What to Do if Smoking Cannabis Causes You Paranoia and Anxiety
With more states legalizing cannabis, more people are having unexpected reactions like anxiety and paranoia from higher doses of THC. While it is true that too much THC can cause mild paranoia and anxiety, quite a few people use it for treating these conditions. So what do you do if your anxiety starts getting worse from smoking cannabis?
First off, if you’re using cannabis to help treat anxiety, you should stick with an Indica or at least an Indica dominant strain. The terpenes found in most Indica strains can help alleviate symptoms of anxiety. Terpenes like Linalool and Myrcene are known to have strong sedative effects and can really help with anxiety.
THC by itself can actually induce anxiety and paranoia; that’s why having terpenes along with it can help reduce anxiety. If you already suffer from anxiety, a good suggestion would be to go with Indica strains that have a lot of beta-caryophyllene, which actually binds to our CB2 receptors and can drastically reduce symptoms of anxiety.
Beta-Caryophyllene is also found in black peppercorns. Famous musician Neil Young told an interviewer once that he loved cannabis, but it had a tendency to make him paranoid. To help with this, he would grind up some black pepper and gently inhale through his nose; not enough to actually sniff pepper up his nose, but just enough for the beta-caryophyllene to do its job and reduce his anxiety.
CBD is a cannabinoid that actually counteracts the anxiety that can be brought on by THC. Many cannabis users will keep an all CBD tincture on hand just in case the THC starts giving them anxiety. Another cannabinoid that can help with anxiety is CBN. Just 5mg of CBN is equal to 10mg of Valium but without any of the side effects.
If you’re a cannabis user and you suffer from anxiety or paranoia, stick with Indica strains, keep some CBD or CBN on hand, and maybe even some black pepper, but the best way to prevent THC induced anxiety is to know your body – start with a low dose and take it slow. You can always smoke more cannabis if you feel the need to.