People often proclaim weed as the safest substance to consume. While virtually impossible to overdose, many smokers generally ignore the paranoia that some experience when smoking. If you're reading this and you feel paranoid or anxious when smoking cannabis, don't worry you're not alone.
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Why is Weed Paranoia a Problem?
Over time, the concentration of THC in Cannabis has risen dramatically. In 1990, the average THC percentage was around 5.5%. Now in legal states, consumers find THC concentrations over 25%, sometimes even over 30%. Better genetics, a greater understanding of the growing process have all help boost the THC percentage but another theory helps explain why the motivation.
One explanation relates to Cannabis prohibition as the driving force because it decreases the weight and increases the price making cannabis more profitable for black market players.
Alcohol prohibition experienced a similar situation where mostly high proof alcohols were available during prohibition because it made it easier to transport and could be diluted later. Whatever the cause, it is clear the increased THC concentration directly increases panic attacks or needed mental health hospitalization from Cannabis.
How do I Avoid Weed Paranoia?
1. Smoke Lower Concentration THC Strains
Finding lower THC strains can be difficult. Especially in grey markets where tested cannabis remains elusive, try to get lab tested strains when possible. If you can't get lab requests, just remember to smoke it slowly to understand how potent the strain is before you increase your consumption.
2. Try CBD Instead of THC
Many people try cannabis hoping to alleviate their symptoms of anxiety only to become more anxious than ever. The problems lie with a fundamental misunderstanding of the differences between various cannabinoids in the plant.
THC creates a psychoactive "high" feeling and also has numerous other health benefits, but CBD reduces anxiety and stress without the psychotic side effects.
CBD furthermore has been shown to actually reduce the stress induced by smoking very high THC percentage strains by acting as a chemical antagonist. Unlike THC, CBD has anti-psychotic properties making it great for helping reduce anxiety.
3. Be Open With Your Doctor
Most importantly, talk with a doctor and do your own research. There's a lot of confusion and contradictory information out there. Charts like the one above give a good overview of potential cannabinoid uses but are not based on clinical trials. You have the ultimate responsibility for your health.