The content provided on this blog is intended for educational purposes only and should not be construed as medical advice. We strongly advise readers to seek guidance from a qualified healthcare professional regarding any medical concerns.

To reflect its medicinal nature rather than recreational use, we prefer the term ‘medical cannabis’ over terms such as ‘marijuana’, “grass”. or ‘dope’ which may carry negative connotations.

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Readers should be aware that the legality of medical cannabis varies by location, and this disclaimer may be subject to periodic updates.

When people talk about weed hallucinations, it often raises questions: Are these just myths, or is there truth to them? If you are wondering the same, you’ve come to the right place. 

This blog will dive into the facts and clear up the confusion. We’ll explore if the idea of weed hallucinations is based on rumours or if science supports it. Stay tuned as we unravel the mystery of cannabis and its effects on perception.

The Science of Weed and the Brain

To understand the effects of weed, we have to look at tetrahydrocannabinol or THC – the component of cannabis that creates the well-known ‘high’.

How THC Works in the Brain

THC operates by mimicking certain naturally occurring chemicals in the human brain, binding to cannabinoid receptors known as CB1. These receptors are found in regions that govern processes such as thought, memory, and perception. When THC activates these receptors, it can alter the release of neurotransmitters, leading to changes in mood, pain perception, and other bodily functions. 

Consequently, THC has cognitive effects, potentially affecting concentration, memory, and decision-making capabilities. It also has the ability to alter mood, which can manifest as euphoria or, in some instances, anxiety or paranoia.

The Role of the Endocannabinoid System

Central to the behavioural effects of THC is the endocannabinoid system (ECS), a complex cellular network that plays a key role in regulating physiological processes, including mood, appetite, pain sensation, and memory. 

More specifically, the ECS comprises endocannabinoids that bind to specific receptors throughout the brain and body to maintain homeostasis. THC’s psychoactivity arises from its interaction with this system, improving (or disrupting) the physiological balance maintained by endogenous cannabinoids.

Can Weed Cause Hallucinations?

Hallucinations – experiences or sensations that appear real though they are not actually occurring – are traditionally categorised into three main types: visual, auditory, and sensory. 

Type of Distortion Description
Visual Seeing shapes, colours, or objects that aren’t there.
Auditory Hearing sounds or voices without an external source.
Sensory Feeling touches or movements on the body in the absence of physical contact.


While typically associated with psychedelics, there’s ongoing research into how THC, the psychoactive compound, can potentially induce these distortions. In fact, a pivotal 2018 case study highlighted in Cannabis and Cannabinoid Research delves into the psychotropic aspects of THC and its capacity to induce hallucinations. [1]

The findings suggest that while uncommon, THC can trigger hallucinatory experiences in a small fraction of users, especially at high doses or when used in potent forms. Moreover, the study suggests that the mechanism of action might be different from classic hallucinogens.

The researchers quote:

“The hallucinatory experience in this case was qualitatively different than that typically experienced by participants receiving classic and atypical hallucinogens, suggesting that the hallucinatory effects of cannabis may have a unique pharmacological mechanism of action.”

Comparing Cannabis With Other Hallucinogens

Close-up of unusual blue-brown mushrooms.

We often think of substances like lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD) or psilocybin (magic mushrooms) when hallucinogens come to mind. These are known for their potent mind-altering effects, including vivid hallucinations. 

While it’s clear they belong in the hallucinogen category, the assignment of THC into the same group isn’t as straightforward.

Substance Type of Hallucinations Intensity Duration Mechanism of Action
Cannabis Mostly mild visual and sensory Lower Varies, usually hours Interacts with the endocannabinoid system
LSD Visual, auditory, and sensory High 8-12 hours Acts on serotonin receptors
Psilocybin Visual, auditory, and sensory Moderate to high 4-6 hours Acts on serotonin receptors


While all these substances can alter perception and sometimes lead to distortions, the nature, intensity, and prevalence of these experiences significantly differ among them. Most noteworthy is the rarity of hallucinations when it comes to THC in comparison to authentic hallucinogens like LSD and psilocybin. 

Debunking Myths: Cannabis-Induced Experiences

In this section, we tackle some widespread misconceptions about the relationship between cannabis and hallucinations, drawing upon scientific evidence. Our goal is to shed light on the facts, differentiating between anecdotal beliefs and what research tells us.

Understanding the nuance is key to the conversation about marijuana. With controlled use and considering one’s health history, the experience of severe sensory perceptions is extraordinarily uncommon.

Myth: Cannabis Always Causes Hallucinations

Research shows that while marijuana can alter perception, the incidence of true hallucinations is quite rare and typically associated with high doses. Visual or auditory ones are not commonly reported among users of low to moderate doses.

