Monday, November 27, 2023

Why Does Weed Cause Anxiety

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Thc Is Useful But Needs More Vigilance

Here’s Why Smoking Weed Can Cause Anxiety, Even With Tolerance! #shorts

THC is also prescribed to help with anxiety disorders. It can help with relaxation, sleep, and it can help with traumatic memories and changing the nature of the way that we remember certain events. THC can also provide an alternative perspective on certain situations and helps distance people from the stress of their situations.

But THC is something that directly stimulates the cannabinoid receptors and the endocannabinoid system . It has a stronger impact on parts of the system that regulate anxiety. In some cases, more often than CBD, too high a dose of THC may provoke cannabis-induced anxiety.

The ECSs purpose is to maintain homeostasis and balance within systems around the body. This means that the endocannabinoid system needs to be able to upregulate and downregulate certain neurotransmitters within the systems that are being activated. Because the goal of cannabinoid medicine is to help the body find and maintain homeostasis again, when THC is used in too high a dose, it can actually start inducing the symptoms that youre trying to alleviate.

Weed And Paranoia: Why Does Cannabis Give Me Anxiety

Most people imagine ultimate relaxation and calmness when they think about the effects they expect marijuana specifically delta 9 THC to have. While this might be true for most individuals and probably people you know, your personal experience might include panic, anxiousness, and paranoia.

Below, youll find information about why weed can have such disparate effects on users, why THC can cause anxiousness and fear, and what to do if a dose of THC has brought discomfort and paranoid feelings.

Youll also find some tips for how to avoid anxiousness from weed altogether.

What To Do When You Know You’re Panicking

The key thing to remember is that a panic attack can’t hurt you. Contrary to what some of the above symptoms may suggest, you’re likely not suffering a heart attack or obstructed airway.

There’s also zero chance you’ve “overdosed” on weed. Remind yourself that this condition is not lasting but temporary. In due course, it will all be over.

The experience “usually doesn’t last that long,” Vandrey says, perhaps “half hour or an hour, depending on how the cannabis was ingested shorter if inhaled, longer if eaten.”

“It all depends on the individual,” he adds. “None of it is applicable to everybody.

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The Feds Are Coming For Delta

Before using cannabis, all participants were assessed to establish their baseline state on all of the measures used including subjective drug effects, cognitive/psychomotor performance, cardiovascular effects, and blood concentrations of THC and its primary metabolites.

In general, all participants who didnt have a placebo had increases in heart rate, subjective effects, and blood cannabinoid concentrations, and they scored worse on cognitive and psychomotor performances. But even after controlling for body weight and the concentration of cannabinoids in the blood, one significant difference was found between men and women.

NEW YORK, NY – JUNE 19: A woman poses while smoking a vape stick at the Cannabis World Congress … Expo on June 19, 2015 in New York City. Marijuana consumption is growing into a multimillion dollar industry as marijuana use – both recreational and medicinal- becomes legal in more U.S. states and more socially accepted.

In women, ratings for feeling anxious/nervous, restless, and heart racing were significantly higher. Interestingly, women were more likely to report feeling their heart racing, even though their heart rates were not beating at higher rates.

While this study provides some fantastic insight into how biological sex may impact cannabis experiences, there are several limitations to the study we should also take into consideration.

Cannabis And Paranoia How And Why Does Weed Cause Anxiety

Cannabis And Anxiety Erik Messamore Md Phd

As with all other cannabinoids, delta 9 THC interacts with the bodys natural endocannabinoid system. This system of signaling pathways, and receptors seems to regulate brain synaptic activity and neurotransmitter levels.

THC binds to CB1 or CB2 receptors. It acts as a partial agonist of the CB1 and CB2 receptors. Other cannabinoids can act as receptor antagonists. This means that they attach themselves to receptors but dont activate them. Experts claim that THC activation of these receptors is what gives the drug its psychoactive properties.

