If you have anxiety, you might have heard people making claims about the use of marijuana for anxiety disorder. It’s complicated to say whether cannabis reduces anxiety or worsens it. The answer depends on different factors.
First and foremost, a person’s mental status and the conditions they’re in when using medicinal marijuana present a significant role in reacting. Here in this article, you’ll see what research says about the connection between marijuana and anxiety.
Marijuana and anxiety are closely connected in some patients, and a person may not get a mild or soothing experience while using it. In fact, their experience could be quite the opposite.
Many users feel that cannabis usage can cause symptoms of anxiety or can increase their existing anxiety, mainly if they use it in an unpleasant situation.
Marijuana and Anxiety
Many studies have revealed that cannabis’ interaction with our endocannabinoid system can have a huge impact on reducing stress. By activating the endocannabinoid receptors in our brain, marijuana can help control anxiety and stress.
Not only does it help reduce stress, but cannabis and the activation of the endocannabinoid system have been proved to have great behavioral benefits and an overall reduction in the level of anxiety felt when responding to external stimuli.
What Does the Research Say?
Below are recent trials examining the effects of marijuana use on stress. Click on the link for detailed information.
Title: Cannabidiol for the Treatment of Anxiety Disorders: An 8-Week Pilot Study
Sponsor: McMaster University
Title: Sublingual Cannabidiol for Anxiety
Sponsor: Mclean Hospital
Title: Cannabinoid Medication for Adults with OCD (recently completed)
Sponsor: New York State Psychiatric Institute
Does Marijuana Interact With Anti-anxiety Pills?
You should proceed cautiously when you think of mixing cannabis with other medications.
There hasn’t been much analysis exploring the interaction of marijuana and anxiety medicines. However, based on available studies and patient records, the scientists have an insight into which medications are more dangerous than others when you mix them with marijuana.
Because of the absence of a comprehensive study, it is advisable to first ask your doctor before mixing cannabis and other medicines.
Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRIs)—like Prozac, Celexa, Paxil, Zoloft, and Lexapro—are among the most common anxiety prescriptions. Subjects have described very few adverse interplays between weed and SSRIs.
The same goes with the case of including Norepinephrine and Dopamine Reuptake Inhibitors (NDRIs) like Aplenzin, Wellbutrin, and Forfivo.
You should pay more attention while mixing some medicines with cannabis as they can cause adverse side effects such as increased blood pressure or heart rates. These higher-risk combinations include the following names:
- Sedatives (e.g., Xanax, Klonopin, Ambien)
- MAOIs (e.g. tranylcypromine/Parnate, phenelzine/Nardil, isocarboxazid/Marplan)
- Tricyclic antidepressants (e.g., imipramine/Tofranil, amitriptyline, doxepin, trimipramine/Surmontil)
Another factor to pay attention to is how marijuana can confuse symptom tracking. If you’ve just started using the anti-anxiety pill, you may want to stop using cannabis so you can clearly see whether your anti-anxiety prescription is operating on its own.
Finding the Right Cannabis Strain for Anxiety
Although analysis reveals that certain types of cannabis strains seem to work in favor of you than others for anxiety, however, each body reacts differently. Finding the strain that wears out your stress will need a bit of exploration. It has become easy to find strains for anxiety as many online seed banks offer a particular category for patients with special requirements.
Here are a few strains that are typically ranked well to ease your symptoms:
- Girl Scout Cookies
- Blueberry CBD
- Strawberry Kush CBD
- White Widow
- Blue Cheese
Dosing Marijuana for Anxiety
Dosing recommendations for cannabis differ depending on two conditions:
- How you use it
- The THC and CBD levels of your product
The experts recommend high-CBD products for beginners. Not only has CBD been found to reduce anxiety efficiently, but it’s also non-intoxicating, so you don’t have to be as concerned about dosing as you have to be with THC products.
With CBD oils and edibles, you may start with 10mg and raise or lower your dose until you’ve discovered the sweet spot for your symptoms. You can also smoke on a CBD vape or CBD-rich bud until you feel like being on top of the world.
If you’re consuming it, the dose will usually be given in milligrams (mg). For instance, you might get edibles that include 10mg of THC or CBD per serving.
A liquid tincture may display the total milligrams per container and suggest a serving in milliliters. It may suggest taking one or two droppers-full.
Inhaling via smoking or vaporization is a bit different case—buds and oils typically display potency as a percentage by weight.
For instance, a bud may have 16% THC, while oil could have about 80% THC. Novice users should go for lower THC rates and higher CBD percentages.
Tips For Safe Use
While cannabis seems to help some people with anxiety, it has an adverse effect on others. Some simply don’t mark any effect, while others feel worsening symptoms. If you’re interested in trying weed for anxiety, here are a few things you can do to lower your risk of it worsening your stress.
- Choose CBD over THC. If you’re new to the world of weed, start with a product that includes only CBD or a much higher rate of CBD to THC.
Attention! A higher ratio of THC is what tends to make anxiety symptoms more severe.
- Start low, go slow. It’s a rule of thumb to consume cannabis. Give yourself plenty of time to absorb the effects before you start taking more.
- Buy marijuana from a dispensary. Qualified staff members can guide you based on the symptoms you’re looking to ease. When you purchase from a dispensary, you also know you’re getting a genuine product.
- Understand the interplays. Cannabis can mix with or reduce the effectiveness of medicine and over-the-counter pills, including vitamins and supplements. It’s best to inform your healthcare provider if you’re blazing pot. If you don’t feel comfortable doing this, you can also talk to a pharmaceutist.
- Inform your therapist. If you’re working with a therapist, make sure you tell them, too. They can help you decide how well it’s going for your symptoms and give further guidance.
Additional Remedies to Reduce Stress
Other nonmedical therapies can also help alleviate anxiety symptoms. If you’re in search of alternative remedies, consider giving other self-care alternatives a try, like:
- Breathing workouts
- Meditation and mindfulness programs
It may take a while, but eventually, you can find a therapy that works for you. Happy healing!
Interesting related article: “What is Cannabidiol?“