Anxiety Attacks have been reported among some novice cannabis users and also among some Marinol recipients. Three primary causes are cited: A) Some clinical studies have relied on cannabis obtained “on the street” and consumed by persons having no prior experience with the illegal drug, generating a certain amount of anxiety, which seems appropriate, and is therefore easily discounted; B) Novice users may simply be unaccustomed to the effects of cannabis, and therefore may in some cases interpret a slight increase in their circulation and heart rate as feelings of anxiety; C) Synthetic delta-9 THC is known to be much more psychoactive than other cannabinoids present in natural marijuana, and is more potent than natural cannabis.
At least one of the cannabinoids not found in Marinol, CBG, is known to have a sedative and anticonvulsant effect that counters the mental stimulation of THC.
Whatever the cause of anxiety attacks reported by a few users, such feelings are easily calmed by reassurance. Anxiety attacks generally subside in several minutes as the psychotropic effects dissipate.
Interestingly enought, Thomas F. Denson, PhD, Professor of Psychology at the California State University at Long Beach, and Mitch Earleywine, PhD, Associate Professor of Psychology at the State University of New York at Albany, wrote the following in their Apr. 2006 study titled "Decreased Depression in Marijuana Users," published in Addictive Behaviors:
"Those who consume marijuana occasionally or even daily have lower levels of depressive symptoms than those who have never tried marijuana. Specifically, weekly users had less depressed mood, more positive affect, and fewer somatic complaints than non-users. Daily users reported less depressed mood and more positive affect than non-users... Our results add to the growing body of literature on depression and marijuana and are generally consistent with a number of studies that have failed to confirm a relationship between the two after controlling for relevant variables...
The potential for medical conditions to contribute to spurious links between marijuana and greater depression requires further investigation."