by on October 23, 2019

We constantly hear the stereotype of the lazy stoner. From the laughable antics of Cheech and Chong to Dazed and Confused, the lazy, happy, and hungry attributes are what come to mind. No matter where you go, you can't run from it.

Though the stigma regularly comes up in any cannabis debate, the ‘relaxed’ attribute is what we are particularly going to focus on today. With the trifecta of stigmas, the idea that cannabis leads to paranoia continually comes up just the same. Not as widely known as the happy consumer archetype, only a few discuss the paranoid effects that some may feel from cannabis. They may fear to throwing negative views on cannabis. It’s become an underlying fear for some and a deterrent for many; but, why does this happen?

Is cannabis really the culprit or is something else to blame for the paranoia?


Paranoid Android

So, let’s get into the science of this first and foremost. Where does that paranoid feeling come from? It’s impossible to pinpoint the general source of paranoia, as it and anxiety are a spectrum and no two people experience it exactly the same. In the case of cannabis, however, we can find out what you can do to avoid it. In the case of cannabis, despite its medicinal attributes, it's a psychoactive. Anything that alters the consumer’s headspace would fall into that category; albeit, the level is different for everyone, it’s still true.

Cannabis, as a whole, is full of a variety of compounds called cannabinoids. They all affect the mind and the body -in some regards known as CB1 and CB2 receptors- differently and can be combined for different results.

THC, which is the more common compound, is a psychoactive cannabinoid that alters both. In many, it can lead to euphoria and a sense of calm but, others can have the complete opposite, simply based on the choice in cannabinoids.

For those who struggle with the mind in different ways, an outside element can throw you off, at first. This is not to say THC can’t be used by anyone with anxiety. The situation just takes a little more finesse.

We’ve all heard the story of the cop who had edibles with his wife and thought they were dying...if not, go check that out right now! This is a prime example of hypersensitivity or hyper-awareness in those who don’t consume cannabis regularly.

Long-time consumers can all remember a time when anxiety overwhelmed them. New users are not always aware of what they should be expecting and can have a negative experience as a result. Many other things can add to this but, too many are blinded by the calmness of stoners and the experience and are led to believe there are no right and wrongs of weed. After trial and error, long-time users know this to be far from the truth.

In the matter of paranoia and anxiety, the issue can sometimes be attributed to consuming a product too high in potency or consuming too much too quickly.As a budtender, I can personally attest to the people who admit they’ve never smoked weed before -or haven't in a very long time- and proceed to demand the strongest thing on the menu. I, too, love a good time. There are steps to this, however. That’s just not a good idea unless you want to chance not having a good time.



When picking what exactly you want to consume, the details play a bigger part than we like to think.

I didn’t even know they were details until someone told me years ago.

In consuming cannabis, no matter the type, knowing is half the battle. Your wallet and body will thank you in the future, too.

Those cannabinoids I mentioned earlier, as well as flavonoids called terpenes, are the factors between Sativa-warriors or stuck-Indica-ouch all day. In addition, it can be the lines between a great experience and an anxiety attack.

Cannabinoids you want to keep in mind are C-B-D, CBC, and CBN. They all have anti-anxiety benefits, among other things as you can see above. Their combined use with THC; furthermore, can amplify those benefits while also providing those psychoactive elements you were looking for.

C-B-D is wider known and can be found regularly online and in shops. CBN and CBC, unfortunately, aren’t as easy. They can almost exclusively be found at dispensaries inside products.

Read all about C-B-D and ways to add it to your diet!

Be cautious of CBN, however. Although it holds antibiotic, anti-inflammatory, and anticonvulsant properties, it also can be the result of broken down THC. It could mean the product is older than you think which can also play a role on the way it affects consumers.

Be sure to ask your budtender for whatever test results that have available for it. They legally have to have it on hand, so, make sure to do your due diligence.



A smaller factor but, an important one nonetheless, are terpenes.

Commonly known as terps, these flavonoids give cannabis their scent, taste, and slight effect boost. Just as smells can cause positive feelings, they can give negative ones too. All the varieties of terpenes can affect consumers like allergies. Sativas terpenes normally ramp up the mind and keep stoners moving which may not be ideal for those avoiding issues with anxiety.

Limonene and Pinene are the perkier terpenes. Limonene is typically okay for consumption, only giving a slight change in headspace unless highly potent. Pinene, on the other hand, helps with focus and memory retention. Though perfect for an afternoon study sesh, the heightened sense of urgency may not fare well for some. Pinene can have a tolerance built against it but, always keep C-B-D around to curb its negative effects.

Caryophyllene is an anti-inflammatory terp that can also calm Pinene effects. If C-B-D isn’t available, Caryophyllene is an alternative in worse case scenarios. When dealing with paranoia and anxiety, knowing is half the battle. When consuming cannabis, knowing is more important than ever. It can be tempting to go for the dankest thing in the shop but it can come with some consequences too. Try the following if you’re prone to/worried about anxiety attacks while consuming:

Ways To Help

  • Look for strains with C-B-D if you are extremely prone to paranoia and anxiety. Starting small and working your way up may be the best bet.

  • Keep C-B-D nearby! Whatever your preferred consumption method, keep some at your disposal. I find tinctures and gummies work best for me. (Here is a promo code for Holiday C-B-D gummies by the way: JAEKURO10)

  • Try vaping instead of smoking full flower. You can easily control the dose and the lack of other elements can be lighter on the lungs. This is used as an introduction for a lot of newbies and a favorite amongst long time users. (Check out a variety of vaporizers here. For quick disposables, always check your local shop)

  • As a daily supplement, try RSO or Rick Simpson Oil. Over time, it can help you build a tolerance or even curb your proniness to attacks. These can also be high in a number of cannabinoids since it typically contains full plant matter versus just THC. There are even hemp-derived versions for those who can’t consume THC. Note that these can vary in effects depending.

  • Get comfortable! This one can seem like a given but, comfortability is vital when consuming. Cannabis can help elevate your headspace; but, the first few times, you may want to take things easy until you are accustomed to it. Like I mentioned with hypersensitivity and hyperalertness, the new experience can send the mind to some interesting places. Get some pillows, don't forget the snacks, turn on your favorite show and relax.

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