Why Do I Experience Paranoia When Using Marijuana?

Marijuana word

A poll conducted by Marist College Institute for Public Opinion found that 52% of Americans aged 18 or older have tried marijuana at some point in their lives, and 44% of these individuals have tried it and currently still use it. As marijuana is legally sweeping the country both medically and recreationally, there’s no doubt that marijuana has had varying effects on people. Different strains and how much marijuana is consumed both have an impact on a person, not to mention the individual’s personal demographics. While many report consuming marijuana and feeling relaxed and euphoric, others have reported feeling paranoid, anxious, and panicked. Why is there such a drastic difference between these two experiences?

In many cases, individuals experience paranoid and other unwanted symptoms when they have taken too much, or in an extremely high potency, of marijuana. If a user is unexperienced, they may also feel paranoid because of who they are with, where they are at, and because they are nervous with it being their first time. However, even if none of these instances occur, paranoia may still be experienced by users who are naturally vulnerable to it. For example, if a person is apt to view things more negatively or believe they should mistrust others, marijuana may exaggerate those hidden feelings, bringing paranoia. Professor Daniel Freeman of the University of Oxford in the UK led a study on marijuana’s psychological effects. He stated on Medical Today,

Paranoia is likely to occur when we are worried, think negatively about ourselves, and experience unsettling changes in our perceptions.”

If you often experience paranoia-related feelings when you smoke marijuana, this could likely be a factor that is influencing your experiences. Does this mean that you should stop smoking marijuana altogether? Possibly. It depends on your subjective experience – if you have tried different amounts and different strains and are still experiencing issues, you may want to stop use and begin seeking treatment for anxiety, paranoia, and other related feelings. Marijuana isn’t for everyone, and that’s okay. Do what’s best for your happiness, health, and well-being.

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