The Science-y Reasons Why Some People Can’t Handle Their Weed

I’ve always said that I don’t trust a person who doesn’t like weed, but I absolutely trust weed if it doesn’t like a person. Oh, wait, that’s the first time I’ve ever said that. It’s actually something people say about dogs and I just switched out the words, but I think there is in fact some truth there. I think sometimes weed (like other psychedelics) makes people turn inwardly and confront hidden aspects of themselves that they’re quite possibly not prepared for or willing to confront. I have certainly known a few people in my life that genuinely shouldn’t be smoking pot. Some are too uptight for it, others too schizo. Thankfully, some fine scientists are looking for a reason as to why this is exactly, but of course they’re looking at it more from a brain/weed chemistry perspective, which probably misses the whole picture, but is also quite helpful. From VICE:

“When people talk about marijuana, they’re not distinguishing between the different components of cannabis,” says Dr. Ranganathan. The two main components in cannabis are THC and cannabidiol (CBD). According to the research, these components have contrasting effects on anxiety-levels. “We know very well from animal studies that as THC concentration starts increasing, it’s more likely to intensify anxiety,” where small doses of CBD has been related to reduced anxiety, she adds.

Wind’s experience mimics Dr. Ranganathan’s findings. She says strains of Sativas, which have relatively higher doses of THC, exacerbate her social anxiety. “I would have thought everything was fine, but then I’ll smoke a Sativa and I’ll start ruminating and I’ll think of a social situation and I’ll get anxiety about it. I’ll start thinking, ‘I shouldn’t have said that, Oh My God!'” Wind says. “I might even get paranoid about what my roommate was thinking about me.”

But if it’s the right strain, it can have the reverse effect. “I can be more gregarious and relaxed around people if it’s an Indica,” she says.Problem is, it’s not that simple. There are over 65 cannabinoids found in cannabis, yet substantial data only exists on THC and CBD. “With so little research, it’s impossible to fully understand the psychological effects cannabis can have on an individual’s anxiety levels,” says Dr. Ranganathan.”

Read the rest at VICE. If you enjoy their content, we highly recommend buying a subscription or otherwise contributing to their site. You tip your bell boy. Just sayin’.

I will say that as a daily pot smoker (but not an all day pot smoker), I’d never really had a high anxiety weed experience until just a couple years ago when I ate a THC snickerdoodle my wife’s uncle made. Holy fuck was that strong and I was in fact losing my shit for a spell. The thing is though, I was sitting inside playing video games on a nice day, and the anxiety seemed to be telling me: hey, dipshit, why not get outside with your dog and enjoy the weather. So we went for a long walk, the anxiety subsided, and I had an amazing time. Oh, and here’s a picture of my dog because you’re welcome:


Thinking there’s not an intelligence behind these plants is a mistake. What’s really important about this research though, is that it’s FINALLY fucking happening. Most people seem to be oblivious to the fact that not only was consuming marijuana illegal forever, it was also insanely difficult to even get research done on the subject. Oh the freaky things we’ll learn when this finally gets studied extensively.

Thad McKraken

Thad McKraken

Thad McKraken is a psychedelic writer, musician, visual artist, filmmaker, Occultist, and pug enthusiast based out of Seattle. He is the author of the books The Galactic Dialogue: Occult Initiations and Transmissions From Outside of Time, both of which can be picked up on Amazon super cheap.
Thad McKraken