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When I went to my local marijuana dispensory, since recreational use of it is legal, they told me that when I first use it, I might get paranoid. When I read this word in context, I imagined somebody being afraid of getting caught. So, wouldn't you be paranoid if you didn't want other family members knowing that you smoked weed? Or, would this feeling or emotion be sharpened by THC?

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When I read this word in context, I imagined somebody being afraid of getting caught.

I would say that in the context of Marihuana, and modern parlance, the phenomenology of what we might call "paranoia" is more akin to an exaggerated anxious-preoccupation with matters that one might otherwise not concern themselves with.

So, wouldn't you be paranoid if you didn't want other family members knowing that you smoked weed? Or, would this feeling or emotion be sharpened by THC?

I think both. I know people who think that by paying attention to the emotions or concerns that are sharpened under the influence of Marihuana, they will gain some sort of insight into their own underlying preoccupations. In other words: you will only be paranoid of family members knowing you have consumed Marihuana if this was always floating around in your mind.

when I first use it, I might get paranoid. When I read this word in context, I imagined somebody being afraid of getting caught.

In my native Australia, Marihuana is an illegal and dangerous narcotic.

However, supposing during my College days, before I got right with God, one of the Jazz musicians in my group pulled some out some leaves that he had dried earlier that day. And he rolled it and we smoked it just like you would an ordinary cigarette.

And I was crossing the road as the traffic lights were red. And all of a sudden I became self-conscious of the way in which I was walking and started feeling foolish and odd. And I started developing a concern that all people sitting in their cards, waiting for the lights to turn green, were watching me walking and knew I was walking strange. Which meant that they knew I was tripping on Marihuana.

I don't know, you tell me: is that paranoid, or social anxiety, or self-consciousness? Or Is it some deeper, profound insight into the thoughts that may have been floating around all along, just below my conscious awareness?

Or was I just really high, confused as fuck, and looking for something to eat at 2 a.m. in the morning?

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Studies have shown that strong doses of THC can significantly increase paranoid thinking. See the article, "How Cannabis Causes Paranoia: Using the Intravenous Administration THC to Identify Key Cognitive Mechanisms Leading to Paranoia" by Freeman et al. for a more authoritative reference.

From the article:

In this large study of intravenous THC (Schizophrenia Bulletin, Volume 41, Issue 2, 1 March 2015, Pages 391–399), it was definitively demonstrated that the drug triggers paranoid thoughts in vulnerable individuals. The most likely mechanism of action causing paranoia was the generation of negative affect and anomalous experiences.

And, certainly, anxiety over people “finding out” you are doing something that can be perceived as wrong or inappropriate can lead to paranoia.

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    $\begingroup$ I am surprised this answer has been upvoted, it doesn't answer the original question at all. The OP asks what 'paranoid' refers to - this answer just says 'paranoid thinking occurs' and contains a link (without any of the content in the actual answer, just the link, which may die in the future) to information about the mechanisms. $\endgroup$ – Bryan Krause Mar 9 '18 at 19:50
  • $\begingroup$ @BryanKrause -- content from the study has been added. $\endgroup$ – tale852150 Mar 9 '18 at 20:14
  • $\begingroup$ Thanks for adding that - however, you still have not answered the original question. $\endgroup$ – Bryan Krause Mar 9 '18 at 21:08
  • $\begingroup$ @BryanKrause - well the OP initial (question) general is quite different from the OP elaboration that follows. $\endgroup$ – tale852150 Mar 9 '18 at 21:11

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