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Turning Things Around – How to Approach Unexpected Paranoia

May 21, 2021 3:00:00 PM

Sometimes it happens to the best of us. What you had anticipated to the be the finest of times – partaking of some marijuana – could leave you with a dark, dreadful feeling of paranoia.

A businessman is surprised while taking a toke on his joint

Whether you’re with friends or on your own, this can be very disappointing. Especially for new users, who can find it easy to use too much cannabis too fast. Or maybe the THC level with this particular batch is higher than anticipated. It could be that your brain is just built to be more sensitive to the THC. Regardless of the reason – it’s a bummer to find yourself in a paranoid state. We’d like to help you know how to handle it.

Paranoia is an unsettling feeling of suspicion and it’s very uncomfortable. You might suspect friends are laughing at you or see sinister motives within your dearest people. When you’re in a paranoid state, it can be a double-whammy, because you lose some of your ability to reason effectively. And sound reasoning is what you need at a time like this!

A Dose of Prevention

Micro-dosing can be an effective way to prevent paranoia from sneaking up on you, especially if you’re new to using marijuana. By layering tiny doses at a nice, slow and patient pace, you can build to the high you want. Preventing paranoia from taking hold to begin with is the smartest approach.

Do and Dont or Good and Bad Icons with Positive and Negative Symbols

Before We Get to the DOs, Let’s Address the DON’Ts.

Sometimes, it just can’t be helped and you will find yourself dealing with those intense feelings of paranoia. In the face of disappointment, though, you can keep your cool and be safe and sound. With a good plan and some forethought, you can land yourself from your bad trip and find your way back to feeling good.

If you are experiencing paranoia while high:

  • DON’T answer your phone -- even (or especially) if it’s someone you know. Just let it go to voicemail and call back when you’re feeling better. You don’t want to say something you may regret later.

  • DON’T drive. You shouldn’t anyway when you’re partaking, but especially don’t drive when you’re in a state of paranoia.

  • DON’T use the stove, oven or fireplace, or anything that could cause a fire. Don’t operate machinery.

  • DON’T start texting or messaging friends ! You don’t want to write any words you might feel badly about later, and the electronic footprint would be with you forever.

Some Positive Approaches – How to Calm Yourself in the Face of Paranoia

Keep it simple. Find a quiet place, put on some calming music or the sounds of nature. Try to go to sleep.

Man at home on sofa listening a music with a smartphone

If you can’t sleep, then try these tips:

  • Have a large meal. A lot of food can help dismantle the feeling of being stoned, and can also help you to feel drowsy. (Just be careful not to keep the munchies away.) Try to eat something filling that still has some nutritional value. The goal is to eat enough to lead to drowsiness. Sleep is the real source of relief!

  • Lemon juice is reputed to help decrease the feeling of being stoned. T ry tea with lots of lemon, or squeeze a fresh lemon into some water. Drinking lots of water will also help bring you down from the high and get you to a better mental state.

freshly squeezed lemon juice in small bowl

  • Take a shower. Just be careful about taking a bath. Make sure there’s someone in the house who knows the situation, and knows you are going to be in a tub full of water and that you’re trying to come down from a marijuana high. If they don’t know you partake, or if you’re alone, then opt for a shower instead. The water will be soothing and calming and help reset your mind.

  • Try calling a cannabis-friendly friend who can just chat with you. Talk about fun topics like your favorite show, a funny movie or a hilarious story you both share. Getting your thoughts into a neutral area that’s trending in a positive direction will help bring you to a safer mental state.
Positive Signals

Keep in mind that no one has ever died or overdosed from weed. You’re only stoned and it will pass. Keep in mind that you have a temporary assignment to just stay away from stressful situations and you’ll be fine. The feeling of being stoned will only linger for a couple of hours, so just hang in there!

legs of hipster woman wearing torn jeans lying in green grass

Our bodies already have a way to keep anxiety in check – the endocannabinoid system. This system releases cannabinoids, which send calming signals to our brains.

The process of getting high copies the mechanism of the endocannabinoid system. Marijuana contains plant-based cannabinoids. They lead to good feelings of release and relaxation – or they should, rather.

Higher THC levels (short for tetrahydrocannabinol) can lead to the opposite effect – and cause those extremely uncomfortable feelings of paranoia. THC is the psychoactive compound of cannabis, and lower doses of THC are relaxing. Scientists do not know yet why higher THC levels, which it seems would cause more profound relaxation, instead flip in the opposite direction.

When you’re in that bad mental state of paranoia, try to imagine your future self, in a state of perfect calm. Your distress is temporary. You are a trustworthy person who deserves good things. Remember that your bad feelings are not in control – you are.

MK Thom
Written by MK Thom

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