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Can you ‘trip’ off of Marijuana?

January 14, 2013 by  
Filed under Marijuana, Trip

Tripping on marijuana

Can you ‘trip’ off of Marijuana?

The short answer to this is yes. You can ‘trip’ off of marijuana. Marijuana has psychoactive effects, like other narcotics. Psychoactive drugs affect the central nervous system mainly by influencing the release of neurotransmitters or mimicking their actions. While many psychoactive drugs clearly fall into the category of either – stimulant, depressant, or hallucinogen, cannabis exhibits a mix of all properties. It has mild hallucinogenic effects, usually at higher doses.

Can you ‘trip’ off of Marijuana? THC and the brain

The main active ingredient in Marijuana is THC. When THC is ingested or inhaled, it binds to the cannaboid receptors in your brain which are located in the central nervous system and cells of the immune system. THC has mild to moderate painkilling effects. THC also appears to alter mood and cognition through its actions on the receptors it binds to. The highest density of cannabinoid receptors are found in parts of the brain that influence pleasure, memory, thinking, concentrating, sensory and time perception, and coordinated movement. THC also increases appetite and consumption of food because of its action on the hunger centers in the brain.

THC also produces highly subjective effects such as enhanced enjoyment of music and distorted time perception. At higher doses, a ‘trip’ off of marijuana can include altered body image and auditory and visual hallucinations. Sometimes, at very high doses, this can even include full hallucinatory experiences.

The ‘trip’ off of marijuana can also cause dissociative states. These states can include depersonalization, where you feel like you are watching yourself interact and do things without any control over your actions or behaviors. Another dissociative state is derealization, where you can feel like the external world is not real. For some users, the ‘trip’ off of marijuana is desirable, but for others it can cause extreme panic attacks, anxiety and paranoia.

Can you ‘trip’ off of Marijuana? Bad Trip

Since you can ‘trip’ off of marijuana, you can also have a bad trip off of marijuana. A “bad trip” is an experience where the euphoria of the high turns into something more sinister. It may be triggered by a threatening environment or the surfacing of an unconscious memory or simply because you become overwhelmed by the trip and can’t make the effects of the drug stop. A bad trip is characterized by intense feelings of paranoia, sensations of dying, fear, and anxiety. It may also include frightening visual hallucinations.

Marijuana also produces high heart rate, which can add to the effects of a bad ‘trip’ off of marijuana. The increase in heart rate increases feelings of anxiety and paranoia. THC has been shown in rats to activate the same receptors that are overstimulated in people with schizophrenia. It can cause you to perceive mild events as scarier as or more important than they really are. People who use marijuana regularly tend to see patterns in events that aren’t real. This can lead to belief in conspiracy theories and other delusional belief systems.

Sources:

http://healthland.time.com/2011/04/06/why-pot-smokers-are-paranoid/

http://jgonzalez101.com/NarcsandDangerousSubsweek11.html

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Effects_of_cannabis#Psychoactive_effects

 

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