Why do many of us suffer from marijuana paranoia? It’s a question on a lot of smokers’ tongues. But the more pertinent question is; is it actually cannabis that is making you paranoid? There are smokers who use cannabis to decrease their anxiety, which begs the question as to whether or not it is actually marijuana causing the effect.
The power of a psychoactive compound such as cannabis is the power to bring more clearly into your consciousness an element of your psyche. Scientists say that this anxiety is a method of fear-based learning. A lot of research has gone into the link between paranoia and cannabis because it is a legitimate question for a lot of cannabis users.
Research on cannabis and paranoia
Oxford led a research on the link between cannabis and paranoia. However, their subject selection included only those who had reported mistrustful thinking in their everyday lives. The results of their study are not surprising: that 25% of participants experienced an increase in paranoia and anxiety.
The University of Ontario found that the use of cannabis unblocks a CB1 receptor in the Amygdala. Their experiments using rats showed that when they unblocked this CB1 receptor, the subjects showed an increased reaction to scents they were trained to fear.
An exploration into your psyche
So, then, two things can be established from the research on cannabis and paranoia:
- Using cannabis unblocks a receptor in your brain
- Those who experience mistrustful thoughts in everyday life are more likely to experience exaggerated paranoia after using cannabis
If you are experiencing paranoia when you use cannabis, this is an opportunity to learn something about yourself. Do you experience mistrustful and anxious thoughts even when you aren’t using cannabis? It’s likely that you are.
This fear of being harmed by someone else is a really unproductive practice, and maybe the spirit of Mary Jane is trying to help you realize that. We often go on ignoring thoughts during everyday life because we’re too busy working or getting on with life. But those thoughts are important because they affect the outcome of our lives.
Learn something from your experience
It’s a good practice in life to see how you can use everything as a tool for your learning. So, then, if cannabis is giving you this experience as a tool to learn something about yourself, what is that thing, and how do you overcome that?
The first step is to look at your surroundings. If you are having mistrustful thoughts in every day life, and then are smoking with those people to whom those mistrustful thoughts are directed, it might be time to change your surroundings. Cannabis increases your sensitivity to situations, and perhaps your increased awareness is telling you that your surroundings are no longer serving you.
If you are using cannabis to reduce your anxiety, then in that reduced state of anxiety you are better able to rationalize your situation.
Also, realize that your paranoid thoughts are not serving you either. It is one thing to be in a state of acute awareness, and another to act irrationally on your fear.
The issue of legalization and paranoia
Jason Silva describes the way that legalization changes the attitude towards cannabis use. Perhaps exaggerated feelings of anxiety and paranoia are linked to the feeling of doing something illegal. This is changing in the USA, but a lot of the world is far behind. It´s entirely possible that you feel paranoid on cannabis because you feel like you are doing something wrong, and others will notice.
Well, rest assured, you are not doing anything wrong.
No need to hate on weed
If you are experiencing anxiety or paranoia when you use cannabis, don’t discourage the use of the plant. Not everyone experiences that, and for a lot of smokers it´s a beautiful experience. Creating that beautiful experience for yourself is easy if you are willing to examine why you feel certain things when you use cannabis.
It is simply too narrow to say that cannabis causes paranoia, because there is no way to measure individual experiences. There are too many variables in an individual’s life, that in conjunction with the use of this plant, cause increased anxiety. The spirit of Mary Jane is a beautiful, creative one. Those who have a lot of experience with psychoactive plants can testify that if you are not experiencing beauty and creativity, it is probably due to some unconscious attitude. Why not explore within yourself? It’s all a learning experience.
Do you have any tips or tricks about overcoming marijuana paranoia? Let us know on social media!
Featured image photo credit Lazinc