Weed may make you giggle, feel locked into your couch, or even sleepy. As a matter of fact, weed may make you hallucinate. But, what about hearing things that aren’t there? Can weed make you hear voices? Here’s what we know.
Why Do I Hear Voices When I Smoke Weed?
Some of the responses expressed concern and said it wasn’t normal to hear voices when high.
One even said they get auditory hallucinations but they love it.
“The auditory hallucinations I get sometimes are awesome. The noise of the central air one time sounded like an old radio play with a man and a woman having an animated conversation. I could almost understand what they were saying.”
So, is it normal or not?
It can be normal to hear voices after smoking weed.
According to WebMD, being high on marijuana can cause you to experience psychotic symptoms.
As a matter of fact, a 2020 case study highlighted a 58-year-old man who has been using weed for 6 years but has started experiencing certain symptoms.
The case study says, “For the past 2 years, he started hearing voices of an unknown adult male or female with derogatory content, which others in the close vicinity could not hear. He specifically reported that these voices were more intense when he smoked cannabis and were very distressing.”
The case study also mentioned that when he stopped using weed, the voices would stop and then resumed when he started using cannabis regularly.
However, BrightQuest Treatment Center says most people who use marijuana won’t experience psychosis symptoms such as:
- Disordered thoughts
- Unusual behaviors and emotional responses
Hearing voices is a common symptom of psychosis.
However, these symptoms should disappear along with the high.
As WebMD points out, having psychotic symptoms while high, is likely due to delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC).
But what happens when you’re hearing voices when you’re not high?
Weed & Psychosis
Unfortunately, some stoners hear voices, even when they’re not high.
They may be experiencing cannabis-induced psychosis.
Reuters says cannabis-induced psychosis includes being out of touch with reality and psychotic symptoms for at least two days.
In addition, cannabis-induced psychosis, as Reuters points out, is not well-researched and can’t be easily distinguished from other psychiatric disorders. This condition also lacks a specific list of symptoms.
Reuters says that people who experience psychotic symptoms when they’re not high could be exhibiting early signs of schizophrenia.
As a matter of fact, Dr. Mikkel Arendt of Aarhus University in Risskov, Denmark was quoted on Reuters as saying that cannabis-induced psychosis may actually just be schizophrenia.
Arendt made that inference from a study he conducted. He found that people who were treated for psychotic symptoms after using weed had the same likelihood of developing schizophrenia as someone with a family history of the disease.
So, what should you do if these symptoms are lasting long after your high wears off?
Arendt says if you’re experiencing an extended psychotic episode after using weed, you should seek medical attention.
Does Weed Cause Schizophrenia?
While it may seem that weed can cause schizophrenia, scientists actually aren’t sure if it does or not.
However, BrightQuest Treatment Center says it’s not known if using weed leads to the development of schizophrenia but it may trigger episodes in someone who already has the disease or is already predisposed to it.
On the other hand, Arendt was quoted in Reuters saying “Other researchers have shown that pot smoking roughly doubles the risk of being diagnosed with schizophrenia, and that people who use marijuana and go on to develop schizophrenia become psychotic earlier than people with the illness who don’t use cannabis.”
In addition, a case report noted that “An association was found between single-nucleotide polymorphism in the AKT serine/threonine kinase 1 (AKT1) gene and increased psychosis in daily cannabis users.”
The case report explains that the AKT1 gene encodes for a protein kinase that THC activates. When THC activates it, more dopamine is released in the striatum. That may cause psychosis.
WebMD also says that having another gene called COMT can increase your chances of developing schizophrenia.
While the link between weed and schizophrenia isn’t clear WebMD says to avoid weed if you have a family history of schizophrenia or have been diagnosed with schizophrenia.
Can weed make you hear voices? It seems so! Using weed can cause some stoners to have psychotic symptoms such as hearing voices. However, if you’re experiencing symptoms of psychosis up to 2 days or more after your last smoke sesh, it’s time to see a medical professional. You may be schizophrenic and need to start treatment. Finally, if you suspect that you have schizophrenia or have a family history of the disease, it may be best to avoid weed.
Do you have more burning questions around cannabis?
Email us at [email protected] with your questions/topic suggestions and we will get back to you!