Cannabis is widely known for providing relaxation, but some people also report experiencing feelings of paranoia or anxiety. We all want to use cannabis to get some relief from stress, tension, and anxiety during this coronavirus lockdown. And the feelings of paranoia and anxiety can ruin that plan. But, what causes this paranoia and how can you deal with it? Let’s answer these questions in this article.
If you are a medical patient with a medical cannabis card in NY, you can easily buy medical cannabis for your medical condition. Medical cannabis can be used to manage various health conditions such as arthritis, Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, Crohn’s disease, cancer, HIV/AIDS, and more. Cannabis can help in managing symptoms associated with these conditions.
When we talk about paranoia related to the consumption of cannabis, it is important for you to understand what paranoia involves. Paranoia is considered similar to anxiety but is a bit more specific than that. Many people describe it as an irrational suspicion of other people. For example, you may feel like someone is watching you, following you, or even trying to harm you in some way.
What causes this paranoia?
According to many experts, your endocannabinoid system (ECS) plays a big role when it comes to cannabis-related paranoia. We all know that there are many compounds in cannabis. One of them is THC, the psychoactive compound in cannabis. When you consume cannabis, some compounds, including THC, get attached to endocannabinoid receptors in different parts of the brain, such as the amygdala.
Your amygdala plays a role in responding to fear and other related emotions such as stress, anxiety, and paranoia. Consuming cannabis that contains high levels of THC can make your brain receive more cannabinoids than it usually does. This excess of cannabinoids can be overstimulating for the amygdala. This induces feelings of fear and anxiety. This also explains why you do not get paranoid after consuming products rich in cannabidiol (CBD). Because CBD does not bind to endocannabinoid receptors like THC, hence no feelings of paranoia
Things that make you more prone to this feeling of paranoia
To learn about how you can handle this, you need to first understand how it can affect you, and what makes you more prone to it. The effects of consuming cannabis are not the same for everyone. This is why not everyone has to experience paranoia after consuming cannabis. Also, you may not experience it every single time you consume cannabis. Are you getting confused? Don’t worry, and just read along to learn about some of the major factors (as there is no single answer) that can make someone more likely to experience this feeling of paranoia.
An animal study from 2019 suggests that cannabis tends to offer more positive effects, that includes the feelings of relaxation and decrease in the levels of anxiety when it produces more stimulation in the front part of the brain. The authors of this study suggest that the reason behind this is the opioid receptors in the front region of the brain. These opioid receptors are reward producing and are present in the large number.
But, you could experience an adverse reaction, such as paranoia and anxiety, if there is more THC sensitivity in the back region of your brain than the anterior.
2. The THC content of your cannabis
One of the many compounds of cannabis, THC, offers psychoactive effects (or the “high” feeling that you get after consuming cannabis). So, it becomes obvious that the amount of THC in your cannabis can also play a role in making you experience the feeling of paranoia or other side-effects.
A study from 2017 found that if consuming about 7.5 milligrams of THC can help in reducing negative feelings a person might feel during a stressful task. But, on the other hand, a dose higher than 12.5 milligram shows the opposite effect and can even increase the same negative feelings. And while there are other factors also (like your tolerance, brain chemistry, and genetics) that play a role here, consuming a lot of cannabis at once or strains with high levels of THC, will make you more likely to experience paranoia and anxiety.
An animal study from 2014 that focused on exploring THC tolerance showed that higher estrogen levels play a role in tolerance for cannabis. Higher estrogen levels tend to increase the sensitivity of cannabis by almost 30 percent while lowering tolerance for cannabis. This means, females may be more sensitive to cannabis and its effects, whether we talk about the positive effects (such as pain relief) or negative effects (like paranoia).
How can you handle it?
Now that you have learned about what makes you more prone to this situation, it is time to learn how to handle it. There are a few things you can try to get some relief if you are experiencing paranoia after consuming cannabis.
It is one of the simplest things you can do while you are experiencing paranoia. Do things that help you feel relaxed. It could be coloring, listening to restful music, taking a warm bath, or even dancing. Many people also opt for yoga and deep breathing exercises; these exercises can also help you feel relaxed.
2. Take a whiff of pepper
Cannabinoids and terpenoids, like terpenes found in pepper, have a few chemical similarities. This is why they can be helpful in countering the effects of consuming too much THC. You can also grind the fresh peppercorns and take a deep breath. And while you are doing this, be careful – stinging eyes and sneezing can cause a new problem for you.
3. Lemonade for the rescue
Do you have a lemon? If yes, then take the help of limonene, another terpene found in lemon can help in reducing the effects of too much THC. Make lemonade and get the desired results.
4. Relaxing environment is important
Are you in an environment that is making you anxious or stressed? Well, this type of environment won’t help you with your paranoia. So, the first thing you need to do is to find someplace where you feel more relaxed, like your bedroom. And if you can not change your surroundings, you can try a few things –
- Turn on some soothing or chill music
- Get into a blanket
- Cuddle or stroke your pet
- Call a friend you trust