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Panic Attacks: When Weed’s the Opposite of Relaxing

People typically associate marijuana with feeling relaxed, “chilled-out,” or outright euphoric. But for some unlucky individuals, weed can have an intensely unpleasant opposite effect: panic attacks. Here’s what we know so far about cannabis panic attacks, and a few tips on how to get past them.

Can weed cause panic attacks?

Current research suggests that, yes, weed can cause panic attacks. Certain chemical compounds found in weed (cannabinoids) affect how our brains process hormones such as dopamine and norepinephrine. Most of the time, the way cannabinoids interact with these hormones relieves stress and anxiety, and promotes a sense of well-being. However, these altered hormone levels sometimes have an unintended effect on the parts of the brain that govern the sympathetic nervous system. This can result in physical responses (such as racing heart and shortness of breath) that the brain then interprets as anxiety. If your “fight-or-flight” response kicks in, it can lead to a panic attack.

Research on this subject is still quite limited, but a link between cannabis dependence and the development of panic disorder (an anxiety disorder characterized by panic attacks occurring in non-threatening situations) has been suggested. If you have ever used cannabis in your lifetime, the higher your odds appear to be of experiencing panic attacks (even when not under the influence) as well as of developing panic disorder.

Q: Can weed cause panic attacks?
A: Yes, weed can cause panic attacks. This appears to happen most frequently in people who are already predisposed to anxiety disorders, are new to cannabis, are feeling emotionally low or anxious, and/or are in an uncomfortable environment.

Why do you get weed panic attacks?

People who are already prone to anxiety or panic attacks may be more likely to experience them when using marijuana. Paradoxically, many people with anxiety disorders frequently use weed to “self-medicate” their symptoms. One survey of California medical marijuana users showed that 16.9% of respondents used weed specifically for relief of panic attacks.

There are a few environmental factors that can up your risk of experiencing a panic attack while using cannabis:

  • Being in an anxious or generally negative headspace.
  • Using weed in an unfamiliar environment, or among strangers.
  • Taking a dose containing more THC than you are accustomed to.
  • Being new to using cannabis.
  • Using weed alongside alcohol or other mind-altering substances.
  • Having concerns about using marijuana among people who disapprove of it, or in a location where it is not legal to do so.

People who are already prone to anxiety or panic attacks may be more likely to experience them when using marijuana.

Which cannabinoids cause the panic attack?

THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) is the primary culprit in panic attacks. THC is the cannabinoid that gets people “high” when they use weed. High-THC strains of marijuana do carry a higher risk of panic attacks. Edible cannabis is more likely than smoked cannabis to cause these intense reactions. When THC is consumed, it is metabolized by the liver, resulting in high concentrations of a psychoactive THC by-product (11-hydroxy-THC) releasing into the bloodstream. Edible cannabis also stays in your system longer, which could extend the time it takes to come down from a panic attack caused by THC.

Fortunately, another cannabinoid, CBD (cannabidiol), can often counteract the adverse effects of THC. You may be able to reduce the odds of a panic attack by taking extra CBD oil before using weed, choosing only to use high-CBD marijuana strains, or abstaining from any cannabis products that contain even small amounts of THC. Hemp-based CBD oil does not contain any THC and could be a good alternative, depending on your needs and reasons for using marijuana.

Q: Does THC cause marijuana panic attacks?
A: THC is the component of weed believed to be responsible for causing cannabis-induced panic attacks. Taking a dose of cannabis with higher THC than you are used to appears to up the risk of panic attacks.

Q: Does CBD cause weed panic attacks?
A: CBD does not appear to cause panic attacks. CBD has actually been shown to reduce anxiety and it may be able to counteract the effects of THC well enough to help calm or prevent panic attacks.

Symptoms of a weed panic attack

Panic attacks can vary from person to person, and from experience to experience. A panic attack may include many of the following symptoms, or just one or two.

  • Trouble breathing. This is typically due to hyperventilating – which the person may not even realize they are doing.
  • Chest pain
  • Racing heart (especially when coupled with chest pain, people often fear that this symptom indicates a heart attack)
  • Sweating
  • Chills
  • Cold, clammy skin
  • Dizziness or faintness
  • Pounding headache
  • Tingling or numbness in limbs and/or face
  • Physical weakness
  • Tunnel vision
  • Feeling off-balance and out of control
  • Feeling stuck in place and unable to move
  • A strong sense of anxiety, fear, paranoia, dread, or terror
  • Feeling concerned that you are dying or losing your sanity
  • Stomach pain, vomiting, or diarrhea can develop as a secondary symptom, prompted by the emotional duress experienced during the panic attack.

