The relationship between cannabis and feeling paranoid or anxious is a conflicting one. Cannabis has long been touted as a solution for easing nerve-wracking emotions, but it’s also reported as their source. So, which is it? Well, the short answer is, it depends.
Your experience with cannabis is important to us at Greeley Gallery. As a recreational and medicinal cannabis dispensary in North Portland, we strive to provide high-quality marijuana for our customers. But we also want to ensure you have a pleasurable experience too. This is why we’re dedicating this article to helping you navigate the ironic relationship of cannabis and anxiety.
The Rise of Energetic Cannabis Strains
Classic stereotypes surrounding marijuana paints images of the lazy couch potato with disconnected thoughts and glazed eyes. Even today, many consumers recognize this description as being stoned using a body-numbing indica strain. However, since the spread of this stoner image, cannabis has evolved.
New cannabis strains debut ever more frequently as growers expand the science of their craft and, in the process, introduce strains that aid in productivity and boosting energy. Such strains are popular thanks to their motivational and uplifting sensations, which inspire us to finish our chores, work out, or partake in something creative.
Sativa strains are often recommended to achieve such highs, and for a good reason. Since Sativa strains are compared to having a cup of coffee, producing just enough boost to get you amped for the day. Unfortunately, these energy-producing strains commonly have anxiety and paranoia as side effects. The good news is, there are ways to combat these adverse effects to create the positive boost you’re looking for.
Understanding the Reason Behind Your Feelings
An important aspect to understand is how the cannabis compound, tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) affects the body. For instance, THC acts as a vasodilator, opening the blood vessels to allow more blood through. In turn, blood flows faster, which increases our heart rate. Sometimes, our brains interpret this increased heart rate as a sign of a threat, or like we’re losing control.
When knowing the source of our elevated heart rate, we can use our logic to determine there isn’t a threat. In other words, when anxiety or paranoia creep in, simply remind yourself that what you’re feeling is the effects of THC expanding your blood vessels, and that’s all. Then your fears can subside, and your anxiety can be turned into excitement or creativity instead.
A simple and easy way to prevent feelings of anxiety and paranoia from taking over and ruining your high is to know your tolerance. Like any other medicine or drug, tolerance levels vary from person to person. Sometimes all an individual needs is a single milligram, or puff, to achieve their ideal experience.
We recommend starting slowly, especially when trying a new strain. Take mental notes of your experience. Do you feel the effects more in your body or mind? Which emotions are stirring within you? Noticing these seemingly minor things will help you remember what to expect the next time. As your comfort and familiarity grow, you can up your dosage. In fact, studies show that in small doses, THC, the high inducing compound within cannabis is actually effective in treating anxiety.
In the End
No one wants to feel anxious or paranoid. Some people loathe the experience so much that they choose to forego cannabis altogether. Who can blame them? However, there are ways to avoid and combat these side effects.
Starting slow is the best option to avoid overwhelming anxiety. Allow yourself time to adjust and prepare before upping your dosage. This way will also give you more control over your experience. However, sometimes accidents happen, and you consume a bit too much. In this case, being mindful and aware that what you’re feeling isn’t a threat but your blood vessel dilating. Reminding yourself of this is often all that’s needed to quiet your fears so you can enjoy your experience instead.