Weed usually mellows us out and makes us happy. But marijuana also has a direct connection to panic attacks. Pot can be very physically relaxing and mentally distracting, leaving some people that are more anxious to feel more vulnerable. Your body has a response to this, because on some level you feel like you are in danger. These panic attacks are real and can happen because of the strain you ingested, how experienced of a smoker you are, and the method of ingestion. It can be quite overwhelming when you are high but don’t worry. Its not the end of the world, here is what you need to know about weed induced panic attacks and how to overcome them.
How to recognize a panic attack
A marijuana induced panic attack can bring on multiple symptoms including sweats and chills, paranoia, dizziness, confusion, rapid heartbeat, chest pains, and trouble breathing. Weed can help people suffering from a variety of mental disorders. As far as anxiety, weed can make your symptoms worse, especially for a first timer. This is a result of a “flight or fight” response. Your body is detecting a threat(Either real or imagined) and places itself on high alert. That is where the feeling of the impending doom can come from, but just relax.
I’m having a panic attack. What Should I do?
Contrary to the symptoms you may get, a panic attack isn’t going to hurt you. You most likely aren’t suffering from a heart attack and your airway is fine. Remember that there is also a zero percent chance you have overdosed on weed. Don’t forget that what is happening now is not going to stay forever, it is temporary. In due time this will be all over. If you have just smoked weed the effects should be over within 30 minutes to 2 hours, for edibles longer. It all just depends on your tolerance.
Take note of your surroundings
If you are a person with anxiety weed smoking can lead to some paranoia. As weed is quite a social drug, you can be in a situation with a lot of people around you and maybe in a not so comfortable environment. This can lead you believe that your friends resent you, or that you are ruining there time. If this can be leading to your stress or inducing a panic attack, removing yourself from that situation or environment can help greatly.
Nobody has ever had a cannabis related death. You have to make sure to recognize this panic attack for what it is, a result of you being high on weed. This can feel very real and it might feel like the world is crumbling around you, but chill out, this is just in the moment, everything will be fine.
Find your pepper shaker
A whiff of black pepper from the shaker is great for reducing marijuana induced panic attacks. Eating a peppercorn, taking a whiff of pepper, or eating anything with citrus acids in it can be extremely helpful and can help reduce your anxiety near instantly.
Talk to a trusted friend
If you are having a marijuana induced panic attack, don’t call 911 immediately and wind up in a hospital. Your racing heartbeat or other symptoms is probably giving you the worst case scenarios in your head, its a recipe for overreaction. So before you start writing your will, try and get in contact with a trusted friend that can monitor you until things get back to normal. If you still want to seek medical attention, you can have them drive you.
Find a distraction
A great thing about weed is that it affects your short-term memory. The more you can distract yourself in this moment the better, because it will just help you forget about the negatives. Take some deep breaths and slap on your favorite comedy, grab a bite to eat, and relax. Chances are you will forget that you were just having a panic attack and it will all be over.
Go to sleep
Pretty simple, just go to sleep. Your mind will be absolutely racing at first but eventually you will just pass out. When you wake up you will be feeling back to normal, with a little weed hangover. Nothing a jog can’t fix. Not to mention you are most likely going to have the best sleep of your life since you were a baby.
I survived, where should I go from here?
Now that you have survived and your panic attack is starting to fade away or is gone now, you might be embarrassed about something you did or said when this was taking place. Now its time to look at where you should go from here with marijuana consumption. These weed induced panic attacks are very uncommon. There is a few methods I will show you to limit your risk factor in the future if you do wish to try marijuana out again. But the best way to stay away from a marijuana induced panic attack is to simply not smoke or partake. These panic attacks can happen to anybody smoking weed, some stoners just laugh them off and move on to the next session, others will find that they would rather just stay away from it entirely. The panic attack you had won’t go on any permanent weed smoking records, and everyone will forget it ever happened, its just yourself to face.
How to lower the risk factor of this happening next time
So you had a bad experience and want to smoke some weed again but you don’t want to have your day ruined by a panic attack. You are going to want to look at what went wrong the last time you smoked and what made you uncomfortable. It could have to do with who you were with, the environment you were in, the strain you smoked, if you had an empty stomach, and most importantly, your frame of mind. Any one of these factors could have contributed to your marijuana induced panic attack before. The better you recognize what went wrong last time will greatly help you in making the next session a better experience. You should never smoke on an empty stomach if you have a low tolerance, and stick away from high grade marijuana. This can cause you to get a lot higher and heighten the affects. Start off with a small amount, nobody is going to judge you, and just try and keep a good state of mind. None of this is guaranteed to help you fight off another panic attack, if this reoccurs, I suggest staying away from marijuana because it could be doing harm then good.