Marijuana induced Anxiety, Panic Attacks Teens and Children

Overall, based on available research, it does appear that marijuana can cause anxiety, and isn’t a great treatment for anxiety. Should you decide to continue (or start) using marijuana, remember that you absolutely need to combine it with non-medical, non-medicinal treatments.

The most common unpleasant side-effects of occasional marijuana use are anxiety and panic reactions. These effects may be reported by users, and they are a common reason for discontinuation of use; more experienced users may occasionally report these effects after receiving a much larger than usual dose of THC.

Marijuana smoking or ingestion of THC increases the heart rate by 20-50% within a few minutes to a quarter-of-an-hour; this effect lasts for up to 3 hours. Blood pressure is increased while the person is sitting, and decreased while standing.

The majority of all adverse responses to marijuana are panic reactions in which people begin to fear that they are dying or losing their minds. Panic reactions, or “bad trips”, may become so severe as to be incapacitating. Experts reports that roughly 50% of marijuana smokers in the United States have on some occasion experienced this adverse reaction.The most common disturbing reaction to marijuana is acute anxiety. The user becomes fearful of dying or going insane. Mounting anxiety may lead to panic.

Most studies contribute a panic attack to THC, the psychoactive part of the plant. Strains that are higher in cannabidiol (CBD) tend to counter THC. This would mean medical strains or an indica, which has a higher ratio of cannabidiol to THC than a sativa, which is mainly THC. Cannabidiol has anti-anxiety properties that counter the effect of THC. This is probably because it decreases the rate of THC to clear from the body, perhaps by interfering with the metabolism of THC in the liver. It is also responsible for a majority of the medicinal properties of cannabis and relieves things like convulsions, inflammation, anxiety, and nausea.

A substance-induced anxiety disorder is  categorized based on whether the prominent feature is generalized anxiety, panic attacks, obsessive-compulsive symptoms, or phobia symptoms. In addition, the disorder is  based on whether it began during intoxication on a substance or during withdrawal from a substance. A substance-induced anxiety disorder that begins during substance use can last as long as the drug is used. A substance-induced anxiety disorder that begins during withdrawal may first manifest up to four weeks after an individual stops using the substance.

Articles are not to be taken as a substitute for professional advice or counseling.