Paranoid Pot: 8 Weed Strains Rumored to Make You Lose Your Mind
"They ought to call this weed heaven and hell. Sometimes the high is heavenly exhilarating Other times it's nightmarish..."
Published on June 9, 2017

Even the most laid back members of Lit Nation have been there. You take the hit, hold tight, let loose and, instead basking in hazy sweetness and heightened streams of pleasure, the inside of your skull goes all: 

“Who’s that calling my phone? How did they get my number? I know it’s in my pocket, but is that even my phone? Should I toss it out the window? Wait a minute — is my phone actually even ringing? Is anybody’s?”

Paranoia is a well-known, often joked-about, and occasionally (somewhat) serious potential side of effect of consuming cannabis. Irrational fear responses to reefer can range in intensity from full-blown panic attacks to hours of bug-eyed self-consciousness to buzz-killing conundrums in the vein of, “Is my boss going to smell this on me tomorrow morning? What about when I see my parents... next Christmas?” 

Related: Weird Weed Shirts From Around the Web

In a real way, such intoxicated anxiety is the flip side to pot’s far more typical impact of good times and mellow vibes. Science even provides an explanation as to why. Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is the primary psychoactive component of marijuana. THC is a cannabinoid, which means it’s a chemical that, once introduced to a human system, temporarily affects the areas of the brain that control fear and stress. Under usual circumstances, that change is uplifting and positive. Other times, though, THC can directly trigger worry and distress. Still, as noted, most who indulge have, to some degree, experienced both ups and downs on a doob-by-doob basis. 

So why do some folk who toke careen down the freak-out path? Many factors come into play on the order of genetics, personality, and pre-existing dispositions toward concern and nervousness. The amount and frequency with which one celebrates 420 can also play a major part. Then, too, there’s the fact that every strain of green delivers something different to every inhalant’s own mind-and-body chemistry. That stated, online chatter has pointed out a bowlful of bud variations that some users claim deliver joints full of jitters. While scientific evidence that these strains are surefire tickets to Fear City is limited, rumors abound nonetheless. Here are the eight we’ve been hearing about the most.

Cindy99 image via


The Amsterdam-based Mr. Soul developed the sativa-dominant Cinderella 99 — more commonly called Cindy99 — from a beloved plant named Princess. 

As a result, Cindy99 has been known to knock some users unconscious and flip others out in pure terror. 

Even Mr. Soul himself once decreed: “Two hits of Princess will induce your body to tremble involuntarily and your heart to race and paranoid thoughts.”


Named for the province of Vietnam from whence it arose — and where the country’s communist icon Ho Chi Minh was born — Dalat is described as an “heirloom sativa.” 

It’s reportedly become a challenge to track down, perhaps in part to its overwhelming kick in the cranium. 

Writing about Dalat on the THC Farmer forum, user N8tive Farmer stated that the strain “will stop your breath and paranoia begins, sweats, can't drive, almost a paranoid blow high, lol.” Yeah… LOL!

Jack the Ripper image via

Jack the Ripper

It seems as though TGA Genetics didn’t name their flagship hybrid Jack the Ripper (JTR) after a world-(in)famous murdered for nothing — this stuff is killer.

The website Leafly’s review acknowledges that JTR may the most fast-acting lemon Haze on the market right now, but adds up front: “The effect is intense, visually stimulating, and can sometimes leave novice consumers disoriented and paranoid.”

TGA’s own website makes sure the “p” words lands prominently in description of JTR’s high.

Sour Diesel image via

Sour Diesel

The popular daytime strain Sour Diesel comes by its name fragrantly: it’s said to reek like burning fuel.  

With THC content often between 19% and 25%, Sour Diesel can run some smokers smack off the highest of highways and into heavy congestion with multiple stressed out thoughts crashing together into a sizable pile-up. 

As the review site Herb puts it: “If you are inexperienced with cannabis, you may not enjoy the raciness that can come along with this Sativa.”

Super Silver Haze image via

Super Silver Haze

Deemed “the king of all Sativas in the 1990s” by Wikileaf, Super Silver Haze propels smokers on a rocket ride that sends the mind reeling, followed by a laid-back body high of a landing.

Along the way, though, some smokers report disappearing into their own black holes where they worrying about what’s hurtling toward them before they can smoothly return to terra firma. 


In 2015, the pop culture site Complex ranked Trainwreck among its 15 Best Weed Strains Available Right Now.

To be sure, this hybrid hits like a locomotive and it most frequently elevates smokers to states of euphoric bliss. In addition, numerous PTSD patients attest that Trainwreck helps enormously to alleviate their suffering. 

Still, that degree of potency can also come with an equal-and-opposite effect. 

In response to a positive Trainwreck review on the website Medical Marijuana Strains, a user called Stomp wrote: “They ought to call this weed heaven and hell. Sometimes the high is heavenly exhilarating. Other times nightmarish, [creating] paranoid couch lock… I’m already paranoid, but Trainwreck intensified it x25.”

Vietnamese Black 

Like its homegrown neighbor Dalat, Vietnamese Black has been known to carpet-bomb cannabis fans epic with fits of phobia. 

Celebrating such sensations on the Roll It Up forum, contributor SSO writes that he flies to Vietnam himself for seeds of Black and other variants. He further states: “4-5 tokes and you were seeing colors in shadows and s--t like that… can induce heavy, heavy paranoia… really nice stuff though, once you get used to it.”

William's Wonder image via

William's Wonder (WW)

Originating in the 1970s and evolving into its current form in the late ’80s, William's Wonder is a pure Indica bred for easy indoor cultivation. 

With THC levels reaching up to 30%, this Wonder-full stuff packs a wallop that can lay-out novice nug-nuts with deliriums of dread. Wisely, then, the website CannaSOS warns of WW: “Not recommended for first-time smokers.”

Find these strains and others in the GOODS section, and find where to get them by using the MERRY JANE Dispensary Locator.

Mike McPadden
Mike McPadden is the author of "Heavy Metal Movies" and the upcoming "Last American Virgins." He writes about movies, music, and crime in Chicago. Twitter @mcbeardo
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