It seems counterintuitive to lack confidence while high. After all, many users of cannabis rely on it to relieve symptoms of anxiety and depression. Some studies indicate that cannabis may help to uplift and elevate moods. However, other research has found that smoking marijuana could result in anxiety and panic attacks.
Therefore, it is possible to lose your confidence while intoxicated with cannabis. You might find that you over-analyze social situations or become self-conscious. What’s clear is that THC impacts people differently. This guide provides some tips on retaining your confidence while high when your mind tells you something else.
Good and Bad Things About Weed
Like everything else, there are good and bad things about weed. To provide balance, we briefly outline both sides of the coin.
Marijuana potentially has a myriad of benefits. For the sake of brevity, we focus on three.
It Generally Makes Us Feel Good
When we use marijuana, its THC hits the brain cells. This process results in the process of dopamine release. Dopamine is a chemical that makes us feel good. It is part of our brain’s reward system, making us feel happy when we do something to ensure our survival. Other things that trigger dopamine release include sex and eating.
The reward system creates euphoric feelings when you consume certain drugs. This explains why you often feel content and full of joy when high on cannabis. It is also why a growing number of people use it to help with mood disorders.
It Helps Reduce the Frequency of Seizures Associated with Epilepsy
There is research going back decades that links marijuana use with a reduction in seizures. One study published in 2003 found that the endogenous cannabinoid system regulates seizure frequency and duration. The cannabinoids in marijuana could help this system fight back against these seizures.
Cannabinoids such as THC bind to the brain cells responsible for controlling excitability and help regulate relaxation. This process helps to control seizures.
It Could Relieve the Effects of Chronic Pain
Being confident is hard when pain prevents you from enjoying life. However, there is ample evidence that cannabis has analgesic properties. A large review published by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine in 2017 analyzed over 10,000 studies on cannabis’ benefits and side effects.
The report took a detailed look into how marijuana impacted pain. It found that products containing cannabinoids were effective at relieving chronic pain. It’s no surprise that pain is one of the main reasons why MMJ patients try cannabis.
Of course, there are also unpleasant weed reactions.
The Worst Things That Can Happen from Being High on Weed
The following are potential issues associated with being intoxicated on marijuana.
Anxiety and Paranoia
Most people can probably recall when they got a little too high and had a paranoid episode. Even for the most experienced cannabis user, consuming too much may lead to anxiety and paranoia. It’s more common for inexperienced users to experience it because regular users develop a tolerance for THC. That said, no one is immune to this side effect after consuming a little too much.
Psychosis is the broad term used to describe incidents of mental illness where a person loses touch with reality. Such incidents involve delusions, hallucinations, disturbed, and confused thoughts, along with a lack of insight and self-awareness.
There is a well-established association between cannabis use and increased episodes of psychosis. A 2016 study published in the National Library of Medicine outlined this issue. It found that the risk of developing a psychotic disorder is two-fold in cannabis users when compared to non-users.
Interestingly, it’s not clear whether cannabis actually causes psychosis or is merely a potential side effect for people predisposed to the condition.
Psychosis is arguably the worst thing that can happen from being high on weed. If you experience weed-related psychosis, consider taking a break from using the substance.
Impaired Short-Term Memory Function
When you smoke too much cannabis before partaking in memory-related tasks, you may find it almost impossible to complete them. Alternatively, they may take much longer than usual. This side effect is not chronic and will only occur when you overdo it. Nonetheless, too much THC may reduce your motivation and interest in many day-to-day activities and tasks.
It’s common for cannabis users to act completely different when they’re high compared to when they’re sober. The mood swings may make it difficult to develop interpersonal relationships due to a lack of balanced behavior.
Some strains of marijuana – especially those that are high in THC – could trigger panicky “fight or flight” responses in the brain. These reactions are often worse after using certain high-THC strains. Since some people react to panic with sadness, anger, or feelings of helplessness, cannabis may sometimes trigger these emotions.
Slowed Reaction Time
For most people, the feeling that time is standing still after smoking marijuana is a sign of slower reaction times. For instance, a few minutes may feel like a few hours. You might also display signs of slowed reactions by responding to stimuli, like a crosswalk sign, too late.
Due to the risks that slow reaction times pose, operating a vehicle or heavy machinery is not recommended after consuming marijuana. This is the case even if you’ve never experienced delayed responses before.
According to a 1998 study published in the National Library of Medicine, cannabis alters blood flow to the cerebellum. The cerebellum is linked to the body’s timing system. More recently, a 2014 study published in Psychopharmacology reported that participants who consumed cannabis overestimated time by as much as 25% when compared to sober participants.
Too much marijuana may make you hallucinate. This is not the same as schizophrenia because the effects aren’t permanent. Also, it happens most often when the potency is stronger than what the smoker expects. With a hallucination, the cannabis user might perceive something that isn’t present. Temporary delusions are also a possibility during a high.
How to Enjoy Being High
Once you have determined that you want to use cannabis, the next step involves learning how to relax when high. Here is a quick guide to the process.
What Kind of High do You Want?
There are thousands of cannabis strains with dozens of possible effects. In general, though not always, indica strains provide a calming, sedating body high. In contrast, sativas tend to offer an energetic cerebral high. Choose a strain that corresponds with your requirements.
Consider the Consumption Method
If you want a fast-acting high, you need to smoke or vaporize the cannabis. You should feel an effect within minutes, depending on the strain. In contrast, edibles can take up to two hours to affect.
This means stocking up on snacks if you believe that the munchies are likely. Those who plan to smoke cannabis should also have plenty of water close by. Dry eyes and a dry mouth are likely minor effects.
