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The Paradoxical Effects Of Marijuana


marijuana effectsBy Robert Bergman

Marijuana has the “paradoxical” ability to produce reactions that are often diametrically opposed. For instance, it can typically be used to ease nausea, spasticity, pain, and insomnia, but it can also magnify those problems for certain individuals. Marijuana is also known for its ability to produce euphoria, pleasure, or relaxation at one time and depression or anxiety at another. In large part, marijuana’s paradoxical nature stems from the fact that its effects are filtered through the highest centers of human consciousness. That’s why the French poet Baudelaire called referred to hashish as “the mirror that magnifies,” a description that emphasizes the importance of personality as well as set and setting.

The effects of marijuana appeal differently to different people. Those who enjoy it tend to utilize it to heighten their senses. They might smoke prior to eating, listening to music, watching plays or films, taking a walk or hike, spending time with others, or just thinking. All of these activities can seem enhanced while high. Many users report increased feelings of creativity and inspiration, although sometimes these creative efforts don’t match up with sober standards. Many individuals report feelings of extreme euphoria, exhilaration, goodwill, empathy, and even religious awe. They suggest that marijuana allows them to think about serious matters fluidly, to become introspective and spiritual, and to get to the true essence of important subjects.

Those who dislike marijuana often complain of increased anxiety, self-consciousness, paranoia, social withdrawal, irritability, dysphoria, and occasional loss of self-control. It also might severely hamper their ability to work, concentrate, and function.

Set and Setting

Marijuana’s effects are quite responsive to changes in one’s set and setting. Set is basically what the user brings to the drug prior to smoking (i.e., his or her own medical situation, psychology, physiology, state of mind, etc.). Thus, some patients show a natural proclivity to marijuana’s therapeutic benefits where others won’t. Setting refers to the external situation wherein the user takes the drug (i.e. the physical, sensory, and social environment). People who might find marijuana to be rewarding will likely react with discomfort in the wrong circumstances. For instance, if they are pressed by obligations, uncomfortable with unpleasant company, or placed in disagreeable surroundings, they might have an entirely different experience with marijuana. Read more on Medical Marijuana here.

Cannabis Substitutes

Even though marijuana remains an illegal Schedule 1 drug, pharmaceutical companies have sought to duplicate its effect with cannabis substitutes, including:

-Marinol (generically known as dronabinol) consists of synthetically manufactured THC.
-Sativex is a natural cannabis extract being developed in the U.K. and is legally available in Canada.
-Naboline is a synthetic cannabinoid analog that is marketed in the U.S. under the name of Cesamet.

Source: ILoveGrowingMarijuana.Com


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Johnny Green


  1. I love weed, I’ve smoked it for years, but I found when I was selling it and smoking it constantly I was always paranoid and anxious. I also hate going out in public on my own like a mall when I just smoke, I have a heightened sense of self-consciousness and it’s not fun, maybe because it’s still socially unacceptable who knows. However I moved away stopped selling it and now smoke only on days off and now i find most of those side effects have disipated, I guess it’s all about finding that balance. I’ll never completely quit smoking weed, I need my medicine.

  2. I remember when I try smoking for the first time, I was about 15 or 16 and the effect it gave me was just not what i expected don’t know what kind it was but i was just out of control like drunk but worst i could not stand on my own so i never try it again until a few year back and now it the opposite of back then :-) i try a few times after that first time and it was the same way that is why for years i did not try it again

  3. what is interesting is how dispensaries are always boasting about the THC% of their top shelf, but thru my own breeding program, I crossed an imported sativa(less THC, more “headiness”) to an elite fire OG female(high THC and sativa-dominant) the resulting hybrid is about half the potency of a 100% OG strain grown the same way, but the MEDICINAL properties(anti-depressant, actually IMPFOVING memory) are MUCH greater. Oh, and about half the females get these really beautiful pink-tinged hairs!

  4. Yes. Set and setting are extremely important. One huge factor of set and setting missing from this article is the fact that law enforcement is looking for you so they can put you in a cage (in most states – at least temporarily) and give you an arrest record that will make you a second-class citizen for LIFE.

    Naturally, such a huge threat is the elephant in the living room of set and setting, and would explain many negative aspects some report after consuming marijuana, like the above-mentioned: ” anxiety, self-consciousness, paranoia, social withdrawal, irritability, dysphoria, etc.”

    It’s not paranoia if they really are out to get you. — Re-legalization will bring a whole new world!

  5. Yes set and setting are important, but dose may play an equally important factor in weather or not you achieve euphoria, or dysphoria.
    For a first time user that is used to guzzling beer after beer, and or chain smoking tobacco. They may tend to overdose in their first tokeing session, and get a dysphoric high. So, first timers, take it slow, this is not alcohol.

  6. Willie Nelson always said “Marijuana doesn’t change you, an asshole can smoke a joint and he’ll still be an asshole”.

  7. People unfamiliar with the marijuana high may experience negative effects if they use to much in the beginning, so I encourage new marijuana patients to start with very small doses and that way they can learn to enjoy the psychoactive effects over time rather than be afraid of it. That usually works. The setting has everything to do with it, as mentioned here, so I also encourage them to be safe and sound in their home and try to have an weed-experienced person with them the first couple of times they indulge. Although there may be some people who really can’t smoke weed, I don’t believe there are too many of them, and that there’s a kind of weed out there for everyone. Experimenting to find the best strain for an individual can be fun, and should be.

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