Can Marijuana Really Reduce Anxiety? Cannabis is a hot topic at the moment, especially as a lot of countries are becoming more lenient on marijuana laws and many places have now legalized it for medical purposes. Marijuana can cause a feeling of relaxation in many people and is often used recreationally, but research is now showing that it has the potential to treat several mental health conditions, including anxiety. The question remains whether marijuana can really reduce anxiety – this article will look at the research behind cannabis and how it could be used to help with feelings of stress and unease.
How Does Marijuana Help With Anxiety?
It’s well-known that smoking marijuana can lead to a sensation of relaxation and calmness in the individual, as well as causing them to feel more sociable and even euphoric. It is this ‘high’ feeling that leads to people taking cannabis recreationally, but what is actually happening inside the body to cause these feelings?
When a person smokes marijuana, tetrahydrocannabinol ( THC ) binds itself to cannabinoid receptors in the brain. These receptors are known as CB1 and CB2, and they play a role in controlling memory, pleasure, concentration, thinking, coordination, and sensory and time perception. The effect of THC on these receptors helps to explain some of the psychological effects that a person may experience after smoking marijuana, including a sense of calmness and anxiety relief.
What Does The Research Tell Us?
There have been some interesting studies on the relationship between cannabis and anxiety. For example, it has been shown that people with lower levels of stress and anxiety are more likely to smoke cannabis. This relationship has sparked interest in whether smoking marijuana can reduce anxiety, but there are some conflicting results. Some studies suggest that smoking marijuana does not relieve feelings of anxiety, while others have shown that it can help with certain mental health disorders, including PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder).
As more and more research suggests that marijuana can be effective in treating a range of mental health conditions, many people are wondering if marijuana is useful for anxiety.
What does the research say?
The answer to this question depends on which disorder we’re talking about: there’s not much data on whether cannabis can be used to treat anxiety in general, but there is evidence showing that marijuana can treat symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and social anxiety disorder.
How does it work?
There are cannabinoid receptors all throughout our brains, which are responsible for processing our emotions. When you consume marijuana, tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the main psychoactive compound in cannabis, binds to these receptors and triggers a range of reactions that change the way you think and feel.
For example, it’s well-known that THC activates the brain’s reward system, which is how marijuana can make people feel more relaxed or euphoric. But this isn’t the only thing THC does – it also stimulates areas of the brain that are responsible for controlling memories, feelings of fear, and anxiety.
So what does this all mean? With evidence showing that marijuana can influence our thoughts and emotions, it makes sense that it could be useful in treating specific anxiety disorders. Read chronic stress and anxiety.
There is actually a lot of anecdotal evidence suggesting that cannabis can be helpful in treating anxiety. A study by the University of California found that 47% of patients being treated for PTSD with medical cannabis experienced a reduction in their symptoms, including flashbacks and panic attacks.
Cannabis can also help calm social anxiety – one recent study published in the journal Cannabis and Cannabinoid Research suggests that marijuana may have strong potential to treat social anxiety. Researchers found that some patients experienced a ‘paradoxical effect’, meaning that they actually felt less anxious after consuming THC, which decreased over time.
Why are people still skeptical about it?
Of course, not everyone is convinced by these findings – in fact, there are many skeptics who worry that marijuana might make anxiety worse. But as with most things, the truth is probably somewhere in the middle: it’s unlikely that marijuana use can cause any anxiety disorder to get worse, but it might not be enough on its own to treat some forms of chronic anxiety.
However, this doesn’t mean that a cannabinoid receptor agonist (such as THC) can’t be a useful supplement to other treatments, such as therapy. If you’re struggling with anxiety and live in a state where medical marijuana is legal, it might be worth talking to your doctor about whether or not cannabis can help.
Marijuana may not be the only answer when it comes to treating mental health conditions like anxiety, but based on what we know, it looks like it could be a useful addition to other treatment options.
How to Use Marijuana for Anxiety
First of all, if you’re struggling with anxiety and your doctor suggests cannabis as a treatment option, you’ll need to understand exactly how to use marijuana for anxiety, including what strains are best ( Indica or Sativa? )
There are some things that affect the way weed interacts with our bodies. For example, there’s evidence showing that CBD (cannabidiol) has anti-anxiety properties, so it makes sense that strains containing a higher concentration of CBD might be more helpful for anxiety than others.
