Why Does Cannabis Make Some People MORE Anxious?

Why Does Cannabis Make Some People MORE Anxious?

While cannabis is often associated with relaxation and euphoria, some individuals experience heightened levels of anxiety and discomfort after consuming it.

Here, we aim to explore the factors contributing to this phenomenon and shed light on why cannabis can make some people more anxious.

One crucial factor in the relationship between cannabis and anxiety is individual variation.

Each person's biology and brain chemistry are unique, leading to varying responses to the psychoactive compounds found in cannabis, primarily THC. For some individuals, the effects of THC can induce feelings of stress, anxiety, and unease instead of relaxation, tranquility and calmness. 

The concentration of THC in cannabis products can significantly impact the likelihood of experiencing anxiety.

Higher levels of THC are more likely to induce anxiety-related symptoms. Additionally, the ratio of THC to CBD, another compound found in cannabis, plays a role. CBD has been reported to have potential anxiety reducing effects, counteracting some of the anxiety-inducing properties of THC. Strains with higher CBD content and lower THC-to-CBD ratios are generally considered to be less anxiety-provoking. 

The complex interactions between cannabinoids and the endocannabinoid system (ECS) in the brain contribute to the effects of cannabis and its link to the feeling of anxiety. The ECS helps regulate mood, stress responses, and anxiety levels. THC interacts with cannabinoid receptors in the brain leading to changes in neurotransmitters. Disruptions in the balance of neurotransmitters, such as serotonin and gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA), can result in increased anxiety levels.

Individuals who already have anxiety disorders or other mental health conditions are at a higher risk of experiencing anxiety when using cannabis.

This is because cannabis has the potential to intensify existing anxiety symptoms or activate latent anxiety that may have been dormant. Additionally, excessive use of cannabis or consuming high levels of THC can raise the likelihood of developing or worsening anxiety disorders in vulnerable individuals. It is crucial for those with pre-existing mental health conditions to be mindful of these risks and seek professional guidance when considering cannabis use.


Environmental factors, such as the physical and social context in which cannabis is consumed, can influence an individual's response.

Stressful or unfamiliar settings, social pressure, or negative prior experiences with cannabis can all contribute to feelings of anxiety. The setting or even the company you choose to consume cannabis with can play a significant role in determining the overall cannabis experience. If you are someone who has experienced anxiety while consuming cannabis, it may be crucial for you to find a comfortable environment, surround yourself with good energy and find a strain that best suits your needs.

While cannabis is generally perceived as a substance that promotes relaxation and euphoria, it can elicit anxiety in some individuals.

The interplay between individual differences, THC levels and ratios, neurochemical interactions, pre-existing mental health conditions, and environmental factors contribute to this phenomenon. Understanding these factors can help individuals make informed decisions about their cannabis use, leading to a more positive and anxiety-free experience.

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