Social Isolation & COVID-19: Can Medical Marijuana Help Anxiety?

The COVID-19 crisis has had a huge effect on mental health on a global scale. The effects of social isolation on mental health cannot be underestimated. For many, lack of social contact has caused a huge spike in anxiety and depression levels. Life may be slowly returning back to normal, but many people are still coping with these feelings as they slowly readjust.

Anxiety can be a difficult condition to diagnose. It’s not necessarily a visible condition, so many people struggle to realize that they are suffering from it at all. There are many symptoms of anxiety, which vary from person to person. These can include, but are not limited to:

  • Racing thoughts
  • Insomnia
  • Tiredness
  • Headaches and nausea
  • Worry and self-doubt
  • Physical tension

Social anxiety, which is anxiety brought on by social situations, is common after long periods of isolation. Many people will find it difficult to go back into social settings, surrounded by large groups of people again, after spending so much time alone.

social isolation
Image by Sasha Freemind on Unsplash: What are the effects of social isolation on mental health?

Can medical marijuana help anxiety?

The good news is that medical marijuana (MMJ) can certainly help people suffering from anxiety. There are many ways to treat anxiety, and many people use a combination of these in order to get the best results. Examples of common anxiety treatments include:

  • Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT)
  • Reading
  • Meditation
  • Talk therapy
  • Physical exercise

Many people will combine use of MMJ with one or more of these treatments. It may take some trial and error, but with time you will find the combination that works best for you. For now, we will look at the ways in which medical marijuana, and particularly CBD, can help reduce anxiety levels caused by social isolation and COVID-19.

What type of medical marijuana is best for anxiety?

MMJ strains that are higher in THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) can often have negative effects on anxious people and cause raised anxiety levels. It is best for those who are anxious to choose strains of MMJ that are low in THC. Nowadays, there are many hybrid strains that fit this bill.

Sufferers of anxiety should opt for strains higher in CBD (cannabidiol). CBD is another key element of medical marijuana, and is the ingredient most associated with relaxation and treatment of anxiety disorders. CBD has been shown to be very effective in multiple therapies, offering comfort to many people suffering from anxiety. It affects the mood-altering parts of the brain to bring about increased feelings of relaxation. There are ongoing studies into the positive effects of CBD in other areas; it has been shown to greatly reduce nerves associated with public speaking, for example.

What CBD method is best for anxiety?

Strains of MMJ that are high in CBD and low in THC are best for anxiety. Remember: THC can raise anxiety levels! Luckily, the ongoing growth of the MMJ industry in the U.S. means that CBD-high strains of MMJ are available in many different forms such as pre-rolls, edibles, lotions, and tinctures. Your local dispensary should have a range of option to suit your needs, and the staff can provide advice as needed.

cbd oil
Image by CBD-Infos-Com on pixabay: Does CBD help anxiety?

How can I access CBD?

Your MMJ card is the best way to safely and easily access strains of MMJ that are high in CBD. These strains typically have the best results when treating anxiety, and can certainly provide relief for those suffering from anxiety due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Your MMJ card allows you to purchase MMJ at dispensaries in your state (for more information on the specific rules and regulations surrounding the purchase of MMJ in your state, check out this info). Each state has a different set of rules regarding the use and purchase of MMJ, so it’s best to check the specific information depending on your location.

Getting your MMJ card is simple and can be done completely online with MMJRecs. Click here for more information on qualifying conditions for your state, and to set up an online consultation today!

Featured image by Joice Kelly on Unsplash

Why Anxiety Is An Overlooked Mental Health Disorder (And 5 Tips On How To Treat It)

Anxiety can be provoked by an infinite number of situations, scenarios, thoughts, and/or biochemical reactions. It’s a feeling that everybody experiences from time to time, and yet every person’s anxiety feels different.

Anxiety can be triggered in one person by a scenario that another person would find totally benign. Each person has their own unique suite of anxiety triggers. It is often not possible to really know why a person has come to feel anxiety in a certain situation. But what seems certain is that it is the meaning that a person ascribes to a situation or thought that provokes the anxiety, not the objective situation itself.

Anxiety is a word. It is a label we use that points to a feeling, an emotion, a psycho-physical state. The condition is somewhat amorphous, though it has symptoms that most people can empathize with. Each of us knows when we are experiencing that uncomfortable feeling that we have come to call anxiety.

