According to a review in 2009, regular cannabis consumers have more anxiety than people who do not consume cannabis. There is a significant number of individuals who developed symptoms aggravating anxiety before the initial symptoms of cannabis dependence.
This trail of evidence made the scientists believe that people with pre-existing anxiety use cannabis as an anxiety-relieving medicine. They oppose the idea that cannabis might be the cause behind anxiety among the users.
The using patterns of cannabis might help comprehend behavioral tendencies. However, researchers conclude that anxiety symptoms vary from person to person.
The risk factors for aggravating anxiety are also multidimensional as genetic susceptibility, sex of the individual, personality traits, anxiety disorder type, paranoia episodes, abstinence state, and basal anxiety measures.
The risk factors involving cannabis include the frequency, types of active ingredients consumed, dosage, and setting.
Anxiety undoubtedly evolves uniquely in every person, and the risk factors are variable at a massive scale. However, scientists have noted that chronic consumers of cannabis often note a decline in anxiety.
On the contrary, occasional users complained of having more paranoid episodes with more intensity. With the increase in THC dosage, people also experienced higher anxiety levels.
Cannabis effects on an individual scale are unpredictable for now before its use. However, a better understanding of risk factors that include both environmental and biological factors can better guide people.
The relationship between cannabis and paranoid episodes is mostly related to the brain.
Active ingredients of cannabis, like tetra hydra cannabidiol, bind to cannabis receptors present in the brain. Most of these receptors belong to the amygdala, part of the gray matter involved in emotional processing, stress, fear, and paranoia.
When the THC interacts with the amygdala, a modification in the neural pathways in the brain takes place. This modification can result in over-excitation of the pathways leading to high paranoia and anxiety. This situation is more in individuals who are not regular cannabis users.
Scientists are, however, not aware of the situation yet. A proper understanding of the endocannabinoid system of the human body may guide scientists to have a better idea of the situation.
In simple words, there are receptor sites present in our body that are receptive to cannabinoids. Moreover, they also include those sites that are responsive to endocannabinoids. Endocannabinoids are the naturally occurring compounds in the body, similar to cannabinoids.
If the individual is under stressful condition or is faced with trauma, these endocannabinoids in the body start to decrease. This deficiency is compensated by artificial compounds like THC that produce a relaxing effect on the brain. This is the reason why many chronic users are fans of its anti-anxiety effects.
According to science, the cannabinoids from the cannabis restock the endocannabinoids in the human body. Therefore, the overall effect is therapeutic. The connection is also related to PTSD studies, and it might have positive effects on other mood disorders.