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General information regarding marijuana

Marijuana or cannabis contains the active chemical tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) which causes the hallucinogenic and euphoric feelings experienced by users of this drug.

This drug is used by people in order to experience the mental and physical effects of relaxation and an elevated mood. Some acute or immediate side effects of marijuana include an increased appetite for carbohydrate and fat rich foods, dry mouth and red eyes but more importantly decreased motor skills and a decrease in short term memory and concentration. 

Its use is illegal in most countries but some have been able to legalize it for use in medical conditions such as management of bone pain associated with cancer, autoimmune conditions such as Crohn's colitis and severe muscle spasms such as in cerebral palsy.

Neurological adverse effects

Marijuana use has been linked with severe neurological complications. Long term use of the drug has led to morphological changes of the areas of the brain which are involved with emotions, executive functioning and though processing.

This drug has also been associated with the presentation of psychotic symptoms such as hallucinations and delusions and has increased the risk of patients developing mental health conditions such as schizophrenia.

Anxiety and paranoia

Although marijuana has a calming and muscle relaxing effect and can thus reduce states of stress and tension, it can also cause one to experience acute anxiety and paranoid feelings. People with an existing anxiety disorder would then be more at risk in experiencing issues with marijuana use.

The issue here is that marijuana tends to affect users differently. In people who experience this increased anxiety, the reason could rest behind the person's perception of the mental and physical effects experienced. These effects are a foreign experience to a new user and may trigger anxious feelings.

The effects of marijuana are the same as a panic attack as well. Therefore, a person can experience an increased heart rate, troubled breathing and poor coordination and think that they are indeed having a panic attack. This then causes a vicious cycle of anxiety further worsening the symptoms and then paranoia starts to set in.

Fear of getting caught using the drug also increases stress levels which can trigger a panic attack together with the associated effects of marijuana use.

It's not difficult to see then that marijuana use can cause increased anxiety by eliciting mental and physical effects in predisposed individuals.

Management 

These adverse effects tend to resolve a few hours after stopping use of the drug so it isn't necessary to take any medication for it.

If the problem worsens to the point that the user starts to become a danger to themselves or others, though, then it would be best to transfer them to an emergency room where they can be stabilized and further managed. 

The best way to manage the anxious and paranoid feelings due to marijuana use is done by avoiding using this drug.

If you are struggling with stopping the use of marijuana then it would be suggested to speak to your primary care doctor about this in order to receive the correct help for this problem.

 

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