Cannabis Research Is Still In Its Infancy
However, as of the landmark 2016 report by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, there is sufficient evidence to categorize the health benefits of Cannabis as strong and conclusive for solely the treatment of chronic pain in adults, the treatment of chemotherapy-induced nausea, and for managing symptoms of multiple sclerosis. If your experience is anything similar to mine, this will stand in stark contrast to the various and seemingly limitless therapeutic benefits proclaimed of Cannabis, including for help managing social anxiety. Indeed, there is even a small number of initial studies showing that administration of a dose of CBD can help lower reported symptoms of anxiety during a public speech performance. Utilizing a cannabinoid such as CBD may also turn out to be a relatively safer alternative with less side effects compared to other anxiolytics and substances used to manage anxiety. Sois it a simple and all natural solution to something that can be as painful and difficult to shake as intense social anxiety?
What Is In Marijuana
Both of these chemicals can interact with your bodys endocannabinoid system, which helps to regulate homeostasis, which is your bodys internal balance. This system is designed to manage everything from your body temperature, circadian rhythm, heart rate, appetite, and many other things. Once THC and CBD bind with the receptors in the endocannabinoid system, they can start to affect the brain and body in different ways.
THC is the active ingredient thats most commonly associated with the marijuana high. It may also cause an increase in your appetite, heart rate, and suppress memory. CBD isnt associated with a high, but it may cause some other effects throughout the body and brain. Very high doses of THC may be the cause of some adverse effects like psychosis, especially in people with psychotic disorders like schizophrenia. A 2013 study found that CBD might actually counteract some of the harmful effects of THC when theyre taken together in a typical dose of marijuana.
Todays illicit marijuana may have more THC than CBD. Since THC is the active ingredient that causes the high, growers and dealers have an interest in elevated THC levels to increase potency. Growing plants with more THC can mean shipping profitable supplies in smaller packages. This highly potent marijuana with low CBD levels might cause uncomfortable side effects and psychotic symptoms in high doses.
Does Marijuana Help With Anxiety Are There Alternatives
Regardless of the debate, marijuanas popularity is growing, and public perception of the drug shifts. In the 2020 election, every state that had marijuana legalization or decriminalization on the ballot got it passed. And the trend of legalization may only grow. One positive effect legalization has is that it opens up the door for more research as scientists have fewer barriers to taking a closer look at the substance. Though many studies have been performed, there is still a lot we dont know about marijuana and how it affects the brain.
Still, many people are turning to it for its potential therapeutic effects when it comes to anxiety, pain, and other ailments. Anxiety is one of the most common problems Americans deal with, affecting 40 million adults each year. Could marijuana be another tool in the belt of doctors and clinicians that treat anxious patients? Or is it a potential harm that only makes anxiety problems worse?
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What Is Anxiety Disorder
One of the most common mental disorders, anxiety comes in many forms. For some, it rears its head as generalized anxiety disorder, an all-encompassing and constant feeling of fear and dread. Others may experience panic attacks that come on for no particular reason. During a panic attack, they may experience racing thoughts, an increased heart rate, tightness of the chest, sweaty palms and dizziness. Also common is social anxiety a condition that creates an irrational fear of interacting with other people in social settings.
Everyone experiences anxiety from time to time, but for people who suffer from anxiety disorder, it can become crushing and nearly crippling. Despite its prevalence, nearly two-thirds of adults who struggle with anxiety fail to receive treatment. Those who do are typically prescribed medications.
The Best Strains Of Cannabis For Anxiety
The research on cannabis use for anxiety disorders suggests that strains containing a higher CBD-to-THC ratio are more likely to be helpful so whats the best strain of marijuana for anxiety?
Harlequin is one option, as it contains 5% THC and 7% CBD. This means that Harlequin will give you some of the euphorias of a high-THC strain, but with less paranoid thoughts and feelings of anxiety.
However, its also worth noting that you could try a higher CBD strain like Cannatonic, which has 6% THC and 7.5% CBD this is also useful for relieving any feelings of paranoia or anxiety that might come with weed, but without the high.
If you use cannabis for anxiety, one of the biggest things to keep in mind is that it might take a little while to kick in. When using weed for mental health conditions like anxiety, its best to treat cannabis like any other form of treatment dont expect results overnight, and be patient with your treatment.
In fact, some researchers suggest that making a conscious effort to relax and clear your mind, rather than trying to cure any anxiety symptoms as soon as you feel them might help marijuana for anxiety work better in the long run.
There are lots of other things that can help you stay relaxed while using marijuana for anxiety symptoms try cutting back on coffee, for example. Exercise is also a fantastic way to reduce symptoms of anxiety naturally, without using weed.
Does Cannabis Help with Anxiety Disorder?
