Delta-8, Delta-9, and Delta-10 are different forms of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), which is the psychoactive compound found in cannabis. The use of THC, especially among teenagers, and these devices can have significant effects on the developing adolescent brain. It can potentially cause panic attacks.
Here’s how these vapes can contribute to panic attacks:
- Anxiety and Paranoia: THC is known to induce feelings of anxiety, paranoia, and panic in some individuals, especially when consumed in high doses or by those who are sensitive to its effects. These feelings can be particularly distressing for teenagers who may not have the coping skills to manage such intense emotions.
- Increased Heart Rate: THC can lead to an increase in heart rate (tachycardia). This physiological response can be uncomfortable and may trigger or exacerbate panic attacks in individuals who are prone to anxiety.
- Heightened Sensory Perception: THC can enhance sensory perception, making individuals more aware of their surroundings and bodily sensations. In some cases, this heightened awareness can be overwhelming and lead to panic.
- Distorted Perception of Time: THC can alter the perception of time, making it feel like time is passing more slowly. This distorted perception can contribute to feelings of unease and panic.
- Lack of Control: For some teenagers, the effects of THC can lead to a perceived loss of control over their thoughts, emotions, and physical sensations. This feeling of loss of control can contribute to panic attacks.
It’s important to note that while panic attacks themselves are not harmful to the brain, they can have a significant impact on a teenager’s mental and emotional well-being. The experience of panic attacks can be highly distressing and have several indirect effects on mental health:
- Increased Anxiety: Repeated panic attacks can lead to heightened anxiety and fear of future attacks. This can contribute to the development or exacerbation of an anxiety disorder, such as panic disorder, generalized anxiety disorder, or social anxiety disorder.
- Avoidance Behavior: To prevent experiencing another panic attack, teenagers may begin to avoid situations or places where they previously had an attack. This avoidance behavior can limit their daily activities and social interactions, negatively impacting their mental health and overall quality of life.
- Depression: The chronic stress and anxiety associated with panic attacks can increase the risk of developing depression, especially if panic attacks are frequent or severe.
- Substance Use: Some individuals may turn to substances, including drugs and alcohol, as a way to cope with the distress caused by panic attacks. Substance misuse can worsen mental health issues and lead to addiction.
- Impaired Quality of Life: Panic attacks can interfere with a teenager’s ability to function well at school, work, or in social settings. Over time, this can lead to a decreased sense of self-worth and overall life satisfaction.
Fortunately, effective treatments are available for panic attacks and related anxiety disorders. Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), medication, and other therapeutic approaches can help teenagers manage their symptoms, reduce the frequency and severity of panic attacks, and improve their overall mental health.
It’s essential for parents, educators, and healthcare professionals to educate teenagers about the risks associated with THC use and encourage open and honest discussions about substance use. Prevention programs that emphasize the importance of delaying substance use until adulthood can help reduce the likelihood of teenagers experimenting with THC and its derivatives. Additionally, seeking professional help is crucial if a teenager is struggling with substance abuse or addiction.