In recent years, a growing number of US states have legalized marijuana for recreational or medical purposes. Studies have shown that an overwhelming number of people in the US consider marijuana to have some health benefits, forcing the authorities to reconsider their approach to the issue.
One of the common benefits people pointed out is relief from anxiety, stress, and depression. However, some people also claim that using cannabis makes them anxious. So the question is: Does marijuana relieve anxiety or cause it? Below, we have gathered information on the science behind cannabis to help us get some answers.
First, What’s Cannabis?
Many people view cannabis as a substance that is smoked or vaped to make you high. However, cannabis, also known as marijuana, is more than that. Cannabis refers to a family of plants that have psychoactive properties. The cannabinoid is being used for medicinal and recreational purposes. Cannabinoids have an effect on the brain part responsible for several functions such as memory, mood, appetite, and pain.
CBD vs. THC
Although there are over 480 active components found within the cannabis plants, just around 66 are classified as cannabinoids. Of these 66, there are two that are well known and widely studied: tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD). THC in marijuana is the compound that gives people a high feeling. It’s mostly used by people looking for recreational marijuana. On the other hand is CBD, which has no psychotropic effects. This means it doesn’t have mind-altering effects, which cause a high feeling. It’s mainly used for therapeutic purposes.
Facts and Fictions Surrounding Cannabis
Due to decades of government opposition to legalizing cannabis, little research on it was conducted. This led to a lot of misunderstandings and misinterpretations surrounding this plant. Some common misconceptions about cannabis include:
- Cannabis is a dangerous drug that negatively affects the body, causing memory, lung disease, or psychosis.
- Cannabis is like a beginner’s drug, and soon, the user will start using more harmful drugs.
- Cannabis is a very addictive drug, and many are unable to quit.
On the other hand, cannabis supporters sometimes overstate the benefits they derive from it. Yet, such statements can mislead people who are considering cannabis to help them alleviate their anxiety. Here are some common overstatements from people who support marijuana:
- There is irrefutable evidence that cannabis can cure anxiety
- There are no negative side effects of marijuana
- Cannabis can be used for long without any adverse effects
What Studies Say
- CBD has anxiety-reducing effects, while THC may trigger anxiety in some situations
- For excessive recreational use, cannabis can cause health complications and increase anxiety
- PTSD patients and those with chronic pain have reported lowered anxiety when they use medical cannabis
The Link Between Marijuana and Anxiety
Understanding the link between marijuana and anxiety can help you learn how your experience with it will be. First, it’s important to learn that cannabis reacts differently to different brands of anxiety. Whether your anxiety is anticipatory, depression-related, or connected to panic disorder, know that your body’s response to marijuana will vary.
Your current mental state and the environment you are in can also affect how you will react after using it. If you are in a stressful situation, taking it may heighten your anxiety. If you suffer from anxiety that is accompanied by a dull feeling, THC cannabis can make you feel better and motivated. If it’s depression-related, you can also benefit from THC as it triggers feelings of excitement and happiness. However, if taken in large amounts, it can trigger anxiety.
CBD is also good in treating some forms of anxiety, and it has no side effects. For instance, it can be used to relieve anticipatory anxiety, and it can also help individuals who suffer from social anxiety or panic disorders. Even better, THC and CBD can be carefully mixed by a medic, to produce a treatment option that sparks relaxation and calmness. However, the amount of dosage and the times you take should be controlled.
How Cannabis Can Help in Anxiety
Lots of people today use cannabis, whether THC, CBD, or both to relieve anxiety. Some of the benefits they realize include improved peace of mind, deep relaxation, and smoother sleep. However, remember that the benefits you gain from cannabis will depend on the dosage you take, the current situation you are in, the type of anxiety you want to treat, and how long you use it.
Consult a Marijuana Doctor
It’s true that cannabis has anxiety-relieving properties. However, you should first consult a qualified medical practitioner before using it. Also, you need to check the legal status of both recreational and medical marijuana in your state. 33 states have approved medical marijuana while 11 allow it for recreational use.
To talk to a licensed marijuana doctor, learn what option is best for your anxiety condition, and start receiving the medication you deserve, contact MMJ Doctor.