Your question: Why do I get anxiety from edibles?

My reply:

Hi, I hope this message finds you well. My name is Cesar Guedez, a psychologist trained in cognitive behavioral therapy.

Marijuana use has become increasingly popular over the years. Statistics show (1) that at least 18% of Americans use marijuana either therapeutically or recreationally. Many myths have been established about the effects of marijuana, and not enough is said about the impact it can have on mental health.

The psychoactive compound in cannabis, THC (short for tetrahydrocannabinol) impacts the nervous system in different ways. Although many associate marijuana with relaxation, the truth is that it can also have completely opposite effects, making people feel threatened and anxious for no apparent reason.

Studies (2) show how anxiety is particularly common in cannabis users, despite the fact that its use is defended by claiming that it is beneficial for “decreasing anxiety”. For many people, marijuana is something they depend on to feel calm and relieved.

This is a common problem, and one that you should not be ashamed of. Edibles and any other form of cannabis have detrimental health effects, and should not be consumed without medical prescription and detailed evaluation.

During this blog I would like to first, explain to you why cannabis edibles make you anxious, and second, how to cope with this feeling and gradually decrease consumption for your physical and mental health. As difficult as it may be, you have the power and ability to do so.

How do cannabis edibles cause you to feel anxious?

The amygdala is the part of your brain responsible for making you feel fear and putting your body in a state of alarm to external threats. When you consume cannabis edibles, or any other form of cannabis, your amygdala is overstimulated, generating a feeling of fear, anxiety and even paranoia (1).

Also, the feeling of anxiety depends on the THC levels in the edible. Other factors that can influence the feeling of anxiety when consuming edibles is your mood at the time of consumption (if you were feeling worried, sad or nervous, the effect of cannabis is more likely to generate severe anxiety).

People who experience anxiety after consuming edibles often feel tachycardia, muscle tension and an intense sense of worry, fearing that something bad might happen to them or their loved ones. This is a typical anxiety response that is aggravated by the brain stimulation that cannabis exerts when it enters your body, in any form.

How can you deal with your anxiety?

Now that you know how edibles truly impact your brain and mood, you need to know techniques to implement the next time you experience edibles-related anxiety.

We must be realistic. It is difficult to give up cannabis edibles completely, as they are addictive and create an apparent sense of calmness and relaxation. You can consider reducing the dose gradually, reducing it by half, and above all, avoiding daily consumption.

If you experience an intense difficulty to give up its consumption, it is necessary that you go to a professional such as a doctor or a psychologist. These are qualified people who will under no circumstances judge you, and will help you to gradually reach a life free of cannabis use.

Breathing and relaxation

When you feel panic and anxiety invading your body, you need to breathe slowly and concentrate to reduce the feeling of uneasiness caused by the edibles. Inhale slowly through your nose for three seconds and exhale slowly through your mouth for another three seconds. Repeat this exercise with your eyes closed while resting your hands on your chest, and you feel the tension caused by anxiety diminish.


Physical activity gives you control of your body and mind. Whether in a gym, playing a sport or from the comfort of your home, exercising allows you to relieve the symptoms of anxiety in general, and gives you more confidence to cope with the stresses of everyday life.

Modify your social circle

Being around people who use edible cannabis constantly makes it very difficult for you to stop using on your own. Therefore, you need to expand your social circle, creating new friendships in places you enjoy that will keep you distracted and away from cannabis use in general.

In my experience…

Consuming edible cannabis feels like heaven to many people, as it gives them a momentary feeling of relaxation. However, like any other drug, cannabis negatively affects physical and mental health when it is abused, and when its use is maintained despite negative health effects.

It is a complicated process to stop using edibles, but with the necessary determination and the right psychosocial support you will be able to do it. You should always keep in mind that your health is more important than anything else, and that there are healthy alternatives that you can implement into your life to deal with your worries other than using cannabis edibles.

The fact that you are seeking professional help through this message proves it to me, and I applaud you for making that decision and being on track to improve your mental health and overall, your physical health.

Was this helpful?

Thanks for your feedback!