strains known for being beneficial for anxiety, such as Granddaddy Purple. Dont ask me who comes up with these names
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Understanding Marijuana Medical Uses
Marijuana is a drug derived from the cannabis plant. While marijuana is illegal in many states, efforts in recent years to legalize it has succeeded, for medicinal and recreational purposes. People believe marijuana has the ability to help treat mental health conditions like anxiety and to help manage the symptoms of diseases like cancer. However, the leading medical organizations in the U.S., including The American Medical Association, oppose its medical use.
There are many different compounds in marijuana, called cannabinoids, that attach to various receptors in the brain of the user. Different types of marijuana and various strains have distinctive levels of these compounds, so they may affect each person differently.
Proponents of using marijuana for anxiety treatment believe that one particular compound, cannabidiol , can be useful in treating the condition. CBD is thought to have anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving properties as well.
However, many people dont realize that CBD itself doesnt produce a high. Additionally, it can be taken on its own as an extract without actually smoking or ingesting marijuana. THC, a compound in marijuana that makes people feel high, can actually contribute to the development of anxiety symptoms or worsen them.
If you or a loved one is struggling with or a co-occurring anxiety disorder, The Recovery Village can help. Contact us today to learn more about treatment programs that can work well for your needs.
How To Prevent Weed Anxiety
Prevention is always better than a cure, as the adage goes. Here are a few ways to ward off potentially traumatising weed anxiety episodes.
|More CBD, less THC||Pick a strain with a THC:CBD ratio that favours the latter. A ratio of 1:1, also known as the golden ratio, will still get you high, but the psychotropic force will be more tame thanks to the presence of CBD.|
|This is geared specifically to first-time users who are most susceptible to weed anxiety. Its okay to take smaller doses for your maiden cannabis voyage. This way, you get to familiarise yourself with its effects much better. This is especially pertinent when it comes to taking edibles for the first few times.|
|Set up a comfortable environment|
|Ideally, you want to be in a controlled space with people you trust. Set up the lights in a way that creates a chill vibe. Also, have some food nearby for when the munchies hit, and some water for the cotton mouth.|
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Which Cannabinoids Cause The Panic Attack
THC is the primary culprit in panic attacks. THC is the cannabinoid that gets people high when they use weed. High-THC strains of marijuana do carry a higher risk of panic attacks. Edible cannabis is more likely than smoked cannabis to cause these intense reactions. When THC is consumed, it is metabolized by the liver, resulting in high concentrations of a psychoactive THC by-product releasing into the bloodstream. Edible cannabis also stays in your system longer, which could extend the time it takes to come down from a panic attack caused by THC.
Fortunately, another cannabinoid, CBD , can often counteract the adverse effects of THC. You may be able to reduce the odds of a panic attack by taking extra CBD oil before using weed, choosing only to use high-CBD marijuana strains, or abstaining from any cannabis products that contain even small amounts of THC. Hemp-based CBD oil does not contain any THC and could be a good alternative, depending on your needs and reasons for using marijuana.
Q: Does THC cause marijuana panic attacks?A:THC is the component of weed believed to be responsible for causing cannabis-induced panic attacks. Taking a dose of cannabis with higher THC than you are used to appears to up the risk of panic attacks.
Q: Does CBD cause weed panic attacks?A:CBD does not appear to cause panic attacks. CBD has actually been shown to reduce anxiety and it may be able to counteract the effects of THC well enough to help calm or prevent panic attacks.
Remember You Cant Overdose On Weed Or Die From A Panic Attack
If youve ingested or smoked too much weed, things can get scary fast.
Just like with any panic attack, the most important first step is to remember that you cant die from this. You cant overdose on weed or die from a panic attack. Youre going to be uncomfortable for a little while, and then its going to pass.
The only way youre going to get hurt from being high is if you go out of your way to do something stupid like driving under the influence.
Just try and take it easy, and remember that your life is not in actual danger here, youre just having a panic attack that may be a little bit scarier than usual.
