Ask Mama: Why is Weed Making Me Anxious?
Published on February 21, 2023
If the dreaded weed anxiety has you seeing ghosts (hopefully not literally), you’re not alone. Marijuana is a magical thing, we all know that. While it helps a lot of people reduce their anxiety, for some it can trigger anxiety and paranoia. That’s a major bummer.
So, today, Mama wants to go over what weed anxiety is, why it happens, and offer some ways to help resolve those feeling when you smoke. Fear not, Mama is here to help.
What is Weed Anxiety/Paranoia?
Most people like weed because it calms them down. Some people (sadly) have the opposite reaction. For a small group of people, cannabis use can occasionally trigger anxiety or paranoia responses, or more simply put, freak them the fuck out. It typically isn’t to a serious degree, but nobody likes to feel on edge, especially when the beauty of weed is that it usually has an amazingly relaxing effect.
What Causes Weed Anxiety?
If you find yourself feeling all freaked out when you get high, science just might have the explanation (big ups to the homie Bill Nye). Mama’s going to go with a “science for dummies” approach on this one.
Basically, your body produces something called endocannabinoids, which are similar to cannabinoids (but produced by your body…just to make sure we’re all on the same page in Mama’s Weed Anxiety 101). Scientists believe that when you use cannabis (which, woah, contains cannabinoids), THC binds to endocannabinoid receptors in your brain. This includes binding to receptors in the amygdala, which is the part of your brain that helps regulate things like fear, anxiety, stress, and paranoia. This sudden increase in cannabinoids can then trigger brain responses that result in heightened feelings of anxiety or paranoia.
In normal people talk, that all basically means THC can overstimulate part of the brain, which causes anxiety and paranoia. Not cool, brain, not cool.
Why It Might Happen to You
Alright, you got the science down, A+ for all of Mama’s students. The next question is, why does weed anxiety happen to you but not to your always-stoned pals? Tbh, it’s hard to say, but there are a few theories.
Your Brain is Sensitive
One potential reason is that the back of your brain is more sensitive to THC. That’s right, some people have different THC sensitivities in different parts of their brains. And while it appears most are more sensitive in the front part of the brain, which results in the classic chilled-out feeling, some people are more sensitive in the back region, resulting in anxious or paranoid feelings.
If you find yourself only occasionally getting anxious or paranoid, take a quick look at the THC content of your next joint, vape, shot, or whatever. Turns out, marijuana with higher THC content can be responsible for those ~spooky~ feelings you might occasionally get when high. Frankly, Mama likes it strong, but Mama is also a giant gorilla who ain’t scared of nothin’, so if you notice yourself getting paranoid when consuming high-THC weed, either cut down on the dosage, or step down to a lower THC product.
How to Get Past It
If lowering the THC isn’t cutting it, or you just happen to have a weird one-off anxious high, there are some things you can do to get your high back on track.
Find Your Happy Place
This honestly applies to any time you’re feeling a bit anxious, but try and take a step back and get yourself into a happy place. Try some of these and see how it works:
- Do a quick little meditation moment
- Throw on some tunes
- Do some painting/coloring
- Go on a chill walk
- Take a nice warm shower or bath
These things might not be fool-proof, but they’re proven to relax. Also, even if you aren’t feeling anxious those are all rad things to do when high. Really can’t go wrong.
Use the Magic of Terpenes
This might sound kinda bananas, but it just so happens that the solution to your weed anxiety woes might just be pepper. That’s right, chewing peppercorns or even taking a nice deep whiff of ground pepper can potentially help with your marijuana-induced anxiety. It turns out, peppercorns have terpenes called pinene and caryophyllene, which both happen to turn down the effects of THC. So if you’re feeling a bit weird the next time you’re high, head to the kitchen and get to chewing or sniffing.
*Disclaimer: Mama isn’t responsible for any sneeze attacks that result from you accidentally inhaling a bunch of ground pepper…but maybe record it and upload it to the internet if it does happen; seems like it might be a little funny.*
If you know you sometimes get anxious or paranoid when you get high, take a second to plan how you can avoid having a shitty high.
Ways to achieve this are things like:
- Use less at a time. For example, chugging an entire bottle of Mama’s Yolo Shotz at once is a guaranteed weird time (not necessarily in a bad way, but definitely not for the faint of heart). Instead, start with smaller doses, like a cap full or even just half a cap full. (Seriously, that stuff is strong, you’ll be good to go with just a little!)
- Find CBD-dominant strains. Some weed strains are THC-dominant (sativas), some are CBD-dominant (indicas), and some are a balance of both (hybrids). Now that you know high THC can be a trigger, try and find some more CBD-dominant products that hopefully won’t trigger a bad response. Mama has no shortage of options in both the Mini Mofoz and the Live Resin Infused Blunts.
And that wraps up Mama’s Weed Anxiety 101. 100% scores for everyone that made it all the way through. And, hopefully, now you can get out there and avoid any more anxiety or paranoia-filled highs!