Pot is generally a substance that relaxes us, mellows us out and makes us feel happy. It’s not easy for weed-lovers to hear, but not everyone experiences the same feelings of calmness and relief like so many of us do. Cannabis-induced panic attacks are very real, depending on the strain, manner of ingestion (smoking, edibles), and level of experience.
1. Know the signs
A panic attack brought on by cannabis can definitely manifest in some uncomfortable symptoms such as sweats and chills, chest pains, extreme paranoia and psychological distress, rapid heartbeat, dizziness, confusion and pronounced lethargy.
Cannabis is a well-known mood regulator for those who suffer from depression, ADHD and a variety of mental disorders, but as far as anxiety is concerned, some people may experience worsened symptoms rather than relief; especially for a first-timer.
2. Chill, you’re just high
Deaths from cannabis use are still nonexistent; you’ll be fine! The mind-altering effects of marijuana can feel very, very real while in the moment. If you’re having a weed-induced panic attack, it’s key to recognize it for what it really is, an uncomfortable result of your being high.
3. Before you call 911, or wind up in the hospital, call a friend
A racing heartbeat is understandably a cause for concern. Take that, and couple it with the worst-case scenario ideas that keep popping into your head and it’s a recipe for overreaction.
Before you consider drafting your will, reach out to a trusted, sober friend or family member that can come by and monitor you until things return to normal. If you’re really tripping out and must seek medical attention, at least you’ll have someone to drive you.
4. Give it time
Keep in mind that if you’ve eaten edibles, the effects can last much longer (up to 12 hours) than the effects of smoking, which usually subside within three hours. This is due to the way the body processes cannabis once it has been eaten. Heightened psychoactive and physiological effects are quite normal, it’ll be over soon.
5. Try to relax/find a distraction
Take deep breaths and know that this too, shall pass. A good thing about pot is how much it affects short-term memory. If you find yourself panicking, the more you can distract yourself, the better. Listen to some music, watch a comedy, go eat something. Chances are, you’ll forget that you were just in a panic. It’s about mind over matter here, people.
6. Just go to sleep
Lie down, close your eyes and be comforted in knowing that you’re probably about to get some of the best sleep of your life. Your mind and heart might be racing at first but eventually everything will settle down and you’ll be fast asleep.
7. Try some CBD
Research has shown that CBD is protective against the neurological effects of THC. So, the next time you puff on a sativa that is just a little too racy, switching to a high-CBD strain or taking a few drops of CBD oil will help you calm right down.
For more information about high-CBD strains, check out this article.
8. Adjust your intake
Now that you’ve survived, it’s up to you to determine whether a less potent strain, different method of consumption or non-psychoactive cannabinoid, like CBD, is the best choice for you.