When anxiety or stress begins to impact your quality of life and ability to function it is considered a disorder. Anxiety disorders range from generalised to specific conditions. Usually, pharmaceutical medications are prescribed to manage the intense symptoms which impair daily functions.
Psychiatric medication can affect individuals in various ways. Some patients might find prescriptions to be the best way to cope with an anxiety disorder, while others may not experience any change. Others still, might find that this route causes more harm than good.
As a result, many people do turn to marijuana to treat anxiety. It is important to note that people who struggle with anxiety can be prone to panic attacks from weed. Or, have negative reactions to prescribed medications combined with psychoactive compounds in cannabis. Before you go about mixing weed and anxiety medication, be sure to talk to your Doctor.
In this article, we’ll be discussing topics and questions such as:
- Is CBD better to use for anxiety than THC?
- What forms of medicinal marijuana are available for managing anxiety symptoms?
- Does marijuana help with anxiety?
Marijuana and Anxiety
You might consider cannabis as a medical alternative if you have experienced any of the following:
- Poor experiences with doctors or therapists.
- Adverse medicinal side effects
- Little overall improvement after long-term treatment(s).
First and foremost, it is important to look back at your medical history:
- Are you taking over the counter medication for anxiety or another mental illness?
- Have you had negative experiences with cannabis in the past?
- Are you using cannabis to numb yourself, or rather in tandem with healthy coping mechanisms?
- Are you susceptible to forming addictive behaviours?
If you are interested in using weed for anxiety, but find yourself relating to any of the above, then you may need to reconsider cannabis as alternative medicine.
Anxiety is often treated with psychotropic medications which work by boosting or blocking certain chemicals in our brains. This means they can affect how cannabis reacts to our internal chemistry, and possibly cause a negative reaction.
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Are you taking care of yourself?
Cannabis can offer instantaneous relief from emotional turmoil, but that does not mean that weed is anxiety’s cure. Actively taking responsibility for your mental illness is vital. It means fostering an environment within your personal capacity to optimize your overall wellness.
Mental health all starts with initiative, balance, and healthy coping mechanisms. Anxiety is a complex disorder, personal to everyone. There are many elements which go into maintaining a balanced approach to mental health.
Just like pharmaceuticals, cannabis can be an incredible tool for managing your anxiety’s worst symptoms while you work on yourself. If you are just looking for an escape, however, then you may be at risk for developing an unhealthy emotional dependence.
If this is a point of concern for you or a loved one, consider seeking professional help, or talking to someone you trust about what you might be struggling to face.
Medical Marijuana for Anxiety
You might be wondering, how does Marijuana help anxiety? Well, there’s a surprising biological link between cannabis and anxiety, and it is known as the Endocannabinoid system.
It is an internal regulating system which plays a role in our bodies’ response to stress, fear and anxiety. It has an influence on both physical and mental health – and is the reason using cannabis for anxiety has been so successful for many people.
Medical cannabis is becoming increasingly available and varied. You’ll need to consider:
- Your means of consumption: smoking anything, is not good for your lungs long-term and may leave you vulnerable to developing a respiratory complication later on.
With this in mind, alternatives such as oils, edibles or tinctures may be a better option for you. Using a drop-dispenser can also help you start with a smaller dose and increase it to suit your need.
- Your purpose for medicating: if you are a regular cannabis user who enjoys smoking your medicine, it may just be about adapting strains which can give you different highs, depending on how potent the strain is.
Aside from the specific uses for various hybrid strains, medicinal cannabis products are usually divided into CBD-dominant and THC-dominant strains.
CBD for Anxiety
CBD, or Cannabidiol, is the compound in cannabis which produces a body high instead of altering your mental state. It is the dominant component of Indica Strains. It is preferred by users who are not generally cannabis smokers, or rather, users of cannabis that might be more sensitive to the swift elevation that comes along with the mental high.
If anxiety tends to impair your ability to socialise, sleep or regulate your body’s state of homeostasis, then CBD oil for social anxiety, sleep and inflammation is a great place to start your medical cannabis journey.
THC for Anxiety
Alternatively, you might be looking for a feeling of upliftment, in which case THC-dominant Sativa strains are good for providing that little oomph to get you up and doing what needs to be done.
Alternatively, there is an increasing availability of hybridised strains which offer different THC/CBD ratios, which you can choose to suit your combined needs.
Be careful when choosing Sativa strains, however, as some have been developed to provide a super-high, which can trigger some anxiety symptoms such as heart palpitations, increased sweating and paranoia.
Is Medicinal Cannabis for you?
Treating anxiety is not a straight line. It is a disorder which adapts and changes with us in our lives and is personal to everyone who experiences it.
Medications and therapy are a great option for some, but for others, these treatments may have fallen short. Medical marijuana offers a natural, more holistic alternative for those of us who have consistently been disappointed by pharmacological products.
As medicinal cannabis products become increasingly studied and commercially available, it’s possible to be overwhelmed by the number of choices and amount of information. Always remember to make a decision based on what is best for you, and your recovery.