Cannabis, CBD & Paranoia

Cannabis, CBD and Paranoia

Paranoia, for most, is a quite unpleasant feeling characterized by delusions of persecution or unwarranted jealousy.

Cannabis users can experience a range of side effects. One of those can be paranoia. What causes this? Is there anything you can do about it?

Cannabis, CBD and paranoia

How does one know they’re experiencing paranoia while using cannabis? It really depends. For some, it could mean feeling suspicious of the motivations of individuals around them, with or without cause. But for others, the feelings can make it difficult for them to function or interact with others for as long as they remain under the influence.

The cannabis plant contains more than 100 cannabinoids, including the main psychoactive compound delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). THC can cause negative side effects (including feelings of paranoia) by attaching to receptors in the amygdala region of the brain. These receptors are involved in emotional processing and governing responses like fear, stress and paranoia.

According to one study, THC can significantly attenuate amygdala activation, thereby causing more fear in the patients studied.

According to another study of 121 cannabis users, half of those who were given THC reported having paranoid thoughts. On the other hand, only 30% of those that were given a placebo reported the same.

On the contrary, CBD, the other primary cannabinoid found in the plant, has no psychoactive effects, and if used on a standalone basis (i.e., not combined with THC), is thought potentially to mitigate negative experiences including paranoia (although we have not been able to find scientific data to support this claim). Throughout studies, CBD has shown to produce little to no side effects for users.

Interestingly, some cannabis enthusiasts suggest that the same effects of cannabis that can yield an increase in creativity could also contribute to feeling of paranoia in some users, because the brain is somehow able to connect thoughts and ideas in new ways. But this is just speculation.

Can you do anything to avoid paranoia?

This is a difficult question to answer given the lack of scientific research around cannabis and paranoia. While some studies and certain users have drawn a correlation between THC and paranoia, there hasn’t been enough work around dose, ingestion method, strain of flower, etc. to draw any meaningful conclusions. 

As with most side effects, a common technique is to work to find your minimum effective dose that enables you to achieve your wellness goals. But if you are not looking to run the risk of experiencing paranoia, using CBD products is a safe bet.

Getting answers with Jointly

Jointly is Your Cannabis Companion – a smartphone app that answers your important questions by aggregating experiences from a community of users just like you. Jointly is safe, secure, private, unbiased, and easy to use. Jointly only includes legal and licensed products from legal and licensed brands.

Using Jointly, you can learn about products and methods which may reduce or eliminate the side effects you are experiencing.

Jointly can help you identify the best products for your goals, based on real experiences of other people, like you, with the same goals.

Then, Jointly helps you learn how to use those products to their full potential. You can determine your optimal dose, and learn how the quality of your cannabis experience can be impacted by sleep, hydration, exercise, diet, and more.

We hope you get the results you deserve. And, be sure to learn about the steps you can take to increase your odds of success.

And, if you have any feedback or ideas for improving Jointly, please let us know. We’re here to help, but also to learn.


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In no way is any of the information contained on this site or in the Jointly app intended to be a medical or prescriptive guide or a substitute for informed medical advice or care. If you believe or suspect that you have a medical problem, promptly contact your doctor or health care provider. You should never delay seeking or disregard advice from a medical professional based on something you have read here.

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