Why does smoking marijuana cause paranoia?



Never did for me.

As Bill Cosby said, “It intensifies your personality.” (Yes, but what if I’m an asshole? Ba-da-bump. I’ll be here all week.)

I think there’s something to that. If you have a sort of control-freak paranoia bent about your personality, smoking weed may bring that out. I have a friend who refuses to smoke because she gets very paranoid. She also hates rollercoasters. She acknowledges that she likes to be in control. Marijuana is one of those substances that make some people feel as if they are not in control. (I believe control is an illusion and smoking marijuana just sort of opens your eyes to reality instead of letting you believe in your interpretation of reality.) No control = fear, ergo, paranoia. IMHO.

I’ve only gotten paranoid if there was a cop following me and I had something in the car.

Who sent you here to ask?

Why would you ask me that?!? Are you trying to imply something?!?


I’ve ingested marijuana (either by smoking it or consuming it in cakes) on a few occasions, and have usually felt paranoid when the drug has had a really strong effect on me. I attribute this not to any action of the drug itself, however, but more my reaction to the drug’s effects. For example, the first time I really got stoned happened when I ate some cake with marijuana in it at a party. I wasn’t even aware that the cake had dope in it (though it did taste rather yucky), and that drug only took effect once I’d left the party some time later, and started walking somewhere else. When the marijuana hit, it hit HARD. Time seemed to be reduced to a series of disconnected moments, and I felt as though I was constantly waking up because things that had happened even a few seconds earlier seemed to have an unreal, dream-like quality about them. As you might imagine, this was a very frightening experience, particularly as it got so bad that I didn’t even trust myself to cross the road and get to the other side without being hit by a car. No wonder I was paranoid!

Unbelievably, I got caught out in exactly the same way, again at a party, several years later (though the cake didn’t taste as bad this time around). I was riding home on my bike after that party when I suddenly realized that I could no longer feel my legs (having also drunk a fair bit of alcohol, my first reaction to this rather unsettling sensation (or, rather, lack thereof) was to wonder if this was what the term “legless” meant!). Very soon thereafter, I found myself doubting my ability to remain on the road and stay out of the way of other road users, so got off my bike, transferred myself to the footpath, and began walking myself and my bike home: a rather long journey as it would turn out. Again, I experienced that “constantly waking up” feeling, and was scared stiff that, given how “out of it” I was feeling, I would let go of my bike, leave it by the roadside, and blissfully continue on my way without it. When I finally got home, however, I still had my bike with me, but found it difficult to put it away for the night because, given my rather bizarre mental state at the time, I wasn’t 100% sure that I was home! It took me a while to go to sleep that night because, incredibly, I’d forgotten about the other very similar experience I’d had with being stoned in this manner, and had been convinced that all my woes had been caused by alcohol. Therefore, I was scared that, should I doze off, I’d throw up in my sleep and choke. It was only the following day - much of which I spent feeling as though my brain was dissolving into the cerebrospinal fluid surrounding it - that I realized that marijuana had probably been the culprit. I know I’ve wandered off on a bit of a tangent here, but I just thought I’d mention this story because it’s pretty funny in retrospect.

When I first started smoking marijuana (~ age 17), it did not cause paranoia — quite the opposite, in fact. I became more relaxed and trusting of other people and far less conscious of my self as a presence that might be treated as a foreign “other” by the people I was with. I would describe my personality prior to pot as uptight and wary, and my history of meshing with and fitting in with folks was pretty dismal. I “got over myself” in a big way thanks to pot, became dramatically less inclined to carry around with me a huge ledger of judgmental litmus-testing for determining whether people were nice people or people I had to be wary of.

Unfortunately, the marijuana = comfortable-with-people thing was ruined for me, in a way that felt and still resonates as horrible betrayal. I was very badly beaten and driven into a cactus patch and my car vandalized by four guys at a party, in front of a larger (~10-15) audience of apparently approving people, essentially because one guy there decided I must be gay and had said something to him he thought no guy (or no gay guy) should ever say to him.

So from then on marijuana wasn’t (necessarily) the province of hip together peaceful people who were above violence, and relaxing into unwary trust of others was no longer safe, so I experienced the loss of defenses when “stoned” as being dangerously “peeled” and started getting the paranoia thing about whether people were exchanging glances with regards to me or pushing me along into a sequence of events that I would not like. So I tapered off until I’d rarely smoke and would say “bye” and go off on my own once I was high and finally it just wasn’t something I ever did any more.

