How To Deal With A Panic Attack


A panic attack is the onset of intense fear or discomfort that reaches a peak within minutes. General symptoms during a panic attack can vary from person to person. Some will feel like they can’t breathe or start involuntarily shaking. Those who suffer regular panic attacks have been known to withdraw from social settings and normal activities.




Those experiencing a panic attack will experience at least four of these symptoms:

  • Palpitations, pounding heart, or accelerated heart rate
  • Sweating
  • Trembling or shaking
  • Sensations of shortness of breath or smothering
  • Feelings of choking
  • Chest pain or discomfort
  • Nausea or abdominal distress
  • Feeling dizzy, unsteady, lightheaded, or faint
  • Chills or heat sensations
  • Paresthesia (numbness or tingling sensations)
  • Derealization (feelings of unreality) or depersonalization (detached from oneself)
  • Fear of losing control or “going crazy”
  • Fear of dying

Dealing with regular panic attacks can greatly diminish our quality of life, but they don’t have to be left untreated. These are some of the ways that I personally deal with my chronic anxiety and occasional panic attacks.


How Can Cannabis Help

Cannabis is one of the go-to remedies when I am suffering from a panic attack. But it is extremely important to only use cannabis and infused products from a reliable source when hoping to treat a panic attack or chronic anxiety. This is because a cultivar that is too high in THC could spike anxiety and possibly further irritate the panic attack. In fact, think about having a cultivar with 1:1 THC to CBD ratios. Full spectrum CBD oil is also a good idea when going down the road to panic. And, while some believe that Sativa strains can provoke anxiety, it is actually the terpene content that relieves or stokes our ‘Indica’ or ‘Sativa’ feelings. Linalool and beta-Caryophyllene are both valuable terpenes when it comes to bringing us down from a state of panic.

Other Ways To Get Through

Whenever the anxiety begins to close in on me there are a few questions things that I like to do. When we can’t toke up or don’t have access to CBD oil or tincture then these methods could help get through the worst of it.


Food & Diet

Our diet plays an important role in how effectively our nervous system operates. For example, foods with a lot of sugar or refined grain foods can negatively affect your blood sugar levels and will promote stress and anxiety. On the other hand, natural foods such as vegetables, nuts, and healthy proteins digest much slower and will provide a calmer more stable energy.



Please check out Health Ambition to learn the Top 10 anti-anxiety foods that are particularly good at reducing stress levels and relaxing your body and mind.



Taking control and breathing slow, deep breaths will help our brain regulate stress. At the very least, it can be something to focus on aside from whatever thoughts are pushing us down the path of a panic attack. Focus on the inhale going into each section of the lungs, then slowly exhale. Do this five full times to help push the reset button during a panic attack.





As we mentioned terpenes are a great way to reduce anxiety and stress, this is true of cannabis as much as it is of essential oils. Applying a dab of essential oils to our wrist, chest, or neck can be a great way to keep the air of terpenes around us, promoting their effects. Essential oils also work as a great mode of aromatherapy.





Sometimes a change of scenery can stop those feelings of impending doom from closing in. Going outside for a walk through a nice, tree-filled area can help us come back to normal. If this type of place isn’t available, think about going to safe space, even the restroom to splash water on our face. This is a good way to reset and bring our panic levels down.





Going through life with anxiety can be isolating. Cannabis can really help people dealing with this condition emerge from this devastating isolation with a less anxious outlook. When using cannabis for this purpose, always be sure to know exactly what cannabinoids and terpenes it contains.


November 1, 2017

by Cara Wietstock

Profile photo of Cara Wietstock
Cara began working in the retail cannabis industry of San Francisco, CA in 2011 and continued in that sector for years. In 2015 she put down her budtender hat and dedicated herself to writing full-time. Her passion for the written word and deep respect for the healing properties of the cannabis plant fuel the passion in her posts.


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