Today’s marijuana is far different from that of pre-legalization in the United States. Tests have confirmed that today’s marijuana flower can contain up to 25% to nearly 40% of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). Researchers gathered data that suggests that the use of cannabis with higher potency levels of THC may be linked to elevated levels of anxiety disorder in a study published in May in JAMA Psychiatry.
Cannabis personalities, content creators and influencers have begun speaking more openly on how cannabis has, in addition to health and wellness benefits, brought on bouts of heightened anxiety. Even if it leads to negative feedback from viewers saying that their experiences are invalid, untrue, overexaggerated or just due to “bad weed.”
So if you ever find yourself in the middle of an anxious experience, whether it be during a sesh or not, here are some tips you can try yourself to help calm the mind and body and ground yourself.
Take a deep breath. Then take another one. Then take four more. Noting when your breaths may become more rapid and shallow during a state of anxiety is the first step. Now, pause, and deepen and slow your breaths.
In 2011, an article in Health Science Journal detailed that one can provide the autonomic nervous system a reset through slow, deep breathing. The article goes on to explain that both those who suffer from long-term anxiety and short-term, acute anxiety can experience anxiety relief and reduction from breathing exercises.
If you are experiencing anxiety or another state of distress, do not run from it. Do not try to ignore it, compartmentalize it or suppress it. This will only reinforce your anxiety and keep you from dealing with it, which like contents under pressure, will likely lead to an inevitably larger and more intense state. While these feelings are undoubtedly unpleasant and those experiencing them would rather not, challenging their existence will not make them go away.
The best policy to be honest with yourself and how you are feeling. Once you do that, you can take the next steps to sit with what you’re experiencing and gradually let it go.
In the wise words of Big Z from the 2007 animated feature film Surf’s Up, “you don't fight the wave. You can't fight these big waves.”
It is through pain and stressors that growth occurs. If you fight the wave, you may drown. If you ride the wave, it may be scary, but you’ll stay above the water.
In 2018, IKEA worked with a school in the United Arab Emirates to conduct a study called “Bully A Plant,” which showed students how destructive negative comments can be. Two identical IKEA plants were set up in the school and students were invited to compliment one plant and bully the other. After 30 days, the plant that received compliments was healthy and thriving, while its insult-riddled counterpart was wilted and visibly droopy.
Thoughts become things. Your thoughts, beliefs, actions and attitudes determine your personal reality. If you repeat to yourself “this is the worst” or “this will never go away,” that’s what may manifest. Instead, choose to focus on what you’re grateful for or choose thoughts that provide you strength, and that’s exactly what you’ll get. You are what you think.
This one is pretty straightforward. Remember to stay hydrated and eat something healthy.
Dry mouth, or cottonmouth, is a commonly reported effect caused by cannabis. While generally cottonmouth is not dangerous, a decrease in the amount of saliva in your mouth could lead to increased bacteria in the mouth, plaque, gum inflammation and tooth decay.
“It is known that marijuana use decreases saliva secretion. Therefore, we hypothesized that cannabinoid receptors (CBs) are located in salivary glands to mediate that effect,” reads a 2006 study entitled Inhibition of Salivary Secretion by Activation of Cannabinoid Receptors.
Dehydration can lead to dizziness, confusion, fatigue and anxiety. Stay hydrated with water and sugar-free liquids as opposed to sodas, sports drinks, energy drinks or caffeinated beverages.
If you get your blood moving and pumping through your body with stretching, walking, dancing, running, jumping, screaming (if you don’t have neighbors nearby that might get concerned), practicing yoga or anything that gets your body moving and grooving, it can ground you and put your mind back in the present moment.
Don’t let the couch lock get the best of you. A human in motion tends to stay in motion and a human at rest tends to stay ruminating in emotion.
Personally, I think about this tweet a lot:
Gnight.— Lin-Manuel Miranda (@Lin_Manuel) June 5, 2018
Inertia’s a heluva drug.
If you’ve been going nonstop, be an object at rest.
If you’ve been at rest too long, get in motion.
YOU decide your momentum, love