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Offlinecakbatter
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Physiologically, why does MARIJUANA cause Anxiety?
    #15896754 - 03/04/12 12:12 AM (2 years, 1 month ago)

This is something I have always wondered.

I find pot such an amazing and fascinating drug and fell in love with it after about my third time smoking it. It made everything so NEW and VIBRANT. Music sounded like I was inside of it, movies that I had seen numerous times would feel like movies I had never seen before when I was high, food exploded with pleasure in my mouth.

Everything just turned blissful.

However, recently I have been dealing with one of Cannabis's main drawbacks and negatives. Marijuana induced anxiety.

I have tried avoiding high thc strains and go after strains that are more rich in CBD (I have access to these since I am a California Medical Patient), I have also tried seeking out Indica strains and avoiding Sativa's to avoid the anxiety/panic that Pot gives me. However, this tactic is sort of hit and miss and I still get anxiety from some strains despite everything.

I have solely come to the fact that there is definitely a link between the plant itself and anxiety in the brain, its sad but true, and has made me quit on numerous occasions. Only to be craving the exhilihirating high a few weeks in.

I usually give into the sensations and start smoking again but will eventually hit the panic/anxious loophole and have to quit again.

This is starting to piss me off and I know it is not "all in my head" as lots of stoners like to tell me, or even that I am predisposed, because many stoners I know in real life and on the Internet, identify with getting very panicky/anxious with weed so its definitely one of its side effects.

I have basically come here to ask, what does the component of the plant due to the cells of the brain to make users slip into panic or paranoia like states?

I have heard many theories such as the THC messes with the Amgydala of the brain, causing stressors to rapid fire and go off and eventually it can pass on into sobriety (being anxious/panicking without even smoking) but I would like to here different insights into this if any of you guys know?

I am currently on a Weed break right now and I am want to get stoned really bad but I smoked some Mango a few weeks ago which almost slipped me into a panic like mood which has caused me to halt my use.

Anyone who can provide me with insight into how Cannabis effects the brain would be awesome...


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OfflineSubconscious
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Re: Physiologically, why does MARIJUANA cause Anxiety? [Re: cakbatter]
    #15896778 - 03/04/12 12:23 AM (2 years, 1 month ago)

There was a study posted on here a while back relating to this very topic... if I remember correctly they claimed there was a temporary observable difference/decreased brain activity in the regions of the brain associated with anxiety in people high on marijuana.

Might be able to dig it up with the search function...

Edit- Couldn't find it, but didn't search too hard. Either I'm full of shit or it's out there somewhere...


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Re: Physiologically, why does MARIJUANA cause Anxiety? [Re: Subconscious]
    #15896819 - 03/04/12 12:41 AM (2 years, 1 month ago)

My personal view on this is that marijuana only causes anxiety because it's classified an illegal substance, so, sub consciously anxiety can emerge.

I would write down what exactly the anxiety is about- what thoughts are you having that are making you feel anxious? Then go from there.....


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OfflineJimLahey
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Re: Physiologically, why does MARIJUANA cause Anxiety? [Re: LearningNoob]
    #15896828 - 03/04/12 12:43 AM (2 years, 1 month ago)

I can get anxiety from weed and its nothing to do with the legality of it, I have a medical card and could give a fuck less if I get a ticket for smoking weed. Sometimes it just causes bouts of anxiety in me, more so likely with Saivas than indicas


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Offlinecakbatter
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Re: Physiologically, why does MARIJUANA cause Anxiety? [Re: LearningNoob]
    #15896871 - 03/04/12 12:58 AM (2 years, 1 month ago)

Quote:

LearningNoob said:
My personal view on this is that marijuana only causes anxiety because it's classified an illegal substance, so, sub consciously anxiety can emerge.

I would write down what exactly the anxiety is about- what thoughts are you having that are making you feel anxious? Then go from there.....





