Do you experience butterflies in the stomach when talking to an unknown person? Do you feel anxious when going to the market alone? Don’t worry! There are millions of Americans suffering from anxiety and depression. And, the good news is, the condition is treatable. Marijuana for anxiety has gained popularity among patients in the past few years. Although anti-anxiety medications and antidepressants are available for managing the symptoms, cannabis treatment provides better results. Additionally, it’s safe to use. By getting a medical cannabis card in a legalized state, you can buy, possess, use, and grow marijuana legally.
So, is it a good idea to replace anti-anxiety medications with cannabis? Let’s learn.
How Marijuana For Anxiety Works?
Anxiety is a mental health condition, which can reduce a patient’s ability to perform daily life activities. Some experts say that anxiety is the reaction of the brain to stressful situations. Some of the common symptoms of anxiety disorders are feeling nervous, fast heart rate, sleep problems, sweating, etc.
Research says that the body’s endocannabinoid system controls various functions such as fear, mood, memory, etc. And, endocannabinoids such as 2-arachidonoylglycerol (2-AG) play a key role in regulating anxiety, fear, etc. The endocannabinoids are similar to cannabinoids present in the marijuana plant. In other words, phytocannabinoids can mimic the functions of endocannabinoids produced by the body naturally. A recent study has found that 2-AG and THC target the same cannabinoid receptors.
Marijuana can help improve sleep by interacting with the endocannabinoid system. Patients with anxiety disorders often experience sleep problems. A 2008 study reported that consuming high-THC strains can help boost sleep by reducing REM sleep. This can also reduce nightmares in PTSD patients. THC is a psychoactive cannabinoid in the marijuana plant, and it causes high effects.
Studies have found that CBD can help reduce anxiety by interacting with the serotonin system, as SSRIs do. In a study published in 2014, researchers reported that CBD can provide antidepressant and anti-anxiety effects by binding to the serotonin receptors.
It’s important to note that cannabis may cause some side-effects in some cases. So, you should learn how to use the herb right. There are many factors influencing the marijuana effects on the body, such as cannabinoid profile, consumption method, and dosage. Work with your doctor to decide what’s the ideal dose and strains for managing your symptoms.
Marijuana vs Anti-Anxiety Medications
There’s a wide range of medications doctors usually prescribe for managing anxiety symptoms. Although anti-anxiety pharmaceuticals can help promote wellness, the patients may end up experiencing certain side-effects. For example, the medications can make patients build tolerance, thus consuming more and increasing the risks of overdose and other health issues.
Benzodiazepines work by managing the levels of GABA. Studies have found that cannabis also impacts the GABA levels. However, benzodiazepines may cause overdose issues and thousands of individuals die due to benzodiazepines overdose.
What about mixing cannabis with medications? Well, many do that in order to get better results. But, we don’t recommend taking them together, because it can cause some health risks. For example, mixing citalopram and marijuana can lead to confusion, drowsiness, and lack of concentration.
Additionally, there’s some evidence that CBD can influence the effectiveness of certain medications by inhibiting the activity of cytochrome P450. And, by reducing the activity of these liver enzymes, cannabidiol can change the process of metabolization of chemical compounds.
Some studies say that patients should not mix CBD with medications that have a grapefruit warning label. According to the FDA, taking grapefruit juice when you are on certain medications can cause various negative effects.
Cannabis treatment for anxiety is getting popular because it doesn’t cause side-effects as anti-anxiety medications. Studies have found that cannabinoids when delivered into the body, bind to cannabinoid receptors in the endocannabinoid system, thus providing positive effects such as mood boost, managing sleep problems, etc.
Use the right strains with optimal levels of cannabinoids and terpenes. Start with a low dose (let’s say 5 mg of CBD) and see how your system is responding to cannabinoids. Increase the dose slowly until you alleviate your symptoms completely. And, avoid mixing cannabis with anti-anxiety medications as doing so can lead to various negative effects.
To use cannabis for medical purposes legally, apply for 420 evaluations online today. It’s very easy-
- Sign up an account
- See a doctor online
- Receive MMJ recs in PDF via email