Can terpenes make you feel paranoid? Turns out, it's not likely. If you're experiencing paranoia when smoking cannabis, odds are you're having an adverse reaction to THC. Here's everything you need to know about terpenes and paranoia.
What terpenes make you paranoid?
I'm short, none of them. Terpenes themselves don't have any mind-altering effects, though they can alter our moods ever so slightly. Terpenes in synergy with cannabinoids produce stronger mental effects, typically an elevated mood, or a better ability to focus, or anti-anxiety effects. However, they don't cause paranoia effects.
Terpenes only make up 1-2% of a cannabis strain. While terpenes help boost the effects of cannabinoids like THC, they're generally well-received by the body since they're found in every plant on earth. That said, you've been ingesting terpenes for your entire life and have a tolerance to them. On their own, they don't alter your mood. However, when taken with mind-altering substances like THC, they can change the way a high feels by providing energizing or relaxing effects.
If you find yourself feeling paranoid after smoking cannabis, there's a good chance you have THC to blame. THC is the cause of the psychoactive effect, or high, from smoking cannabis and it can be amplified by the presence of terpenes. If you start feeling paranoid, you probably just smoked too much.
Terpenes alone won't make you high or paranoid, though. The endocannabinoid system (ECS) is believed to play a huge part in cannabis-related paranoia. Terpenes and cannabinoids both bind to your ECS receptors in various parts of your brain and throughout the body. However, one area is antagonized by the presence of large amounts of THC, the amygdala. ECS receptors in the amygdala region of the brain fire up and cause fear, anxiety, stress, and paranoia as a natural flight or fight response to the high.
What to do when you feel paranoid from weed
If you feel paranoia after smoking weed frequently, you should try looking for 1:1 THC:CBD strains. CBD antagonizes THC and makes it less effective within the body. You'll still get high, but you'll feel more relaxed as it prevents THC from binding to receptors in the ECS as efficiently. It can help balance the effects of the high.
However, you can also chew a stick of gum or eat some fresh fruit. Both contain terpenes that can help relax the high and help you focus. In the future go for strains with terpene profiles containing caryophyllene, myrcene, and limonene which have anxiety-reducing abilities.
If all else fails, try normal grounding techniques. Look for things you can see, smell, touch, and hear. Move your body, go to a different room, step outside, or simply breathe. Paranoia comes and goes. If all else fails, just know that you're going to peak after about 15 minutes and feel better when you calm down.