Smoking Marijuana: Why You Might Have Had A Bad Trip

I was standing in a room with 10 of my closest high school friends. I felt alone, nervous and caged in. But why? This made no sense to me considering I've known these people since freshman year. I could be myself around them with zero feelings of judgment. Well, it all started about five minutes after their arrival. I took two average-sized hits of a blunt and continued to pass it around the circle.  

It instantly hit me. My breath became light and choppy, my shoulders felt like they were carrying cinder blocks, and my hands were vibrating. After a few rounds of flip cup, I sat down at my kitchen table and was transported into another world. I was trapped in my own brain, and I couldn't get out. My thoughts were whizzing by as fast as the speed of sound. I was getting fixated on the weirdest things that were irrelevant at that moment. I thought marijuana was supposed to stimulate relaxation and bliss...all I wanted was to have fun with my friends.  

For many days later, I wondered why I had experienced paranoia for the first time. I was also itching for information that would tell me how to never let this happen again. I came across the article "Why Some People Can't Handle Their Weed," published in Vice that told me everything I needed to know.  

Everyone has a different response to cannabis. It stimulates the endocannabinoid system (ECS) which regulates our response to stress and emotions. When THC enters the ECS it disrupts the system and stops us from being able to manage our own stress, which causes anxiety.

"You may not be able to keep those stimuli under control because your ECS is so out of whack because of all the THC in your system," said Dr. Ruben Baler. Cannabis has two main components that have contrasting effects on anxiety: THC and Cannabidiol (CBD). THC is meant to raise anxiety while CBD decreases anxiety and boosts your mood.  

Different strains of weed have different impacts on users. If you smoke, I'm assuming that you're vaguely familiar with the Indica and Sativa. Many Sativa strains have higher doses of THC, which impacts some people's level of anxiety. On the other hand, Indicas have lower doses of THC and creates a mellow, relaxed high.  

I ended up giving up smoking for a little while after that bad trip. Can you blame me? I was literally trapped inside my own head! I bought organically-grown CBD oil by Alive Market to conduct a mini experiment using myself as the subject. First, I took two drops daily and found that my anxiety decreased in stressful situations. A couple of days ago I smoked for the first time in about a month and a half. Before I inhaled the weed, I swallowed two drops of my CBD oil to see if it would act as a neutralizer...IT WORKED! I was relaxed, had the giggles, and was content with my surroundings.

My friend made a great comment about growing up without legal recreational marijuana shops. He said it's difficult and dangerous. In the majority of cases, you have no idea what strain or even type of weed you are purchasing from your friend, he said. You could end up with the grossest tasting weed that gives you a fantastic high or a heavenly smelling bud that takes you deep into your thoughts and fears.  

Now, don't think that every puff of bud you take can give you either a mental break down or an out of body experience. As I said, weed strains affect everybody differently. What happens to one person doesn't mean it will for sure happen to the next. If you've ever had a paranoid high, I hope that this helps you understand why and what you can do to fix it. If you've never been paranoid...well ya never when it'll sneak up on ya!