Exploring Medical Marijuana for Anxiety
It is normal to feel anxious now and then. However, problems arise when the anxiety becomes burdensome and interferes with your life. If this occurs, you may have an anxiety disorder. Like most other mental health conditions, treating anxiety disorders is hardly ever straightforward. In this case, doctors make the diagnosis with attention to a thorough medical exam.
Drugs such as benzos or sedatives have been popular go-to drugs for a long time. Recently their lack of effectiveness and addiction potential has to be sure raised questions. It is also essential to realize the side effects of these drugs. Drowsiness, dizziness, and confusion can be especially notable. For this reason, the legalizing of medical marijuana across the country has physicians exploring cannabis for anxiety.
The Efficacy of Medical Marijuana for Stress and Anxiety
A 2013 study published in PubMed revealed a relationship between marijuana and anxiety. Cannabis is capable of treating anxiety among other conditions. Other studies showed similar results. There is now a great deal of evidence supporting the use of medical marijuana for stress and anxiety. A similar review published in the same journal explored CBD as treatment. Oral CBD showed a significant decrease in subject anxiety in the test subjects. These studies suggest cannabis treatment benefits social anxiety disorder when compared to placebo.
The effectiveness of medical marijuana for stress and anxiety is not under dispute. There is still some debate about the active principles responsible for the effect. The major constituents of the cannabis plant are THC and CBD. THC is a known psychoactive. It is the leading cause of the euphoria that comes after taking cannabis. The compound also activates specific brain centers controlling fear and anxiety. This chemical activation is why people taking cannabis for anxiety must not self medicate. We recommend you buy medical marijuana using a card from a licensed doctor. Taking pot purchased from your street dealer could, on balance, worsen your condition.
Approval of Cannabis for Anxiety
The adoption of medical marijuana by 31 states comes with specific clauses. One caveat its use for treating a limited number of certain specified conditions. Presently these conditions vary from state to state. Most states have approved medical marijuana for anxiety. The state of Florida, for example, does not explicitly list anxiety as one of the qualifying conditions. Despite this, your physician may still bridge to one of the medical conditions on the list. They need to demonstrate a significant effect of your illness on your life. Especially if they feel medical marijuana may help your severe anxiety.
The Best Cannabis for Anxiety
The best strains of cannabis for anxiety are the strains that contain more of CBD and less THC. For this reason, some doctors prefer CBD oil extract if their assessment shows that is what would benefit you the most.
Consult a licensed doctor to explore medical marijuana for stress and anxiety. This consultation is especially important before making any decision about using cannabis. The doctor would provide the appropriate prescription after a thorough assessment and consultation.
What is Anxiety?
We should remember that a certain amount of anxiety is healthy. Having excessive stress or worry routinely about everyday things is not normal. This persistence is a hallmark of generalized anxiety. Having anxious thoughts occurring on most days may be a sign you have an anxiety disorder. The symptoms may become burdensome and interfere with living a healthy life.
Distinguishing between "normal" anxiety and an anxiety disorder isn't always clear cut. Some people have severe symptoms such as anxiety attacks, phobias, or social anxiety. The disabling nature of these disorders is usually easier to identify. On the whole, normal stress distinguishes from anxiety disorder by whether symptoms interfere with daily life.
Medical Marijuana and Anxiety Disorder (GAD)
GAD (generalized anxiety disorder) is common and can result in a chronic failure to deal with the usual stresses of life. It can manifest with a depressed attitude or feelings of being immobile. Physical symptoms may be especially noticeable. Frequent muscle tension may occur, preventing the muscles from relaxing your muscles. This results in jaw or fist clenching, or muscle knots.
If this sounds familiar, you may want to talk with your doctor about the treatment of anxiety. On the positive side, marijuana relieves anxiety. Persons have used marijuana to treat anxiety disorders and panic disorder. People who use marijuana realize the short term relaxing and calming effect of cannabis. This fact is the most compelling evidence of its use as a treatment.
Feelings of self-doubt and self-worth are common in people with anxiety disorders. Self-consciousness persons second-guess themselves, wondering if others are judging them. This persistent uncertainty in everyday situations may turn into an obsession.
Social anxiety disorder leads to social situations where people feel, especially self-conscious. They often experience blushing, trembling, nausea, profuse sweating, or difficulty talking. These symptoms interfere with the ability to meet new people or maintain relationships. Starting a conversation or eating/drinking in public can provoke severe anxiety.
More than 50 million people in the United States suffer from sleep problems. This common problem of falling or staying asleep may be abnormal if happening on a routine basis. The excessive worry from anxiety tends to make this problem worse. Not being able to shut your brain off can result in lying awake for hours.
Interruption of your normal sleep-wake cycle interferes with your health and daily routine. In effect, the fact of not sleeping because you’re worried leads to worries you because you can’t sleep.
“You don’t have to control your thoughts. You only need to stop letting them control you.” Anxiety often associates with physical symptoms like chronic digestive problems. One such medical condition is irritable bowel syndrome. Symptoms of IBS include stomach ache, cramping, bloating, and gas. Constipation alternating with diarrhea is common.
A point often overlooked is that these symptoms of chronic intestinal discomfort can cause chronic pain and other anxiety symptoms. In short, this negative feedback makes both conditions worse.
Compulsive Behaviors and Being a Perfectionist
The obsessive mentality, also known as being perfectionist, is linked with anxiety disorders. Dwelling chiefly on one’s made mistakes or trying to prevent making one, may signal a problem. Being a perfectionist is especially commonplace in obsessive or compulsive disorders (think Lady Macbeth). The anti-anxiety effects of marijuana are helpful.
Anxiety can be attached to a specific situation or thing. Fear of flying or animals is an example. Phobia is fear out of proportion to the actual risk involved. This fear becomes overwhelming or disruptive. Social anxiety disorder is the fear of crowds or public speaking. It too is an example of extreme anxiety.
Panic disorder with panic attacks can present with severe anxiety symptoms. These may resemble a 'fight or flight' response from real danger. Feelings of fear and helplessness can immobilize persons. Symptoms include high blood pressure, rapid pulse, pounding heart, and breathing problems.
Chest and stomach pain, sweating, weakness, or dizziness may also occur. Hand tingling or numbness is frequent. Extreme anxiety releases excess cortisol and adrenaline, creating these physical signs. Persons may develop a long term panic attack. Repeated panic attacks expressly signal an anxiety or panic disorder.
Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) can be especially severe and accompanied by severe anxiety. Persons suffer the frequent reliving of a significant disturbing event like trauma, abuse, or combat. The trigger event may be a flashback of a traumatic or violent encounter or the death of a loved one.
PTSD and Veterans
Many veterans carry PTSD from their harrowing time spent in combat. The traumatic trigger frequently might not be visible to others. PTSD is a stand-alone condition that shares some features with anxiety disorders. Flashbacks may also occur with other types of anxiety as well. PTSD is on the Florida list of medical marijuana qualifying conditions.
For more information, see our related page “Medical Marijuana Qualifying Conditions” and to learn more marijuana facts, visit our medical marijuana FAQ page. Call us at (786) 953-6838 to schedule an appointment and get your marijuana card today!
Submit your review
Getting to legally use marijuana to help with anxiety is a very welcome relief. Thanks for your informative article.