Yeah I keep hearing this all over the internet ("WEED MAKES YOU ANXIOUS BECAUSE ITS ILLEGAL") and honestly dont believe it for a second, no offense, I know you are just stating your theory and I 100% respect that, its just this doesnt explain the fact that there are lots of people who are long term users and have never had trouble with Weed, suddenly slip into panic attacks randomly after a smoke sesh.

Quote:

Subconscious said:
There was a study posted on here a while back relating to this very topic... if I remember correctly they claimed there was a temporary observable difference/decreased brain activity in the regions of the brain associated with anxiety in people high on marijuana.

Might be able to dig it up with the search function...

Edit- Couldn't find it, but didn't search too hard. Either I'm full of shit or it's out there somewhere...




Yea, its cool man, I've seen some theories myself but never really fell into a definitive answer. Even many pot smokers who fell into permanent panic frenzies and anxiety disorders (even while sober) went to take brain CT scans only to find everything normal with their brain.

Charles Linden from the Linden Method of Eliminating Anxiety claims that Marijuana induced Anxiety is due to the altering of the stress levels of the Amygdala that the drug itself causes, which sadly can pass onto sobriety ans takes lots of therapy/medication (depending on the case and its severity) to get the Amygdala back to its regular and normal stress levels. Still though, I have no idea what actually Cannabis does to cause this, its got me so curious...

http://www.panic-anxiety.com/articles/cannabis-marijuana/

Quote:

JimLahey said:
I can get anxiety from weed and its nothing to do with the legality of it, I have a medical card and could give a fuck less if I get a ticket for smoking weed. Sometimes it just causes bouts of anxiety in me, more so likely with Saivas than indicas




Yeah dude, same here I am a Cannabis Patient in Northern California and the shits practically legal where I live. Completely legal for me since I have a card. I have no paranoia/anxiety of being "caught".

I cant handle Sativas, they have me gripping my heart/chest for dear life during the duration that I am high.

Indicas are hit and miss for me. Have had some that completely relaxed me and provided me with no anxiety whatsoever, but also have had some that convinced me I was going to die due to the rate of my heart beat.

The only thing that provides me with consistently good results are very low THC, high CBD strains but the problem with those is they dont really get you high enough to experience some of the pleasures that Cannabis has to offer. They just make you feel sober with a kind of lingering slight head buzz, similar to that of a cigarette.


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Re: Physiologically, why does MARIJUANA cause Anxiety? [Re: cakbatter]
    #15896901 - 03/04/12 01:07 AM (2 years, 1 month ago)

It's funny that it causes anxiety in some people, when I use it to help me with Bipolar.  I also take other vitamins and natural stuff though.  It makes me not anxious at all though.


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Re: Physiologically, why does MARIJUANA cause Anxiety? [Re: sanchothestoner]
    #15896962 - 03/04/12 01:26 AM (2 years, 1 month ago)

Unfortunately anxiety is just a reasonably common side-effect associated with cannabis. I often experience it though I've learnt many ways to cope with/avoid anything serious. I would say there's nothing you can do to 100% prevent anything anxiety if you are one of many prone to experiencing it. Just know what to expect when you smoke and ease your way back in to it, don't smoke too much in any one sitting. You can certainly became accustomed to these negative effects and learn what works and what doesn't.

Some tips that may/may not work :shrug: -

Smoke less, this is obvious. Work your way back into it.
Try edibles, personally I am less prone to get anxious when taking edibles, though it can be a pretty strong high.
Pay attention to set/setting as if you were taking a traditional psychedelic such as LSD.
Avoid large groups.


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Invisible5-HT2A
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Re: Physiologically, why does MARIJUANA cause Anxiety? [Re: birdland]
    #15897106 - 03/04/12 02:19 AM (2 years, 1 month ago)

http://www.wired.com/wiredscience/2008/01/chem-lab-the-sc/

Quote:

In the January issue of Neuropharmacology, which happens to have a marijuana theme, two teams of researchers tried to explain what causes some people to feel paranoid when they smoke weed.

