Weed and Paranoia

Updated: Feb 23, 2021

In most of my posts about marijuana, I focus on highlighting the positives of the herb and all it can do to help people. I want to now address one of its negative effects, and ways in which to help make every high a happy one.

Paranoia is something that most people have experienced or will experience in their lifetime, and it is not fun. It brings on anxiety and irrational fears and keeps you stuck in your head. Unfortunately, weed can cause and increase paranoia. Studies are still being done to figure out just why that is, and so far it seems as though it has something to do with endocannabinoids and THC receptivity in a part of the brain called the amygdala.

The amygdala is the part of your brain responsible for regulating emotional and mental reactions such as fear, anxiety, and paranoia. An article from healthline.com states, "excess of cannabinoids may overstimulate the amygdala, making you feel fear and anxiety."

Not everyone is at risk for these paranoid feelings and experiences, and those who do get paranoid do not usually experience it every time they use marijuana. It can be random, but also may depend on a few variables. These include one's genetics, THC content and strain of marijuana, a person's sex, and their personality, and how they handle paranoia and anxiety.

Ways to reduce these feelings and enjoy the perks of marijuana more:

  • Relax: Put on calming music and do something that normally brings you peace.

  • Switch strains to one with more CBD and less THC.

  • Practice deep breathing techniques.

  • Drink herbal tea and use lavender scents.

And always remember, just as an article from Leafly points out, the paranoia is all in your head. It will pass, and all will be okay again.

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