This blog post will answer the question, “why does weed make you anxious? Why one might be more prone to weed-related anxiousness than another? What are the symptoms of weed-related anxiety? How can you manage anxiety caused by using weed?
Why does weed make you anxious?
Weed as a drug is rich in a chemical substance called THC, the main psychoactive compound. THC usually produces high sensations in an individual.
As a result, when the brain receives more amount of these chemicals than usual it may cause a dysfunction in the amygdala which is a structure in the brain controlling fear and anxiety in humans.
Many weed users report that the severity of the anxiousness may vary from strain to strain of the drug. That being said many people look for weed that has the highest levels of THC concentration in order to feel the effects of the weed at its maximum.
Experts believe that an individual’s endocannabinoid system plays an important part in weed-related paranoia.
What are the symptoms one experiences upon using weed?
Weed related anxiety might take up the form of panic attacks in some cases which result in the following symptoms:
- Increased heartbeat
- Difficulty breathing
- Irrational and intense feelings of fear
- Complaints of chest pain or a choking sensation
- Fear of being judged by others
- Trembling or sweating
- An impending fear of doom
- Lightheadedness or dizziness
- Chills or numbness
- A sense of disconnect from reality or oneself
Although these symptoms may cause a significant amount of distress in an individual they usually fade away within 10 minutes or less.
Why one might be more prone to weed-related anxiousness than another?
Not everyone experiences anxiousness after using a drug like weed. Moreover, even if an individual does experience anxiousness, it does not follow a recurring pattern, that is it is not necessary that an individual experiences anxiousness every single time that they use weed.
Some factors that make an individual more likely to experience anxiety than the others could be as follows:
Studies indicate that weed tends to produce a more positive effect compared to the negative effects given by many other substances or drugs such as alcohol.
Weed makes an individual feel relaxed and calmer by providing stimulation to the frontal region of the brain. However, if the back portion of an individual’s brain is more THC sensitive than the frontal part of the individual brain they can experience an adverse effect or reaction which often leads to anxiety.
It is found that when an individual uses weed with a higher THC content it may contribute to feelings of anxiety or other negative symptoms.
This could help to conclude that even though THC when used in the right amount helps in reducing negative feelings associated with certain stressful events whereas a higher dose of it can have an opposite effect on an individual by increasing the negative feelings that they have been trying to push back.
Sex of an individual
Studies have shown that higher levels of Estrogen increases weed sensitivity by about 30% and reduce its tolerance for weed. This means females may be more sensitive to weed and its effects. This could apply to pain relief, anxiety, and other negative effects.
How can you manage anxiety caused by the use of weed?
The occurrence of anxiety post the use of weed is very unpredictable. However, there might be some self-help techniques that an individual can adopt in order to get through the week moment.
Some self-help techniques that can be adopted by an individual are:
Remind oneself that you’re not in danger
Weed-related anxiousness or panic attacks may vary from individual to individual. The uncomfortable feelings that an individual experience during these attacks is due to the physiological reactions that the body displays.
However, an individual must remind themselves that this is a temporary mechanism and will pass away once they start to calm themselves down consciously.
Try and relax
When an individual is feeling anxious, they should most importantly settle themselves down in a comfortable position. Following which they can practice alternate nostril breathing where they hold on to one side of the nose closed and breathe in and out several times after which they switch sides and repeat the circuit.
Use of pepper
Pepper and cannabinoids share similar chemicals. In order to counter the effect of too much THC if an individual can use fresh peppercorns in the powdered form and inhale them the sneezing and stinging eyes may help to distract an individual from the anxiety for a brief period of time however this method is not very user friendly and might cause some level of discomfort.
Studies showed that the consumption of weed on an empty stomach can have an effect on its intensity leading to a higher sensation in the body.
By taking something to snack on regardless of being hungry at the moment can help to reduce the effects of THC as well as the panic attack.
Do something challenging
Weed-related anxiety or panic attacks can be overwhelming. Using grounding techniques can be another alternative method in order to modulate these attacks and their effects.
Here are a few steps one can adopt:
- Pick up and a number of objects that you like. Focus on its characteristics and its texture.
- Cuddle or hold your pet close to you.
- Try and run your hands under cold or bomb water.
- Try aromatherapy such as lighting up a scented candle are making a cup of spiced tea.
Even though many individuals consume weed due to the awareness of the relaxing effect it causes it’s difficult to understand how an individual will react to it post its use each time.
Even though an individual has a good and expected outcome from multiple usages in the past it does not guarantee that they will not have a bad experience with it in the future.
Every individual reacts differently to the usage of weed. Weed-related anxiety usually takes the form of a panic attack. Even though the symptoms of a panic attack are very discomforting it is important for an individual to remind themselves that these symptoms are just temporary and will it pass by.
Individuals should understand that the only way to completely prevent weed-induced panic attacks or anxiety is to avoid the usage of weed in itself or consciously use a strain that is low on THC.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):
What are the symptoms of being high on weed?
Some physical signs of being intoxicated by weed include poor muscle coordination, delayed reaction time, increase or decrease in appetite, and red eyes. Apart from this, a change in mood into a much-relaxed state can be seen.
Will anxiety caused by weed go away?
Anxiousness caused by the use of weed is usually a result of anxiolytics. The removal or withdrawal of the drug causes the brain to go back to its normal state, leading to a lower threshold of anxiety in the person. This anxiety may last for a span of a few days to even a few months.
How long does it take to recover from weed?
Usage of weed varies from individual to individual based on their tolerance and their need for gratification. When a regular user of weed stops using the drug the withdrawal symptoms begin to show up on the first day after withdrawal and peak within 48 to 72 hours. These withdrawal symptoms usually last for about two to three weeks.
How long do weed panic attacks last for?
The panic caused by the use of weed usually fades away within 10 minutes or so. However, these 10 minutes of the panic attack might vary in severity from person to person.
Can quitting weed cause a panic attack?
Anxiety and a panic attack can be caused both by the intoxication caused by the use of weed or even by the withdrawal from it.
Can taking weed cause psychosis?
Psychosis is evident when an individual is on a particular substance or drug one such drug that can cause a state of psychosis is a weed however this state of psychosis usually fades away when the drug intake is ceased off.
How to stop a panic attack while intoxicated by weed?
A few steps that an individual can follow in order to calm themselves down when under the influence of the drug are:
Comfortably settled down in a place around you like a chair or sofa.
Try to calm yourself down with your eyes closed and deep breathing patterns.
Reassure yourself that you are safe, and this feeling followed by the panic attack is temporary and shall pass soon.
Try and use some distractive methods such as counting backward to keep your mind of negative emotions and feelings.