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Does Weed Help With Anxiety

The Best Strains Of Cannabis For Anxiety

Can Medical Marijuana Help with 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?

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.

Research On Marijuana And Anxiety

When using cannabis for anxiety, research suggests that lower doses may offer greater therapeutic benefit. While this ideal dose differs from person to person, its generally recommended to start with a low dose and gradually increase the doseideally adding just another milligram or twountil you feel optimal symptom relief.

Cannabis is relaxing. Well, it should be, but if youve ever smoked a little too much or underestimated an infused edible, you know quite well that THC can sometimes turn on this reputation.

When it comes to high-THC cannabis and anxiety, theres one thing to keep in mind based on research: At lower doses, cannabis seems to help anxiety at higher doses, it seems to worsen it. So if opting for a high-THC variety, be sure to pay close attention to your dose . However, high doses of CBD appear to reduce anxiety.

So why does cannabis soothe anxiety at some doses and exacerbate at others? Answering that requires a closer look at the biological system cannabis primarily interacts with: the endocannabinoid system .

Another study published in Jan. 2020 showed that the endocannabinoid 2-AG reduced anxiety-inducing connections between the amygdala and frontal cortex, suggesting another mechanism by which cannabis relieves anxiety in certain doses.

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How Can I Get Help If Cannabis Is Affecting My Health

Can I see my GP?

Speak to your GP if cannabis use is affecting your physical or mental health. Be honest with your GP about your cannabis use and symptoms. Your GP may not offer you the right support if they dont know the full picture.

Your GP might:

  • offer you treatment at the practice, or
  • refer you to your local drug service.

You can find local drug treatment support by clicking on the following link:

What can my local drug service do?

The service can offer counselling, support groups and advice. They can help you to:

  • reduce your cannabis use,
  • reduce the affect that cannabis has on your life, and
  • support you to not start using again.

The service may be provided through the NHS or through charity. You may be able to self-refer to this type of service. If you cant self-refer speak to your GP or health professional.

Should I be referred to a specialist mental health service?

Your GP should refer you to a specialist mental health service if they think you have psychosis.32 The service could be the Community Mental Health Team or an Early Intervention Psychosis service. Both psychosis and schizophrenia can be treated using antipsychotic medication and talking treatments.

Find out more about:

Or call our General Enquiries team on 0121 522 7007 and ask them to send you a copy of our factsheet.

Can I be excluded from services?

You shouldnt be excluded from:

Can I see a therapist?

  • you misuse drugs, and

Can I get further support?

The Risks Of Using Marijuana To Relieve Anxiety

Does Weed Help With Anxiety?

You might be thinking if marijuana can affect neurotransmitters, isn’t it possible that they cause the wrong effect, and the answer to that is yes, they can. This is why, instead of relieving anxiety, marijuana can also be responsible for amplifying it.

Primarily, this is most likely due to the THC within marijuana rather than CBD, given that it has more potency with regards to psychoactive reactions. Other side effects reported include phobias, panic attacks, agoraphobia, and insomnia.

It is not just psychological problems that marijuana has been known to create. Physical problems such as dry mouth, red eyes and more seriously irregular heartbeat have also been reported.

So, while there are many people report that taking marijuana has helped relieve their anxiety, and no doubt it has, this needs to be caveated by the fact that it may not help everyone, and in some cases may have another undesirable physical or psychological effect.

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Legal Regulations For Medical Cannabis

Once a well-established and widespread treatment modality, the federal government began placing sanctions on the sale and cultivation of cannabis in 1937, with concerns about its psychoactive effects leading to its prohibition and classification as a Schedule I controlled substance in 1970 2. Today, cannabis containing THC continues to be considered a prohibited substance under federal law, however, state legislators have found loopholes in the governing of cannabis use for both medical and recreational use. Beginning with Californias Compassionate Use Act in 1996, today only four states – Idaho, Kansas, Nebraska, and South Dakota – have opted to not follow on the lingering smoke trail that is the legalization of cannabis in some capacity. Thirty-two states, along with Washington D.C., Guam, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands, have departed from the federal government to impose their own individual laws and restrictions around the sale and use of medical cannabis, but the conditions for which medical treatment is approved varies from state to state27.