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Can Marijuana Help With Anxiety
Can cannabis be a helpful remedy for anxiety? While research on this topic is ongoing, its clear that cannabis is very popular both recreationally and medicinally for its ability to elevate the mood and make simple everyday experiences more enjoyable, or just less stressful. Along with sleep, anxiety is one of the most common reasons people use cannabis therapeutically.
Cannabis also interacts with the bodys endocannabinoid system, which plays an important role in modulating functions ranging from sleep to mood, energy, and pain.
Its worth noting though, that like with many medications, there isnt a single set dose that works for everybody. The active ingredients in cannabis can produce two opposite effects, depending on the dose taken. In the case of anxiety, low doses can ease anxiety whereas higher doses can exacerbate it. As such, using cannabis to ease anxiety can take some trial and error, and a medical professional should be consulted.
Cannabis And Anxiety: How Does It Work
When it comes to marijuana and anxiety, researchers are still trying to discover exactly how the plant works in the human body. In their review of studies on using cannabis for anxiety, Professor Michael P. Barnes and Dr. Jennifer C. Barnes found that cannabis helps alleviate various illnesses and symptoms by mimicking the bodys own natural chemicals.
These chemicals bind with tiny cannabinoid receptors located throughout the brain and body. In various situations , the body produces chemicals to bind to the cannabinoid receptors. This helps do things such as reduce pain and control movement disorders. Researchers have discovered that the cannabinoids produced by marijuana can replace these chemicals.
Researchers arent entirely sure how THC uses this process to cause or alleviate anxiety, but it is clear that CBD is more consistent in providing relief for people who suffer from the disorder. There is speculation that CBD might decrease high levels of blood flow that supply areas of the brain that are responsible for generating fear and anxiety. Another theory is that the chemicals somehow affect behavior of the brains serotonin.
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How Cannabis Works On Anxiety
The endocannabinoid system exists in all vertebrates and helps regulate crucial functions such as sleep, pain, mood and appetite. The human body produces its own cannabinoids, which modulate and activate its various functions, but as its name suggests, the endocannabinoid system can also be modulated and activated by cannabinoids found in the cannabis plant. Because the entire system was only discovered in the past 30 years, scientists still have much to learn about the myriad ways cannabis affects the human body.
When it comes to anxiety, the fact that cannabis interacts with the ECS indicates why it is a promising treatment for anxiety. This is because the ECS regulates stress and anxiety levels, and when endocannabinoid function is impaired or dysregulated, it can lead to the development of anxiety disorders. By adding cannabinoids to stimulate the endocannabinoid system, patients may be able to relieve their anxiety.
Research carried out in 2015 found that the ECS is key to the bodys shift from active to passive fear response and plays a role in guarding against fear, anxiety, and stress. In addition, a 2005 study carried out on mice found that the ECS has a pivotal role in the regulation of emotional states and may constitute a novel pharmacological target for anti-anxiety therapy.
Additional studies have shown some promising results:
Using Cannabis For Anxiety
When using cannabis for anxiety, patients need to be aware of how much the dose itself can play a central role. For many patients, the difference between cannabis providing relief from their anxiety or making it worse can come down solely to the amount taken and/or the potency of the cannabis in question.
There is growing interest in microdosing with marijuana, which is taking such a small dose that the psychotropic effects are imperceptible. This can potentially provide the benefits of marijuana without the intoxicating effect, and should also be less likely to cause anxiety or paranoia.
The effects of microdosing could be explained by what is known as the biphasic effect. When we say a substance has a biphasic effect, it means that it can produce two opposite effects depending on the dose of the substance taken. Studies have shown that with THC this can be most glaring in the way that low doses can ease anxiety whereas higher doses can spike it, even causing paranoia or panic attacks in some cases.
Biphasic responses have also been found for CBD with effects like pain, sedation, nausea and vomiting relief, and immune responses.
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Medical Marijuana As An Alternative Treatment
Current research suggests cannabis is an effective and holistic treatment alternative for social anxiety disorder. But before we go into the specific ways that marijuana helps SAD, we need to explore the nature of marijuana and how it interacts with our bodies.
The human body has a natural system called the endocannabinoid system . The ECS helps the body maintain homeostasis, responsible for a variety of regulatory processes including appetite regulation, metabolism, memory, communication between cells and immune response.
The ECS has two different types of receptors CB1 and CB2. While CB1 receptors are primarily centered in the spinal cord and brain, CB2 receptors are found mostly in the immune system.
Thats where marijuana comes in. The cannabis plant is filled with chemical compounds called cannabinoids. When you inhale or ingest marijuana, these cannabinoids enter your bloodstream and bind to the ECS receptors throughout your body.
But not every cannabinoid produces the same response. For example, the two most abundant cannabinoids in weed are tetrahydrocannabinol and cannabidiol . THC binds to the CB1 receptors in the body and primarily affects the nervous system this is the compound responsible for the euphoria and famous high feeling of marijuana. Alternately, CBD binds to CB2 receptors, giving the beneficial health effects of cannabis without any psychoactive side effects.