Anxiety can be a mild irritation or it can be an all-encompassing, engulfing, paralyzing tornado. It can be felt chronically throughout the days and years (and decades), or it can come screaming into a person’s momentary experience suddenly and without any warning, leaving them unable to function.

Here’s why anxiety is an overlooked mental health disorder, and what you can do to treat it.

MMJRecs - MMJ plant
Image by pixundfertig on Pixabay: MMJ can be used to treat anxiety.

Anxiety Is An Overlooked Mental Health Disorder

Anxiety is one of the most overlooked mental disorders. It is often underdiagnosed, dismissed, or mistaken for something else. Because anxiety occurs quite regularly in its mild form for the vast majority of people, there is a notion that it is not such a big deal and not necessarily worth seeking treatment for.

Unfortunately, anxiety sometimes comes with a stigma attached. Some people don’t want to admit that they feel anxious because they associate anxiety with weakness. The ill-informed notion that anxiety is shameful or a sign of weakness has done a huge amount of harm in terms of mental illness diagnosis and treatment.

What Are The Symptoms Of Anxiety?

Anxiety often includes some or all of the following symptoms:

  • Racing thoughts
  • Uncomfortable physical sensations
  • Headache or nausea
  • Worry and negative predictions
  • Irritability
  • Depressed thinking
  • Physical tension
  • Sweating
  • Shivering
  • Insomnia
  • Tiredness
  • Difficulty focusing and concentrating

How To Treat Anxiety

The great news is that if you suffer from anxiety to the extent that it is negatively affecting your quality of life, there are several effective ways that your anxiety can be treated.

Here are five tips on how to treat anxiety.

1. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, commonly known as CBT, is a form of therapy that has proven very effective at tackling anxiety disorders. CBT focuses on examining the thoughts and beliefs that a person holds that provoke anxiety and finding out if they are actually accurate. CBT also prioritizes the implementation of new, healthier behaviors that will show you that you can live fully in spite of anxiety, or even that you can get rid of anxiety altogether.

CBT is best done with the help of a qualified therapist, but you can also implement CBT strategies on your own, working from books on the topic or online resources.

2. Reading

You can treat your own anxiety by reading some of the many excellent self-help books that teach you about anxiety and how to combat it. Reading and learning about anxiety will provide you with the knowledge and understanding that will allow you to handle your own anxiety if and when it arises throughout life. Three books that we recommend are: Feeling Good, Feel The Fear… And Do It Anyway, and A Guide To Rational Living.

3. Medical Marijuana

Some people use medical marijuana for anxiety and report that it is very effective at dulling the anxiety response. MMJ for anxiety can calm a person down and settle the mind. Marijuana also often instigates a feeling of positivity and enables sleep. A word of warning: some patients report the opposite and say they find that MMJ can increase feelings of anxiety in certain circumstances, so be cautious in determining whether it works for you.

MMJRecs - growing cannabis
Image by TerreDiCannabis on Pixabay: Medical marijuana for anxiety can be quite effective.

4. Physical Exercise

Physical exercise is a brilliant way to alleviate anxiety. The endorphins released during exercise have a very calming effect and make people feel happy and positive. Exercise is also great for physical health and improves sleep quality. When we are well-slept and healthy, we are less prone to anxiety.

5. Meditation

Meditation seems like hell to a lot of people! This is because they believe that in meditation you are supposed to stop yourself from thinking. But nothing could be further from the truth! In fact, it is the opposite.

Meditation is when you watch thinking happening. It is meant to demonstrate that your thoughts are not your doing, that they are being generated by the brain. It is meant to show you that you do not have to be held hostage by the output of your brain.

When you meditate, you can begin to detach from thought and to see thoughts as objects that arise and then disappear inside your awareness. This can result in not taking your anxious thoughts as seriously as you used to.

How To Get A Medical Marijuana Card

The best way to get a medical marijuana card for anxiety is to go to the MMJRecs online clinic and set up a consultation with an MMJ doctor in your state. The MMJ doctor will examine you and verify if your anxiety is treatable with medical marijuana. Once your suitability is confirmed the doctor will email you a legal medical marijuana physician certification form instantly.

Featured image by talipozer on Pixabay