An American Addiction Centers Resource

New to the Forums?Join or

Why Does Marijuana Give Me Anxiety?

Discussion in 'Marijuana' started by zuulspaceman, Oct 30, 2015.

  1. zuulspaceman

    zuulspaceman Member

    No matter what strain I try, indica or sativa, I get anxious when I deal with weed. I have PTSD, so I was wondering if the past abuse I faced is linked to using marijuana. Of course, it's not the worst drug I have been on or anything, it's just that I smoked it a lot and my stepfather was abusive to me as I was high.

    Anyone else have marijuana do this and is it linked to a past problem with abuse/trauma of some kind?
  2. Psyduck

    Psyduck Active Contributor

    I guess it has to do with the fact that when you're high, most emotions feel intense and your focus actually increases a lot. I've a friend of mine who was actually pretty similar to this and he would feel anxious and depressed after being high. He eventually got help with therapy and now he's doing fine.
  3. Rainman

    Rainman Community Champion

    The effects of marijuana vary from individual to individual. While it can have a calming in effect on some people, others who use it will experience something entirely different. It will make them anxious.

    Take a look at this article:
    Ultimately, it’s hard to say whether marijuana would have therapeutic effects on someone suffering from anxiety; every person reacts differently to it. One study found that people who had a tendency to have panic disorders were more likely to experience worse anxiety when smoking weed. And smoking a joint certainly won’t solve issues that are deep-rooted in your psyche that may best be solved with behavioral therapy.

    @OP since you know Marijuana tends to make you anxious maybe you should stop using it?
    missbishi likes this.
  4. Waterel

    Waterel Active Contributor

    Just as people have said earlier, Marijuana tends to have different effects on people. It also depends on the mindset you have before you smoke. I find that when I feel good I tend to feel better but when I'm anxious it only exacerbates the issue. I think it just amplifies the way you're feeling, so probably you're anxious in the daily life as well.
  5. missbishi

    missbishi Community Champion

    I think you've probably made a subconscious connection with being high and being assaulted. Each time you get high, the feeling triggers all those memories.

    Marijuana has a lot of advocates, including myself, but even I can see that it really isn't doing you any favors at all. It's scientifically proven that it is fantastic for physical pain but it does have the potential to exacerbate emotional pain, as @Rainman's link explains.

    So although it does have many benefits, it's really not the panacea that people like to claim it is. Maybe have a little think about why you want to get high. Are you simply looking for a way to relax or are you trying to blot something out?
  6. amin021023

    amin021023 Community Champion

    Dude I know. it makes me anxious sometimes too, and when I'm anxious I don't enjoy weed. I read somewhere that when you smoke weed the active substance, THC goes in some areas of brain and makes them active, like the area responsible for happiness and laughing so that's why you could laugh a lot when you're high, it also increase blood flow in the area of brain responsible for stress and anxiety and that's why you could get anxious too. Either that or another explanation is that weed is some kind of poison, that's why the plant produces it in the first place, for its survival.... therefore you got to be careful with poison and only consume a little to get you high not threaten you're well being...
    Anyway... there are two things you could do: either stop using weed because it's just not for you or smoke a safe amount of it...

    I think with weed you can only achieve a certain level of high and smoking more won't get you any higher, but will make you anxious and you're experience unpleasant...

    I'd say next time you take it easy and slow...roll a smaller joint...listen to a chill song and take a couple of hits...don't rush it, listen to another song while chilling out and take another couple of hits...keep yourself hyderated and remember to eat before you smoke...
  7. mscooke

    mscooke Member

    Everything is not for everybody. Maybe its just NOT the thing for you. Simple as that. Think of it like you're allergic & the reaction you get is high anxiety.
  8. Joethefirst

    Joethefirst Community Champion

    Studies show that people that smoke marijuana and tobacco do suffer more from anxiety then those that don't. I don't smoke marijuana but do smoke tobacco and what I can say is that for me at least I feel more anxious with certain brands then I do with others.
    Both marijuana and tobacco are made up of thousands of chemicals, it's hard to predict what their reaction will be when consumed.
  9. Nancy D.

    Nancy D. Senior Contributor

    Marijuana users always say how relaxed you feel. But I have used marijuana and the side effects for me is always thinking....and that thinking leads to scary thoughts....but ultimately I am super relaxed. I do think there is a hallucination that occurs with it's use. Just like any drug it affects people differently.
  10. Diana S.

