In a large number of states, reform for both medical and recreational cannabis use is taking place. As such, more and more Americans are starting to look into what this plant can do for them. One major area of curiosity? Anxiety. And we know what you may be thinking: “I thought marijuana makes you more anxious, not less.” It’s true that paranoia and anxiety are a sometimes side effect of marijuana use. But early scientific research seems to show that marijuana use may be able to actually reduce anxiety. It may sound paradoxical, but it’s true. Read on, and we’ll walk you through everything you should know about medical marijuana for anxiety.
Do You Have an Anxiety Disorder?
Many people feel anxious at different points in their lives. Anxiety is often a feeling caused by an environment or situation. But frequent and disruptive anxiety is indicative of a possible disorder. Those with an anxiety disorder may have trouble getting through a day or week without having some sort of anxiety attack. According to the National Institute of Mental Health, anxiety disorders are among the most common mental health ailments in the country. Over 18% of the United States population has been recorded having an anxiety disorder of some sort. There’s a lot of variety in the type of anxiety that individuals may be suffering from. Severity and source vary greatly from case to case. But researchers are beginning to look to medical marijuana to help to reduce all types of anxiety.
What Are the Current Treatments?
Currently, the largest treatment for anxiety is pharmaceutical medication. There are some people who prefer therapy or experiment with a more holistic approach. Despite the handful of options provided, most anxiety sufferers fail to get proper care. When you consider that anxiety is the most common mental disorder among Americans, this becomes a concerning statistic. Medications, as well as therapy, have a hefty price tag. Many people, especially in marginalized communities, simply can’t afford proper treatment. If expensive medication isn’t a factor? The risk of addiction or negative side effects provides a sense of unease when weighing your choices. Natural remedies, such as meditation and exercise, have proven to be somewhat successful. But it’s often short-lived and ineffective for those with moderate and/or severe anxiety. America has made great strides in medicinal solutions. But we have only recently begun to look into medical marijuana as a safe and effective way to treat anxiety.
Medical Marijuana for Anxiety
It’s easy to find a lot of information about marijuana and its connection to treating anxiety. However, due to bias and the relatively new interest in this option, there is not an overwhelming amount of research. With that said, the most convincing evidence is favorable toward the use of marijuana to treat anxiety. THC and CBD are two of the natural components found in marijuana that have the biggest effect on your mood. Generally, there is more THC found in marijuana than CBD, which is the component that delivers that psychoactive ‘high’. CBD is preferred as a medical component simply because high doses of THC on its own is capable of triggering fear and anxiety in certain people. One of the theories for how CBD helps alleviate anxiety is by increasing 2-AG in our brains. This contributes to overall calmness. Another theory is that THC binds to the cannabinoid receptors in our brain. The binding creates a release of serotonin and dopamine, both of which are natural mood boosters. THC targets the amygdala in your brain, which is responsible for emotions. In high doses, THC can result in an increase in fear and anxiety. Keep in mind that anything placed in our bodies should be consumed in moderation. There is a ‘Goldilocks’ amount to consume that provides the most effective treatment. There are lots of treatment options for anxiety and medical marijuana is another option that is low risk. Compared to prescription drugs, medical marijuana has no known severe side effects. Pills have not only caused addiction but have been linked to health complications. If you are suffering from anxiety and are looking for an effective treatment, medical marijuana should be at the top of that list.
Where Can I Get Medical Marijuana?
Currently, there are 33 states that have legalized medical marijuana. In order to qualify for a medical marijuana card, you’ll need a written recommendation from a licensed doctor in a state where that is legal, such as here in Florida. If you have a qualifying condition, you might be eligible for a medical marijuana recommendation from The Herbal Clinic, MD. Once you’ve received a recommendation, you’ll want to make sure you have all your medical records ready. Finally, you head to a dispensary, provide the documents and begin your new treatment.
It’s Your Choice
At the end of the day, if you suffer from depression or anxiety, you choose the treatment that works best for you. Be sure to spend plenty of time researching different options. There are treatments that can be considered more of a risk than others. There can be some negative feedback to those who use medical marijuana for anxiety, pay no mind to the criticisms if you feel happy and comfortable with your decision. There is no one-size-fits-all solution and when it comes to your health and mental well being, you tend to know best. If you suffer from conditions outside of anxiety, medical marijuana most likely has health benefits! Visit our blog for more information or request an appointment today!