Marijuana is highly variable. While frequent users have a solid routine with their weed consumption, marijuana can straddle the line between deep relaxation and intense paranoia, with a single variable being able to tip the scale in either direction. And that’s without accounting for the hellish times we’re living through.

Paranoia is a common occurrence when consuming marijuana, something that might turn people off if they’re feeling stressed out. There’s no standard way of preventing it, but there are ways of controlling some of the variables that might cause you to spiral out of control.

THC is a complex compound; there’s a lot of mystery surrounding it and the data that exists is sparse and conflicting, but when it comes to its effect on anxiety there’s one clear answer. Small amounts of THC are effective at mitigating anxiety and larger amounts are likely to increase the odds of experiencing it.

As always, marijuana is deeply personal and there’s no one size fits all approach; what may work for tempering my anxiety may not work on you, but it can provide you with a helpful frame of reference. Here’s how to avoid marijuana paranoia during the pandemic:

The THC/CBD ratio is important

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The relationship between CBD and THC is important, particularly when it comes to anxiety and paranoia. CBD plays an important role when mitigating the psychoactive effects of THC. Strains with high amount of CBD or with equal amounts of CBD and THC may not provide you with the giggly euphoric yet delightful mess of THC, but may still leave you feeling relaxed after a long day spent of staring intently at your computer.

Keep track of your triggers

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If you’ve had bad experiences with marijuana, try to remember what happened that day that triggered it. Was it the strain? Was it your mood? Was it the people you were with? Keep in mind these variables whenever you’re planning on toking up and limit your amount of stressors. Start off slow, preferably with something you’ve tried before and increase or experiment as you go.

When in a fragile mental state, opt for caution

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While marijuana can be used to treat anxiety, timing is very important. When experiencing your anxiety peak, try your best to take it easy. If you’re planning on having weed, control the amount of THC you consume, and smoke only with people you trust and feel comfortable with.

This post was originally published on The Fresh Toast