Q: What are the symptoms of marijuana panic attack?
A: Panic attack symptoms vary from person to person, but common side effects include a racing heart, shortness of breath, sweating, chills, dizziness, intense feelings of anxiety, paranoia, or terror. Stomach problems such as nausea, pain, and vomiting often develop as a result of anxiety and fear.

How does it feel to have a marijuana panic attack?

While 100 different people may describe 100 different experiences, there are a few thoughts and sensations that are frequent offenders in weed panic attacks. Intensified feelings of social anxiety are very common – from general concerns like “what if my friends/partner/co-workers/pets secretly hate me?” to concerns directly related to your current experience, like “Does everyone in the room think I’m weak for being unable to handle my weed?”

You also might feel intense paranoia that law enforcement officers or other authority figures will somehow discover that you are high on cannabis – even if you are totally alone in your own apartment. It’s very common to begin wondering if you have overdosed, or if your weed has somehow been laced with poison. You may interpret the physical symptoms of the panic attack as evidence that you are life-threateningly ill. Any stimuli may feel overwhelming – noise, lights, the temperature of the room, or the presence of other people. You may feel “stuck” in place, as though something as simple as getting up and walking across the room is an insurmountable feat.

Intensified feelings of social anxiety are very common

How can you prevent a weed panic attack?

There is no foolproof way to prevent a panic attack from occurring – other than completely avoiding all cannabis containing THC (including cannabis-derived CBD products). If you do choose to use marijuana, the following tips can help to reduce the odds of having a panic attack.

  • Keep your body well-nourished and hydrated. A body in better condition will be better able to process and metabolize cannabis.
  • Ensure that you are comfortable in your environment and the people in it. Being in a new place or around new people, people you don’t trust, or people you are worried about judgment from (like conservative family members or even law enforcement officers) can enhance anxiety.
  • Be aware of your own headspace. If you are feeling anxious or low, it might be wise to abstain.
  • Make a plan beforehand. Have a place in mind that you can retreat to if you need to, whether it’s the backyard or a cozy bedroom. Consider having a comforting film, TV show, or music in mind in case you need a distraction.
  • Use the buddy system. Have a trusted friend with you – or only a phone call away – in case you need someone to lean on during a panic attack.
  • Take some extra CBD oil prior to using cannabis. Or consider subbing out your weed for hemp-derived CBD products, if you are looking for relaxation or relief from pain or insomnia and don’t care about getting high.
  • Go slowly – especially with edibles! You can always take more later on. But once you’ve taken too much cannabis, you are stuck on that high until the THC works its way out of your system.

Q: How can you prevent a cannabis panic attack?
A: The only way to guarantee you will not experience a cannabis panic attack is abstinence from all products containing THC. But you may be able to tip the odds in your favor by taking extra CBD oil prior to using marijuana, and ensuring you are hydrated, well-nourished, in a good headspace, and in a comfortable environment.

How to reduce the effects of a marijuana panic attack?

What can you do if you find yourself in the midst of a weed panic attack? The good news is, despite how horrible it feels when it is happening, a panic attack can’t kill you, and it won’t last forever. Here are some tips to help you get through a cannabis panic attack as quickly and smoothly as possible. Not all of these tips will work for each person each time, but you might find yourself surprised by what ends up helping most.

  • If you are feeling woozy, drink something sugary to raise your blood sugar. A carb-heavy snack may also help, but you’ll probably prefer something “dry,” like cake or crackers if you are also experiencing nausea or vomiting.
  • Excuse yourself. A change of scenery can make a big difference – go outside, or to a quiet room, or out to your car (just don’t try to drive it!).
  • Ask for help. Ask a friend to help you get water or a snack, or ask them to distract you, to go for a walk with you, or to talk you through the anxiety.
  • Do some deep breathing and ground yourself into the present moment. Find something outside of yourself to focus your attention on – the sensation of touching a soft blanket or holding your hand under running water, for example.
  • Closing your eyes, listening to music, or watching TV might help, but also could be too overwhelming, especially at the peak of the panic attack.
  • As you begin to come down from the panic attack, distract yourself with an activity if you can (this may be a good time to try the music or TV). Conversation with a trusted person may also be a welcome and effective distraction.

Panic attack can’t kill you, and it won’t last forever.

