Neil Young’s Cure for Cannabis-Induced Paranoia

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by Dan Larkin.

Neil Young first revealed a cure for cannabis-induced paranoia in 2014. It’s not really anything he discovered or invented. It’s just something that he’s found does the trick.

Young was on Howard Stern’s show when the topic of cannabis came up. Stern said he had given up cannabis because it made him too paranoid. He didn’t like that feeling of his heart beating faster while his mouth dried out and all his thoughts turned to suspicion and fear.

Cannabis-induced paranoia happens.

Virtually everyone who’s smoked or consumed cannabis for any length of time has felt this way at one time or another. It’s not fun. Some people report that they have felt paranoid every time they tried it. That definitely would not be fun. Luckily, Neil Young shared what he and many others swear is the cure for cannabis-induced paranoia.

“Try black pepper balls if you get paranoid. Just chew two or three pieces,” he said. “I just found this out myself. Try it.”

Neil Young
Black peppercorns are your friend.

Yes, pepper balls. Better known as peppercorns, these spicy nuggets seem to do the trick. We’re talking about the kind your waiter eagerly cranks out over your salad at that nice restaurant you go to for special occasions.

What does science say?

Now, let’s be clear. There is no scientific research that peppercorns actually cured cannabis-induced paranoia. But, then again, a lot of things having to do with cannabis have no scientific research supporting them. It’s the anecdotal evidence, the stories shared for years by those in the know, that provides the information we often rely on regarding cannabis.

There is some science-based information about peppercorns that seems to lend credibility to the claim. It was a 2011 scientific review published by Ethan Russo in the British Journal of Pharmacology.

He found that both cannabis and pepper have similar compounds, terpenes (terpenoids). Terpenes are what give plants their aroma. The terpenes found in peppercorns can also calm the mind.

So, while most believe it’s the THC in cannabis that creates the paranoia, when you add peppercorns, the effect is diminished. The terpenes work together to calm you down,

Again, there isn’t much research to back this up but when you find yourself feeling too anxious or paranoid from those gummies you ate an hour ago, you may want to thank Neil Young for his advice.

What else calms cannabis-induced paranoia?

I do want to note that many others have said the best thing to deal with Cannabis-induced paranoia is CBD. This also has some science behind it. So, if you have been primarily consuming cannabis with high THC, you might want to try a higher CBD to THC ratio. Or, you could keep some CBD-only cannabis handy to try that too.

CBD can also calm cannabis-induced paranoia.

At the end of the day, whether you try Neil Young’s cure for cannabis-induced paranoia or you try CBD, I just hope you find what works for you. No one wants to harsh their buzz or wreck their pain-killing experience. And, as always, if you’re new to cannabis ask for advice from the budtenders. Low and slow is always the best advice.

Now, I feel hungry for a black peppercorn-encrusted steak and a salad at that nice restaurant down the street. But first, maybe some cannabis!

Black peppercorn is also good on steaks!

Here’s another CannabisIRL article about cannabis-induced paranoia.

Have you tried peppercorns to relieve cannabis-induced paranoia? Did it work? Have you tried CBD or another remedy? Share your Cannabis In Real Life experience with us! Email us at

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