Why Does Smoking Weed Make People Paranoid?

Some days there’s nothing more relaxing than sparking up a joint and letting that soothing high hug your mind and body. That nice relaxing high might turn into a paranoid frenzy where you imagine the world is out to get you or distant police sirens are coming straight for you on other days. If you’re a cannabis smoker, chances are you’ve experienced some paranoia after smoking. I thought this would no longer be a problem after moving to a legal state. I mean is there really a reason to be paranoid after smoking a bowl, especially if it’s legal? Turns out, it didn’t get better. In fact, it even got a bit worse. So why does weed make you paranoid? Maybe your environment doesn’t have anything to do with paranoia after all. So what really is causing those paranoid thoughts?

In the gym locker room a few weeks ago I overheard an older gentleman complaining about how you can’t find “the mellow shit” like he used to smoke in the 70s. Who would have thought…somebody complaining about their weed being too strong! At first I thought this was crazy talk. But qt second thought, maybe it really is worth looking at just how much the weed we smoke has changed in the last couple decades.

Marijuana Plant

How does weed make you paranoid?

Only 4%. Now that isn’t the change in potency in the last decade, it’s the average % of THC in marijuana in 1995. Let’s take a brief look at the numbers. From 1995-2014 the average THC content of weed has risen from 4% to 12%. And in legal states today it’s even higher. Meanwhile the CBD content has fallen from 0.28% to only 0.15%. This means that the THC:CBD ratio in weed has gone from 14:1 to 80:1. I can walk into my dispensary today and easily find weed with a 25% THC content today in 2019; and finding anything below 10% is no easy task. Maybe the old geezer in the gym is on to something..? I hate to say it but I think he’s right. Most weed in the dispensaries have very low CBD content, usually not enough to advertise any. Seems like marijuana cultivation has bred it all out. I had to call 3 dispensaries before I could find a strain with any CBD at all. Could this be the source of your paranoia?

The Power of CBD

For those unfamiliar with CBD, it’s a non-psychoactive compound found in marijuana. Much of the science is spotty around CBD, but in general the believed benefits are pain relief, anxiety relief, and it can alleviate some forms of epilepsy, to name a few. It also being used as anti-psychotic and anxiety is also no coincidence to me. When you experience the “heady” high of THC it’s also important you get CBD to balance it out. It’s no wonder it’s seemed increasingly common that people are getting paranoid during smoke sessions. I think this is a nature given reason THC and CBD have historically gone hand in hand with each other. Are we making a mistake by buying more potent bud? I mean “we” as the smokers and growers, I really wish we would stop seeing CBD bred out of the marijuana strains we buy. This is the reason I’ve switched almost exclusively to strains with higher CBD content.

If finding high CBD strains is hard, maybe consider trying CBD oil after smoking. I’ll do this if I’m looking to relax for the evening. See my recent post about some good products that I recommend.

As much as it works for me, the only way to really know what works for you is to try it out! If you life in a legal state look for a dispensary with a high CBD strain. I’ve found my highs have been so much more mellow if I grind in equal parts regular weed and high CBD weed. Or try smoking a CBD strain on it’s own! It’s a slightly different high that seems to hit you slower but is nice and mellow. Certainly something to consider next time you want a nice relaxing mellow high. If you’re more into edibles they have so many CBD products these days you can take with your regular stuff. Give it a shot and you won’t be disappointed!

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