The CB1 receptors of the endocannabinoid systems regulate brain activity and signal transmission throughout the central nervous system . THC binds the CB1 receptors, inhibiting GABA and glutamate, which are neurotransmitters that handle anxiety and stress.

When levels of GABA and glutamate are inhibited, the neurons firing in your brain as well as signals moving through your CNS system are also inhibited. A result of this activity often incudes anxiety, fear, paranoia, and unregulated stress.

It is not clear why this inhibition of glutamate and GABA creates more intense reactions in some users and not in others. However, there are a few factors that may determine how one might be affected by this potent plant.

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Herbs Spices And Cbd Strains

There are also anecdotes about inhaling or consuming freshly ground black pepper or lemon juice. The aromatic terpenes present in these plants may help induce relaxation or feelings of grounding, similar to the effects of aromatherapy.

Lastly, try CBD. Smoking a CBD strain or chewing CBD gummies can usher in feelings of calm, counteracting anxiety or negative feelings, helping to ease weed paranoia.

Dealing With Anxiety And Paranoia Caused By Too Much Thc

If youre completely new to cannabis, theres no way to predict how it might affect you. And even if youre a seasoned consumer, its possible to have a bad experience. But cannabis experts point out that theres a lot you can do to help yourself get through a difficult trip.

Here are a few suggestions:

  • Take CBD which will help take the edge off
  • Stay in comfortable, familiar surroundings and find some calming activities
  • Take deep breaths and remember this wont last for long
  • Put on some quiet music, or chat with a friend

Its important to remember that the anxiety and distress caused by cannabis isnt life-threatening, and will pass as the chemical leaves the body.

Cannabis can be the perfect companion for chilling at home or a gathering with friends, but the factors contributing to that pleasant high can also trigger unpleasant feelings. Knowing why that happens and what to do about it can help make your cannabis experience the best it can be.

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How To Overcome Cannabis Anxiety

There is no bulletproof way to ensure cannabis consumption will not trigger anxiety. With that said, there are things you can try to avoid cannabis anxiety:

  • Reduce the amount of THC consumed at a time or opt for products with lower THC levels
  • Try cannabis products that contain CBD instead of THC
  • Ensure your environment or location is known to you, comfortable and relaxing
  • Get a trip sitter, someone you trust, to accompany you
  • If youre already in the throes of an anxious or paranoid session, try these different things to calm you down:

  • Try to do something you know will relax you. Meditate, listen to music, do breathing exercises, etc
  • Try some gastronomical remedies: pepper and lemons are two ingredients that contain their own terpenes and may help counter the effects of cannabis.
  • Take a nap. It will be better when you wake up.
  • In less common cases, feelings of anxiety can persist long after an individual has ceased cannabis consumption. Some individuals may feel prone to anxiety regardless of cannabis use, and smoking or eating cannabis products heightens those feelings. In these cases, it is helpful to remember that professional support has helped many people deal with feelings of anxiety and paranoia.


    What Is Weed Anxiety

    Cannabis and Stress

    Certain life situations bring about anxiety. Those moments before you step on stage to deliver a keynote speech, you feel your palms sweating, your heart beating faster. You lose focus on the present moment and instead worry incessantly about whats to come.

    These are all normal reactions. And once you compose yourself and start breathing properly, you shake off those nagging doubts and insecurities.

    Theres a bit of a difference with weed anxiety. Much like greening out, the symptoms are uncomfortablesweating, shaking, fatigueexcept weed anxiety primarily elicits mental distress as opposed to physical. That being said, anxiety is known to cause stomach discomfort, nausea, and even vomiting.

    Apart from common knowledge, researchers have established an association between cannabis use and anxiety. In a community survey conducted in Australia, for example, 22% of respondents reported panic attacks after cannabis use.

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    Why Does Weed Give You Anxiety Faq

    Q: Do heavy smokers run a heavier risk of experiencing anxiety?A: Yes, if theyre predisposed to experiencing it in the first place. The more THC that hits ECS receptors in the brain, the greater its effects will be.

