As more states legalize marijuana, its rise for medicinal and recreational use makes many people wonder if the cannabis train is suitable for them. Increasing number of people are turning to marijuana in order to manage anxiety or generalized anxiety disorder (GAD). Marijuana is usually touted as a suitable substance that can ease our responses to everyday life stressors. Many people who are looking out for alternative treatment methods consider the use of medical cannabis for their anxiety symptoms.
However, due to controversial history, sparse and inconsistent scientific research and the current federal regulations on cannabis in the United States, only anecdotal and new scientific reports of marijuana report a calming experience which temporarily relieves symptoms of anxiety after using marijuana. This means that the answer to the question, “will medical cannabis treat my anxiety?” can’t be generalized.
Anxiety can make mundane tasks appear insurmountable. The worst part is how it is difficult to find the suitable treatment for some patients with anxiety. We all react differently to anxiety medicine due to our unique brain chemistry. Even when the same treatment is applied, it will affect each patient differently. This means that using marijuana for anxiety is not a blanket natural alternative to pharmaceutical medicine, it best done on a case-by-case basis. Fortunately, the evidence that supports the effectiveness of medical marijuana for treating anxiety is increasing.
What Is Marijuana?
Marijuana, also called cannabis, comprises of cannabinoids. Cannabinoids are naturally occurring compounds derived from the Cannabis sativa plant. Cannabinoids work on cannabinoid receptors which make up the endocannabinoid system in the brain and also plays a pivotal role in several bodily processes, such as memory, mood, perception of pain, and appetite. The two most commonly studied cannabinoids are cannabidiol (CBD) and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC).
Myths about Marijuana
Due to its tumultuous history, and exaggerated or downright inaccurate portrayals in films and media, several misunderstandings, misrepresentations and misinterpretations exist around marijuana and its effects. Here are popular myths about marijuana:
- It is a harmful drug which can result in significant memory loss, psychosis, lung disease, and/or death
- It is a “gateway” drug that leads to more severe substance use
- It is a highly addictive drug that many people easily abuse
Anxiety Symptoms Treated With Marijuana
Medical marijuana helps to relieve the feelings of unease linked with anxiety. It also addresses these anxiety symptoms:
- Fatigue – Marijuana provides an energizing effect which counteracts fatigue.
- Concentration difficulties – Certain strains and formulas of marijuana can help to improve your attention when you find it difficult to concentrate.
- Insomnia – Specific types of medical marijuana have soothing, sleep-inducing properties.
- Underlying Health Conditions – Medical marijuana helps patients with seizures, cancer and chronic pain says a prominent Sarasota marijuana doctor.
Marijuana Treatment Methods for Anxiety
The marijuana usage that is suitable for you depends on your symptoms, diagnosis and reaction to cannabis. There are several options you can choose from, and each method evokes a different effect in your body system. Here are ways you can use medical marijuana:
Smoking – Both recreational and medical marijuana users basically smoke it. But this may not be as satisfying as it has been hyped up to be. It may also be harmful to your health. Smoking marijuana creates toxins and tar which you inhale along with the marijuana says an expert Tampa marijuana doctor.
Vaping – If you have to inhale your marijuana, consider vaping. Vaping with a high-quality vaporizer reduces the toxins generated. Although a small amount of those chemicals will still be released.
Edibles – A milder and extended way to use your marijuana is by eating edible marijuana products. This option can ease the side effects of other methods and may be better provided you don’t have any dietary restrictions or issues against edible marijuana.
Topicals – Most topicals, such as balms or lotions help you to use marijuana. Patches are also available for direct entry into your system.
Pure CBD – This treatment method is growing in popularity. CBD pills and oils will affect you the same as other CBD products, but you will take them like other pharmaceutical medicine.
Best Strains of Marijuana for Anxiety
It is important to choose a strain of marijuana that suits your health requirements. There is more to marijuana medication that using any marijuana leaf. Each strain has its own unique effect and you want to be sure the result you’ll get is what you need. There are two families of marijuana strains — indica and sativa. Indica strains have a high CBD, the compound that helps to fight against anxiety in marijuana. The sativa strains contain high THC concentrations. Here are specific strains for anxiety:
- Granddaddy Purple – This is a hybrid indica strain that can help you to manage anxiety and depression. It also helps to pain, stress and insomnia.
- Amnesia Haze – It has about 20% sativa in it. It helps to boost the mood and calm people down. But you have to be careful as it can make you more anxious.
- Chocolate Chunk – It has 100% indica strain and provides full-body relaxation.
- Girl Scout Cookies – It is suitable for patients suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
- Harlequin – It works similarly to Amnesia Haze and helps to keep the mind clear and alert.
- Northern Lights – This is a full indica strain. It provides relief from stress and pain. It also induces sleep.