Marijuana and anxiety

This is an unpleasant side effect of using marijuana which also occurs during withdrawal.

Marijuana can produce a range of effects which are pleasurable such as elation, laughter, talkativeness and altered perceptions which usually occur in a social situation.

But it can cause some unwelcome effects such as anxiety, agitation and paranoia.

Anxiety is experienced as one of several withdrawal symptoms following long term use.

People who suffer from anxiety or panic attacks feel as if they are going mad or are likely to die usually as a result of a heart attack. This occurs if they experience tightness in the chest or headaches due to tension caused by the anxiety.

A common sensation is that of feeling out of control.


Anxiety is a state of extreme fear or apprehension at a perceived threat or a life threatening situation. It often occurs as a result of stress or some other trigger although it can occur without warning.

Anxiety is caused by several factors which include:

  • Family history
  • Underlying medical condition
  • Alcohol
  • Nicotine
  • Drugs such as marijuana
  • Traumatic event, e.g. divorce

If you are susceptible to anxiety, have a family history of anxiety or are a ‘nervous person’ then you are more likely to experience anxiety or a panic attack when using marijuana.

There is an increased likelihood of this if you use a strong form of marijuana such as sinsemilla or skunk.

People who are new to marijuana may experience anxiety but experienced users can also develop this if they use a larger dose than normal.

Anxiety during marijuana withdrawal

This often occurs in the first couple of weeks of withdrawal and whilst unpleasant is not life threatening.

It does not usually develop into a panic attack but people in this situation have low level anxiety on a constant basis. They are on edge and are unable to relax.

Feeling stressed and in a constant state of tension is normal and will pass but it has to be endured until it does so.

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