Myth: The Stronger the Cannabis, the More Likely the Hallucination

It’s not solely the potency that may contribute to altered sensory perceptions but rather the individual’s sensitivity and existing psychological factors. To this end, variables such as the user’s mental health status and genetics play a significant role in the response to weed.

Myth: Hallucinations Induced by Cannabis Are Harmful and Indicate Psychosis

While prolonged and excessive use can potentially heighten the risk for psychosis in vulnerable individuals, the occasional experience of mild perceptual changes does not signify underlying psychiatric disorders. 

Factors Influencing Hallucinations

Within the realm of psychedelic experiences, hallucinations form a spectrum of sensory illusions influenced by numerous factors. Conditions that might increase the likelihood include the potency of the product, the mental health status of the user, and the setting in which cannabis is used.

1. Dosage: The Impact of THC Concentration

A significant factor is the quantity of the psychoactive compound ingested. According to a study from 2021 class analysis published in Addictive Behaviors, consumption of high-potency variants like ‘skunk’ has been associated with a twofold increase in paranoia symptoms. Moreover, frequent indulgence and higher amounts per use were linked with an increased risk of weed hallucinations. [2]

2. Method of Ingestion

The route through which THC enters the body can influence the onset and potency of its effects. More specifically, inhalation provides a rapid rise in blood concentration, while edibles lead to a more prolonged exposure as the substance is metabolised differently. 

3. The User’s Mental Health Status and History

The pre-existing psychological landscape of an individual can significantly influence the subjective effects of THC. One 2020 review published in the Journal of the Neurological Sciences suggested that patients with Parkinson’s disease might experience more pronounced and potentially disturbing hallucinations. [3]

Moreover, mental status could indicate a genetic predisposition to hallucinogenic responses. For instance, a 2021 study from Medicina highlights that individuals carrying variants of the COMT and HTR2A genes could have increased dopamine levels in their bodies. [4] The presence of these genetic markers is not uncommon among patients with Parkinson’s disease. 

Importantly, THC has been shown to alter dopamine levels in the brain. When taken with certain prescriptions, this could lead to an excess of the neurotransmitter, thereby inducing hallucinatory illusions. As a result, the intake of medical cannabis for Parkinsons should be carefully considered.

4. Environmental Factors and Setting

Colloquially known as ‘set and setting’, the environment in which one consumes psychoactive substances plays a pivotal role. A 2021 study mentioned in Transcultural Psychiatry indicates that an individual’s surroundings, company, and mental state at the time of consumption deeply influence their experience.

To this end, relaxing environments may mitigate the risk of unpleasant weed hallucinations. In other words, being in known surroundings with trusted individuals can provide a grounding effect.

Immediate Response to a Hallucination Experience

A close-up of a woman drinking still water in the comfort of her home.

If you or someone else is experiencing a hallucination due to marijuana use, follow these steps for effective management of the condition:

  1. Stay calm: Panic can intensify the experience.
  2. Move to a safe, comfortable environment: As also highlighted above, familiar and relaxed surroundings can help.
  3. Stay hydrated: Drinking water can aid in feeling more grounded.
  4. Distract yourself: Listening to soothing music or engaging in a light activity might help shift focus.
  5. Seek support: Being with a trusted friend can provide reassurance.
  6. Rest: Sometimes, the best response is to sleep it off.

Remember, these distortions are usually temporary and will diminish over time.

Navigating Safe Medical Marijuana Consumption

To minimise the risk of adverse effects, it’s crucial to approach cannabis consumption with caution and awareness. Here are some tips for responsible use:

  1. Start low and go slow: For inexperienced users, it’s crucial to begin with low doses and gradually increase as needed, allowing one to gauge the substance’s effects.
  2. Know your source: Acquire products from legitimate and trusted sources that provide laboratory-tested products to ensure purity and potency.
  3. Stay hydrated: Maintain adequate hydration before, during, and after use to support the body’s processing of THC and its byproducts.
  4. Avoid mixing: Using THC in conjunction with other substances, including alcohol or prescription medications, may amplify effects unexpectedly.

Medical Weed vs. Black Market Marijuana: What You Need to Know

The distinctions between regulated products and those obtained from unauthorised sources are critical, especially when discussing their effects, such as the potential for inducing hallucinations. 

Feature Regulated Products Black Market Products
Quality Control Strict testing for contaminants and consistency. Variable; potential for contamination with pesticides, mould, or other substances.
Strain Potency Precisely labelled, allowing for informed dosage control. Potency varies widely; often unlabeled, leading to unpredictability in effects.
Legal Status Legal, with sales and production monitored by health agencies. Illegal, with no oversight in production or sales.
Safety Considered safer due to regulations and testing. Higher risk due to lack of testing and potential for contamination.
Accessibility Available through licensed dispensaries or via prescription. Obtained through unregulated channels, increasing legal risks.