    Q: Is there any way to reduce the risk, other than smoking less potent strains?A: Some believe the setting in which you smoke also makes a difference. A calm, comfortable environment, with supportive friends around, may help prevent any mild anxiety from becoming something more serious. It might also be a good idea to avoid edibles, which usually hit harder and last longer.

    Q: Why would naturally happy people be less likely to experience anxiety while smoking weed?A: There are two reasons. First, they dont have existing anxiety or stress issues which could easily be worsened. Second, cannabis tends to magnify peoples personality characteristics. Happy people more commonly become even happier when they smoke up, while unhappy ones often get even more wrapped up in those feelings when theyre stoned.


  • Pertwee, R. G. . Cannabinoid pharmacology: the first 66 years. British journal of pharmacology, 147, S163-S171.
  • Sallaberry, C. A., & Astern, L. . The endocannabinoid system, our universal regulator. Journal of Young Investigators, 34.
  • Rasia-Filho, A. A., Londero, R. G., & Achaval, M. . Functional activities of the amygdala: an overview. Journal of Psychiatry and Neuroscience, 25, 14.
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    Try Using Less At A Time

    Start with less than youd typically use in one sitting, and give it at least 30 minutes to an hour to kick in. If you dont experience paranoia, you can experiment with different dosages, slowly increasing until you find the sweet spot a dose that produces the effects you do want without paranoia and other negative symptoms.

    Read Also: Can Panic Attacks Cause Nausea

    Look For Specific Terpenes

    Terpenes are aromatic compounds responsible for the many different flavors and aromas of plants, including the cannabis plant. But theyre much more than that as they also produce certain effects and work in synergy with the cannabinoids. There are numerous terpenes, but some of them actually have anti-anxiety effects and can balance out the intensity of THC.

    For example, limonene is the same terpene found in citrus fruit peels and it stimulates the release of dopamine and serotonin . Limonene gives cannabis a piney and citrusy aroma and is found in high concentrations in weed strains that smell lemony.

    Linalool is another terpene known for its relaxing and sedative effects because its also found in lavender. Strains that have a floral and woody aroma usually contain high concentrations of this terpene.

    Finally, beta-caryophyllene is another one whose effects fall somewhere between limonene and linalool, and its found in black pepper and cinnamon. Weed strains that smell musky and spicy will contain this terpene.

    Thc Vs Cbd For Treating Anxiety

    Why Does Cannabis Cause Paranoia in Some But Helps Anxiety in Others ...

    Marijuana contains many chemicals, of which THC and CBD are only two. However, both these substances are believed to play a large role in anxiety management in people who use weed. For example, THC is thought to be effective at treating anxiety at low doses but may cause anxiety at higher doses. Meanwhile, CBD is thought to be effective at treating anxiety at low and high doses alike. These effects likely have to do with how both substances impact the CB1R receptor in the central nervous system, but more studies are needed on exactly how THC and CBD impact anxiety.

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    Risk Factors For Panic Attacks While Taking Cannabis

    Medical News Today states that research on cannabis use currently focuses on adolescents who are more likely to use marijuana for the first time. Adults who are regular users offer us a better picture of who may get a panic attack as a result of regular use.

    Up to 25 percent of people who use marijuana may become problematic users. Of this group, another quarter of users may have an anxiety disorder. People who have anxiety as children are more likely to use cannabis in problematic ways.

    There are a few things problematic users have in common.

    • Many have experienced maltreatment or bullying as children.
    • Some people who begin using marijuana as adults may simply have had fewer friends who use marijuana as teenagers, causing delayed problem use of marijuana.
    • Persistent users normally had problems with marijuana as early as age 9.

    A Good Study That Shows No Association Between Cannabis And Anxiety

    Finally, in the midst of all the studies that claim that marijuana has either negative or positive effects, there is one very good French study of regular users of marijuana that found that there is no significant association between the level of state anxiety and cannabis use in daily life.

    The same study also found no evidence for either an anxiolytic or anxiogenic effect of cannabis in daily life. In other words, they found no evidence that marijuana use reduces or increases anxiety in people who regularly smoke marijuana.

