Can Cannabis help with Anxiety?
Anxiety is a rapidly growing problem nowadays. In the United States, over 40 million people suffer with anxiety disorders. Psychotherapy and medications like SSRI antidepressants don’t always work or have unpleasant side effects. For years, benzodiazepines were the go-to medication for anxiety treatment. However, the addictive potential of benzodiazepines presents real risks to patients. There is growing data to support the use of medical marijuana to help treat anxiety disorders. Can a CBD doctor who prescribes medical marijuana become an alternative or supplemental treatment method in place of or alongside conventional prescriptions? Keep reading to learn more about medical marijuana for anxiety.
What is Anxiety?
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), “Anxiety disorders are characterized by excessive and unrealistic worry about everyday tasks or events, or may be specific to certain objects or rituals.” Different scenarios such as a large crowd, isolation, or constant worry, among other factors, can trigger the feeling of anxiety in a person’s life.
This may be short lived, or last for a long period of time or even a lifetime. Some of the symptoms associated with anxiety include:
- Trouble sleeping
- Shortness of breath
- Heart palpitations
- Tingly sensations in the hands and feet
What is the Difference Between Anxiety and Stress?
As noted above, anxiety is excessive and unrealistic worry or fear. It is essentially irrational, unpredictable, and inappropriate to the situation at hand. Anxiety is a disease.
Stress, on the other hand, is situational. Stress is worry or annoyance at a set of real circumstances. Having a hard time at work or dealing with the kids all day causes stress. These are real-world situations causing these feelings.
Stress, however, is not a disease, and should not be treated as such. The most medically appropriate response to stress is not medication, but stress reduction – doing things to change the real-world events that are causing the problem.
Use of alcohol or cannabis to “treat” stress is highly not recommended as it does not deal with the underlying problem, and at least in the case of alcohol can lead to more significant health problems down the road.
The best thing is to discuss openly your anxiety symptoms with a Cannabis doctor in Wellington who can treat your symptoms so you can restore function in your daily life.
Cannabis for Anxiety
- Most cannabis contains Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) which is one of the most researched cannabis compounds. It is also responsible for creating the euphoric sensation commonly known as the “high.” However, THC does more than just induce psychoactive effects.
- In low doses, cannabis containing THC has been helpful for treatment of anxiety.
- However, in higher doses, cannabis is well known to be counter-productive and stimulate anxiety. As a result, careful attention to dose and monitoring is crucial for anxiety treatment.
- Another important aspect of treating anxiety with cannabis is that while cannabis will cause intoxication or “high” when taken, being high during the day isn’t necessary or beneficial. Low doses at bedtime allow the intoxication to wear off overnight, while treating any insomnia associated with the anxiety, but the anti-anxiety effect persists throughout the next day, without the high.
- Cannabidiol (CBD) is another natural compound found in cannabis. CBD has picked up a lot of recognition recently due to claims of its beneficial properties. CBD does not induce the “high” most people associate with marijuana. Studies have shown CBD to potentially have benefit against anxiety and other mental health illnesses.
Anxiety Disorder – Cannabis Doctor – Wellington
It is important to keep in mind that the use of cannabis does not necessarily “cure” anxiety itself. However, medical cannabis in conjunction with conventional medication plus therapy can greatly improve an anxiety patient’s quality of life.
If you feel like your anxiety treatment does not work for you, you should consult with a CBD doctor like Dr. Maldonado about the possibility of supplementing your current treatment with the use of medical cannabis.
At Cannabis+MD we can help you determine whether medical cannabis is right for you once you have been evaluated.
Dr. Maldonado is a compassionate board certified Cannabis doctor specialized in pain management and treating patients who suffer with anxiety and other qualifying disorders. We are pleased to serve Wellington area residents.