While there are a lot of positive benefits to be gained through the consumption of cannabis, there are sometimes negative side effects also. Each person is going to react differently to the consumption of marijuana, and while the majority of people have a positive experience, there are some occasions in which users will experience feelings of paranoia.
It is a side effect that is pretty common among those who consume cannabis, especially those who do not partake in this activity very often. There are many thoughts that could pop into your head when you are high and you start feeling a bit paranoid. You may feel that everyone is looking at you or that everyone knows that you are high.
Often, this level of paranoia will be related to feelings like anxiety and fear. It is believed that those strains in particular which have higher THC content often lead to higher levels of paranoia.
Negative emotions can often be magnified as a result of cannabis consumption. There are a few different reasons why a person may experience paranoia as a result of their weed consumption, ranging from their personal genetics, their environment, current state of mind, the type of strain consumed and the dosage they have consumed.
What form does this paranoia take?
Usually when a person has a feeling that they are being targeted or threatened in some shape or fashion, this can be called paranoia, especially when the threat in reality is effectively non-existent. It is a form of delusion, because in actual fact there is no legitimate threat.
Those people who suffer from paranoia will think that others have an ulterior motive and can often concoct all sorts of theories about a person’s or a group’s intentions. Most people are going to experience some form of paranoia in their lives in some shape or form. Certain individuals will be more prone to being paranoid over an extended period of time than others.
What does paranoia from marijuana look like?
If a person states that when they smoke weed they feel paranoid, most of the time they will be referring to the fact that they can feel obsessive and anxious, particularly when placed in social situations while under the influence of cannabis.
They will often over-analyze situations that the majority of people would not even pay any attention to. It is an unpleasant feeling, and if a person continually feels like this while consuming cannabis, they may stop doing so as the negatives outweigh the benefits for them.
Some of the common signs that you or another person could be afflicted with paranoia as a result of cannabis consumption includes the likes of being overly occupied with the motives of others, feeling distrustful, suspicious or anxious, having the idea that others are planning to upset you or are going to harm you in some way, as well as having a feeling of being targeted.
This may come in the form of thinking others are laughing at your expense, that you are being judged, or you may think that a person may be trying to follow you or be talking about you behind your back. Often, telling a trusted person about these feelings can be beneficial in identifying the issue. If this person doesn’t think that your thoughts are rational, then there is a chance that you are going through a spell of paranoia.
Is there a relationship between paranoia and marijuana?
Marijuana, through THC (the psychoactive compound), will target your brain, specifically the areas that are associated with fear and your emotions. This means that, when you are high, it may lead to you thinking that experiences which are in actuality normal are dangerous or life threatening.
Many of the cannabinoid receptors that are found in the brain are located in the amygdala, which is the regulator for fear and anxiety. The usual cause for paranoia is fear and anxiety, which is why in some people, the consumption of marijuana can lead to feeling a bit paranoid. However, on the flip side, a lot of people say that when they smoke weed they feel less anxious and that it is a great tool for them in managing these feelings.
Just like with most things related to the human body and how it reacts to certain stimuli, it is a complicated topic that is still not fully understood by scientists. Certain people will feel paranoid after smoking weed while others are going to actually feel less anxious and not paranoid at all. Often, it appears that the reasons for this depends on the specific type of strain of cannabis.
Those strains which are higher in CBD, the non-psychoactive compound found in cannabis, are usually the ones utilized when a person wants to calm their anxiety levels. Those strains which place an emphasis on THC content, on the other hand, will risk you feeling more paranoid.
The consumption of THC generally triggers the emotional areas of your brain to be placed on a high level of alert. It can make these areas more sensitive and, as a result, interpret normal experiences as being potentially threatening.
The environment that a person is in can affect their level of paranoia. Worry and paranoia go hand in hand, which is why calmness of mind is important, as well as the fact that you are in an environment that is comfortable when smoking weed.
If you take stronger doses of marijuana, then the effects are going to be stronger. Therefore, if you struggle with paranoia, you will most likely be suited to lower doses. Some people already suffer from issues related to worry and anxiety and therefore may be more inclined to experience paranoia when they are consuming cannabis.
These people should be more conservative when they are smoking weed to ensure that these issues are not made worse. Finally, while marijuana is legal in a lot of places, there are still many jurisdictions where it is illegal. When people are high, this can lead to paranoia that they will be caught by law enforcement and that they might get caught. If it was completely legal, this of course would not be an issue.