    Diana S. Member

    Your story reminded me of a friend of mine. We were out, just hanging out with our friends and they asked her if she would smoke with us and she said yes and after she took 8 puffs she just fell on the ground. I was pretty shocked because I smoke for 3-4 years and I never saw anything like that. In 3 minutes after we picked her up from the ground she was fine, just a little dizzy. But now she likes smoking and she doesn't pass out anymore.
    Maybe it's just a phase, you should try to think of better things while you're high, do things that you actually enjoy.
  11. KingEeyore

    KingEeyore Member

    I've had a friend as well like this. He tried it multiple times, but never could enjoy it. At firs we thought it was the environment he was in. The first few times he tried it, I believe he was out at parties and things were pretty chaotic for a first times smoker. I think it's important to try with friends you absolutely trust in a safe controlled environment. At least do that until you decide if it's something you want to do or not. But... it's not for everyone. That's for sure.
  12. bretthuda33

    bretthuda33 Active Contributor

    I think it is simply our bodies not being accustomed to the change in vibration, which is usually more intense. Even when it calms us down, sometime we feel like nothing and get scared of that which makes our body want to do something really quick, which is exactly the definition of anxiety. I went through a long stage of smoking and one day I just got anxious from it all the sudden. I wasn't even getting high anymore and I think that made me want to go out of my mind. I found that thermo-therapy like cold showers can allow you to handle the more intense vibrations you feel when high.
  13. JonnyMacdonald

    JonnyMacdonald Community Champion

    Marijuana is proven to cause anxiety and it is also proven to exacerbate underlying mental health conditions.
    Does not matter what "kind" of dope you smoke, if it's having this effect on you nothing will change.
    I suggest getting off the dope and getting real medical help.
  14. Joethefirst

    Joethefirst Community Champion

    This is very true and what they say about it not being addictive is not true either. It is, so if you are using marijuana a a coupe mechanism it won't really help.
  15. bretthuda33

    bretthuda33 Active Contributor

    I agree that if you see all dope as dope this is what your going to get. Nothing is permanent except for symbolizing something as permanent. There are many ways to use marijuana and it doesn't have to be smoking it! Vaporizing hemp has always interested me since it will not change you psychologically but can give you just enough THC for the CBD to help heal your body and brain. CBD has been proven to protect your neurons from firing too rapidly which is a big problem our society suffers with.
  16. Sparkster

    Sparkster Community Champion

    This is not unusual at all and is actually very common. I don't think it's generally related to problems like PTSD, although if you suffer with PTSD then marijuana is highly likely to exacerbate some of those symptoms. I live in a shared house and both of the people I live with get anxious or have panic attacks when using marijuana. One of them has Bi-Polar Disorder, the other has no such illnesses. This is most likely due to the high THC levels that marijuana has these days. It's known to cause social anxiety and paranoia and today's marijuana is being produced with as high THC levels as possible.
  17. johnyork

    johnyork Active Contributor

    • This isn't a problem that can just, POOF, and it be gone. You have to constantly work at it. You're battling your basic instincts here, and that is not an easy war to win. You can win many battles and still be defeated in the end. Thats my first tip: Don't think there is a one time cure. It's not that easy.
    • Don't buy any books or video series talking about a so and so step program for getting over anxiety, derealization, depersonalization, ect. They don't work. Reference back to the top, its not a 12 week program to just cure yourself, I'm giving you the tools to help battle through this, you get to decide how you use them.
    • Good luck
  18. JonnyMacdonald

    JonnyMacdonald Community Champion

    I don't think changing the method of intake will change anything really.
    Yes marijuana does have a few proven positive effects, but buying dope off the streets to self-medicate isn't going to help.
    If a real Doctor or medical professional thinks that pot will help then it will can prescribed. But the best advice here is to deal with the underlying trauma via proper medical channels.
  19. fgtb34r

    fgtb34r Member

    Is there perhaps an anxiety based around it being an illegal activity? Are you in a state where it is legal? Even if you don't actively feel an anxiety about "breaking the law," it could still be a cause of it when you are feeling the increased intensity of emotions while high. For some people, marijuana has the opposite effect and helps to reduce severe anxiety, so it is hard to say for sure what might cause you to become more anxious when smoking. Have you tried other medicines or treatments for your PTSD?
  20. bretthuda33

    bretthuda33 Active Contributor

    I disagree. Many animals have been found when to be infected or have cancer, they seek out the cannabis plant and are healed. Cannabis is food, food is medicine. I am not talking about buying it off the street and the chances of a caregiver growing any different than someone off the street is unlikely.