If you think it’s impossible to have too much of a good thing — think again.

In the first sentence of their research paper, a group of Italian scientists explained that low doses of tetrahydrocannabinol — the psychoactive chemical in marijuana — tend to be calming while large amounts have the opposite effect.  What they wanted to know is: which parts of the brain cause those moods?

Daniela Parolaro and her team at the University of Insubria were keen on finding an answer.

By injecting small amounts of the marijuana-derived drug into different parts of a rat’s brain and then watching for behavioral cues, they learned that THC works wonders in the prefrontal cortex and ventral hippocampus, but causes anxious behavior when dribbled into the basolateral amygdala.

German biochemists had an even better story to tell: Beat Lutz and his colleagues at Johannes Gutenberg-University studied an enzyme that is partially responsible for anxiety. Make a drug that can slow it down and you may be able to prevent paranoia.

They proved their point in two ways: Knockout mice, animals lacking the genetic recipe for that protein, were resistant to nervous behavior. Also, unusually nervous lab mice were calmed by an experimental chemical that inactivates the same molecule.

What does all of this mean? Scientists still don’t have paranoia all figured out, but they are getting there quickly. In the meantime, don’t freak out!




http://healthland.time.com/2011/04/06/why-pot-smokers-are-paranoid/

Quote:

Paranoia is one of the most unpleasant “side effects” of marijuana. It’s also a key experience shared by marijuana smokers and people with schizophrenia. But exactly how does smoking a joint cause the feeling that dark forces are conspiring to do you wrong?

New research in rats may help explain the source of this distress. The study, led by Steven Laviolette at the University of Western Ontario in Canada, involved training rats to fear the scent of either almond or peppermint. The scents were delivered to rats in a cage either with black-and-white striped walls or with black polka dots on a gray background. (The rats were not pre-tested for their taste in interior design.) One scent was accompanied by an electric shock to the rodents’ feet, while the other scent was not.

At the same time, researchers experimented with the activity of the CB1 receptors in a certain region of the rats’ brains. These cannabinoid receptors are activated by the main psychoactive component of marijuana, THC. In some rats, the scientists blocked CB1-receptor activity; in others, they used a marijuana-like drug to enhance it.

When scientists blocked the CB1 receptors in a region called the basolateral amygdala — which is involved in the processing of fear and emotion — the rats that got strong electric shocks did not learn to fear the associated scent or the cage in which they received it. After getting shocked, they were just as happy as unaffected rats to explore the cage and smell the scent.

When rats were given a drug that enhanced cannabinoid-receptor activity, however, even receiving a minor shock was enough to cause them to freeze with fear when they were later exposed to the cage and its related scent. Without the marijuana-like drug, small shocks did not have the same effect.

The findings, published in the Journal of Neuroscience, suggest that activity in the basolateral amygdala is involved in marijuana-induced paranoia (the state of becoming afraid of things that wouldn’t normally trigger fear). That means marijuana is actually enhancing a type of learning about fear, leading the brain to jump to conclusions about mild experiences involving particular places or things, and to perceive them as scarier and more strongly connected than they are.

This increased fear-based learning helps explain why stoners tend to see patterns in events that aren’t real, such as conspiracies. (Of course, to be fair, the rats in this experiment were justifiably paranoid: they were being experimented on!)

Interestingly, the researchers also found that they could prevent the enhanced fear learning in rats given the marijuana-like drug by inactivating activity in a region called the prefrontal cortex before exposing them to the shocks. The prefrontal cortex is a higher-level brain area involved in executive functions like planning, decision-making and controlling responses and impulses. In humans, this could potentially explain why telling yourself or being told, “Chill out, you’re just high,” can help. (This may not work if the police actually are coming to arrest you.)

The researchers point out that both of the brain regions studied are implicated in the pathology of schizophrenia, and that understanding their interconnections could lead to better treatments for the disorder.