What not to do if you have a weed panic attack

If you find yourself in the throes of a marijuana panic attack, the last thing you want to do is make it worse. Here are a few things that are highly unlikely to help you feel better and will probably make you feel worse:

  • Don’t call 911 (unless you have a true emergency on your hands, of course). A weed-induced panic attack, intensely unpleasant as it may be, is not a true emergency. You are not going to die from a marijuana overdose. You are not going to die from having a panic attack. Your heart racing, shortness of breath, chills, and vomiting are symptoms of the panic attack and they will subside. Having the paramedics come will likely be more stressful and stimulating (and potentially embarrassing) than waiting it out.
  • Don’t stay put if you are uncomfortable. Get out of the room, go back inside, go sit in your car, remove yourself from conversation or company that is making you feel uneasy. A change of scenery and energy can help you calm down faster.
  • Don’t try to focus on television or music if it feels overwhelming. These things can be great distractors when you are coming down. But if they don’t feel good, try something else instead.
  • Don’t take Xanax or other benzodiazepine prescription anxiety drugs. CBD blocks some of the enzymes that help to break down drugs like Xanax. This can result in larger amounts of Xanax in the bloodstream and amplify the drug’s side effects.

An unfortunate risk factor

It is unfortunate that some of the people who might most benefit from the relaxing effects of weed could be at higher risk of having cannabis-induced panic attacks. As more research is done on this subject, more definitive solutions may be found. In the meantime, the more knowledge you can arm yourself with about marijuana panic attacks, how to get through them, and how to lower your chances of having one, the better.

Panic attacks are an unpleasant potential side effect of cannabis use. Here’s what really happens during a cannabis panic attack.

CBD Reddit: Frequently Asked Questions and Answers

CBD is making a real name for itself in the news lately. But what is this mystery substance really all about? Does it work? Is it time that you gave it a try? Is it legal? Many of these questions and more have likely crossed your mind at some time or another. The fact is, CBD is proving to be an incredible therapeutic treatment option that may help with a number of medical conditions and everyone from your mother to your grandmother is probably wondering what it’s all about.

Thanks to Reddit, we could find exactly what everyday people like yourselves want to know about CBD. The great thing about Reddit is that it’s a worldwide platform that is built up of millions of regular people, and it’s generally trusted to provide accurate, top-notch, unbiased information on any topic you can think of.

The way that people look for information on the internet is ever-changing, and Reddit has undoubtedly become one of the go-to sources for everyday people like you and me. If you have any reservations, here are some numbers for you. As of 2017, the platform had over 540 million monthly visitors, which made it the fourth most frequently visited site in the United States and the ninth most visited site around the world.

In this article, we have put together the most popular and best CBD Reddit questions and answers and brought them to you in a convenient and comprehensive guide.

What is the Best Way to Take CBD?

This will differ drastically from person to person, but it can be very helpful to hear what other people on Reddit CBD are saying. Essentially, it all depends on what you are using CBD for and what your preference is. Generally speaking, the most appropriate method is one that provides an optimal dose for the desired duration. Here are some of the most common ways of consuming CBD:

  • Hold CBD under the tongue: This method offers the fastest delivery because the CBD is able to bypass both the metabolization in the liver and digestive system since it’s absorbed through the glands instead. Sublingual oral drops are the preferred method by many. You will probably notice that the CBD takes effect more quickly when using this method.
  • Vape: Vaping CBD is a lung-friendly way of inhaling the herb. This method allows the CBD to be absorbed into the bloodstream through the large surface area of the capillary-wrapped alveoli. Inhalation is great for treating acute symptoms that need immediate attention. You should feel the effects within a few minutes, and it typically lasts for a few hours.
  • Swallow and ingest: Capsules is one of the most common ways to take CBD. It’s great for anyone who doesn’t like the taste of the oils. This method also offers ultimate convenience with easy-to-swallow and tasteless capsules.
  • Topicals: CBD products are also available in the form of lotions and salves that you apply directly to the skin. This method is best used for pain – when you have a specific area that you want to relief by using a topical cream.
  • Edibles: Many people on Reddit talk about blending CBD in with their favorite food and drinks. Alternatively, you can buy already made CBD edibles, such as chewing gum, gummy bears, and more.

What is the Optimal Dosage of CBD?

According to CBD oil Reddit, an effective dosage can vary from as little as a few milligrams of CBD oil to a gram or more. The fact is when it comes to dosage, there are a lot of different factors that come into play, and generally, the optimal dosage will be different for everyone.

The other factor that makes determining optimal CBD dosage so difficult is that because cannabis is still illegal on a federal level (thus not FDA-approved), physicians are not legally allowed to prescribe it and aren’t allowed to give recommendations on dosage. This leaves a lot of people in the dark when it comes to how much CBD they should take.

The general recommendation from CBD experts is to start slow with a low dose of CBD, and you can increase from there. Take a few small doses over the course of a day (rather than one big dose) and use the same dose and ratio for several days. Observe the effects and only if necessary adjust the amount or ratio. Eventually, you should find your optimal dosage – the amount that gives you the desired results.