A Good Study That Shows No Association Between Cannabis And Anxiety

Finally, in the midst of all the studies that claim that marijuana has either negative or positive effects, there is one very good French study of regular users of marijuana that found that there is no significant association between the level of state anxiety and cannabis use in daily life.

The same study also found no evidence for either an anxiolytic or anxiogenic effect of cannabis in daily life. In other words, they found no evidence that marijuana use reduces or increases anxiety in people who regularly smoke marijuana.

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Effects Of Low Doses Of Thc

CBD at all levels of dosage has been shown to reduce anxiety levels. Increasingly, doctors are recommending a psychoactive-free marijuana-derived product like CBD. It seems to calm a worried mind, promote natural and gentle relaxation, and generally help you overcome many anxiety symptoms.

THC is a slightly different story. It can increase your heart rate at higher doses, similar to having too much caffeine. This only increases anxiety. However, there does seem to be a relaxation effect at low doses, which can benefit those with anxiety. The important thing is to be conservative and talk with medical experts instead of self-medicating.

Benefits Of Medical Marijuana For Anxiety And Panic Attacks

Cannabis Question Extra: CBD Helps People With Anxiety in a Clinical Trial

Among other benefits, a significant percentage of the global population has embraced CBD for its incomparable medicinal properties. Medical marijuana has been and still is at the center of extensive research. So far, scientists and medical experts have unearthed several CBD advantages concerning panic attacks and anxiety, as outlined in this article. However, it’s up to certified professionals to administer various forms of medicinal marijuana.

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The Feds Are Coming For Delta

Before using cannabis, all participants were assessed to establish their baseline state on all of the measures used including subjective drug effects, cognitive/psychomotor performance, cardiovascular effects, and blood concentrations of THC and its primary metabolites.

In general, all participants who didnt have a placebo had increases in heart rate, subjective effects, and blood cannabinoid concentrations, and they scored worse on cognitive and psychomotor performances. But even after controlling for body weight and the concentration of cannabinoids in the blood, one significant difference was found between men and women.

NEW YORK, NY – JUNE 19: A woman poses while smoking a vape stick at the Cannabis World Congress … Expo on June 19, 2015 in New York City. Marijuana consumption is growing into a multimillion dollar industry as marijuana use – both recreational and medicinal- becomes legal in more U.S. states and more socially accepted.

In women, ratings for feeling anxious/nervous, restless, and heart racing were significantly higher. Interestingly, women were more likely to report feeling their heart racing, even though their heart rates were not beating at higher rates.

While this study provides some fantastic insight into how biological sex may impact cannabis experiences, there are several limitations to the study we should also take into consideration.

Can Marijuana Be Prescribed For Anxiety In Australia

Yes. Medical cannabis is prescribed for anxiety in Australia. In order to be eligible for medical marijuana, you must meet the following conditions:

  • Firstly, you must be clinically diagnosed with an anxiety disorder.
  • Secondly you must have tried traditional treatments for your condition.
  • Finally, your doctor must explain why those traditional methods have not been able to successfully treat your anxiety disorder.

If you meet those conditions your GP or specialist can create a cannabis treatment plan for you and apply to the TGA to prescribe you medical cannabis. Medical cannabis access often takes up to two weeks from seeing your doctor if you are eligible.

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What Effects You May Notice

Because marijuana comes in a variety of strains and affects everyone differently, you may need to experiment before you find the format, dosage, and timing that work for you. THC is a psychoactive drug that tends to have other effects apart from promoting sleep. You may feel sleepy, relaxed, euphoric, or energized.

When using cannabinoids, some users may also experience dizziness, nausea, fatigue, dry mouth, vomiting, confusion, loss of balance, or hallucinations. You may also experience anxiety, panic attacks, or paranoia.

Can Cannabis Also Cause Anxiety

Does Weed Help With Anxiety

Cannabis is a double-edged sword of an anxiety treatment as it has an unfortunate dual effect: it can cause anxiety as well as alleviating it. This is possible because of the two main chemicals in cannabis. THC is the cannabinoid responsible for the euphoric high sensation most often associated with cannabis use. It can create relaxation as well as increase heart rate , as well as create anxiety at higher doses.