Trust Lyphe for Your Therapeutic Cannabis Needs

The logo of Lyphe Clinic.

In the dialogue surrounding psychoactive effects, choosing a trusted provider becomes paramount. To this end, at Lyphe, we’re not only devoted to ensuring safe and controlled access to therapeutic cannabis but also enhancing your knowledge, dispelling myths, and providing lasting empowerment.

Here are some key features that make us stand out as a reliable provider:

  • Leading-edge doctors: We are proud to have some of the best and most experienced doctors treating patients with therapeutic cannabis in the UK, making them pioneers and experts in their field.
  • Online convenience: Experience the full benefits of our service from the comfort of your home – from booking appointments and consulting with doctors to receiving your prescriptions – everything is just a click away.
  • Unwavering patient support: We have a committed team of patient advisors ready to assist and guide you on every step of your therapeutic journey.

Every individual’s journey is unique, and it begins with a single step. Ready to take yours? Book your online appointment today.

Final Takeaway

Whether one views weed hallucinations as a myth or reality depends on both personal encounters and scientific understanding. In addition to this, recognising the variables that can influence these experiences is highly essential. To this end, our team at Lyphe is here to help those seeking guidance or looking to discuss the implications of their use. Embrace a safer journey towards understanding and utilising this complex medication.  

Book your appointment with Lyphe today and take the first step towards informed consumption and wellness!


What is the visual effect of weed?

The visual effects of cannabis use can manifest in several ways. For instance, users may report that colours appear more vivid, with enhanced saturation and contrast, making the experience seem more intense or even surreal. For some, this can escalate to visual hallucinations, where one might see patterns, objects, or lights that aren’t actually present. It’s important to note that these changes are typically temporary and vary widely among different individuals.

How long does it take for cannabinoid receptors to return to normal?

The reset period for cannabinoid receptors is not one-size-fits-all; it’s a highly individualised process that can span from just a few days to several weeks. This variability is influenced by several factors, including how often and how much cannabis is used. Beyond usage patterns, individual physiology also plays a critical role – factors such as metabolism, age, and even genetics can affect the rate at which the body processes and eliminates cannabinoids.

What can make you hallucinate?

Various factors can induce hallucinations, including the usage of psychoactive substances, sleep deprivation, sensory deprivation, or certain medical or psychological conditions.

Does CBD have hallucinations?

No, CBD (cannabidiol), unlike its counterpart THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), does not cause hallucinations. As a non-psychoactive component of cannabis, CBD is often linked with inducing a sense of relaxation and tranquillity. Hence, users may seek it out for its potential therapeutic benefits, which can include the alleviation of anxiety and pain, without the intoxicating high that THC is known for.

Can too much CBD cause psychosis?

Current evidence suggests that CBD does not cause psychosis and, in fact, has been investigated for its potential antipsychotic effects. However, excessive doses are generally not recommended, and individual responses can vary.


  1. Barrett, F. S., Schlienz, N. J., Lembeck, N., Waqas, M., & Vandrey, R. (2018). “Hallucinations” Following Acute Cannabis Dosing: A Case Report and Comparison to Other Hallucinogenic Drugs. Cannabis and Cannabinoid Research, 3(1), 85-93. https://doi.org/10.1089/can.2017.0052
  2. Mackie, C. J., Wilson, J., Freeman, T. P., Craft, S., Escamilla De La Torre, T., & Lynskey, M. T. (2021). A latent class analysis of cannabis use products in a general population sample of adolescents and their association with paranoia, hallucinations, cognitive disorganisation and grandiosity. Addictive Behaviors, 117, 106837. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.addbeh.2021.106837
  3. Cravanas, B., & Frei, K. (2020). The effects of Cannabis on hallucinations in Parkinson’s disease patients. Journal of the Neurological Sciences, 419, 117206. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jns.2020.117206
  4. Pizzolato, K., Thacker, D., Toro-Pagán, N. D., Hanna, A., Turgeon, J., Matos, A., Amin, N., & Michaud, V. (2021). Cannabis Dopaminergic Effects Induce Hallucinations in a Patient with Parkinson’s Disease. Medicina, 57(10). https://doi.org/10.3390/medicina57101107
  5. Gukasyan, N., & Nayak, S. M. (2021). Psychedelics, placebo effects, and set and setting: Insights from common factors theory of psychotherapy. Transcultural Psychiatry. https://doi.org/10.1177/1363461520983684


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