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Give Yourself A Bigger Problem To Work On
As mentioned before, your mind is inclined to go down rabbit holes when youre high.
Whatever train of thought you decide to follow, you tend to follow it much further than you would while sober.
Obviously, this is terrible if the subject of your attention is a panic attack, but what if you can shift your attention elsewhere?
If there is a big problem or question youve been struggling with for a while, this is the time to think through it.
Got a big decision to make? Thinking about your next career move?Pondering the meaning of life?
This is a good opportunity to put your overthinking to use.
If your thoughts want to run 100mph, give them a better direction to run in.
Enhance Favorable Sleeping Patterns
Medicinal marijuana calms anxiety by helping you to sleep better at night. CBD works differently for various users. This draws the attention of medical experts who help set the record straight on what we should expect.
Self-medication is hazardous and has the potential to cause consequences that may be irreversible. Worse still, it may tamper with your health and render you medically unfit.
Medical marijuana could either be used with other treatments or work best on its own. When using CBD based medication, expect to shake off the terrible effects of insomnia.
Medical marijuana comes in different forms, such as capsules, edibles, oil and so on. A verified physician makes it easier to determine the right CBD products for your panic attacks and sleeplessness.
Its THC content is also useful in helping the user maintain their healthy sleeping patterns for the longest time. This is only on one condition, though they have to be consistent and deliberate about their dosage of the right products.
Anxiety disorders that naturally stem from stage fright as well as fear of large or even smaller crowds can also cause panic, interfere with sleep and sometimes result in loss of appetite.
Studies have shown the credibility of CBD in controlling and reducing the rate at which such instances occur.
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What Happens In Your Brain
Scientists are still studying how panic attacks affect the brain. Itâs possible that the parts of the brain that are tied to fear become more active during an episode. One recent study found that people with panic disorder had lots of activity in a part of their brains tied to the âfight or flightâ response.
Other studies have found possible links between panic disorder and the chemicals in your brain. The condition may also be linked to an imbalance in serotonin levels, which can affect your moods.
Okay That’s Cool But How Do I Prevent Anxiety Attacks From Happening In The First Place
The best way to prevent a full blown panic attack is to try and not let it get that bad by addressing it when it’s still manageable. Anxiety has a snowball effect and you don’t want to end up being crushed by an avalanche. Start taking deep slow breaths when you notice any bit of anxiety.
Another way to prevent anxiety from happening is incorporating other herbs into the mix. Kava kava herb is popular with the cannabis crowd because it betters your high by producing all natural xanax-like effects. It alleviates any of that weird paranoia or anxiousness floating around that you sometimes get. Many cannabis users find kava extracts to be quick and a convenient like their vaporizers.
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How To Prevent Future Panic Attacks While High
For those that have had marijuana anxiety and wish to prevent panic attacks in the future, here are a few steps you can take to make sure you get the full benefit of your medicinal choice without any of the undesirable effects:
If you ingest it, remember that your liver turns it into 11-Hydroxy-THC, an active metabolite that is more psychoactive and longer-lasting than smoking. Always wait two hours between edible doses to know the effect and make sure you dont consume too much.
Most importantly, always consult with your marijuana physician. Doctors who specialize in medical marijuana help patients to battle anxiety every day, and possess a great deal of knowledge and experience in its effects.
Medically reviewed by Howard Seth Meiselman, DO Written by Mark Conklin
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Panic Attacks I Turned My Mental Health Crisis Into A Mental Health Triumph
Although it’s taken me a long time I have learned I am a strong person who has the potential to help others.
You might find that you become scared of going out alone or to public places because you’re worried about having another panic attack. If this fear becomes very intense, it may be called agoraphobia. See our pages on types of phobia for more information.
I felt like I couldn’t breathe, I just wanted to get out, to go somewhere else, but I couldn’t because I was on a train.
