An American Addiction Centers Resource

New to the Forums?Join or

Anxiety and marijuana

Discussion in 'Marijuana' started by aimeep80, Mar 17, 2016.

  1. aimeep80

    aimeep80 Senior Contributor

    I am a former recreational smoker of marijuana. I have not smoked in years though. I was in my mid to late teens the last time I smoked. I used to get amazing feelings when I smoked..or so I thought. But there were times when I would get horribly anxiety attacks and feel like my heart was beating out of my chest. It was so scary but I still felt compelled to do it at times. How stupid!? I don't understand why. I think some of it could have been the peer pressure at the time. Have any of you dealt with anxiety when you've smoked? Also, what do you think causes the anxiety? Is it the strain of marijuana or just the way your brain reacts at that certain time?
  2. mauricioq

    mauricioq Member

    I think it's both. Sometimes when I smoke I can get really paranoid, more if I'm not in a comfortable ambient or with people I don't like. Make sure to smoke marijuana only when you're comfortable and secure.
    aimeep80 likes this.
  3. xTinx

    xTinx Community Champion

    Marijuana is a psychoactive drug so it has an effect on your mental faculties and disrupts certain functions in your brain. Psychoactive drugs affect imagination and warps the user's sense of reality. Along the way, the hypothalamus, the part of the brain that control emotions, also reacts. Anxiety and other negative feelings erupt and these side effects may take some time to fade away.
    aimeep80 likes this.
  4. Scooby Snack

    Scooby Snack Community Champion

    I actually had an anxiety attack last summer after I smoked, and was taken to the hospital because I fainted. After the ordeal I did a little digging and found that anxiety attacks are not an uncommon phenomenon among marijuana users. Even people who had been smoking for years weren't immune.
    aimeep80 likes this.
  5. Sparkster

    Sparkster Community Champion

    It's a more common symptom than users like to admit and usually depends of a variety of factors - social setting, state of mind, potency of the marijuana, potential mental health issues, etc. THC is the main psychoactive ingredient in marijuana associated with anxiety and paranoia and THC levels have been increasing dramatically over the years. A person may feel comfortable when smoking with a group of their friends but if they take a walk alone into their local city in the middle of the day (to a less chilled out environment) this can cause the anxiety to kick in.
    aimeep80 likes this.
  6. achexx84

    achexx84 Active Contributor

    I think it's the strain that is the what can cause panic or anxiety. I have had some strains that literally put me to sleep, make me eat everything in sight, cause me to be the most productive human being around, totally couched and not able to move, and then I've had some that make me terrified that something horrible will happen. I usually can calm myself down by taking a cold shower and having a glass of my favorite pink lemonade. Seems to help. If you're having these issues constantly, maybe try to find a different strain from a different source.
    aimeep80 likes this.
  7. aimeep80

    aimeep80 Senior Contributor

    Yeah, it seems like there were several times when I smoked that I would have a lot of "fun" so to speak. Giggling and everything was great. And other times I would think I was going to pass out and die. It was so scary. I can not smoke it anymore even if I wanted to. It is in the process of becoming legal for medicinal use but I do not think I would qualify (anxiety disorder) anyway. I can't smoke it though..I would have to eat it or whatever else they have it for medicinally.
  8. Rainman

    Rainman Community Champion

    If someone has anxiety issues then smoking a strain of marijuana that's high in THC will make them even more anxious/paranoid.

    Fact though is researchers admit they don't really know why marijuana makes some people more anxious when they smoke marijuana. Maybe more studies will eventually get us the answers.
    aimeep80 likes this.
  9. JonnyMacdonald

    JonnyMacdonald Community Champion

    Marijuana is proven to make underlying mental health problems worst.
    So if you are prone to anxiety, pot can bring it out.
    Also from what I hear the fact that it's illegal can make people paranoid and anxious about getting caught.
    aimeep80 likes this.
  10. Joethefirst

    Joethefirst Community Champion

    That's what I have found as well, there are some studies out there on this, but if you think it's only marijuana that does it, so does tobacco. It really don't know what causes it but it is strange that both can have this side effect.
  11. Bunnyriffic

    Bunnyriffic Member

    My boyfriend has that reaction when he smokes. It was so bad it actually caused him to quit smoking altogether! I have never experienced this personally. He thinks it may have something to do with his body and health, and the way it interacts with that particular strain we were smoking at the time. Although it could have nothing to do with that at all, as we aren't scientists or doctors who know what we're talking about even remotely. I have had a similar feeling of my heart feeling like it was going to beat out of my chest while taking my prescription Trazodone for my insomnia. I think it's all got to do with chemicals and how they are reacting to our bodies.
    aimeep80 likes this.
  12. kgord

    kgord Community Champion

    It may have been the feeling you were doing something wrong, and that something bad was going to happen. I think that being able to face life on its on terms without a crutch is something that is helpful to most people. It is just something you have to make up your mind to do. I mean a little recreational smoking might not be harmful, but it should be a fun thing not a need.
    aimeep80 likes this.
  13. Tremmie

    Tremmie Community Champion

    Marijuana never did a thing to me. I have no idea why, and yes I've tried even the most potent variety from Amsterdam (the kind of stuff foreigners go there for) and nothing. I'm glad it never give me the buzz I was looking for otherwise I'm sure I'd have abused marijuana as well, just like I did and am still doing with other things (I hate myself so much lately).
    aimeep80 likes this.
  14. explorerx7

    explorerx7 Senior Contributor

    Yes, I have seen events like these which had affected a few persons, however, the majority of smokers that I have know,which is a considerable number of persons, showed no visible adverse effects from smoking marijuana. Probably the marijuana acts on certain psychological defects. Therefore, if persons should find that they are affected these anxiety attacks when they smoke marijuana, then it would be advisable that they stop smoking the weed. I believe it's not difficult to kick the weed habit because it's not a highly addictive substance.
    aimeep80 likes this.
  15. Sparkster

    Sparkster Community Champion

    I believe this is to do with dopamine levels more than anything, and perhaps serotonin. Two feel-good hormones. You've probably heard people saying "yeah, that's dope" - what from I've read the saying is derived from the fact that dopamine levels increase when you have a good time. In the case of serotonin, I believe there's a temporary boost then a small decline and depletion.
    aimeep80 likes this.