Cannabis paranoia — what it is? It turns out that of the various cannabinoids in the plant, Delta-9-THC is the common psychoactive compound that produces that high feeling and medicinal effects. The plant’s cannabinoids can stimulate your appetite and treat extreme cases of nausea. It can also sometimes trigger anxiety, paranoia, headaches or dizziness depending on the strain and the consumer.
Why does this happen? Every body has a different set of genes, biochemistry, gender, general health, and tolerance, which are 5 big factors in why cannabis (and other substances from caffeine to alcohol and beyond) affects everyone differently. The effects of cannabis on any given person also has to do with each body’s endocannabinoid system.
It’s important to acknowledge that everyone has different biochemistry. Both your current medical condition and the series of chemical processes that ensue as a result of cannabis consumption can have an effect on your biochemistry. Your diet habits can influence your levels of [omega-3] fatty acids and, in turn, affect the functionality of your endocannabinoid system. When your system has an imbalance of those fatty acids, you could experience a more intense high and could be more likely to feel anxious or paranoid.
For any strain you’ve consumed that reduces your anxiety, there’s someone else out there for whom the same strain can trigger anxiety.
Only about 20% of the American population has a genetic mutation that allows the brain to produce more anandamide in the amygdala, which naturally results in less anxiety, paranoia, and fear. This segment of the population is far less likely to feel anxious after consuming cannabis because they already have a natural tendency to be anxiety-ridden in the first place. As for the other 80% of the population, some THC products that contain high levels of Delta-9-THC have the capacity to trigger cannabis-induced paranoia.
Interestingly, a different cannabinoid called Delta-8-THC has similar psychoactive properties and arguably more medicinal benefits without the paranoia or anxiety. Based on the aforementioned factors that affect the way any given body experiences the effects of cannabis, some consumers feel a stronger high than others. Of the many compounds in a cannabis plant, the two most prevalent cannabinoids are Delta-9-THC and CBD, and the other minor cannabinoids include THCB, CBG, CBN and Delta-8-THC.
The Delta-8-THC compound is produced when Delta-9-THC becomes oxidized. Because there is so little Delta-8-THC in any given plant (less than 0.1% in CBD flower), it takes a multi-step process to produce usable quantities. That means a lot of processing, refinement, extraction, winterization, and decarboxylation, usually resulting in a distillate form. You can choose to mix it with flower to boost the Delta-8-THC levels, or use its concentrates to vape, dab, or consume in edibles.