Anyone who has ever smoked marijuana a few times will agree that the substance can cause paranoia and anxiety. This is no secret. Still, a lot of people are not entirely sure why this happens. So, what is the science behind it? Why are you going to feel paranoid and anxious when smoking cannabis? You’ll find out why below.
To Each Their Own
First and foremost, you should know that marijuana is a unique drug. At the same time, everyone is different. Some people are going to experience some things when smoking weed and others will experience something entirely different.
This is really just the way it is. This also works with other substances. So, there is a chance that cannabis will cause you to experience paranoia. However, it might make your friend a little less paranoid.
Totally In Your Head
It is really all in your head. This is true when it comes to marijuana and cannabis. As you probably already know, the cannabinoids found in the marijuana are going to bind to the receptors in your brain. Many of these receptors are found in the amygdala.
This is very important, because the amygdala plays a role in emotional processing and governing responses. It is vital to fear, paranoia and even stress.
When the THC interacts with the amygdala, there is a chance that neural communication is going to get better or worse. It may eventually cause the neural pathways to become overexcited. If that happens, there is a good chance that the user is going to experience anxiety and even paranoia.
How this happens in terms of mechanics is not clearly known. However, it is believed that the endocannabinoid system might have something to do with it. The body naturally produces endocannabinoids.
If your body has enough already, there is a good chance that the marijuana is going to make you anxious and paranoid. If you have less because of trauma or excessive stress, the marijuana may actually reduce your anxiety. So, the impact of the cannabis is really going to depend on your body and its quantity of endocannabinoids.
Underlying Problems And The Cannabis Experience
A review of cannabis and anxiety studies was carried out in 2009. It ultimately found that people who used cannabis more frequently tend to have more anxiety than non-users. It was also believed that the users actually developed anxiety disorders before they started experiencing the first symptoms of cannabis dependence.
The researchers concluded that many people were using cannabis to self-medicate and treat their anxiety. This contradicted the idea that cannabis was responsible for the anxiety in the first place. Researchers also understand that anxiety is individualized and based on a handful of risk factors.
For instance, genetics, gender, personality and more can have a role in determining how much anxiety someone is going to experience. When marijuana is thrown into the equation, there are other risk factors present.
They include the dosage consumed, cannabinoids in the substance, the setting, and the frequency of use. It was ultimately determined that long-term or regular users of cannabis would experience less anxiety. Newcomers would experience more intense anxiety.
Thankfully, it may be possible to avoid both problems. All you have to do is make sure that you’re sticking with the right strain. A strain that is high in CBD and low in THC can help. It is also pertinent to minimize the dosage.
Choosing the right place and time to get high is always important too. Make sure that you’re going to be comfortable and undisturbed. Sticking with vaporizers or joints is best since this will give you more control over the dosage.