Another chemical, CBD , is non-psychoactive. CBD actually works against the high induced by THC and has anxiety-relieving benefits of its own.

A 2017 University of Washington study backs up these findings. In short, this study found that low doses of THC can decrease anxiety, while high doses of THC can increase it. Meanwhile, it confirmed that CBD decreases anxiety at all doses.

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Does This Mean I Cant Use Weed If I Have Anxiety

There are many different cannabis strains that are bred and cultivated for their low THC. Quite a few of them are very effective in providing quality medicinal therapy for a variety of conditions, without causing added anxiety. This is primarily due to the fact that they provide a large amount of a medically powerful cannabinoid named CBD while keeping their THC content as low as possible.

A low ratio of THC/CBD content seems to be critical for reducing anxiety attacks. That is why there are a number of marijuana strains known for a higher THC content that also have certain ratios of CBD and other cannabinoids, that keep anxiety-related disorders in control.

How Much Does The Type Of Anxiety You Have Matter

Anxiety is not a monolithic pathological entity, says says James Giordano, professor of neurology and biochemistry at Georgetown University Medical Center. Theres anxiety thats acute versus chronic. Theres anxiety that has a more strongly traumatic aspect to it, like PTSD. Different forms of anxiety may have slightly different neurochemical roots, leading to different cannabis-linked effects. Cannabis may also only affect some elements of anxiety rather than the whole condition van Ameringen stresses, for instance, that while studies seem to show weed-based products may help people with PTSD sleep and avoid flashbacks, it may not help, and could even worsen, their overall conditions. On top of that, Stoner notes, every individual could have different reactions to cannabis and the compounds within it based on their genetics or even the cultural messaging theyve internalized about how a given substance should affect them.

As of now, researchers do not know with any certainty what forms or aspects of anxiety THC or CBD might be able to help with in general or in specific populations. Nor do they know if these or other compounds might trigger anxiety or exacerbate anxiety disorders in certain populations.

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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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How Marijuana Helps To Relieve Anxiety

Using medical marijuana for anxiety

In addition to more traditional treatments, research now shows that medical marijuana can be beneficial for people with anxiety disorders. The main ingredient in cannabis that helps reduce anxiety is the compound cannabidiol, or CBD. Unlike the better-known compound tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, responsible for the high associated with marijuana use, CBD does not produce psychoactive effects. Both compounds are thought to work by binding to interacting with the CB1 and CB2 receptors in the endocannabinoid system.

According to a 2017 review of the potential benefits of CBD for panic disorder, people who took 300 milligrams of CBD after a simulated public speaking test experienced a notable decrease in anxiety levels. Additionally, a 2019 study found that 300600 mg of CBD significantly decreased anxiety in 57 adult males.

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Is A High Cbd Or Thc Strain Better For Anxiety

Some people may feel anxious when smoking pot even as they gain experience because everyone reacts differently to it these folks should just stay away from weed. But for everyone else, publications like High Times and Leafly regularly recommend particular strains they claim will help with various types of anxietyoften those heavier on soothing CBD than on high-inducing THC.

Existing research aligns with common wisdom and recommendations to a degree. We know, for instance, that THC and CBDmajor components of weedinteract with systems in the brain that influence anxiety. THC can work on these systems to reduce anxiety in some people at low doses, but the risk of tripping over to anxious responses gets higher with higher doses.

A few studies, meanwhile, suggest that CBD has more general and reliable anti-anxiety effects. The mechanisms by which each of these substances affects anxiety remain a little murky. Still, this all seems to support the idea that a higher ratio of THC to CBD is more likely to cause anxiety, says Carl Stevenson, a neuroscientist who has researched the effects of compounds within cannabis on fear and anxiety, while a lower ratio may have the opposite effectrelieving anxiety.

More from VICE:

Can I Get Medical Marijuana For Anxiety In Florida

Anxiety, or Generalized Anxiety Disorder, is not a direct qualifying condition currently in Florida. However, your physician can qualify anxiety as a comparable condition if deemed appropriate after consultation. Anxiety is currently one of the most common conditions for which patients qualify in Florida.

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