​Why Pot Makes You Paranoid—but Mellows Out Your Buddies

short for tetrahydrocannabinol, is the psychoactive compound of cannabis, which binds directly to the cannabinoid receptors, says Kinsey. At lower doses this tends to be pretty relaxing. However, the higher the dosage, the more likely it is to spark an anxious reaction.

It’s called a biphasic response, says Gerdeman. As you start to take in small amounts of THC, it can cause a therapeutic effect. But the higher you go, the more likely you are to trigger the opposite effect.

Controlled research here is limited and individual tolerance varies, says Gerdeman, but a recent study provides a benchmark. Researchers from the University of Chicago tested how the amount of THC influenced how 42 pot users reacted to a stressful situation. Those who took in 7.5 milligrams (mg) of THC felt less stressed by a mock interview than those given a placebo, and their stress levels went down

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