Marijuana is a greenish-gray mixture of the dried flowers of Cannabis sativa. Marijuana can also be used to brew tea and, particularly when it is sold or consumed for medicinal purposes. Vaporizers are also increasingly used to consume marijuana. These resins are increasingly popular among those who use them both recreationally and medically.
the scientific community has recently started examining the effect of cannabis on anxiety, and the verdict is that short-term benefits do exist. Scientists at Washington State University published a study in the Journal of Effective Disorders that found that smoking cannabis can significantly reduce self-reported levels of depression, anxiety, and stress in the short term. However, repeated use doesn’t seem to lead to any long-term reduction of symptoms and in some individuals may increase depression over time.
Plenty of people consider marijuana helpful for anxiety. A 2017 national survey from a Trusted Source of more than 9,000 Americans found that 81 percent believed marijuana had one or more health benefits. Nearly half of these respondents listed “anxiety, stress, and depression relief” as one of these potential benefits.
But there also seems to be just as many people who say marijuana makes their anxiety worse.
marijuana contains two main active ingredients, THC and CBD.
- THC is the psychoactive compound responsible for the “high” associated with marijuana.
- CBD is the nonpsychoactive compound that’s used for a range of potential therapeutic
Commonly reported benefits of marijuana use include:
- increased sense of calm
- improved relaxation
- better sleep
Doctors says her clients have reported these benefits along with others, including greater peace of mind and a reduction in symptoms they found unbearable.
Peace explains her clients have reported that marijuana in particular helps relieve symptoms of:
- social anxiety
- post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), including flashbacks or trauma responses
- panic disorder
- sleep disruptions related to anxiety
At lower doses, cannabis seems to help anxiety; At higher doses, it neems to worsen it.
Typically, cannabis use will likely worsen anxiety symptoms and interfere with evidence-based treatments, such as exposure therapy. However, preliminary research may suggest some positive benefits. For novice users looking to medical cannabis as an alternative method for anxiety reduction, using CBD is often a recommended starting point, so long as it is managed under the care of both a medical provider and mental health professional.
it is not uncommon for the benefits of cannabis use to be overstated by supporters, which can be misleading to those looking for alternative methods to alleviate difficulties with mood and anxiety. Recent surveys of the general population show that anxiety management is the second most endorsed reason for medical cannabis use. Reports such as these suggest that those struggling with anxiety may be reaching for cannabis to treat their symptoms, which underscores the importance of reviewing the objective findings available on this topic. Common misconceptions among those in favor of cannabis use include:
- There is conclusive evidence that cannabis can treat anxiety
- There are minimal negative side effects of cannabis
- Cannabis is safe for long-term use
- THC in cannabis has been shown to be more anxiety-inducing, while CBD has shown to be more anxiety-reducing
- For chronic recreational users, cannabis use can lead to significant health risks, as well as increased anxiety particularly during withdrawal
- Individuals suffering from PTSD or chronic pain have reported a reduction of anxiety-related symptoms when using cannabis medically
- Small sample sizes and significant limitations in the research make it difficult to conclusively state the benefits of cannabis use in treating anxiety
however it has negative side effects:
- increased heart rate
- increased sweatiness
- racing or looping thoughts
- problems with concentration or short-term memory
- irritability or other changes in mood
- hallucinations and other symptoms of psychosis
- confusion, brain fog, or a “numb” state
- decreased motivation
- difficulty sleeping
Smoking and vaping marijuana can lead to lung irritation and breathing problems in addition to increasing your risk for certain types of cancer.
One of the most commonly prescribed types of anti-anxiety medication is benzodiazepines. It manages the levels of a neurotransmitter called GABA that balances your anxiety levels. Unfortunately, patients who take them tend to build a tolerance quickly, and they cause thousands of overdose deaths every year.
Marijuana seems to also affect GABA levels. Early studies discovered that the components in marijuana, especially cannabidiol (CBD), also manage the amount of GABA in your brain.
Medical marijuana also shows potential for lowering your levels of cortisol, a hormone that indicates how much stress you feel. The lowered cortisol creates a dulled reaction to stress. We aren’t quite sure whether this is an overall good or bad result yet, but this effect could be a total game-changer if it does turn out to be positive.
In addition to relieving the feelings of unease associated with anxiety, cannabis medicine can address the following anxiety symptoms:
- Insomnia: Certain types of medical marijuana have relaxing, sleep-inducing properties that help you get to bed.
- Fatigue: Other kinds of cannabis medicine have an energizing effect that counteracts fatigue.
- Concentration difficulties: Specific strains and formulas can also help you pay attention when you deal with focus issues.
Smoking: This is the most popular way to use cannabis for both recreational and medical users. But it may not live up to the hype for you — in fact, it can harm your health. Like smoking tobacco, smoking marijuana produces tar and toxins you inhale along with the cannabis.
Edibles: As long as you don’t have any dietary issues or restrictions preventing you from eating edible marijuana products, they can provide an extended and milder effect. If you don’t mind feeling the effects later than you would with inhalation, edibles could take the edge off any side effects marijuana gives you.
In conclusion these studies show that marijuana can be used to help with anxiety disorders however it has its negative side effects so there should be a proper prescription given by the doctors.