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Five Ways To Prevent An Anxious High
Alone in my bedroom well past midnight, I began to wonder if that pot brownie I devoured earlier was laced with shrooms. With every twist and turn of the kaleidoscopic patterns forming before my eyes, my heart pounded even harder. “Wait, is the weed giving me a heart attack?” I worried. Surely there couldn’t have been shrooms in the brownieit came from a medical marijuana dispensary. But nonetheless, I was freaking out, and even worse, I was ashamed of the way I was feelingwhy couldn’t I just get high and be chill? I’ve had my ups and downs with weed for the now ten years it’s been part of my life, though I’ve always been a moderate consumer. Still, the journey through and past my weed anxiety has been a pursuit in self-knowledge and a rewarding path to becoming more grounded.
“As a society, there’s this stigma that anxiety is negative. Before we normalize cannabis, we have to normalize anxiety,” says Jessica Assaf, founder of Cannabis Feminist, a community that empowers women who use both recreational and medical marijuana. “Often, we are ashamed of the anxiety, and that is more dangerous than the anxiety itself.”
What Is A Panic Attack
Panic attacks are a type of fear response. They’re an exaggeration of your body’s normal response to danger, stress or excitement. This page covers:
“My teeth would chatter uncontrollably and my whole body would tremble, I’d hyperventilate and cry with panic as the feeling that I was going to fall unconscious was so convincing.”
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Can Weed Cause Panic Attacks
Current research suggests that, yes, weed can cause panic attacks. Certain chemical compounds found in weed affect how our brains process hormones such as dopamine and norepinephrine. Most of the time, the way cannabinoids interact with these hormones relieves stress and anxiety, and promotes a sense of well-being. However, these altered hormone levels sometimes have an unintended effect on the parts of the brain that govern the sympathetic nervous system. This can result in physical responses that the brain then interprets as anxiety. If your fight-or-flight response kicks in, it can lead to a panic attack.
Research on this subject is still quite limited, but a link between cannabis dependence and the development of panic disorder has been suggested. If you have ever used cannabis in your lifetime, the higher your odds appear to be of experiencing panic attacks as well as of developing panic disorder.
Q: Can weed cause panic attacks?A:Yes, weed can cause panic attacks. This appears to happen most frequently in people who are already predisposed to anxiety disorders, are new to cannabis, are feeling emotionally low or anxious, and/or are in an uncomfortable environment.
What Is Panic Disorder
If you’re having lots of panic attacks at unpredictable times and there doesn’t seem to be a particular trigger or cause, you might be given a diagnosis of panic disorder. It’s common to experience panic disorder and certain types of phobia together. People who experience panic disorder may have some periods with few or no panic attacks, but have lots at other times.
Panic disorder and high sensitivity
Some research suggests that people who have panic disorder might be very sensitive to sensory experiences , but there’s not enough evidence yet to say for sure.
Also it’s not clear whether having a high level of sensitivity to these sorts of things is something that might cause you to develop panic disorder, or whether it may be an effect of having it.
“Never knowing when I was going to have a panic attack was the worst feeling in the world.”
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Cannabis Induced Panic Attack
It was exactly 3 years ago when I, like the title says, had a cannabis induced panic attack. Now I’ve been smoking weed for many many years up until that point. I had a short panic attack prior to the big one, but shook it off and thought nothing of it.
But then one night, I had a joint like every other evening, i suddenly started to feel weird. The anxiety built up and it ended up in a full blown panic attack. Thinking i was about to die for sure. It lasted for several hours. For the coming weeks I had these nervous feelings, like something was weighting down on my chest.
I also experienced some minor anxiety attacks, but nothing major. It’s weird because I never felt this way before while smoking weed. It was a great relationship Mary Jane, because i only had 1 joint per night, after everything was done for the day.
I overcame every issue after about a month after the incident, but never touched weed since.
Do you think it could have been some physiologic cause? Like i read somewhere that when you get high on weed, your body metabolizes it and ends up using a lot of salt and other nutrition. So maybe my body reacted to this after so many years. Maybe it’s also because the weed nowadays is too strong and has too little CBD.
I really want to try and smoke a bit again here and there. Do you have any tips or suggestions to approach starting off again? I sadly can’t buy it off a dispensary