Anxiety – Is Marijuana Good or Bad?
Medical Marijuana, along with CBD, are used frequently in the treatment of anxiety and mood disorders, and in fact, anxiety is often one of the diagnoses allowed in states where medical marijuana is controlled for certain conditions.Additionally the three most commonly reported benefits of cannabis usage are:
- Improve sleep and ability to fall asleep
- A sense of relaxation
However ……Whether weed is good or bad for anxiety and can give anxiety relief to an individual at any point in time is not a simple as a yes or no answer.
Anxiety Relief or Aggravation
While to many people marijuana is relaxing, for others it can have the opposite effect particularly with higher dosages of THC as for example when you smoke too much of too strong weed for too long – or eat too much of an edible. It’s very common and happening more due to stronger and stronger weed with increasingly high levels of THC as well as people eating more edibles.
The key point to remember is that high dose of THC may aggravate your condition, depending upon:
- your sensitivity levels
- the dosage
- your history of usage and
- whether you are using alcohol or other medications and/or drugs
- for edibles it matters if you ate on a full or empty stomach
We recommend that you opt for a less intense THC strain but if opting for a high-THC selection, be even more vigilant and certain to pay close attention to your dosage. Usually dosage via inhalation by smoking or vapes is the most accurate way of controlling the effects. As the THC is absorbed in the lungs and goes directly to the blood and then the brain – you know pretty quickly how much of an effect it had. Then you can take another hit if you feel that the desired effect has not been reached.
Potential side-effects of weed in anxiety
The worst thing you can do if you’re trying to treat your anxiety is to dose too high leading to potentially inducing:
- more anxiety
- racing thoughts
- rapid heart rate
- inability to concentrate
- hot and cold sweats
- panic attacks
Alternative methods for treating anxiety
If your anxiety is so severe that it is impeding your ability to live a normal life then you should strongly seeking the advice of a mental health professional. You may be suffering from a more severe form of anxiety – called Anxiety Disorders.
Also – while cannabis or CBD does provide temporary relief there are healthy additional steps that you can take for better mental health and living a calmer life with a sense of well-being and less anxiety. These include:
- getting enough sleep
- healthy diet
- progressive muscle relaxation
- avoiding alcohol
- avoiding caffeine
- quitting smoking of cigarettes (Can CBD help you quit?)
Risks associated with marijuana use for anxiety
2) Addiction/Dependence on weed
We’d love to say otherwise but weed/cannabis/marijuana containing significant amounts of THC – does potentially cause dependence and addiction.
While federally illegal – marijuana is tolerated and State laws are more important when considering using marijuana for anxiety or other uses. Currently medical marijuana is legal for adults in 33 states while recreationally legal in 11 states and the District of Columbia. CBD is federally legal but local jurisdictions do need to be considered.
The Science: How does cannabis affect anxiety?
The human body, in all it’s glory, has this wonderful system in place called the endocannabinoid system. It’s goal is strictly to restore homeostasis, or balance, both to the mind and body, as it relates to chemical and biological functioning. The receptors in the ECS bind to cannabinoids, either naturally occurring elements in our body through reactions, or externally added ones, such as through cannabis or CBD. So essentially we have a body that is designed to accept the workings of medical marijuana. Who knew?
Due to its function of bringing things back to their physical Goldilocks area, the ECS is often used when and where it is needed. As Dr. Vincenzo Di Marzo, Research Director at the Institute of Biomolecular Chemistry in Italy, explained it to us:
“With the ‘homeostatic effect of ECS’ we point out that this system of chemical signals is switched on for a short time if deviations from mobile homeostasis are observed. If such deviations are not physiological, the ECS efforts currently initiated, spatially and temporally selective, become homeostasis to restore the previous physical situation.”
Cannabis and Anxiety Summary
It is important to check with your doctor before adding new therapies to your regimen, especially when it comes to anxiety or depression.
Do not stop taking any medications without the advice and consult of your healthcare professional.
Medical Marijuana has been shown to be an effective contributor to relaxation, but selecting the right strain for your needs as well as your personal tolerance and sensitivities is crucial.
CBD (with zero or less than 0.3% THC) should be considered – perhaps in advance of THC containing products
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