One of the interesting and sometimes strange things about marijuana is that in some cases it helps people feel less stressed, anxious, and worried, and in other cases it seems to make people feel ultra stressed out to the point of extreme paranoia.
It’s actually pretty common to experience both ends of this spectrum. And as anyone who’s experienced the paranoid side of things knows, weed paranoia can be very intense.
So what’s the deal with weed and paranoia? What causes weed paranoia? And what can you do to deal with paranoia from weed? Here’s everything you need to know.
Effects of Weed on Paranoia
As with most things related to cannabis, research into weed and paranoia is fairly limited. Research exists, but because of prohibition laws, it’s not as thoroughly researched as it should be.
But from what we do know, it appears that marijuana can certainly be a contributing factor to feelings of paranoia.
In 2014, a group of scientists at Oxford studied paranoia from weed. In the experiment, they gave 121 adults between the ages of 21 and 50 an injection of either real THC or a placebo. The THC dose was the same as an average joint.
After all participants were injected, they answered a series of questions about their experiences and feelings. At the conclusion of the study, researchers found that 50% of those with THC reported feelings of paranoia. Meanwhile, only 30% of those with the placebo had feelings of paranoia.
Interestingly, researchers did not conclude that cannabis causes paranoia outright. Instead, they said that weed probably produces a range of other experiences that could add to a heightened sense of paranoia.
For example, they said that when people are high and they experience sensory changes, those changes can make some people feel nervous, uneasy, and in some cases, paranoid.
So weed paranoia does seem to exist—kind of. But only in the sense that the experience of an altered state of mind tends to freak some people out.
Does Weed Make Paranoia Worse?
In many ways, it’s more accurate to describe the relationship between weed and paranoia as one in which weed exacerbates what’s already there.
To be more clear, if you’re already prone to feelings of anxiety and paranoia, you may be more likely to feel even more paranoid when you’re high.
And, as evidenced in the above study, the same is true of how much a person enjoys the experience of being high. If a temporarily altered state of mind is enjoyable to you, then you probably won’t feel paranoid.
But if that altered state of mind makes you feel weird or scared, you might feel paranoia from weed. Simply put, the connection between weed and paranoia differs based on a number of variables. These include:
- genetic predisposition
- your body’s endocannabinoid system
- potency of weed
- how much THC you consume
- the full spectrum of cannabinoids you consume
- whether or not you enjoy the sensation of being high
- how often you get high
- THC tolerance levels
How to Deal with Paranoia When You’re High
Since there are so many factors that impact whether or not you feel weed paranoia, it’s likely that you could experience it at some point or another.
Even if you usually don’t feel paranoia from weed, we’ve all found ourselves in those situations where you just get way too high. When that happens, you might start feeling paranoid.
Since weed and paranoia can hit anyone, you should know how to deal with it. Here are some good ways to deal with paranoia from weed:
- Force yourself to relax. Breath deep. Sit down and take it easy. And remind yourself that is literally impossible to overdose and die from cannabis.
- Drink some soothing lemon tea. Squeeze lemon into hot water. Maybe add some fresh ginger root and honey. Drink it slowly and try to calm yourself down.
- Pepper contains terpenes that tend to have soothing effects. Try crushing a few peppercorns and gently smelling it.
- Take a warm shower and focus on calming yourself down.
- Take a nap and sleep it off.
Of course, another approach is trying to avoid getting to the point where you’re experiencing weed paranoia. Here are some tips to avoid getting paranoid:
- Take smaller doses of THC.
- If you can, try smoking or vaping. It’s easier to dose than edibles or oils.
- Consume strains with more CBD, since CBD counteracts the psychoactive effects of THC. If you’re prone to paranoia, CBD could hep smooth out your experience.