It seems counterintuitive to lack confidence while high. After all, many users of cannabis rely on it to relieve symptoms of anxiety and depression. Cannabis has been indicated to have beneficial terpenes that may help with a variety of ailments.
Studies have indicated that cannabis may help to uplift and elevate moods. Despite this, many may find that they lose their confidence while toking up.
If this happens to you, don’t feel strange. It is surprisingly common. Users sometimes report feeling self-conscious and over-analyzing social situations when they would normally be happily baked. There are several probable explanations:
- You have an analytical mind: Often, those that have analytical patterns of thought may be prone to trying to discover what makes the world around them tick. As an overthinker, you may find yourself not just pondering the mysteries of the universe, but also your place in it. This process may make you extremely aware of yourself in a group of friends or when you’re out in public.
- You aren’t letting yourself relax: If you’re an overthinker (see number 1) you may have trouble letting go of the everyday hassles that plague you when you aren’t high. Taking a breather and lighting one up should make you feel less stressed. But if you’re having trouble getting yourself to chill out, then you may find that you’re hyper-aware of everything you do.
- You’re in a new environment: Sometimes taking a puff-puff-pass requires that you be in a familiar place. If you’re with friends or people you just met and you’re in a place that is unknown to you, that could make you more anxious than normal. Our brains are wired to crave the familiar and to feel suspicious of new people and new places. It’s a natural inclination and one that could explain your lack of confidence.
- You may be smoking the wrong strain: When it comes to strains, one size does not fit all. What may be a great strain for one person may cause paranoia in another. THC is a psychoactive component in most strains, and too much of it can cause feelings of anxiety, social awkwardness, and hyperawareness.
What You Can Do to Feel More Confident While High
Smoking weed is an activity many engage in to relax. Smoking a joint after a long, stressful day often sets the stage for better sleeping patterns and induced feelings of social connectedness. So, understandably, you’re probably frustrated that you can’t relax. However, there are a few things you can do to ensure that your toking experience is the best.
1. Try Smoking Somewhere Familiar – Around Those You Know Best
This may seem obvious, but it’s a tried-and-true method, especially for newbies. Smoking somewhere that is familiar may stir feelings of contentment and trust. Our brains are wired to like anything familiar. This includes faces, places, and things we use in our daily lives. That’s why that blankie you may have liked as a kid was comforting.
Your old room may inspire warm and fuzzy feelings because it was familiar territory. Similarly, and old family friend may stir up great childhood memories. This phenomenon is so prevalent in humans that advertisers often take advantage of this. They use what is known as the “mere exposure effect.”
The mere exposure effect describes the psychological phenomenon where anything we think that is comforting or familiar will automatically be looked upon with fondness and adoration. Use this to your advantage and smoke in an area that you are comfortable in, with people that you know very well.
By smoking in a familiar place and around others you’re comfortable with, you may feel less prone to anxiety and paranoia. The next time you light up, try going back to a place you love and filled with people that you enjoy being around. Like the sitcom “Cheers,” there’s nothing better than going “somewhere where everybody knows your name.”
2. Introduce Relaxation into Your Daily Life – And Unplug Yourself
Weed is an awesome way to shrug off the worries of the day, but before you light up, try incorporating some relaxation into your daily life in other ways. Before lighting up, turn off anything that may arouse feelings of stress or anxiety. This may mean turning off your phone and TV. In fact, unplugging from the world for a bit each day may be good for you in general.
Social media, calendar reminders, text messages, etc. can take up residence in our brain, even when we don’t want them to. Studies show that too much time on your phone can actually be damaging to your brain. Hearing about the latest tragedy, the next bill that must be paid or setting up plans for your in-laws to visit is enough to set anyone on edge – even someone that is trying to get high.
Make it a habit to unplug yourself from social media, your phone, and even television before you toke up. Spend an hour or two not worrying about your timeline, checking your messages or feeling the need to brush up on the latest trends.
Instead, focus on your relaxation and your emotional needs. By taking the focus off what may stress you out, you give yourself the mental space to enjoy your buzz.
3. Find the Right Strain
Find a strain that works for you. This may take a little bit of tweaking and experimentation, but it’s all worth it in the end. If you’re smoking something like Tahoe Alien, you’re dealing with a pretty potent strain.
If you’re a newbie or sensitive to high levels of THC, you may want to take it easy with a strain like this. Or better yet, try a strain that still has the power of THC, but has a bit more CBD to balance it. Talk to your local budtender if you need some guidance, or take a look at some reviews to get an idea of what types of strains are out there.
4. Realize That You’re Okay; No One is Judging You
When you’re smoking, it’s easy to think that people are looking at you or feeling some way about you being around. The truth is, we often project our feelings onto experiences and others. If you begin thinking that way, try to remember that you may be on the wrong track.
Most people are not judging you. If you’re smoking with others, more than likely, they are enjoying their own buzz and are in a relaxed state and more than likely are in a nonjudgmental frame of mind. So try to take in a few calming breaths and ease into your high. If you remind yourself of this often, you may find yourself relaxing a lot more when you’re getting lifted.
5. Switch Up How You Get Your High
Not only should you experiment with strains, you should also try to switch up how you consume marijuana. Weed is a versatile substance. It can be smoked, vaped, taken sublingually (tinctures) and even eaten (find a few recipes here).
If you find yourself getting super paranoid and hyper-aware, try to get your fix in other ways. Changing up your routine may be enough to shake your psyche out of its rut.
6. Have Some CBD-Only Products on Hand
CBD has been cited as counteracting some of the effects of THC. If you feel some anxiety or paranoia coming on during a smoke sesh, try downing a CBD capsule or inhaling some CBD vapes. There are tons of other ways to get your CBD, however. There are CBD-enriched foods like gummies; and even CBD water.
CBD is the other major component of weed. It lacks the psychoactive effects of THC. This means that it doesn’t affect cognition the way that THC does. This is because CBD influences bodily processes and functions indirectly, whereas THC directly binds to the receptors in your brain that help to regulate mood, temperature, and movement.
7. Get Hydrated
If you’re feeling self-conscious and paranoid, this may be a sign that the THC content is a little too much for you. An aggressive high is often something that happens to everyone – not just newbies. Finding the strain that strikes just the right balance takes some patience. In the meantime, if you’re already experiencing symptoms of anxiety or self-consciousness, drink some water or juice.
You need to flush out some of the THC in your system. Once you’ve lowered the levels to a comfortable amount, you should toke low and slow.
Final Thoughts on Staying Confident While Toking
Lighting up is an experience that many say alleviates chronic pain and helps with other conditions and disorders. It should be relaxing and stress-free. If you’re getting high and you find that you are losing confidence and are hyper-aware of how others may see you, don’t panic.
You’re not the only one to have gone through this experience. But don’t think that you can’t enjoy your weed while in the company of others. There are some things you can do that may curb or alleviate these feelings altogether.
Take some time to try and tweak a few things and see what works. Marijuana consumption works best when you try to customize things to fit your unique needs.