“We know there are abnormalities in both the amygdala and prefrontal cortex in patients who have schizophrenia, and we now know these same brain areas are critical to the effects of marijuana and other cannabinoid drugs on emotional processing,” said Laviolette in a statement.




There you are. :dancer:


Edited by 5-HT2A (03/04/12 02:25 AM)


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Offlinecakbatter
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Re: Physiologically, why does MARIJUANA cause Anxiety? [Re: 5-HT2A]
    #15898667 - 03/04/12 01:14 PM (2 years, 1 month ago)

Quote:

5-HT2A said:
http://www.wired.com/wiredscience/2008/01/chem-lab-the-sc/

Quote:

In the January issue of Neuropharmacology, which happens to have a marijuana theme, two teams of researchers tried to explain what causes some people to feel paranoid when they smoke weed.

If you think it’s impossible to have too much of a good thing — think again.

In the first sentence of their research paper, a group of Italian scientists explained that low doses of tetrahydrocannabinol — the psychoactive chemical in marijuana — tend to be calming while large amounts have the opposite effect.  What they wanted to know is: which parts of the brain cause those moods?

Daniela Parolaro and her team at the University of Insubria were keen on finding an answer.

By injecting small amounts of the marijuana-derived drug into different parts of a rat’s brain and then watching for behavioral cues, they learned that THC works wonders in the prefrontal cortex and ventral hippocampus, but causes anxious behavior when dribbled into the basolateral amygdala.

German biochemists had an even better story to tell: Beat Lutz and his colleagues at Johannes Gutenberg-University studied an enzyme that is partially responsible for anxiety. Make a drug that can slow it down and you may be able to prevent paranoia.

They proved their point in two ways: Knockout mice, animals lacking the genetic recipe for that protein, were resistant to nervous behavior. Also, unusually nervous lab mice were calmed by an experimental chemical that inactivates the same molecule.

What does all of this mean? Scientists still don’t have paranoia all figured out, but they are getting there quickly. In the meantime, don’t freak out!




http://healthland.time.com/2011/04/06/why-pot-smokers-are-paranoid/

Quote:

Paranoia is one of the most unpleasant “side effects” of marijuana. It’s also a key experience shared by marijuana smokers and people with schizophrenia. But exactly how does smoking a joint cause the feeling that dark forces are conspiring to do you wrong?

New research in rats may help explain the source of this distress. The study, led by Steven Laviolette at the University of Western Ontario in Canada, involved training rats to fear the scent of either almond or peppermint. The scents were delivered to rats in a cage either with black-and-white striped walls or with black polka dots on a gray background. (The rats were not pre-tested for their taste in interior design.) One scent was accompanied by an electric shock to the rodents’ feet, while the other scent was not.

At the same time, researchers experimented with the activity of the CB1 receptors in a certain region of the rats’ brains. These cannabinoid receptors are activated by the main psychoactive component of marijuana, THC. In some rats, the scientists blocked CB1-receptor activity; in others, they used a marijuana-like drug to enhance it.

When scientists blocked the CB1 receptors in a region called the basolateral amygdala — which is involved in the processing of fear and emotion — the rats that got strong electric shocks did not learn to fear the associated scent or the cage in which they received it. After getting shocked, they were just as happy as unaffected rats to explore the cage and smell the scent.

When rats were given a drug that enhanced cannabinoid-receptor activity, however, even receiving a minor shock was enough to cause them to freeze with fear when they were later exposed to the cage and its related scent. Without the marijuana-like drug, small shocks did not have the same effect.

The findings, published in the Journal of Neuroscience, suggest that activity in the basolateral amygdala is involved in marijuana-induced paranoia (the state of becoming afraid of things that wouldn’t normally trigger fear). That means marijuana is actually enhancing a type of learning about fear, leading the brain to jump to conclusions about mild experiences involving particular places or things, and to perceive them as scarier and more strongly connected than they are.

This increased fear-based learning helps explain why stoners tend to see patterns in events that aren’t real, such as conspiracies. (Of course, to be fair, the rats in this experiment were justifiably paranoid: they were being experimented on!)