Best Strains For Social Anxiety
Managing a social anxiety disorder can be challenging and frustrating, whether its a recent diagnosis or something youve navigated for years. Social interactions can feel impossible to manage, and sometimes it can even be scary to leave your house.
Cannabis has emerged as a potentially beneficial alternative treatment to help individuals with social and generalized anxiety disorders overcome mental hurdles during social situations. If youre curious about finding a medical marijuana-based option for managing your social anxiety, read on to learn how cannabis might help and our top strains to consider.
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Does Marijuana Help With Anxiety
Yes and no. For years, many cannabis consumers have insisted that theyve found relief using marijuana for anxiety. While research studies have shown that there is some evidence that people can use marijuana to treat anxiety, theyve also highlighted the fact that in some people, cannabis can make anxiety worse.
How To Get Medical Cannabis For Anxiety In Canada
If you are looking to get assessed for medical cannabis to help alleviate some of symptoms of anxious, Canadian Cannabis Clinics can help. Weâve provided care and support to thousands of Canadians who live with anxiety. Choose to have a virtual or clinic appointment – whichever feels right for you.
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Cannabis And Anxiety: Customizing A Cure
More study is needed on the long-term side effects of using medical cannabis to treat anxiety, but for many, it provides a welcome relief from both the daily feeling of impending doom and the emotional and physical effects of taking prescription anxiety medications.
As with prescription anxiety medications, marijuana for anxiety isnt a one-size-fits-all cure. Patients need to work with their healthcare practitioners to experiment with different high-CBC/low-THC strains, dosages, and consumption methods to find out which ones work best to relieve their anxiety. Because each persons brain chemistry is different, what is effective for one person may not work for someone else.
As researchers learn more and medical cannabis becomes more widely available, a larger number of people will gain access to medical cannabis. As anxiety sufferers are offered the choice between prescription medications and all-natural cannabis, their options for treatment will be greater than ever.
How Does It Work
There are cannabinoid receptors all throughout our brains, which are responsible for processing our emotions. When you consume marijuana, tetrahydrocannabinol , the main psychoactive compound in cannabis, binds to these receptors and triggers a range of reactions that change the way you think and feel.
For example, its well-known that THC activates the brains reward system, which is how marijuana can make people feel more relaxed or euphoric. But this isnt the only thing THC does it also stimulates areas of the brain that are responsible for controlling memories, feelings of fear, and anxiety.
So what does this all mean? With evidence showing that marijuana can influence our thoughts and emotions, it makes sense that it could be useful in treating specific anxiety disorders. Read chronic stress and anxiety.
There is actually a lot of anecdotal evidence suggesting that cannabis can be helpful in treating anxiety. A study by the University of California found that 47% of patients being treated for PTSD with medical cannabis experienced a reduction in their symptoms, including flashbacks and panic attacks.
Cannabis can also help calm social anxiety one recent study published in the journal Cannabis and Cannabinoid Research suggests that marijuana may have strong potential to treat social anxiety. Researchers found that some patients experienced a paradoxical effect, meaning that they actually felt less anxious after consuming THC, which decreased over time.
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Cbd And Improving Social Experiences
Many people find that a purposeful dose of CBD is one of the best ways to stay relaxed during social gatherings. How does CBD relieve stress and improve your social experiences?
Research has shown that CBD can affect the serotonin system and the endocannabinoid system in ways that may promote stress-relief. Animal studies indicate that CBD appears to have stress and anxiety reducing effects in a variety of experimental designs. Please note that CBD is not an FDA approved treatment for Social Anxiety Disorder. We are discussing using CBD to improve your general wellbeing.
If you want to keep a clear head and improve your times with family and friends, give CBD a try. You can experiment with different CBD products and record your results on the Jointly app until you find a product that works for you.
Is Sativa Or Indica Better For Social Anxiety
Sativa and indica are terms used to describe the growing characteristics of the cannabis plant and its subspecies. Colloquially, they refer to whether a strain is an upper or a downer experience.
Still, it depends on the strains chemovar: the collection of cannabinoids, terpenes, flavonoids, and other compounds that contribute to a specific strains effect on someones system. Indica and sativa distinctions are mostly meaningless and often based on subjective experiences.
Free Cannabinoid and Terpene Guide
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Can Marijuana Cause Anxiety
Marijuana isnt known to cause an anxiety disorder to develop in people that otherwise wouldnt have had one, but it can cause anxiety symptoms in some people. Marijuana is a complicated drug, and it can cause relaxation in some and anxiety symptoms in others. This is especially true for people that take marijuana with high levels of THC, which have been associated with symptoms like anxiety, discomfort, increased heart rate, and psychosis. Someone with an anxiety or panic disorder may see a worsening of symptoms when they take high doses of THC. If youre treated for anxiety with medical marijuana, its likely that youll take lower doses of THC than some illicit sources of marijuana can provide.