Usage of marijuana allows your brain to partially block the Illuminati’s(and their fellow secret organizations) mind-control/pacification rays, allowing to you to see that there are things to be truly paranoid about. This is why the government keeps marijuana illegal, despite it being no more harmful than alcohol or tobacco. (And alcohol actually boost the mind-control rays effectiveness, which is why it is legal, despite the harmful effects is causes. Mind-control rays of the type currently in use were invented in the late '20s; Prohibition was ended so that the mind-control would be more effective. )

And note that areas where marijuana is legal/decrimilized are merely the areas where the Illuminati & Sanrio are testing new drugs(by adding them to the water supply, contaminating people’s precious bodily fluids) that reduce THC’s effectiveness as mind-control blocker.

Da Cissy Pimp: Dude, you’d better lay off the shit if it effects you that way. I’ve ‘ingested’ plenty, and haven’t come close to the Magical Mystery Tour stuff you’re talking about. :wink:

And don’t forget the 1920’s style death rays too!!!


Mind control. Wow. Wait, death rays? Where? :eek:

Sounds like the teachings of J. R. “Bob” Dobbs to me.

Uh-uh. Not in this thread ya don’t. No death rays in here. Move along.

Nothin’ to see, folks.


AHunter3, sounds like a pretty lousy experiance. I hope you made those bastards pay.


Because there is right-wing idiot named John Ashcroft who, for reasons puzzling me, seems to associate Marijuana with terrorism. I don’t know, but I highly doubt that Marijuana contributes anything to terrorists acts to the USA; Heroin and Cocaine yes, but Marijuana no. I propose that the American people should have to buy a license each year if they want to smoke Marijuana. For instance have them pay 100 dollars per year if they want to have up 10 grams in their home and pay 250 dollars per year if they want to grow up to five plants. That would eliminate the supposed funding of terror dollars and pot heads would be happy to smoke and grow, and more conservatives would be happy that they would be paying for it. If you are out there saying “Yes, but I don’t want my children to see other people smoking Marijuana,” then do it like Bill O’reilly says and only have people smoke it indoors or at designated areas and if they don’t follow those rules then arrest them on the spot and don’t tie up the court system with a trial. Case in point, problem solved.

Pardon the paranoia, but wouldn’t that then mean that the government then has a database of all those who are smoking/growing pot via extending licenses to them? :eek: Like I’d want my name on THAT list. Seems to me that the less paranoid might be okay with that, but then I’d (allegedly) just have to get stuff from them and take the same chance as getting stuff (allegedly) now (illegality and all).

(And with much sarcasm…) Only “American people”? :dubious:

:smiley: :eek: :confused: :eek: :smiley:

Well, it could be the fact that, if you smoke, or even posses marijuana then there really are people who are “Out to get you”. There are, in actual fact, thousands of people being paid to get you. And most of them have guns, and they intend to throw you into a cell for at least a few years, and in a few cases, for a very long time.

So, all in all, which is most likely to cause paranoia? Drug affects are subtle, The DEA is not.

Pot smokers are only crazy if they aren’t paranoid.


Well, after some Googling and a visit to the Vaults of Erowid, it seems there hasn’t been much science time devoted to this particular issue. The best theory I saw is that maybe it makes the slightly paranoid more paranoid, just like it makes the slightly unmotivated person more unmotivated or the slightly stupid person more stupid. One for-sure physical effect of Our Beloved Mary Jane is an increased heart rate. Maybe the brain notes that the heart rate is elevated and interprets it as anxiety and then fills in the blanks, creating things to be anxious about when there aren’t any.

In my own anecdotal experience, one of the things I’ve always enjoyed about the demon weed is the rush of ideas and speeding up of thoughts that accompay the high. Sometimes this is helpful in creative endeavors. Other times, you just end up thinking in circles and, well, getting paranoid.

I’d love to see some real science on this, if anyone has any more luck than I in finding any.

Just because you aren’t paranoid…does not mean they aren’t out to get you.

And who is giving you guys my punchlines?

Dammit-man! Stop it! You’re.freakin’.me.out. :eek: