Weed has always been associated with creativity, focus and stress-busting. And every single aspect of that is as wonderful as it sounds, which is why so many people are hooked on to it.
What’s not to love? Well, unfortunately, it gives some people terrible anxiety and panic attacks - also known as “the weed demons” - not to mention a crushing paranoia that defeats the entire purpose of getting high in the first place.
One of the most puzzling and complex issues surrounding cannabis is the connection, or possible correlation, between marijuana use and mental illness.
What's The Issue?
It’s generally agreed that there is some connection exists between cannabis and schizophrenia. Past studies indicate that cannabinoids interact with the triggering mechanism involved with schizophrenia—but exactly how isn’t yet known.
One recent study focused on the idea that cannabis use actually followed the emergence of mental illness, as patients attempted to self-medicate with the mind-calming aspects of cannabis. Other studies point to the possibility of early cannabis use hastening—but not causing—the onset of schizophrenic symptoms.
Science doesn’t know exactly why a drug used to treat anxiety can also create it. They write guides for how to dodge the weed demons, usually with tips like smoking less, trying different strains, getting high in a calm, chill environment, or trying edibles. But no one knows why it happens in the first place.
Weed And It's Effect, In Theory
One theory, however, gives us a little more insight. THC, when consumed in small doses or amounts that your body can handle, affects your brain differently. It works just as it should - calming you down, helping you focus and relaxing your nerves.
But if you consume a large quantity of THC, it makes sense that you might start experiencing some of the psychotic effects people encounter when they take drugs like K2 or Spice, such as extreme anxiety, paranoia and hallucinations.
Another factor is the environmental factors, such as early traumatic experiences or chronic stress. It can change the structure of the brain's fear-processing system. Located in the amygdala and the hippocampus, these areas are particularly sensitive to cannabis, which explains why some people develop contrasting mental responses to marijuana over a course of time.
Like environmental factors, the strain of pot you smoke can have a major impact on anxiety levels, too.
Strains Of Weed Better For Anxiety
The two main components in cannabis are THC and cannabidiol (CBD). According to the research, these components have contrasting effects on anxiety levels. Conclusions from animal studies show that as THC concentration starts increasing, it's more likely to intensify anxiety whereas small doses of CBD has been related to reduced anxiety.
However, it's not that simple. There are over 65 cannabinoids found in cannabis, yet substantial data only exists on THC and CBD. So it's impossible to say what it is that causes these bouts of paranoia or anxiety in people.
Indica strain of weed though has consistently shown positive effects of cannabinoids on anxiety. So maybe you should just stick to that if you're prone to episodes after consuming or smoking any other strain of weed.