If you ever get a panic attack when smoking weed you might want to listen to Neil Young.
No, no, not his music … we’re talking about his medical advice. The guy’s got a cheap, occasionally-delicious cure for weed paranoia, and he might be on to something. Keep on rockin’ in the anxiety-free world!
When Howard Stern interviewed Neil, the conversation naturally drifted right where it should have: to the compelling topic of weed.
However, Stern revealed that while he had loved smoking in the past, he can no longer get high at all because it makes him intensely paranoid.
That’s where Dr. Neil Young came in.
“Try black pepper balls if you get paranoid,” he told Stern. “Chew two or three pieces. I just found this out myself. Try it.”
Wait, fucking pepper? We had to look this up.
When you look at the science, it turns out that the Grammy award-winning guitar lord who pulled all his songs from Spotify because of Joe Rogan’s podcast could be right.
Back peppercorns could be the solution to reducing the paranoia effects some people get after smoking weed. Stoners can mitigate weed’s negative, anxiety-inducing effects by simply smelling or chewing on peppercorns.
Another paper in Canada’s Cannabis Digest observed pepper’s impact on pot. “Most patients who have tried this simply took a few sniffs of the black pepper to receive an almost immediate effect,” wrote the paper’s author, Owen Smith. “Others have reported that after chewing on peppercorns they felt relief within an hour, but that may be a delay most would seek to avoid.”
In a scientific review published by the British Journal of Pharmacology, author Ethan Russo writes that pepper has a “phytocannabinoid-terpenoid entourage effect” that can help with “pain, inflammation, depression, anxiety, addiction, epilepsy, cancer, fungal and bacterial infections.”
In English, that means there’s a high degree of chemical similarity between the THC weed and the terpenes in pepper. The combination of the two creates a synergistic effect, which has a high potential for scientists studying medicines with cannabinoids. The terpenes in pepper have been used to treat anxiety, depression, arthritis, multiple sclerosis, and dementia symptoms.
Even Pliny, The Elder, suggested patients used black peppercorns to calm the fuck down, as he suggested in his book, Natural History Book, XXIV.
Pliny writes: “The gelotophyllis [‘leaves of laughter’ or cannabis] grows in Bactria and along the Borysthenes. If this be taken in myrrh and wine, all kinds of phantoms beset the mind, causing laughter which persists until the kernels of pine- nuts are taken with pepper and honey in palm wine.”
Damn it, if we had only read more Classical-era medical literature.
If you’re looking for more tips to combat a high that’s too intense, check our article about this topic.