Interestingly, the researchers also found that they could prevent the enhanced fear learning in rats given the marijuana-like drug by inactivating activity in a region called the prefrontal cortex before exposing them to the shocks. The prefrontal cortex is a higher-level brain area involved in executive functions like planning, decision-making and controlling responses and impulses. In humans, this could potentially explain why telling yourself or being told, “Chill out, you’re just high,” can help. (This may not work if the police actually are coming to arrest you.)

The researchers point out that both of the brain regions studied are implicated in the pathology of schizophrenia, and that understanding their interconnections could lead to better treatments for the disorder.

“We know there are abnormalities in both the amygdala and prefrontal cortex in patients who have schizophrenia, and we now know these same brain areas are critical to the effects of marijuana and other cannabinoid drugs on emotional processing,” said Laviolette in a statement.




There you are. :dancer:




Yeah I read the whole thing so I guess its an issue with the stress levels of the amygdala.

The scary thing is in this article they said that schizophrenics show abnormal behaviour in the prefrontal cortex and the amygdala and that being STONED affects the same areas.

Would this mean that long term Marijuana use (repeatedly altering the amygdala and prefrontal cortex) does indeed lead to schizophrenia?

Most pro-pot people will tell you it does not and I didn't think it would either but I mean after reading this article, the proof is in the pudding, dont ya think?


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OfflineImmortalZodd
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Re: Physiologically, why does MARIJUANA cause Anxiety? [Re: 5-HT2A]
    #15898695 - 03/04/12 01:22 PM (2 years, 1 month ago)

I have dealt with anxiety like this before when smoking cannabis, and it was much more prominent in the beginning of my smoking career when I was still trying to get a "feel" for smoking bud.

In my personal experience, I find that the anxiety that I get is just a frame of mind that can be changed through mental focus and gentle self-reassurance. I guess you could compare it to trying to focus on positive thoughts and feelings while tripping in order to steer the trip towards a more pleasant experience. I have had some serious anxiety attacks before, but thanks to this new mindset and practice, I have been able to successfully squash the anxiety bug as soon it rears its head.


Next time you feel anxious while smoking, treat yourself the same as you would if you were tripping and things were going south... calm center, focused breathing, gratitude for your "trip", and self-reassurance. After all, smoking bud is a trip itself... maybe not as potent or intense as other trips but a trip nonetheless.

Hopefully this will help. I know it did for me! :goodluck:


--------------------
...the illegality of cannabis is outrageous, an impediment to full utilization of a drug which helps produce the serenity and insight, sensitivity and fellowship so desperately needed in this increasingly mad and dangerous world.

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InvisibleMush 4 Brains
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Re: Physiologically, why does MARIJUANA cause Anxiety? [Re: LearningNoob]
    #15898721 - 03/04/12 01:28 PM (2 years, 1 month ago)

Quote:

LearningNoob said:
My personal view on this is that marijuana only causes anxiety because it's classified an illegal substance, so, sub consciously anxiety can emerge.

I would write down what exactly the anxiety is about- what thoughts are you having that are making you feel anxious? Then go from there.....



Meth causes anxiety and paranoia only because it is classified as an illegal substance.:rolleyes:

My personal belief is that people who say marijuana relieves anxiety, are so accustomed to being high that they're anxious and uncomfortable without it.


Edited by Mush 4 Brains (03/04/12 01:55 PM)


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OfflineDr.Tooty
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Re: Physiologically, why does MARIJUANA cause Anxiety? [Re: cakbatter]
    #15898759 - 03/04/12 01:37 PM (2 years, 1 month ago)

Nice, I had never read anything about this before.

I've had anxiety attacks since sometime around the 5th grade, and was "diagnosed" with depression/anxiety disorder as a teen.
Medications didn't really help and at 17 I was introduced to marijuana, which did wonders for me and I soon stopped taking any medication.

