February 13, 2023
8 mins read
How to Prevent Paranoia From Cannabis
First things first: the chances are slim to nil that you’re going to overdose on cannabis. It’s just not something that typically happens, although anybody consuming THC-based edibles must be more careful than smokers.
Weighed against all the potential for chaos when alcohol is involved, the risk and stakes of cannabis consumption are decidedly low. Ask most cannabis consumers, and they’ll tell you it’s a way to unwind after a tough day, watch a movie, and enjoy some good eats. For some, it soothes chronic pain. Others rely on cannabis as a treatment for their mental health problems.
Yet, despite cannabis’s mostly gentle nature, one problem can arise when it’s consumed: paranoia.
This issue can occur with novices, and it can happen to frequent consumers as well.
This article will explore ways to prevent paranoia from cannabis. Additionally, we’ll explore how to manage cannabis-related paranoia best if it does sneak up on you.
A Quick Look Into The Science Of Cannabis-Induced Paranoia
According to experts, cannabis-related paranoia stems from your endocannabinoid system (ECS). Certain compounds in cannabis–such as THC, cannabis’s psychoactive component, bind to receptors in your brain, including the amygdala.
Your amygdala regulates your fear response, which is linked to other associated emotions like paranoia (and also stress, anxiety, etc.).
It should come as no surprise that the stronger the strain one consumes, the more susceptible one is to paranoia. After all, these THC-rich strains flood your brain with an excess of cannabinoids. The cannabinoids then overstimulate the amygdala, triggering anxieties.
Tips On How To Prevent Paranoia From Cannabis
Fortunately, cannabis paranoia is entirely preventable almost all of the time if you thoughtfully approach your cannabis consumption.
Below are some crucial tips on how to prevent paranoia from cannabis.
Tip 1: Research Your Strain
If you don’t want to experience hectic psychoactive symptoms during your high, research the strain before doing anything.
In the US, while cannabis isn’t legal for adult use on a federal level, there’s more legal cannabis available than ever. Whether through state legality or medicinal laws, adult-use dispensaries (like Oasis) are open abound and might be in your home state.
The cannabis you consume doesn’t have to be a guessing game like it used to be. You can know the strain, and its potency levels, in advance.
For beginners, avoid strains 10% or above in THC to keep things mellow and enjoyable. Most experts suggest going no further than 2.5mg to 5mg of THC when consuming cannabis edibles for the first time. While it’s generally accepted that 10mg won’t be too adverse, it could get dicey for novices.
Tip 2: Know The Strains That Make Your Paranoid
Above we said to avoid high-THC cannabis, but you can further compound your knowledge by knowing specific strains that make you paranoid.
Getting comfortable with this level of specificity may take a little time to peruse the market space to see the latest high-potency strain. However, you’ll quickly get familiarized with the heavy hitters at any given dispensary by simply asking budtenders questions or looking it up on the website. Also, if you’re unsure about a particular strain, regardless of what it says on the packaging, you can quickly look it up on your phone if you know the name. You may find user reviews or other information on the strain.
On a similar note, does indica make you paranoid? Or is sativa more likely to cause paranoia?
A Leafly article suggests that indica and sativa are just botanical terms. One isn’t necessarily more conducive to paranoia than the other.
One sativa can possess similar properties to any given indica and vice versa.
Still, there are arguments that one is worse than the next. Others claim it can differ based on the person. So, whether consuming a sativa or an indica, your best bet is to avoid overly high potencies.
Tip 3: Purchase Cannabis With High CBD Content
Cannabidiol (CBD) doesn’t have any psychoactive effects. In fact, CBD appears to provide an antipsychotic effect when present in cannabis with THC. Since indica typically has more CBD than sativa, some believe indica is less conducive to paranoia, but that’s more theory than fact.
The good news is these products are more available than ever, including in tinctures, flowers, and edibles, displayed in CBD to THC ratios between 1:1 and 25:1.
Additionally, some believe that strains with scents of pepper, citrus, and pine boost relaxing effects, thus staving off paranoia, but this notion isn’t backed by science.
