In recent years, marijuana’s use for recreational and medical purposes has been a contentious issue. The United States has a long history of controversies surrounding marijuana, and it has long viewed it as an illicit, dangerous drug.
However, multiple studies have shown that marijuana is potentially therapeutic. Yet it might also have both positives and negatives, like most substances used recreationally and medicinally.
Irrespective of the debate, marijuana’s popularity is rising, and perceptions of the drug are shifting. The nation recognized the drug constitutionally and allowed dispensation in every state from 2020. Furthermore, its legalization has only continued to gain momentum.
Legalization can widen the scope of investigations, as scientists have easier access to studying the substance in greater depth. There are a lot of studies on marijuana and its effects on the brain, but we still don’t know much about it.
Even so, it’s still a popular remedy for anxiety, pain, and other ailments due to its potential medical benefits. The anxiety disorder affects 40 million Americans each year, and it is the most common problem they face.
What is Marijuana?
Cannabis Indica and Cannabis Sativa are two species of Cannabis plants used in making marijuana. Cannabinoids are among the active ingredients found in the drug. The endocannabinoid system naturally presents within the body and is responsible for maintaining the body’s natural balance. Both of these chemicals have the potential to interact with the system.
This system manages your body’s temperature, internal clock, heart rate, appetite, and many other things. The brain and body are affected when THC and CBD connect to receptors within the endocannabinoid system.
Marijuana’s high is most commonly due to its active ingredient, THC, which may also increase your appetite, speed up your heartbeat, and make you forgetful. However, a very high dose of THC, especially in the case of schizophrenia or multiple psychotic disorders, can result in some adverse effects like psychosis. A 2013 study found that CBD may counteract some of these harmful effects with THC.
However, in illicit marijuana, the amount of THC may be higher than the amount of CBD. Since THC is one of the active ingredients of marijuana, manufacturers use elevated THC levels to increase the potency of the plant. It is profitable to market small packets of marijuana with high THC content.
The problem with this highly potent marijuana is that it contains low levels of CBD, which could be uncomfortable when consumed in high doses. It also causes an increase in psychotic symptoms. Since marijuana usage has increased, companies have entered the market, prompting calls for more research.
How Is Marijuana Helpful in Treating Anxiety?
The CBD content in marijuana provides users with a high and feeling of bliss which can help relieve anxiety symptoms. Moreover, it can provide a calmness to the users if consumed in a moderate amount.
Furthermore, people with chronic illnesses like cancer have long used medicines like this to treat their condition. Marijuana is highly effective in reducing nausea, discomfort, and decreased appetite caused by chemotherapy. In addition to treating neuropathic pain, cannabis can also treat various other ailments.
How Does Marijuana Affect Anxiety?
CBD has won FDA approval in some instances, but marijuana does not qualify for medical use. There is evidence that marijuana can assist people in relaxing, improving their moods, and getting a good night’s sleep. It may treat anxiety-related sleep disorders, social phobias, agoraphobia, posttraumatic stress disorder, and PTSD.
On the other hand, while marijuana appears to help some people, it has also been known to make the anxiety symptoms worse in some people. In general, the effects of marijuana are thought to occur due to higher THC concentrations and lower CBD concentrations.
CBD may even be helpful on its own to treat anxiety. A 2015 review shows that CBD could have therapeutic benefits for anxiety. However, more research needs to confirm these findings. The American Society for Experimental NeuroTherapeutics review states, “Current evidence indicates that CBD may be able to treat multiple anxiety disorders, but further research is required to determine whether it has prolonged and therapeutic effects in appropriate clinical populations.”
Evidence for Medical Marijuana Relieving Anxiety
There is a lack of understanding about endocannabinoids’ interaction with anxiety disorders. Thus, the effectiveness of medical marijuana in treating the condition needs further investigation.
Researchers in a recent study administered 25 mg of the non-psychoactive CBD cannabinoid to participants in Colorado’s significant mental health clinic. The findings stated improved stress and anxiety symptoms among 79.2% of the participants. A psychiatric disorder resulting from traumatic events, PTSD commonly occurs in people who suffer from a traumatic event.
In addition to its antidepressant properties, cannabinoids may play a role in helping people with this affliction decrease their fear. Medical marijuana treatment reduces symptoms by more than 75 percent.
Other Anxiety Treatments
A variety of problems can cause anxiety, and it may require different treatments for each. You can get some insight into the specific anxiety problem you have by speaking to a medical or clinical professional.
You can also go for psychiatry and cognitive behavioral therapy to treat your anxiety. Consult a doctor to see if any other medications can help alleviate your symptoms.
Every medicine needs a trial and error process to find out if it’s right for you. It’s not easy dealing with mental health issues, but you can conquer issues like anxiety if you put the work in.
The potential for medical marijuana to treat anxiety symptoms exists, and the issue needs further study. It depends on the individual who uses the drug to determine which strain works best for them.
According to multiple studies as well as users, CBD-heavy strains are the best for reducing anxiety. However, for doctors to effectively prescribe different strains of cannabis according to patients’ needs, further research on the relationship between THC and CBD ratios is necessary.