You should also set the scene. If you’re unused to trying marijuana, it is best to try it in a safe place with friends.
Use Marijuana Responsibly
A common mistake is to get overexcited and consume too much cannabis. This is especially the case with edibles. If you eat a marijuana brownie or chocolate, take a small piece and wait. If you smoke or vape the weed, you should feel an effect soon enough. Again, keep your rate of consumption low to minimize the risk of side effects.
Understand the Stages of Being High
Experienced users suggest that they usually go through the following phases:
- What is Happening? For many people, this is the best part of the high. Everything hits them, and they realize that the journey is beginning.
- Euphoria: Within minutes, you will likely experience a level of joy you’ve seldom felt.
- Contemplation: At this point, you begin to analyze deep life mysteries and determine your place in the world. It is always nice to have friends around so you can engage in metaphysical conversations.
- Potential Anxiety: If this happens, you’ll temporarily have deep suspicions about how your elderly neighbor is actually an FBI agent. This feeling will pass, but it is the reason why you should find a safe place to smoke.
- Munchies: Certain strains make you want to gorge on every piece of junk food known to man. This tends to happen towards the end of the high.
- The End: Once the high finishes, you’ll feel satisfied. If you try an indica-dominant strain, you may feel tired and find it hard to stay awake. Don’t fight it! Make your way to bed, and enjoy a restful night’s sleep.
What You Can Do to Feel More Confident While High
Many people use cannabis to relax. Smoking a joint after a long, stressful day could set the stage for better sleeping patterns and induced feelings of social connectedness. So, understandably, you’re probably frustrated that you can’t relax. However, you can do a few things to ensure that your marijuana-using experience is the best.
1. Try Smoking Somewhere Familiar – Around Those You Know Best
This may seem obvious, but it’s a tried-and-true method, especially for newbies. Smoking somewhere that is familiar may stir feelings of contentment and trust. Our brains are wired to like anything familiar. This includes faces, places, and things we use in our daily lives. That’s why that blanket you liked as a kid was comforting.
This phenomenon is so prevalent in humans that advertisers often take advantage of this. They use what is known as the “mere exposure effect.” It describes the psychological phenomenon where anything we think is comforting or familiar is automatically looked upon with fondness and adoration. Use this to your advantage and smoke in an area you are comfortable in, with people you know very well.
2. Introduce Relaxation into Your Daily Life – And Unplug Yourself
Marijuana is an awesome way to shrug off the worries of the day. Before you light up, however, try incorporating some relaxation into your daily life in other ways. Before lighting up, turn off anything that may arouse feelings of stress or anxiety.
Social media, calendar reminders, text messages, etc., can take up residence in our brain, even when we don’t want them to. Studies show that too much time on your phone is potentially damaging to your brain.
Make it a habit to unplug yourself from social media, your phone, and even television before you begin. Instead, focus on your relaxation and your emotional needs. Avoiding the things that could stress you out helps you get the mental space required to enjoy your buzz.
3. Find the Right Strain
Find a strain that works for you. This may take a little bit of tweaking and experimentation, but it’s all worth it in the end. If you’re smoking something like Tahoe Alien, you’re dealing with a pretty potent strain.
If you’re a newbie or sensitive to high THC levels, you may want to take it easy. Or better yet, try a strain that has a bit more CBD to balance it.
4. Realize That You’re Okay, No One Is Judging You
When you’re smoking, it’s easy to think that people are looking at you or feeling some way about you being around. The truth is, we often project our feelings onto experiences and others. If you begin thinking that way, try to remember that you are likely on the wrong track.
Most people are not judging you. If you’re smoking with others, more than likely, they are enjoying their buzz. They are probably in a relaxed state and a non-judgmental frame of mind. So, try to take few calming breaths and ease into your high. If you remind yourself of this regularly, you may find yourself relaxing a lot more when you’re stoned.
5. Switch Up How You Get Your High
Not only should you experiment with strains, but you should also try to switch up how you consume marijuana. It is a versatile substance. You can smoke, vape, and eat it, not to mention using it sublingually. If you find yourself getting super paranoid and hyper-aware, try to get your fix in other ways. Changing up your routine may be enough to shake your psyche out of its rut.
6. Have Some CBD-Only Products on Hand
CBD could counteract some of the effects of THC. If you feel some anxiety or paranoia coming on, try downing a CBD capsule or inhaling some CBD vapes. There are tons of other ways to consume CBD, however. There are CBD-enriched foods like gummies; and even CBD water.
CBD is the other major component of weed. It lacks the intoxicating effects of THC. This means it doesn’t affect cognition the way that THC does. This is because CBD indirectly influences bodily processes and functions. In contrast, THC directly binds to the receptors in your brain that help to regulate mood, temperature, and movement.
Final Thoughts: Weed Affects People Differently
People respond differently to things, and cannabis is no exception. What you experience after consuming marijuana varies from person to person. Also, different forms of marijuana can produce unique effects. For example, edibles take longer to kick in, but the high is often more intense and longer-lasting.
Lighting up is an experience that many say alleviates chronic pain and helps with other conditions and disorders. It should be relaxing and stress-free. If you’re getting high and find that you’re losing confidence, don’t panic.
You’re not the only one to have gone through this experience. Don’t think you can’t enjoy your cannabis experience while in the company of others. There are some things you can do that may curb or alleviate these feelings altogether.
Take some time to try and tweak a few things and see what works. Marijuana consumption works best when you try to customize things to fit your unique needs.