Ever feel like smoking weed makes you paranoid? It’s not just you. In fact, many people report feeling paranoid after consuming cannabis. For some, this paranoia becomes so overwhelming that they never want to smoke weed again; while for others, it’s so intriguing they begin to research why weed makes you paranoid.
This is not a common side effect and may leave you feeling uneasy when it happens to you. But the good news is there are explanations for why weed makes you paranoid. Paranoid thoughts differ from regular anxiety in that they aren’t usually about real threats or realistic danger. Sometimes, these thoughts can threatening, which is why cannabis can lead to feelings of paranoia in some people. But in general, there many other reasons why weed makes you paranoid.
What Is Paranoia?
The term paranoia has been used to describe different mental illnesses since as early as the 19th century. However, the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5), which is the most commonly used diagnostic criteria for psychological disorders in North America, uses the term Paranoid Disorder, not just paranoia. A paranoid person is someone who has an unfounded fear that others intend to harm them.
In the DSM-5, Paranoid Disorder, or Paranoid Personality Disorder (PD), is defined as a long-term pattern of distrust and suspiciousness. Someone with PD may have difficulty trusting other people, have a low self-esteem, and think that other people would harm them. There are several different types of Paranoid Disorders, some of which are below!
Weed and Schizophrenia Paranoia
There is a connection between marijuana use and schizophrenia. According to the National Institute of Health, people who start smoking marijuana before the age of 18 are 2.5 times as likely to develop schizophrenia as those who begin after 18 years old.
Marijuana use can also increase the risk of relapse for those who have previously been treated for it. For those who develop schizophrenia as a result of marijuana use. The symptoms are usually not seen until years after the initial exposure.
This does not mean that you have to develop schizophrenia or have mental health issues in order to experience paranoia as a side effect of weed. Given the high correlation between marijuana and schizophrenia, it is natural that there would be a connection between paranoia and weed.
Weed And Confusion
If you have ever been high, you know that there are certain mental effects that come with marijuana. One of these effects is confusion. You may also experience difficulty concentrating, short-term memory loss, and trouble with logical thinking.
In regards to paranoia, confusion can make it more likely that you will find something threatening in your surroundings. This could explain why you feel paranoid while high. In other words, someone who has just smoked weed is primed for confusion!
How Marijuana Effects The Brain and Paranoia
Marijuana acts on the brain’s cannabinoid receptors in the same way that THC, the active ingredient in the cannabis plant, does. However, THC is a stronger substance and has a stronger effect on the brain.
While THC is responsible for many of the psychological and cognitive effects of marijuana use. CBD (cannabidiol) is another chemical in the plant that has anti-anxiety, anti-psychotic, anti-inflammatory, and other healing properties. The amount of CBD in your weed can vary by strain, type, and amount of cannabinoids present in the plant. There are many explanations for why weed makes you paranoid. Studies show that the main ingredient of cannabis THC increased the likelihood of paranoia occurring.
Or, it may be that the fear-processing part of your brain is overactive, which is often the case for those with anxiety disorders. They say it’s likely that paranoia creeps in because THC increases negative feelings, and the perceptual changes lead to the rise in paranoia. CBD actually lessens the stress-promoting consequences of too much THC.
Weed And Social Anxiety
Social anxiety disorder is a chronic condition that can interfere with many aspects of your life. You may feel uncomfortable in new social situations, worry excessively about embarrassing yourself in front of others, or experience a strong need to be alone.
You may also have trouble controlling your emotions, particularly anger, which may lead to problems in romantic relationships. If you’re smoking cannabis in a roomful of strangers, the effects of cannabis can heighten normal social awkwardness with others. Studies have shown that cannabis can be an effective treatment for social anxiety disorder.
This is not to say that weed is a cure for this condition, but it can be helpful for those who have anxiety about being around others. It is important to note that consuming high amounts of THC can make the symptoms of social anxiety disorder worse. If you have SAD and use marijuana, it is important to keep your use low and be aware that your symptoms may worsen if you are smoking too much pot.
Weed And Depression
Depression is a debilitating mental illness that affects people of all ages. You may experience feelings of sadness, hopelessness, and/or withdrawal from activities that used to bring you joy. Depression can also lead to a feeling of worthlessness and low self-esteem.
If you have dealt with depression in the past, you may be concerned that consuming marijuana will make the symptoms of your disorder worse. However, studies show that consuming cannabis can actually treat depression.
For people with depression, You should start with small doses of weed and increase the amount slowly over time. This way, they can carefully monitor how their symptoms change as a result of consuming cannabis. If you become addicted, you may feel withdrawal symptoms when you don’t use cannabis.
Weed makes you paranoid for many reasons, but there are ways to reduce the likelihood of experiencing this effect. If you know that paranoia is a risk when consuming cannabis, you can take steps to minimize it. If you have experienced paranoia after consuming weed, consider the reasons listed above.
This may help you better understand your symptoms and why this happened. If this happens, try slowing down the consumption process. Avoid consuming weed before social situations, and consider talking to a therapist about your concerns with weed consumption.