Marijuana for anxiety: fact or fiction?

Millions of people across the globe have some type of anxiety disorder. Some people suffer from social anxiety, others have generalized anxiety and yet others suffer from stress-related anxiety. Anxiety is a normal physiological response but if it is prolonged it can diminish the quality of life. The symptoms of anxiety like sweating, panting, fast heart rate, panic and fear are unpleasant. Once a diagnosis of anxiety is made, the classic treatments in conventional medicine are pharmaceutical medications or some type of psychotherapy. Neither treatment is cheap. Both treatments need to be continued for long periods. Further, the pharmaceutical drugs often do not work, have many adverse effects and when they are abruptly discontinued, withdrawal reactions are common. Many people then turn to alcohol or abuse other substances for their anxiety, which often worsen the symptoms. Because of these problems, many people with anxiety have been turning to marijuana for relief of their symptoms.


So does marijuana work for anxiety relief?addict-1032371_640


First marijuana has been used for centuries to treat a variety of mental health disorders including anxiety. There are many anecdotal reports indicating when marijuana can produce relief from symptoms of anxiety. Over the years many studies have been conducted on marijuana which suggest that it can relieve anxiety. However, it is also important to know that there are just as many studies which have not found marijuana to have any anti-anxiety effects.


The next thing to remember is that not all marijuana is equal. There is variation in potency between the different strains. The reason for the difference is the presence of cannabinoids (CBD) and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). THC tends to produce the more excitatory effect like paranoia and can worsen anxiety. Some people claim that this is only due to the high doses and at low dose, THC does have an anti-anxiety benefit. CBD, on the other hand. relives the anxiety. So you need to find a product that has high CBD and low THC.


No matter what strain of marijuana you acquire, it is important to start with a low dose. The reason is that while small doses can relieve anxiety, larger doses can heighten the anxiety and induce paranoia. There are some people who will develop an adverse reaction to marijuana even at low doses and this is believed to be due to the different strains of marijuana.


One may have to try several different strains of marijuana to determine which works for you. Speak to other people to determine which brand works and where to buy the product. Remember, the business of selling marijuana has gone wild. There are many scams and fake products out there. Only buy from a trusted seller.


While marijuana does have short term anti-anxiety effects, there are reports that the effects subside with time; this is believed to be due to tolerance. So you may have to increase the dose gradually. Whether marijuana relieve anxiety forever is not known.


Finally, it is important to understand that marijuana tends to be more effective at preventing anxiety and not as effective as treating it. For example, if you have developed a panic disorder after seeing a spider or Ogopogo, then it is hardly like that marijuana will relieve the acute anxiety symptoms that very moment. To best derive the benefits of marijuana for your anxiety, you will need to use a low dose on a regular basis.


If you have anxiety, speak to a physician who prescribes marijuana and get a strain that is low in THC and high in CBD. Some of the strains of marijuana that have been hyped to have the most potent anti-anxiety effect include 1) Critical mass 2) Harlequin which is a hybrid between sativa and marijuana 3) Gorilla Glue which is another hybrid strain, 4) Afghan Kush and 5) most Canadian grown marijuana.



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