The use of medical marijuana in treating a large number of sicknesses and ailments is rapidly growing all around the world. And one of the leading reasons people have been turning towards cannabis is due to its benefits when combating anxiety disorders. This is the most common mental illness in the United States, affecting roughly 18% of the population.
Cannabis has been used in India for over 400 years to treat depression and anxiety, and for those who possess a medical marijuana card in California, using cannabis may provide significant relief as well as an overall increase in your standard of living.
However, purchasing weed at your local dispensary relies on several important factors that anyone suffering from anxiety absolutely must know. Throughout the medical community, the use of cannabis in regards to anxiety splits the room; some advocating it wholeheartedly, while others advising against it. This is due to the variety of active chemical compounds found within different types of weed – some of which relieve anxiety, and others that can actually become the source of the illness.
Outlined below is everything you need to know about the different strains of medical cannabis, as well as the positive effects it can have when consumed by those looking to relieve anxiety.
Medical Marijuana: The Science
Research conducted by Vanderbilt University found that the use of marijuana was effective at regulating and relieving anxiety, with the only negative side effects occurring through chronic use. Research states that this relief comes from cannabidiol (CBD) – an active cannabinoid found within cannabis. Considering the evidence, it’s no surprise why several states across the US, including California, have legalized the use of medical marijuana cards. So how does cannabis relieve anxiety?
Contained within cannabis are 85 natural compounds, which when consumed attach themselves to receptors in the brain that seek out similar compounds found naturally within the human body. Through this process, compounds – specifically CBD – are then able to relieve a variety of illnesses to varying degrees. Because of this, particular strains of marijuana are purposely bred to contain exact levels of each compound with an aim to target specific conditions.
For those who have obtained a cannabis card with an aim to relieve their anxiety, CBD is a word you will quickly become accustomed with. This is because it’s the key compound which has been found to help with the relief of anxiety. Conversely, tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) – also found within cannabis, and the compound used primarily to treat nausea and vomiting in cancer patients – can actively work against CBD, and ultimately cause anxiety.
Medical Marijuana: Combating Anxiety
When it comes to purchasing marijuana to soothe the effects of anxiety, the trick is to get the right chemical balance – which can be easier said than done. While it won’t give you the typical high associated with cannabis use, CBD-rich cannabis has been shown to counteract the negative effects THC has on those with anxiety, and is an effective way to relieve anywhere from mild to quite severe symptoms.
Due to the adverse effects that THC can have, it’s important for those with a medical marijuana card to be absolutely certain what kind of product they are purchasing before use. Studies have shown that THC activates the amygdala area of the brain. This is the part of the brain that controls fear, which in turn can lead to acute anxiety upon frequent use. This strain of cannabis is relatively common due to its benefits towards other ailments, therefore be sure to check that the strain of cannabis has high levels of CBD and low THC if you’re consuming for anxiety related purposes.
Not only is CBD able to alleviate the negative effects of anxiety through attaching itself to specific brain receptors, but it has also been shown to offer significant therapeutic comfort. In fact, a study carried out by the Institute of Psychiatry has stated that CBD offers great psychiatric potential. Furthermore, The Division of Psychiatry with the Department of Neurosciences and Behavior concluded that CBD dramatically reduced anxiety within its patients, due to its effects on mood-altering areas of the brain.
Medical Marijuana: How It Can Help You
For anyone with a cannabis card, the positive effects of medical marijuana that’s rich with CBD isn’t just limited to relief from anxiety either. Improvements in cognitive impairment, as well as a reduction in discomfort when speaking in public, have been shown to occur also. These positive impacts of marijuana consumption provide advantages over standard prescription medication on a chemical level, while also being faster acting to deliver immediate relief and coming with very few side effects that often go hand-in-hand with meds.
Above all, the two most important factors for anyone using their medical marijuana card to relieve anxiety are moderation and making sure to purchase a strain with a much greater concentration of CBD as opposed to THC. Habitual use or consuming THC rich cannabis can indeed have the opposite effect. However, for those struggling with the impact anxiety is having on their lives, medical marijuana can provide immense benefits, bestowing instant and prolonged relief.