Well aren’t I popular lately? Anyways someone asked about a reddit post so I’m extracting it here for an external link. I believe it has enough context by itself
Weed increases divergent thought.
Divergent thought is the process that makes connections between concepts. So if I say “dog” there are things that immediately come to mind. With weed and other things that increase divergent thought, you literally come up with more things.
That is what is behind the paranoia. You are making more connections, which means more creativity. BUT it doesn’t mean those connections are valid. Paranoia is the result of those new connections instilling fear.
I’ve rarely had issues with even minor paranoia when smoking. I wondered about this for a long time. I have a mix of mental health issues. PTSD being one of them. The reason I don’t get paranoid when I smoke is because I am used to grounding myself. With mental health issues I regularly experience stimulus that isn’t “real”. I’ve had to learn to figure out what is myself exaggerating stimulus and what is actually real.
If you regularly experience paranoia here are some tips
Paranoia can be seen somewhat as being “triggered”. When I am triggered into something my mind is taken from me and I need to work on returning it to where I want it. When you are taken by paranoia your mind is going somewhere that you don’t want it to. The techniques I use to prevent myself from being triggered are the same techniques someone with paranoia issues can use to stay calm.
Grounding is the name of the technique. The concept is to bring yourself back to reality by focusing on what you know is real. Grounding objects can help, like in inception. Something that you personally know, something that ties you to something you know is real. Carry a marble that reminds you of your mother, when you start to get paranoid. Rub it, and think about what you know is real.
Touch a surface near by, close your eyes and concentrate on a sound that you understand like birds or water.
Your mind is running away from itself, it’s creating a false reality without your permission. You can’t simply will it to stop. You have to show it that the reality it is creating is wrong. That’s what grounding is. You reminding your brain what is real and what isn’t.
My biggest experience with smoking and paranoia was in the first year of smoking. I got incredibly high and suddenly got the idea that my heart had stopped beating. I was freaking out for about a minute when it occurred to me: “My heart COULD have stopped beating, or I am high and imagining it” and that was enough to calm me down, remembering I normally don’t control or feel my heart.
Let go of the ground and explore the cosmos. But when things get out of hand bring yourself back. Remind yourself what is real and what is not. Practice mental control and happy tripping.
Paranoia is caused by divergent thought, and can be helped with grounding techniques