Does weed cause paranoia or is it all just a big hoax? This and other questions answered in today’s article!
I suppose you’ve probably heard of it before, perhaps a friend or family member has told you about a time they smoked a joint or ate from a batch of Magic Brownies and started on a bad trip. Maybe it’s happened to you, and you just want to know what caused it in the first place.
If any of that sounds familiar, then this article is for you.
First off, my name is TJ and thank you for joining me here today. I’m one of many experienced “stoners” in the world today, and I’d like to take this opportunity to use my experience with the Devil’s Lettuce to help educate you fellow readers.
In fact, the timing for this article is perfect as I was just suffering from a bad trip and some major Pot Paranoia the other day. Yes, even a regular user and one that plays it safe like myself can sometimes fall into the trap.
However the more you know about what causes it, the better off you’ll be in your efforts to prevent it from happening to you. That all being said, let’s get right to it.
What Is Paranoia?
Have you ever felt some nagging feeling that someone is watching you? Or that you’re going to get in trouble for something, despite it being completely irrational?
There’s certainly a boat load of other examples that I can use, but the main idea is this: Paranoia is when your brain starts to put together sometimes elaborate ideas, visions, and delusions that something will happen. It’s often a bad something, and it can come across as very convincing.
The Lexico/Oxford Dictionary describes Paranoia as the following:
“a mental condition characterized by delusions of persecution, unwarranted jealousy, or exaggerated self-importance, typically elaborated into an organized system. It may be an aspect of chronic personality disorder, of drug abuse, or of a serious condition such as schizophrenia in which the person loses touch with reality.”
Notice the mention of drug abuse? Don’t take it personally if that’s you, it’s me and many others as well they’re talking about.
So all that said, Pot Paranoia (or whatever term you prefer to call it) is basically just paranoia that can be caused by consumption of Cannabis products.
Next we’ll be going over why this magical flower can sometimes send us into those scary places
What Is In Cannabis That Causes Paranoia?
If you’ve been here before you’ve probably heard me talking about it at some point, but today we get to go a bit deeper into the explanation.
Within the Cannabis flower that we use for “getting high”, there is something called Cannabinoids that you may have heard of before. These Cannabinoids are plant-based chemical compounds that attach to the Cannabinoid Receptors in our bodies.
They send a message to our brains to chill out and are responsible for the relaxation that you feel when under the influence. Makes sense so far, right?
One of the major Cannabinoids that is responsible for this is Tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC if you prefer. THC does an amazing job of calming us down, relieving pain, helping us sleep, and so on. But some things change when you consume too much THC – like your Anxiety relief for example.
In smaller amounts of THC you’ll probably find that it takes the edge off and mellows you out pretty quickly, but it’s easy to take in too much – especially if your joints and edibles are prepared by someone else.
So what can you do to prevent a bad trip from happening? Keep on reading!
How To Prevent A Bad Trip
Here’s a few easy rules to follow if you want to prevent yourself from suffering from paranoia:
1. Always roll your own joints and make your own treats
Sure it seems pretty obvious for some, but this is actually what got me into the mess I was in the other day. If you’re not rolling your own joints or making your own edibles, than you probably have very little idea what is actually in them.
Marijuana is the short answer, but the devil is in the details. What strain was used? How concentrated is it? Could it be laced with something you don’t know about?
We all want to have a little faith in our suppliers, but if you didn’t make it yourself, then you’re strictly at the mercy of whoever is doing the preperation.
2. Dial back on the THC
I know I’m as foolish as it gets sometimes, picking up whatever strain of weed has the highest THC percentage available. I say things like “I like a strong weed, like a strong beer” or “my tolerance is so high that I need the heavy-duty stuff” but that’s not always the right way to go about things.
The higher the THC, the more likely you’re going to suffer from paranoia. So what should you go for instead?
Try a strain of Cannabis that has more CBD and a bit less THC, if the option is there.
CBD will still give you a large variety of health benefits, like pain and stress relief for example, but doesn’t carry the psychoactive effects that THC is known for. Yes that means a lighter high, but a less dangerous one as well.
3. Go easy on anything new
Again this was advice I did not follow, and I ended up paying for it so take a moment and learn with me.
If you’re ever trying a new form of Cannabis, even if it’s just a strain you haven’t used before, start small. I suggest going with only a hit or two (depending on your tolerance) from a bowl/bong, or in the case of edibles, perhaps just a half-cookie instead of a full serving.
At my previous job, I watched several people who were quite new to any kind of recreational drugs make complete fools of themselves by underestimating what they were eating. I was not the one supplying said goods, but I did try to offer a warning that fell on deaf ears.
One of them was a total zombie for a couple hours, another went home on a stretcher. Please use responsibly and don’t be fools like those people.
Signs Of Impending Paranoia
When I overindulge in the magic of THC, there’s a number of signs or red flags that start to pop for me. If I can catch them quickly enough, I might be able to salvage the evening and avoid a much worse trip – and you can too.
If you notice your heart rate starting to speed up, it may be a sign of things to come. The irrational feelings of fear and self-doubt are another thing to watch out for. Even if the weed starts to make you jumpy or antsy, it may be time to cut yourself off for the day.
But it’s worth mentioning that prevention really is the best medicine here, as it can be hard to straighten a bad trip once you’re already on it. So try to have a plan in case things go awry.
I’ve mentioned in the past that having someone nearby that can be reached if you start to get overwhelmed is a huge asset.
Remember that once you’re on a bad trip, whether it’s with weed or some other substance, it’s sometimes just time and patience that will get you through it.
Of course, if you do find yourself in a bad situation, call someone that can help you or at least talk you through it. It’s not shameful in the least if you have to go to the Hospital over a bad trip, just try to learn something from the experience and be more responsible the next time.
But I figure I’ve rambled on long enough about this, now it’s your turn. If you have any stories that you’d like to share, or other pieces of advice for less experienced users, leave me a comment down below!
In the meantime, I wish you all a safe trip and a fantastic weekend!