For people that have tried consuming marijuana and got turned off by it, the most common story I have found are the onset of panic attacks. There are a few reasons why this may happen (ie. smoking, using Sativa Strains, consumption of concentrates like hash or dabs). Although we do believe that everyone can avoid a panic attack with proper education of what type of cannabis they are consuming, there are times when these events happen. If a panic attack does occur, we have listed some ways below as a guide for you to overcome the episode.
Cannabis, often referred to as weed, pot or very many other names, is one substance that can help a person relax and have a feeling of euphoria – if only for a moment. And in a world where suicide rates are at a high, a substance like cannabis which makes people chill is just divine.
For weed enthusiasts, it is not easy to admit that not everyone would experience the same feeling of relief and calmness that most of us do when using cannabis. For many of us, the worst “side-effect” of cannabis is getting so hungry you could eat up the entire contents of your refrigerator – and your neighbor’s too. For some other people though, it is cannabis-induced panic attacks.
Depending on a person’s level of experience, the strain of cannabis, or manner of ingestion (smoking, edibles); reactions to cannabis could range from being super chill to hallucinating and having panic attacks! Although, from experience, we can tell you that there are some steps to overcoming a cannabis-induced panic attack.
Before we tell you how to stop a panic attack when using cannabis, it is important to note;
A panic attack is not caused by overdosing on cannabis – because you actually cannot overdose on cannabis!
Now, here’s how to stop a panic attack when using cannabis.
- Know the signs
The good thing about a cannabis-induced panic attack is that it comes with a handful of signs and symptoms like chest pains, sweats, and chills, rapid heartbeat, dizziness, psychological distress, (in some cases) extreme paranoia, confusion, and pronounced lethargy.
While cannabis is an efficient mood regulator for people suffering ADHD, depression, and a plethora of mental disorders; for some people (especially first-time users), the use of cannabis may worsen their experience rather than cause relief.
- Relax, you’re only high – you can’t die. We promise!
No one has ever died from cannabis intake – no one!
Understand that while the mind-altering effects of cannabis feel realistic in the moment, you will be absolutely fine. It just takes getting used to, so the next time your mop stick looks like a wolf, just laugh at how high you really are!
- Call a friend before you call 911
It is okay to be worried that your heartbeat is racing – not to mention the seemingly unending flow of ideas that won’t stop popping into your head. Cue the overreaction. But before you start willing your stuff to your best friend Donny, call someone you trust – preferably, that friend you think could smoke pot with Snoop Dogg. Chances are, he or she knows just what’s happening to you and how to monitor your tripping out till you get right back to normalcy!
- Give it some time
The high and effects of eating edible cannabis last longer than smoking it! While the panic attack induced by eating edibles could span up to 12 hours, the effects of smoking would subside within 3 to 4 hours. This is because the body processes edibles in a different way from smoking. It is quite normal to experience heightened psychoactive and physiological effects – but the good news is, you would be making a “I remember when I got really high” joke much later.
- Drown the thoughts
So, with all the thoughts popping in your head, what happens when your experienced friend is not within reach? Distract yourself! Dance to good music and sweat it out – but the absolute best idea would be to watch a comedy. We guarantee the best laugh you have had in decades! Getting through a cannabis-induced panic attack is about mind over matter.
- Just sleep
Having trouble sleeping?
A cannabis-induced panic attack could be beneficial. It may not be easy because of the barrage of thoughts you are experiencing. Your eyes could feel like they’re burning, and your head feels like a dead weight on your neck; BUT if you would just lie down and close your eyes, you’re probably going to get the best sleep of your life.
- Try CBD
CBD is another cannabis extract which is known to counteract the neurological effects of another cannabis extract, THC. THC is the reason you are so high the house feels like it’s caving in. So, the next time you get super high, take a few drops of CBD oil or switch to a high-CBD strain. And you would be fine.
- Adjust your intake
Now that you know how to stop a panic attack when using cannabis, it is up to you to make sure you don’t get to the point where you have a panic attack! You could try a less potent strain, or CBD which is a non-psychoactive cannabinoid.
In the end, a cannabis-induced panic attack is not unusual, and you would most certainly be fine!