Can You Get A Panic Attack From Cannabis? Here’s What To Do

Many people turn to cannabis when they want to relax and forget about stressful things that occupy their minds daily. If you’ve never tried it before, it’s good to know that it doesn’t affect everybody the same way.

Even if you use it relatively frequently, it doesn’t necessarily mean that every single time you’ll react to it the same way as you did previously. Even though cannabis has helped many people alleviate stress, panic attacks, and anxiety, it turns out that sometimes it can trigger some of these sensations.

This especially happens to people who are already anxious. But don’t worry. You can do some things to possibly eliminate these negative feelings, and today we’ll talk more about it, so stay tuned.


Ways To Deal With Cannabis-Related Panic Attacks

The Link Between These Two

Namely, cannabis is loaded with several compounds known as cannabinoids. The prominent psychoactive cannabinoid, tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), gives you that “high” feeling because it attaches to the brain receptors.

Furthermore, what’s interesting is that THC can impact the amygdala, which is part of our brain that controls stress, fear, and other unpleasant emotions. When the amygdala is too stimulated, it makes you feel scared and paranoid, resulting in a panic attack or anxiety. Just bear in mind that these situations will not harm your brain. They may just be very uncomfortable.

As it was stated in the beginning, people react differently to cannabis, and below, we will talk about people who are at greater risk of experiencing anxiety and panic attacks:


  • Tolerance – Nobody reacts the same to THC. The same amount could do nothing to someone, while others may experience a severe panic attack. It takes time for your body to get used to it.
  • Administration – The way you consume it also makes a huge difference. Many newbies are prone to taking too much, so they deal with intense side effects. For instance, if you opt for edibles, bear in mind that they can cause severe side effects because people tend to underestimate the fact of how long it takes for them to start working.
  • The dose – The more THC you take, the bigger your chances are of overstimulating the amygdala. The type of cannabis you smoke can also play a part as all have different THC levels and thus other variances of effects.
  • Different sources of anxiety – If you’re already having issues with this health condition, cannabis might make things worse.


How To Recognize A Panic Attack?

Some physiological effects can nowadays be defined as a panic attack, but we mustn’t forget that every individual experiences it differently. Below, we will list some symptoms after weed consumption, but keep in mind that you shouldn’t be restricted by them only. They include:


  • Tunnel vision 
  • Racing heartbeat (tachycardia) 
  • Chest pain
  • Chills or sweat
  • Feeling dizzy or weak
  • Numbness or tingling in the extremities 
  • Difficulty breathing


Usually, people are terrified (which is completely understandable) because most of them think they are about to collapse and die.


What Can You Do During Panic Attacks?

Remind Yourself That You’re Fine

Even though it’s definitely challenging to remain calm and rational in these types of situations because you are probably thinking that you are dealing with something life-threatening, such as a heart attack, you have to remind yourself that you’re not in any danger.

This is hard, especially for people who’ve never dealt with panic attacks before, because this whole experience is very real, but if you manage to somehow stay calm and tell yourself that it will soon pass, you’ll feel much better.


Try To Eat Something If Possible

Taking cannabis on an empty stomach is one of the worst things you can do to yourself because it intensifies all the effects THC causes, making you higher than you expected. If you feel like some of the things you’re experiencing can be related to a panic attack, just quickly grab something to eat.

Even if you don’t feel hungry, it doesn’t matter. Grab some small snacks to try to counteract the effects of weed and alleviate the symptoms. Some studies have shown that terpenes, such as limonene that can be found in lemons, can decrease the side effects of THC. Hence, if you have lemons in your house by any chance, squeeze one into some water and drink it. If you don’t, it is always helpful to make sure you’re hydrated.


Even though many people find cannabis to be very relaxing and comforting, as you can see, sometimes, it can cause some unpleasant things. So if you find yourself in this situation, make sure to follow some of these tips.




Mark Munroe is the Creator and EIC of ADDICTED. He's ADDICTED to great travel, amazing food, better grooming & probably a whole lot more!