Cannabis is one of the most commonly abused drugs in the United States. Now that more states are legalizing recreational marijuana use, more and more people are experiencing adverse side effects like cannabis-induced anxiety. As a drug rehab in Pennsylvania that provides treatment for synthetic marijuana, we’re aware of how both the natural and man-made kinds of cannabis can affect a person’s mental health. We’re sharing some tips on how to handle a marijuana-induced anxiety attack and why it happens.
Why Does Marijuana Cause Anxiety?
Cannabis is a mixture of dried greenish-grey leaves from a plant called Cannabis Sativa. The ingredient in marijuana responsible for its mind-altering side effects and anxiety symptoms is tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the psychoactive ingredient in weed that reacts with natural cannabinoids in the brain, producing a high. Cannabidiol (CBD) is a non-psychoactive ingredient that promotes relaxation and sedation. Marijuana causes anxiety when a person uses weed that’s high in THC. The sudden high levels of cannabinoids can overstimulate a region of the brain called the amygdala, which is the core fear system in the human body. Its role is to detect a threat and activate an appropriate response to dangerous stimuli. Therefore, when a person ingests a lot of THC, the amygdala may feel threatened and thus respond with anxiety.
Some other common side effects of marijuana use include:
- Altered senses (seeing brighter colors)
- Altered sense of time
- Changes in mood
- Difficulties concentrating
- Difficulties making decisions or problem solving
- Impaired memory
- Impaired judgment
Although many people believe that weed is harmless, this isn’t the case. THC is a dangerous component that can produce psychosis and other adverse symptoms. Smoking weed can also affect the lungs and cause respiratory disease. Another form of cannabis that’s becoming a popular substitute for the real thing is synthetic marijuana, also known as synthetic cannabinoids, Spice, K2, or fake weed. Synthetic cannabinoids are man-made, mind-altering chemicals that produce side effects that mimic natural cannabis but are stronger. Because they produce similar symptoms to weed, many people call it synthetic weed, but they’re not the same thing. These drugs are often marketed as safe and legal alternatives; however, they’re not safe and, in reality, can produce unpredictable side effects that can be even more dangerous than the side effects of marijuana.
Synthetic marijuana can cause anxiety. Because these psychoactive substances often contain random and harmful chemicals, they can produce unpredictable symptoms and physical dependence. You can also overdose on fake weed, which is characterized by uncomfortable physical symptoms as well as death. Clearbrook Treatment Centers Pennsylvania offers synthetic marijuana treatment for those struggling with fake weed abuse who need help recovering and regaining their sobriety.
How to Handle A Cannabis-Induced Anxiety Attack
The term “cannabis-induced anxiety disorder” is used to describe cannabis-induced anxiety attacks. A cannabis-induced anxiety attack can cause symptoms like increased heartbeat, dizziness, difficulty breathing, sweating and chills, and intense feelings of doom or fear. An anxiety attack like this can be a difficult and scary experience to get through. Anxiety attacks caused by marijuana are usually the result of taking an excessive amount of THC. Below are some tips for managing a cannabis-induced anxiety attack.
- Relax: You can lie down, watch tv, or take a bath.
- Remind yourself you’re not in danger: Anxiety is characterized by an intense sense of doom. Remind yourself that you’re safe and there’s no danger so you can relax.
- Focus on your breathing: Slowly breathe in through your nose and out through your mouth. Your breathing can directly affect your heart rate, so keeping it slow can help you stay calm.
- Eat something: Using marijuana on an empty stomach can amplify the effects of THC, so eating something can reduce its side effects.
Our Clearbrook rehab centers do not condone the use of marijuana or any other drugs. Not only can marijuana cause anxiety, but it can also produce a variety of uncomfortable symptoms, including dependence. While cannabis is not addictive like cocaine or heroin, it’s a drug that many people use when they’re struggling with mental disorders or behavioral problems. They can become accustomed to relying on marijuana as a coping mechanism and begin showing emotional signs of addiction. Long-time marijuana use can directly affect the lungs and mental cognition. Some side effects of weed, like anxiety attacks, can even worsen symptoms of mental illness.
If you or someone you know is struggling with drug or alcohol addiction, we can help. Call Clearbrook Pennsylvania now at 570-536-9621 for more information about our marijuana addiction treatment and our other drug and alcohol rehab programs.