Anyone that’s a seasoned smoker will tell you that getting too stoned can quickly lead to paranoia and anxiety.
While marijuana has been known to have positive effects for those suffering from anxiety, the same area of the brain that gets this benefit is also the part of the brain that can cause paranoia in some smokers. The amygdala is a portion of the brain that controls processing of emotions, and it can also promote or quell fear based responses. In some people, this area of the brain is stimulated with certain strains of weed, which causes marijuana induced paranoia.
Besides being a major buzz kill, it has also caused many long time smokers to quit for years at a time, or even the rest of their lives. Luckily, there is relief for smoker’s anxiety and paranoia, and it’s probably in your kitchen right now.
Black pepper, the simple spice you put on many dish’s is the trick. According to a study published in the British Journal of Pharmacology, cannabis and pepper have very similar chemical traits. Specifically, pepper has what is called a phytocannabinoid-terpenoid effect, which has been shown to help with anxiety, depression, pain, and addiction. When you combine this with the THC in cannabis it has a synergistic reaction on cannabinoid receptors of the brain. Or in lay-man’s terms, when you combine the terpenoids in pepper with the THC in cannabis it has a calming effect.
Depending on a person’s sensitivity, different amounts of pepper may be needed for effect. Many users have responded that simply smelling ground pepper can stop the effects of anxiety caused by cannabis use. Others have said that sucking or chewing on peppercorns can also have the desired effect, although it can take longer to occur.
Either way smokers should rejoice. You can quit getting paranoid about getting paranoid as long as you have some pepper on hand. If you would like to read the full study about the phenomena, you can find it here.