Tip 4: Control Your Dosage
Beginners are forewarned: limit your intake. Don’t be a hero or try to chase some kind of dragon. Cannabis, at its best, is meant to provide a therapeutic effect; there’s no need to push the limits. Experiment and carefully examine the most appropriate dosage without going too crazy.
You can also enjoy high-potency strains while moderating your intake instead of settling for a weaker product.
How To Manage Paranoia Symptoms
Unlike most of the time with cannabis, when giggles and good times are the standards, cannabis-related paranoia is no laughing matter. Often, the experience can be so intense that it scares off people who could genuinely benefit from having the plant in their life, especially on a therapeutic level.
Furthermore, situations can arise where you simply hit that wave where the paranoia symptoms (like anxiety and racing thoughts) kick in. A lot of the time, your mood and the environment can be a factor too. While you can somewhat control your mind frame and setting, it doesn’t always work out like that.
In those circumstances where something goes awry, and the paranoia takes hold, here’s what you can do to keep your head level and your heart rate normal.
Tip 1: Remind Yourself That You’re High
Paranoia shares many similarities with anxiety but is more connected to irrational suspicions. Those suspicions are a fairly extreme version of paranoia–and you’re far likelier to experience more anxiety-based symptoms. These symptoms may include dwelling on current bugaboos in your life and making them much more significant than they need to be. In other words, you may make mountains out of molehills.
When you sense that you’re reaching a negative headspace, or if a more severe paranoia starts creeping in, you need to ground yourself and remind yourself that you’re under the influence of cannabis. From there, the proceedings tips will be even more effective.
Tip 2: Change Your Environment, If Necessary
We briefly referred to your environment and how it can impact your response to cannabis. Even if you meticulously planned out a setting, or didn’t plan at all, that doesn’t mean you need to settle for a high filled with paranoia and bad feelings.
You always have the opportunity to go elsewhere and to shift energies.
Sure, you can’t drive somewhere under the influence. However, somebody sober can, whether it’s your abstaining friend/significant other or an Uber. Or, you can go for a walk.
It might even help to call it a night, go to your bedroom, curl up under a blanket, and watch some of your favorite television shows or movies to lend you some comfort. More often than not, you’ll settle down and mellow out. Your racing thoughts, anxiety, and other potential paranoia symptoms will wane from there.
Tip 3: Pre-Design A Support System
It can be best to plan for the worst-case scenario, even for a relatively mild inebriant like cannabis. The psychoactive component means there will always be risks of anxiety and paranoia, no matter how seemingly innocuous.
As such, taking precautions like ensuring you have a cannabis support system as a contingency can limit the potential for paranoia and racing thoughts.
We suggest a few friends who are a quick text away and can talk you through any panic. These people will keep you grounded and more assured when you reach out in your time of need.
You could take it all a step further and ensure you’re surrounded by at least a few members of this support system when you consume cannabis. This doesn’t have to be an over-the-top ordeal where you demand certain peoples’ presence. Instead, you could ensure you’re around your most trusted pals when you partake.
Tip 4: Try Some Natural Remedies
Chemical similarities are shared between cannabinoids and terpenoids (e.g., the terpenes in pepper). This could be why pepper terpenes could offset the ill effects of high-potency THC.
Provided you’re feeling adverse symptoms like anxiety, paranoia, or racing thoughts, grind some fresh peppercorns and take a deep breath. But don’t get too close, or you’ll have a sneezing fit, and your eyes will sting.
Another natural remedy is lemonade, since lemon has a terpene called limonene, which can counterbalance your reaction to too much THC. All you need to do is glass, squeeze and zest a lemon into a glass and add some water, honey, or sugar.
Conclusion: Plan For The Worst, Expect The Best
For the most part, you can avoid paranoia symptoms from cannabis if you take the necessary precautions. On those rare occasions when the fates align poorly, and you feel paranoia or anxiety start to set in, be proactive and ensure you’re in a comfortable environment.
Lastly, ensure you’re consuming cannabis from a brand you can trust, like Oasis. With our expertise, we can guide you to the strains that maximize relaxation and minimize stress and worry.