Readers of this site are probably users, enjoyers, and supporters of cannabis, and also likely have had an experience that was less than pleasant. I personally smoked a blunt followed by a wax dab a few months ago and found myself riddled with anxiety. My mind started wandering to places where I was uncomfortable, questioning sent texts, seeing fuzzy stars… instead of feeling pleasant, why does cannabis sometimes bring on paranoia, anxiety or other unpleasant side effects? Of course, there are factors at play in how cannabis affects each of us, like our tolerance levels and attitude and environment… but usually, these must be set into motion by sativa cannabis.
Sativa and indica cannabis are known to be different for their effects and flowering properties: Respectively, sativa has been described tall and thin leafed, providing energy and mental stimulation while indica is short and thick, bodily relaxing. THC is the psychoactive component, CBD the relaxing. Part of why CBD products have become hugely popular, but also require much further investigation, is that purported difference between these types. CBD allegedly provides little to none of the mental effects. At the very least, none of risky issues for the panic attack prone have been studied or found to be problematic by supporters of CBD. I personally love CBD, especially in my skin products. A CBD vape is also a nice treat, and a THC-free joint. Ultimately, the terpene profile, the levels of these components in each strain, differences in breeding provide different highs and flavors create the high.
While different for each consumer, being generally anxious, even if only in certain situations, will place you at a higher risk for negative THC effects. Smoking too much of highly psychoactive strains and methods when you may already be feeling nervous is likely to accelerate that feeling. By controlling your dose and sticking with indicas or lower THC, higher CBD strains, you can minimize the risk.
What if you’re curious though? I love sativas, and only when my tolerance has been lowered compared to an especially potent smoke session do I experience the high panic attack. They’re definitely my preferred strain for staying awake, active and present. It’s hard to trust that side of the coin when you’ve been shaken, though. Having had to babysit enough people in my presence who couldn’t handle that high, I would never peer pressure anyone to try sativas unless they were ready. Honestly though, the existing science says each individual strain is a much better way to think of how you want to experience your cannabis, instead of dividing those into the two broader categories. “Not all sativas” and “not all indicas” is the important takeaway here. Dividing each of these seems to be an easy way to vaguely explain effects to consumers, but just to try the strain and method of consumption until you know what you like. If I were to recommend a starting point to those looking for cannabis suited to that strange need of human labeling, these sativas have a good reputation for limiting paranoia…
Just remember to check out reviews, always smell and try your product in limited doses initially… change up your consumption method, it’s a learning process. You never know when you may stumble upon what you love