The other important thing to keep in mind is how you use marijuana – if you smoke or vape weed, for example, the psychoactive high from THC could worsen any anxiety symptoms. If you want to use marijuana for anxiety, it’s best to look into using a weed tincture or edibles instead.
What about side effects?
It’s also important to note that some people experience the exact opposite reaction as well-meaning that some individuals who try cannabis for their anxiety end up feeling more anxious and paranoid. This is called the ‘paradoxical effect’, and there’s no real explanation for why it happens yet.
However, this side effect doesn’t seem to be very common – most people who use marijuana for anxiety report feeling more relaxed after using weed, although it might make you feel sleepy or sedated if you’re not careful what strains you use.
Does Marijuana Help with Anxiety?
This research suggests that cannabis could be a useful treatment option for patients struggling with anxiety disorders – but remember, it’s not the only answer. The best way to use marijuana for anxiety is to take small doses of higher CBD-concentration strains (with low THC levels), and avoid smoking or vaping weed.
The Best Strains of Cannabis for Anxiety
The research on cannabis use for anxiety disorders suggests that strains containing a higher CBD-to-THC ratio are more likely to be helpful – so what’s the best strain of marijuana for anxiety?
Harlequin is one option, as it contains 5% THC and 7% CBD. This means that Harlequin will give you some of the euphorias of a high-THC strain, but with less paranoid thoughts and feelings of anxiety.
However, it’s also worth noting that you could try a higher CBD strain like Cannatonic, which has 6% THC and 7.5% CBD – this is also useful for relieving any feelings of paranoia or anxiety that might come with weed, but without the ‘high’.
If you use cannabis for anxiety, one of the biggest things to keep in mind is that it might take a little while to kick in. When using weed for mental health conditions like anxiety, it’s best to treat cannabis like any other form of treatment – don’t expect results overnight, and be patient with your treatment.
In fact, some researchers suggest that making a conscious effort to relax and clear your mind, rather than trying to ‘cure’ any anxiety symptoms as soon as you feel them might help marijuana for anxiety work better in the long run.
There are lots of other things that can help you stay relaxed while using marijuana for anxiety symptoms – try cutting back on coffee, for example. Exercise is also a fantastic way to reduce symptoms of anxiety naturally, without using weed.
Does Cannabis Help with Anxiety Disorder?
For most people with an anxiety disorder, the research suggests that using marijuana for anxiety symptoms might be beneficial – but remember that it’s not enough on its own and that it could take a little while to kick in.
Also, if you’re using marijuana for anxiety, make sure to avoid smoking weed – choose edibles or tinctures instead, as these will likely have fewer side effects. Finally, remember that CBD-rich strains are more likely to be helpful than high-THC strains like Girl Scout Cookies – and that you should always talk to a doctor if you’re considering using weed for anxiety.
Can You Get Medical Marijuana for Anxiety?
In some US states, they consider that anxiety is a qualifying condition for a medical marijuana card. The states that currently consider anxiety as a qualifying condition are Alabama, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Iowa. Louisiana, Maine. New Mexico. New York. North Carolina and Rhode Island. Some of the other conditions for which medical marijuana is used include depression, arthritis, and cancer-related side effects like pain or nausea
It is important to remember however that some states do not recognize anxiety as a qualifying condition. Please check whether anxiety is a condition for which you can get medical marijuana in the state where you are seeking treatment.
Tips for Using Cannabis Safely
Try using medical cannabis in a place you feel comfortable. You can also use cannabis in a safe place with familiar people so that you don’t feel alone.
Learn how to titrate your dosage of medical marijuana. This means that you should start with a low dose and wait for the effects before taking more. Titrating your dose will help you find the right amount of cannabis to take, and it will also minimize the number of side effects that you feel.
Cannabis can be mentally addictive, so it’s important to keep this in mind when you’re looking for a treatment for anxiety symptoms. While using weed is unlikely to cause physical dependence, it is possible to develop a psychological addiction. If you feel as if cannabis has taken over your life and you’re not able to see your way out, then it’s important to talk to a doctor or therapist about your addiction.