Why Does Weed Make Me Paranoid?
7 Nov 2022
If you’ve ever smoked weed, chances are you’ve probably experienced some sort of paranoia. Paranoid thoughts and feelings associated with weed can be scary and even dangerous in certain situations.
But why does weed make you paranoid? What exactly is going on in your brain as a result of smoking it? Let’s take a look! Paranoid thoughts are characterized as having an excessive distrust or fear that someone may intend to harm you.
This type of thinking can be triggered by certain experiences, such as drug use, stress, or personal trauma.
In the context of weed, and how it affects your neurotransmitters. (Chemicals in your brain responsible for communication between neurons) Or how they respond to the chemical compounds found in cannabis.
How Does Weed Make You Paranoid?
There are many different ways that weed can make a person feel paranoid. The two most common are increased anxiety and distorted perceptions.
There’s a misconception that smoking weed induces a state of relaxation in all users. While this may be true for certain individuals, most people experience the exact opposite reaction when smoking weed: increased anxiety. For people experiencing heightened levels of anxiety, smoking weed can exacerbate the symptoms, causing them to become even more anxious.
People who regularly experience anxiety may want to avoid weed because of this. If you often experience feelings of paranoia or anxiety when smoking weed. It may be a sign that your body chemistry is particularly sensitive to the compound THC.
Among cannabis users, paranoia may also present as irrational worry that people are scrutinizing you. Disoriented and anxious thinking, or other negative thought patterns.
Weed and the “Paranoid” Chemicals in Cannabis
When you smoke weed, you’re actually consuming two main cannabinoids: THC and CBD. THC, or tetrahydrocannabinol, is the psychoactive compound in cannabis that causes feelings of euphoria and relaxation, as well as paranoia.
CBD, is a non-psychoactive compound that has anti-inflammatory, pain-reducing, and anxiety-relieving properties. It seems like CBD actually lessens the stress-promoting consequences of too much THC. Making it a viable option for those looking to avoid feelings of excessive distrust when smoking weed.
So what causes the “paranoid” chemicals in cannabis to make you feel paranoid? A neurotransmitter called GABA is largely responsible for regulating feelings of relaxation and calmness in your brain. However, when you smoke weed, the excess THC can disrupt the normal functioning of your GABA receptors, causing you to feel more anxious and paranoid.
The Role of GABA When You Smoke Weed
GABA is a neurotransmitter responsible for regulating feelings of relaxation and wellbeing. When your GABA receptors are functioning properly, they’re able to reduce feelings of anxiety and paranoia. As well as regulate your mood and sleep cycle.
When you smoke weed, the THC in the cannabis acts as an antagonist of your GABA receptors. This means that it disrupts the normal functioning of your GABA receptors and has the opposite effect. The GABA in your brain is unable to properly regulate anxiety, mood, and relaxation. Without GABA to keep you feeling calm, smoking weed can make you feel more anxious than ever.
How THC Creates a Paranoid State of Mind
THC is a psychoactive compound found in cannabis. When you smoke weed, THC enters your bloodstream and travels to your brain. Where it can cause changes in your neurotransmitter levels. The most notable effect of THC on your brain is that it can drastically reduce levels of your brain chemical GABA, which is responsible for regulating feelings of relaxation and calmness.
When THC inhibits the GABA in your brain, it causes feelings of anxiety and paranoia by disrupting the normal functioning of your GABA receptors. Because smoking weed reduces the amount of GABA in your brain, THC will have more access to your brain’s receptors, causing you to experience heightened feelings of anxiety and paranoia.
Researchers from the University of Chicago tested how THC affected 42 cannabis users under stressful conditions. Those who consumed 7.5mg of THC reported feeling less stressed by a mock interview than volunteers who use a placebo. However, those who used 12.5mg reported a greater degree of negative emotions while performing the same task than those who used the placebo.
Is Paranoid Thinking Bad?
Although it’s often associated with feelings of anxiety and paranoia, having paranoid thoughts isn’t necessarily a bad thing. In fact, it’s often a healthy and beneficial way of thinking that can allow you to be more observant and cautious in certain situations. When you’re walking alone late at night, it’s generally a good idea to be on the lookout for potential signs of danger.
Taking precautions to avoid putting yourself at risk is an important and healthy way of thinking. However, it can become a problem if you constantly experience paranoid and fearful thoughts in your daily life. Oftentimes, excessive paranoia and suspiciousness is a sign of an underlying mental health condition and/or an adverse reaction to certain substances.
Paranoid thinking can be triggered by many things, such as drug use, trauma, stress, and anxiety. If you experience frequent and excessive paranoia, it could be an indication that you need to make some lifestyle changes to maintain mental health.
When you smoke weed, the high level of THC found in the cannabis can cause feelings of anxiety and paranoia. This is because when THC inhibits the GABA in your brain, it causes GABA receptors to become overstimulated, leading to feelings of anxiety and paranoia. For many people, feelings of paranoia can be an expected part of smoking weed.
However, if you’re experiencing excessive or unwarranted feelings of paranoia, it could be a sign that you should consider cutting back on smoking or seek professional assistance. Likewise, if you’re regularly experiencing anxiety and paranoia in your daily life, it could be a result of an underlying mental health condition. Seeking assistance from a mental health professional can help you identify and treat any issues you may be experiencing.