Skip ahead 5 years, I have my first bad trip/ego death experience and for about 3 months after, I would get terrible anxiety anytime I smoked weed. It still shows up from time to time, especially if I smoke more than a bowl a day.

At least I haven't gone schizophrenic like my mother.


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Re: Physiologically, why does MARIJUANA cause Anxiety? [Re: Mush 4 Brains]
    #15899047 - 03/04/12 02:55 PM (2 years, 1 month ago)

Quote:

Mush 4 Brains said:
Quote:

LearningNoob said:
My personal view on this is that marijuana only causes anxiety because it's classified an illegal substance, so, sub consciously anxiety can emerge.

I would write down what exactly the anxiety is about- what thoughts are you having that are making you feel anxious? Then go from there.....



Meth causes anxiety and paranoia only because it is classified as an illegal substance.:rolleyes:

My personal belief is that people who say marijuana relieves anxiety, are so accustomed to being high that they're anxious and uncomfortable without it.




Mushrooms/LSD are illegal substances and many people can trip with no anxiety whatsoever. Yet a few hits of weed will put those same people into a panic attack.

I think the legality thing is a weak argument. Just search around these boards and you'll find a good amount of people who love to trip but can't smoke weed because on anxiety issues.


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OfflineMelkor
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Re: Physiologically, why does MARIJUANA cause Anxiety? [Re: Subconscious]
    #15900332 - 03/04/12 08:08 PM (2 years, 1 month ago)

I don't think marijuana causes anxiety.  I'm pretty sure it relieves anxiety


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OfflineILikeACID
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Re: Physiologically, why does MARIJUANA cause Anxiety? [Re: Melkor]
    #15900343 - 03/04/12 08:12 PM (2 years, 1 month ago)

Quote:

Melkor said:
I don't think marijuana causes anxiety.  I'm pretty sure it relieves anxiety



Yeah um... I have anxiety when not smoking marijuana and it helps me with my anxiety. I guess everyones different though.


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OfflineMelkor
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Re: Physiologically, why does MARIJUANA cause Anxiety? [Re: ILikeACID]
    #15900357 - 03/04/12 08:18 PM (2 years, 1 month ago)

Yeah I've always believed anxiety is internal, it can kinda be brought out by certain substances but its all in you


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Re: Physiologically, why does MARIJUANA cause Anxiety? [Re: Melkor]
    #15900380 - 03/04/12 08:29 PM (2 years, 1 month ago)

Quote:

Melkor said:
Yeah I've always believed anxiety is internal, it can kinda be brought out by certain substances but its all in you



hes mocking you.... jesus stop smoking so much.


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OfflineILikeACID
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Re: Physiologically, why does MARIJUANA cause Anxiety? [Re: Kinko]
    #15900388 - 03/04/12 08:32 PM (2 years, 1 month ago)

Quote:

Kinko said:
Quote:

Melkor said:
Yeah I've always believed anxiety is internal, it can kinda be brought out by certain substances but its all in you



hes mocking you.... jesus stop smoking so much.



Wait, what?
Marijuana relieves my anxiety this is no joke lol.


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Offlinecarnage11
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Re: Physiologically, why does MARIJUANA cause Anxiety? [Re: ILikeACID]
    #15900463 - 03/04/12 08:54 PM (2 years, 1 month ago)

Only certain strains give me paranoia and anxiety.  I've found that vaping that same weed alleviates all the negative.  Which, I think has to do with the different kinds of cannabanoids in each plant.


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Re: Physiologically, why does MARIJUANA cause Anxiety? [Re: carnage11]
    #15900473 - 03/04/12 08:56 PM (2 years, 1 month ago)

Quote:

Melkor said:
I don't think marijuana causes anxiety.  I'm pretty sure it relieves anxiety




...What you mean is "Marijuana relieves my anxiety

God damn, Let's just go ahead and pretend everyone's brains are wired exactly the same.

Quote:

carnage11 said:
Only certain strains give me paranoia and anxiety.




This too.


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