Medical cannabis and its scope have been on the rise since its legalization trend that started off with the state of California. Acknowledging the plant’s potential, people started changing their perceptions about cannabis and its usage. A wide range of patients has turned towards marijuana products for their therapeutic potential.
One of the reasons why people consume cannabis is for its capacity to provide help from different types of anxiety disorder including social anxiety. Different studies on cannabis for anxiety suggest that the plant holds significant potential in the management of anxiety disorder.
In this blog, we will be discussing whether medical cannabis is beneficial for people suffering from a social anxiety disorder or not. Keep on reading.
Social Anxiety Disorder: Meaning, Symptoms, Causes, and Treatments
Ever thought about how it would feel to not be able to speak with confidence? Occasional stress and nervousness are understandable but what if a person feels anxious every time when he/she has to engage in social conversations? This state is known as a social anxiety disorder (SAD).
Social anxiety disorder, also known as social phobia, is a common type of anxiety disorder where a person feels anxious and nervous while participating in social interactions and events which eventually result in a poor quality of life.
- Feeling anxious
- Fear of always getting negatively judged by others
- Avoiding conversations by the fear of being negatively judged
- Stress and muscle tension
- Avoiding talking with strangers out of embarrassment
- Physical symptoms such as sweating, blushing, shaky voice, etc
- Intense fear of anxiety during different social interactions
What is Medical Cannabis?
Cannabis is a complex plant containing hundreds of chemical entities, some of which are called cannabinoids. Speaking of medical cannabis, the term is used to refer to cannabis used for medical purposes, unlike recreational cannabis. Most of the US states have legalized medical marijuana giving residents the opportunity to seek cannabis treatment for some debilitating medical conditions (different qualifying conditions as per different states) with 420 evaluations.
Medical marijuana is well-regarded for its therapeutic potential. The major component that contributes towards the therapeutic capacity of the plant is the cannabinoids. CBD (Cannabidiol), THC (Tetrahydrocannabinol), CBN (Cannabinol), and CBG (Cannabigerol) are some of the most researched and widely-used cannabinoids. CBD and THC enjoy a dedicated following in the cannabis industry, being two of the most prevalent compounds with unique properties.
Both cannabinoids contain different therapeutic properties helping people with anxiety manage some of their symptoms like stress, insomnia, muscle tension, etc.
Medical Cannabis for Social Anxiety Disorder: Does it Help?
Following the changing modern lifestyle, people are more stressed and anxious due to their unmanaged daily hectic schedules. An estimate of 40 million people in America suffers from an anxiety disorder. The number is huge and is likely to shoot up in the coming years. Not only for medical purposes but people in America consume marijuana in different forms to get temporary relief from restlessness, muscle tension, loss of appetite, etc.
Even some of the studies conducted on cannabis for social anxiety disorder (SAD) reveal that CBD (cannabidiol) does help patients with SAD. In one of the studies, patients with SAD were given CBD treatment for a particular period of time and it was found out that the patients had increased blood flow in the cingulate cortex.
Scientists also discovered that CBD helps inhibit the flow of anandamide in parahippocampal gyrus and substances that restrain the flow of anandamide prevents anxiety. Now, here’s how medical cannabis can help patients suffering from a social anxiety disorder.
CBD Boosts the Flow of Happy Hormones
Hormones are basically chemicals produced by different glands of our body. CBD has the potential to influence different functions running in the human body, such as pain, pleasure, mood, etc by binding with the CB1 and CB2 receptors present in the nervous system. This in turn helps in the secretion of hormones like serotonin and dopamine which makes a person feel good and relaxed after taking cannabis.
It Promotes Sleep
Lack of sound sleep is one of the common symptoms of anxiety disorder and medical marijuana can help you experience a good night’s sleep. In one of the studies conducted, patients with poor sleep were given 25 milligrams of CBD each day for a month and the results showed that more than 50 % of the participants reported an improved sleeping pattern.
Provides Body Relaxation
CBD and THC, both cannabinoids produce calming and relaxing effects. Marijuana users report that smoking or vaping CBD or THC makes them feel calm and relieves their muscle tension. The young population in America consumes different forms of cannabis products like gummies, capsules, pre-rolls to get overall body relaxation.
Are There Any Side-effects?
Well, CBD is generally considered safe. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved the medical use of only-one CBD-infused medicine named ‘Epidiolex’ for the treatment of two forms of epilepsy, i.e Lennox-Gastaut syndrome (LGS) and Dravet syndrome (DS).
Even the World Health Organization has acknowledged the medical potential of CBD, considering it well-tolerated by human bodies. Though cannabidiol has a safety profile, sometimes it could lead to short-term side effects due to excess consumption or other factors.
Common side-effects of CBD
- Change in weight
- Fluctuation in blood pressure
Anxiety is one of the leading causes of poor human health. People are ditching conventional medical treatments in order to look for new modern treatments that are both effective and less harmful. Cannabis has taken the limelight spot for being one of the potential agents in the management of anxiety symptoms without compromising on the taste. Yet, the lack of clear evidence on cannabis for anxiety calls out for more detailed research. Till then, medical experts advise consuming cannabis and its different forms in moderation. If you wish to take marijuana for any purpose, don’t be hesitant to consult a medical marijuana doctor.