Keep in mind that there are many different factors at play when it comes to dosage. These include the individual’s weight, metabolism, what condition they are treating, and what method of consumption they are using, among various other factors. The great thing about Reddit is that you can get ideas from hundreds of different people, all with varying circumstances and conditions.

Can You Get High from CBD?

One of the most asked Reddit CBD oil questions is whether you can get high using CBD. Reddit users respond with a virtually unanimous “no.” THC is the psychoactive compound of the cannabis plant that makes users high. CBD doesn’t have any psychoactive properties and doesn’t have any influence with CB1 receptors in the brain, thus has absolutely no intoxicating effects on the mind. CBD is used purely for its medicinal benefits.

Many CBD oils, particularly full-spectrum CBD oil, will contain trace amounts of THC. However, it’s not enough to make them high. But, if you are at risk of having a random drug test at work, you may want to choose CBD isolate products which are completely devoid of THC.

Are There Side Effects Associated with CBD?

When it comes to CBD effects Reddit clarifies that generally speaking, CBD is believed to be safe and comes with very few side effects – none of which are very serious. These include; dry mouth, lightheadedness, drowsiness, and low blood pressure. While recognizing the need for more research, up until now, CBD has shown to be mostly well-tolerated. Based on a global report that was published by the World Health Organization (WHO), CBD isn’t addictive and there is no risk of dependency.

However, the long-term CBD side effects Reddit confirms have not yet been studied. At this point in time, we can best judge the long-term effects by looking at anecdotal evidence from frequent, daily users. This is another way that Reddit can be so valuable – we can get firsthand information from those who have been consuming CBD for years.

Is CBD Legal?

This answer will obviously depend on where you are. However, because CBD is a component of marijuana, it’s legality is still very unclear. In all honesty, the answer to this question is very complex and depends on several factors that are determined by each specific state. The most important factor is whether the CBD is derived from marijuana or hemp.

Marijuana usually contains a much higher THC level – up to 30%, while hemp contains no more than 0.3% THC. This is, of course, the main concern for lawmakers since THC is the compound that is responsible for the psychoactive effects of marijuana. Because hemp doesn’t have any psychoactive effects, the law doesn’t have a problem with it, and it’s legal throughout the United States. Marijuana is a lot more complex.

Ultimately it depends on what state you are in and the specific laws of that state. If marijuana is legal in that state, then CBD will obviously be legal as well. However, if weed isn’t legal in a specific state, then only CBD that is hemp-derived and has a THC content of under 0.3% will be legal.

Will CBD Show Up in a Drug Test?

Technically speaking, drug tests are looking for traces of THC and not CBD. CBD is a chemical, so if you ingest it, your body will metabolize it which means that it can be detected. However, the average drug test is not designed to pick up CBD, or any other cannabis compound for that matter, other than THC. Because CBD is chemically different from THC, it’s unlikely that pure CBD will be detected in drug tests.

But, that doesn’t mean that you are completely in the clear, because some CBD oils and other CBD-infused products contain trace amounts of THC. The good news is that more often than not, it won’t be enough THC to show up in a drug test.

What Should You Look for When Choosing a CBD Product?

It’s important that you look for products that have clear labels which show manufacturing date, the quantity of THC and CBD per dose, and a batch number – for quality control purposes. Choose products that have quality ingredients; no artificial additives, corn syrup, thinning fats, preservatives, or trans fats.

High-quality CBD products should be lab tested for consistency and verified as being free from pesticides, bacteria, contaminants, and mold solvent residues. These results should be available in the form of a report that can be accessed by anyone and everyone. It’s best to avoid products that are extracted with toxic solvents like hexane, propane, and BHO. Rather, choose brands that use safe extraction methods such as food-grade ethanol or supercritical CO2.

How Does CBD Help with Anxiety?

There is a huge ongoing forum called “your experiences with CBD and anxiety” on Reddit. You can check out some incredible real-life, first-hand stories of users who have had success using CBD to treat their anxiety.

One of the most well-known health benefits of CBD is its ability to treat anxiety. Various studies have been done on CBD and research suggests that it has very effective anti-anxiety properties. CBD exerts different actions in the brain which explains why it has the potential to treat anxiety. It has the ability to boost cell signalling via the serotonin receptor 5-HT1A agonist, which is important because this is a receptor that is involved in the chemical pathways of both anxiety and depression.

Not only is it effective on a therapeutic level, but it’s also a much healthier option than the various big pharma drugs that doctors typically prescribe for anxiety. Think of Prozac and Zoloft – these come with some awful side effects and are often very addictive.

CBD Reddit; top questions and answers. Here's everything that you could possibly want to know about the miraculous cannabinoid that is CBD