the past few years, medical marijuana use has seen a rise in the United States. According to “Statista”, legal cannabis sales are expected to reach $23 billion by 2025 in America.
Currently, medical cannabis is legal in 33 states. In California, it was legalized in 1996. Patients interested in using marijuana for medical purposes require MMJ recommendation’s signed by a 420 doctor Modesto.
Research says that marijuana can help in boosting wellness. It’s effective for alleviating anxiety and depression symptoms. These are the two major mental health conditions affecting millions of people in the United States. Let’s learn how cannabis works, what studies have to say, top strains for anxiety, and more.
What is Anxiety?
Anxiety is the reaction of the body to stressful situations. The common symptoms include dizziness, rapid heart rate, fear of losing control, sleep problems, and excessive worrying. Sometimes, emotions become so severe that they can lead to panic attacks. Medical experts believe that anxiety can lead to headaches, insomnia, and erectile dysfunction.
Anxiety disorders are manageable if you use the right treatment strategies. SSRIs (Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors) are the most widely prescribed anti-anxiety medications. They work by increasing the levels of serotonin in the brain. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter for transmitting signals between brain nerve cells. They are used for treating General Anxiety Disorder, Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder, Social Anxiety Disorder, and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.
Marijuana For Anxiety
Marijuana refers to dried flowers, seeds, and stems of the cannabis plant. It comprises more than 100 chemical compounds called cannabinoids, which have amazing medicinal properties.
The two most important cannabis cannabinoids are-
- THC (Tetrahydrocannabinol)- A psychoactive compound that’s responsible for producing the high sensation. It can help ease pain, insomnia, glaucoma, anxiety, and nausea.
- CBD (Cannabidiol)- A non-psychoactive compound that provides health benefits without causing psychoactive effects as THC. It can help counteract the high effects caused by THC.
How Marijuana Works?
Chemical compounds of marijuana interact with the cannabinoid receptors in the body’s endocannabinoid system (ECS), thus providing anxiety relief. For instance, THC binds to CB1 receptors, thus producing euphoria effects.
The ECS is a complex system that is responsible for managing various bodily functions, such as appetite, mood, memory, sleep, metabolism, etc. Marijuana helps in changing these functions, thus boosting wellness.
Additionally, cannabis helps in reducing anxiety by affecting GABA. The commonly prescribed medications Benzodiazepines also work by targeting the GABA levels.
Both THC and anandamide have a similar chemical structure. Anandamide, also called the bliss molecule, is linked to behavior, motivation, and pleasure.
In addition to cannabinoids, cannabis terpenes may also play a role in delivering anti-anxiety effects. These are responsible for the aroma and taste of marijuana strains. Medical experts say that terpenes have therapeutic properties and can help in boosting mental health. For instance, studies have reported that consuming limonene (both orally and inhaling) can help in managing anxiety levels in mice. Limonene has antidepressant properties. However, further research is needed to evaluate how exactly work.
Medical Studies Related to Cannabis & Anxiety
There has been a wide range of studies available on marijuana treatment for anxiety disorders. Here are some of them:
A 2017 study found that cannabis is effective in boosting cognitive function. Patients can use it as a therapeutic medicine for boosting concentration, relaxing the mind, and managing other anxiety-related symptoms.
A study by Washington State University analyzed how exactly marijuana helps ease anxiety, stress, and depression. It was published in the Journal of Affective Disorders, showing inhaling marijuana can reduce anxiety, depression, and stress levels for the short-term. However, long-term use may worsen depression.
According to a recent study, 2-AG, an endocannabinoid, activates the same cannabinoid receptors in the endocannabinoid system as THC. It can help in reducing anxiety-inducing links between the frontal cortex and the amygdala. This suggests that cannabis can help in relieving anxiety if used correctly.
Marijuana’s Interaction With Anti-Anxiety Drugs
If you are taking anti-anxiety medications, you must consider various things before starting cannabis treatment.
SSRIs are commonly prescribed for anxiety and depression. Combining them with marijuana can cause fewer side-effects than other types of antidepressants. However, MAOIs (Monoamine Oxidase Inhibitors) have dangerous interactions with various foods and drugs. So, combining MAOIs with marijuana isn’t recommended. Other medications that cause adverse side-effects when mixed with cannabis are—tricyclic antidepressants and sedatives.
However, when you combine medications with marijuana, it becomes difficult to measure the positive and negative effects of each on behavior and mood. That’s why many physicians start one treatment first and another later.
Since there’s a lack of research on this topic, we recommend you to consult your doctor before mixing marijuana with medications.
Dosing guidelines may vary depending on how you consume marijuana and the THC and CBD levels of the product.
For beginners, we recommend starting with CBD products. Since CBD is non-psychoactive, they don’t have to worry about unexpected high sensations like THC. Whether you are taking CBD oils or chocolate, take 10 mg CBD. However, you can increase/decrease the dosage as per your requirements later.
However, you should be more careful when using THC products. If you are using THC edibles, make sure you check the label carefully. Like CBD products, start with 10 mg. When taking oils, check the total milligrams in the bottle. Take one or two full droppers and analyze the effects on your body.
Best Strains For Anxiety
There’s a wide range of cannabis strains available at medical dispensaries. For managing your anxiety symptoms completely, it’s important to get the right ones. Here’s a list of the top cannabis strains for anxiety disorders-
It’s a CBD-dominant strain that provides amazing relief from anxiety disorders. Additionally, ACDC can help in managing pain, multiple sclerosis, and cancer chemotherapy side-effects. It has won several Cannabis Cup awards.
Granddaddy Purple can help ease anxiety, stress, and depression. Its primary terpenes include myrcene, caryophyllene, and pinene. It was created in the San Francisco area in 2003 and has dark purple buds. Granddaddy Purple is effective in managing anxiety, insomnia, and depression.
It’s a THC-dominant strain that delivers warm and bright effects. Many users report that it boosts mood, and is perfect to use if you experience anxiety effects in the morning. The strain has won several awards for its potency and quality.
Jillybean is known for its amazing energizing and calming effects. It’s helpful for patients with anxiety, depression, and stress. Many consumers say that after consuming this strain, they feel like socializing and boost creativity levels.
Cannabis can help in managing anxiety, depression, and stress effectively. Medical researchers have found that its amazing cannabinoids bind to receptors in the endocannabinoid system, thus improving cognitive function and various other bodily processes. Additionally, cannabis reduces anxiety by increasing the levels of serotonin in the brain.
When using marijuana for anxiety, you should take care of various things, such as dosage, strain, and consumption methods. Don’t mix cannabis with anti-anxiety medications because it may lead to adverse negative effects.
Talk to a 420 doctor Modesto to get a medical marijuana card. Now, with tele-medicine, you can get MMJ recommendations in just 10 minutes. Here’s the process-
- Sign up an account
- See a doctor online
- Receive your PDF MMJ recs via email