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    How To Stop Weed Anxiety

    The first thing to keep in mind if you experience a bout of anxiety after smoking weed is to accept whats going on.

    This may sound difficult, but its a key aspect of anxiety reduction even when weed isnt involved. From here, it will be easier to take a few breaths and get back to feeling normal. But if that doesnt help, here are some other tips to try out:

    Take a cold shower At the very least, pour some cold water on your neck. That sudden rush can help you snap out of your current dazed and confused state.
    Eat or drink something
    This will help shift your focus away from being in a state of panic.
    Distract yourself
    Take a walk around the neighborhood. Put on some relaxing music. The goal here is to keep your mind off those thoughts that ramp up anxiety.
    Force a positive mindset
    Remind yourself that this is all in the mind and that youll be okay. Sometimes, kindly nudging yourself to adopt a positive mindset can ease you down and put you in a better disposition.

    Weed Panic Attacks: What To Do If Anxiety Kills Your High

    Pain, anxiety leading reasons why people use marijuana: survey

    While many find weed a relaxing drug, cannabis also has a direct connection to panic attacks. Even a habitual smoker who seems the very definition of “chill” has likely had the experience of being way too high, man. In the moment, that can be overwhelming. But it’s not the end of the world. Here’s what you need to know about the scary, stressful and sometimes overwhelming problem of weed and panic attacks.

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    Get Professional Support For Anxiety And Paranoid Thoughts

    Some evidence suggests people with an existing sensitivity to paranoia and anxious thoughts have a higher chance of experiencing both when using cannabis.

    Paranoia can overwhelm you to the point where it becomes difficult to interact with others. You might avoid talking to friends, going to work, or even leaving your house. A therapist can help you explore these feelings and other potential contributing factors.

    Since paranoia can happen as a symptom of serious mental health conditions like schizophrenia, anything beyond a few passing, mild paranoid thoughts may be worth bringing up with your healthcare provider.

    Its also wise to consider working with a therapist for anxiety symptoms.

    Cannabis can temporarily help relieve anxiety for some people, but it doesnt address the underlying causes. A therapist can offer more support by helping you identify contributing factors and teaching coping methods to help you manage anxiety symptoms in the moment.

    If you recently stopped using cannabis, you may still experience some feelings of paranoia, anxiety, and other mood symptoms.

    This isnt uncommon, especially if you:

    • used a lot of cannabis before you stopped
    • experienced paranoia while using cannabis

    suggests lasting paranoia can happen as a symptom of cannabis withdrawal syndrome . According to this review, which looked at 101 studies exploring CWS, mood and behavioral symptoms tend to be the primary effects of cannabis withdrawal.

    • become severe

    How Long Does It Take To Recover From Weed

    Usage of weed varies from individual to individual based on their tolerance and their need for gratification. When a regular user of weed stops using the drug the withdrawal symptoms begin to show up on the first day after withdrawal and peak within 48 to 72 hours. These withdrawal symptoms usually last for about two to three weeks.

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    Women May Be More Likely To Get Anxiety From Occasional Cannabis Use Than Men Study Finds

    Woman vaping cannabis with a handheld vaporizer


    Cannabis is a complicated drug when it comes to anxiety. While some report that cannabis makes them feel more relaxed, others find that it can cause heightened anxiety, paranoia, and restlessness. Research tells us that these differences can be related to a variety of factors, such as the dose or the type of cannabis used.

    Now researchers are pointing to another factor that could be important in whether cannabis causes or relieves anxiety – biological sex. According to a new study from John Hopkins University, women may be more likely than men to get anxiety-related symptoms from occasional cannabis use.

    The researchers on this study were looking to see if there were any notable differences between men and women when it came to the side effects of occasional cannabis use. They were also interested in exploring this in the context of non-smoked methods of cannabis use like edibles and vaping. Previous research has looked at differences between men and women in cannabis use – but research on occasional users or non-smoked methods has been lacking.

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