Anxiety is a normal everyday response to stress. It can alert us to dangers. It can save our lives.
Anxiety disorders are different from normal everyday anxiety. They can cause paralyzing fear and excessive feelings of nervousness and anxiousness. Nearly 30% of adults are affected by anxiety at some point in their lives. People experiencing anxiety can have physical symptoms such as increased heart rate and excessive sweating. For many people, anxiety can be paralyzing, causing them to not achieve goals in their career and personal life.
Is Medicinal Cannabis A Solution?
The legalization of medical cannabis is growing every day and is currently legal in 36 states for medicinal purposes and recreational use in 15 states.
A national survey conducted in 2017 of more than 9,000 Americans found that 81 percent of participants believed marijuana had one or more health benefits. Almost 50 percent of these individuals noted “anxiety, stress, and depression relief” as one of these possible advantages.
Cannabis use in people with mood and anxiety disorders are common. However, rates of addiction and problematic use are higher in this population.
According to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders the 4 main anxiety disorders include:
- Panic Disorder: Classified as brief spells of overwhelming anxiety or fear, accompanied by physical and emotional symptoms.
- Social Anxiety Disorder: Defined as intense discomfort in social settings and an aversion to social situations.
- Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder: Characterized by reoccurring and intrusive anxious thoughts and patterned behavior to reduce the distress caused by the obsessions.
- Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder: Triggered from prior intense trauma and results in a long-lasting anxious response, with re-experiencing/flashback phenomena, avoidance, and emotional numbing.
Symptoms of Anxiety:
- A sense of being on edge
- Difficulty sleeping
- Difficulty concentrating
The Endocannabinoid System and its Effects on the Body
Endocannabinoid receptors and enzymes are found in the human body and regulate sleep, mood, memory, appetite, reproduction, and pain sensation. The main function of the endocannabinoid system is to maintain balance in the human body. Cannabinoid receptors are found on many types of human cells. These receptors initiate a cellular response once a change in conditions is detected.
Marijuana (cannabis sativa) contains chemicals called phytocannabinoids, including delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinoid (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD) and are like the endocannabinoids found in the body.
When marijuana is used as a recreational drug, it can trigger the following effects:
- Changes in perception color, taste, sounds, time or space
- Increased appetite
Using medical cannabis to reduce anxiety symptoms is more challenging. Cannabis can have both anxiety inducing and anxiety reducing properties.
- THC has a greater tendency toward inducing anxiety
- CBD shows anxiety reduction properties
The Benefits of Using CBD in Anxiety Disorders
These days, CBD products are available almost everywhere, including online, local pharmacies, and health food shops. So, what is it and what are its benefits?
Cannabidiol is the main component found in the cannabis sativa plant. Cannabinoids are extracted from hemp plant, which contains CBD in small amounts. Basically, CBD is the non-psychoactive cannabinoid of the plant, so it can’t get you high. CBD can reduce symptoms of anxiety by calming your fight-or-flight response, allowing a person to feel more relaxed.
Does THC help to reduce anxiety or make it worse?
At lower doses, THC decreases anxiety. Although at high doses it can cause more anxiety.
Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is the main psychoactive component in medical cannabis. The psychoactive effect of THC is activated in the brain to release dopamine causing a euphoria.
Overall, research shows that at lower doses, medical cannabis helps to reduce anxiety but at higher doses it can increase anxiety.
There are many studies that show both positive and negative effects of medical cannabis which makes it unclear how different strains of cannabis use can affect anxiety. Medical cannabis has been shown to improve sleep and decrease post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). When using medicinal cannabis for anxiety, it’s best to consult a healthcare professional experienced in cannabis dosing to achieve proper benefit and limiting unwanted adverse effects.
Your Wellness Journey
Using medical marijuana doesn’t have to be complicated. We created an easy-to-understand guide, with 6 simple steps, to help support and prepare you for your journey to find wellness with medical marijuana. This guide provides you with information to find the best solution for YOUR medical condition so that you can start feeling better.
Download our free Ultimate Guide To Finding Wellness With Medical Marijuana to discover how you can start feeling better.Download Now
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