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Marijuana for Anxiety

Anxiety and Marijuana: CBD, THC, CBD-A All You Need To Know About Weeds Effects on Mental Health

marijuana and anxiety

Medical Marijuana Can Treat Anxiety

With a global increase of medical marijuana use to treat health conditions, advocates and studies are showing that medical marijuana can be used to treat anxiety disorders. Advocates believe that the chemical makeup of cannabis can be beneficial in treating anxiety, while others argue that it can actually cause anxiety.

Medical marijuana has been used for centuries to treat depression and other medical conditions. More than 400 years ago, cannabis was used to treat depression in India and has since been studied and analyzed to determine the medical benefits and disadvantages for patients. Today, many states across America have legalized the use of medical marijuana, but usage still remains illegal under U.S. federal law.

 

When taking a close look at medical studies and results of medical marijuana used to treat anxiety, it’s evident that the chemical makeup, specifically the presence of the chemical compound Cannabidiol, commonly known as CBD, is the main ingredient to treat anxiety. Another compound, tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, can prevent nausea and vomiting in cancer patients, but may have a reverse affect on treatment for anxiety. 

 

The Chemical Makeup of Medical Marijuana

CannabinoidGraphic

Medical marijuana, or medical cannabis, is the use of cannabis and its chemical compounds to treat illnesses, diseases and improve symptoms.

The cannabis plant has historically been used worldwide to treat illness and health conditions. The American Medical Association and other medical organizations strongly oppose its use for medical reasons, but the American Academy of Pediatrics believes that the use of medical cannabinoids, the natural compounds that make up the genetics of medical marijuana, can be a therapy for a number of medical conditions, but do not recommend use until more research is complete.

There are 85 natural compounds in cannabis, known as cannabinoids, which all relieve symptoms of illness by attaching to the receptors in the brain that look for similar compounds that occur naturally in the human body. Strains of medical marijuana are specifically bread to contain particular levels of each compound recommended for different conditions.

Cannabidiol, or CBD, is the cannabis compound that has found to have significant benefits for treating people with anxiety. CBD-rich cannabis can be treated for patients seeking anti-inflammatory, anti-pain, anti-anxiety and anti-spasm affects. CBD does not make people feel “stoned” or “high,” and can actually counteract the anxiety-driven tendencies of THC. CBD is one 85 natural compounds found in cannabis. It is a major element, making up 40 percent of the plant’s extract and has a wider medical benefit than THC.

The other popular compound to treat medical conditions is tetrahydrocannibinol, or THC, and can be used to relax muscles, reduce inflammation, reduce seizures stimulate appetite, lower blood pressure and is an anti-depressant.

The Right Balance of CBD and THC to Treat Anxiety

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Most who use medical marijuana say it helps relieve anxiety, but others say they feel more anxious after using. There are a wide variety of marijuana strains, which have different levels of chemicals that have various levels of the common chemicals – THC and CBD.

Research shows that THC and CBD can have opposite effects when used to treat anxiety disorders. THC is linked to feelings of paranoia and anxiety, because it activates the amygdala area of the brain, which is responsible for fear. On the alternate, CBD counteracts such feelings from THC. Studies show that taking CBD on its own can lower – even eliminate – anxiety.

CBD is a non-psychoactive component of marijuana that has a wide range of therapeutic benefits. When CBD is at higher levels in medical marijuana, CBD can enhance TCH’s negative effects.

Most medical marijuana plants are bread to be high in levels of THC, because it is commonly used to treat more popular health conditions, such as cancer, eating disorders and seizure disorders. TCH also sells, because it provides a floating, euphoric feeling that most people commonly experience when using marijuana. Strands with high levels of CBD have only recently became popular in medical usage because of the growing awareness of its benefits.

For those looking to treat anxiety disorders with cannabis, treatment relies heavily on the appropriate dose. Research proves that THC begins to raise anxiety levels after a certain threshold is passed. Those using medical marijuana to treat anxiety will need to find strains with high compounds of CBD when purchasing medical cannabis.

Benefits of Medical Marijuana Studies Prove CBD Treats Anxiety

 marijuan studies anxiety dissorders

 

Certain medical marijuana strains with higher levels of CBD have proven to help treat anxiety disorders. The CBD produces therapeutic affects for patients and can also help patients with Crohn’s Disease or glaucoma. Animal studies suggest that CBD present in cannabis lessens anxiety and reduces the severity and frequency of seizures.

According to a study published by the Institute of Psychiatry, CBD proved to offer great psychiatric potential, including uses as an antidepressant-like and anxiolytic-like compound. During the study, animals who had been given CBD experienced lower levels of anxiety and depression in a series of tests, such as swimming and puzzle mazes, than animals who had not been given CBD. 

Another study aimed to investigate the use of CBD for treating a social anxiety disorder. The study, published by the Department of Neurosciences and Behavior, Division of Psychiatry, found that CBD was associated with significantly decreased subjective anxiety.

The study states that in the first session, subjects were given an oral does of CBD or placebo. Results suggested that CBD reduced anxiety in social anxiety disorder patients because it is related to CBD’s effects on activity in specific mood-altering brain areas. (PubMed)

History of Medical Marijuana For The Treatment of Anxiety

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In today’s world, the legalization of marijuana for medical purposes is a hot topic. It’s very controversial, with many arguing from all sides of the debate. Yet, the use of marijuana to treat health conditions and illnesses dates back centuries.

  • More than 400 years ago, cannabis was used to treat depression and stress relief in India. Specifically, CBD-rich medical marijuana has a long history of being used to treat health problems, including anxiety. The drug’s popularity as a medicine spread through Asia, the Middle East and Africa. Ancient physicians prescribed marijuana for everything – pain relief and even childbirth.
  • In the 18th Century, American journals began recommending hemp seeds and roots to treat inflamed skin and venereal disease. Queen Victoria used cannabis to help discomfort for menstrual cramps. An Irish doctor, William O’Shaughnessy, first popularized marijuana’s medical use in England and America.  He found it to ease the pain and discomfort for nausea in cases of rabies, cholera and tetanus.
  • Yet, the increase in demands to feel the “high” produced by cannabis with stronger levels of THC eventually led to marijuana being used recreationally, as opposed to medically. For many years, marijuana production to increase the levels of THC led to the decrease in CBD levels to trace amounts.
  • The 19th Century increase in usage of morphine ultimately led to the U.S. government introducing the Pure Food and Drug Act in 1906, created by the Food and Drug Administration. Although it didn’t apply to the use of marijuana, it caused a major shift in the U.S. drug policy.
  • In 1914, the Harrison Act was created in the United States, which made drug use a crime. By 1937, 23 states had outlawed marijuana.
  • In 1937, the Federal Government passed the Marihuana Tax Act, which made nonmedical use of marijuana illegal.
  • By the 1970s, strong anti-drug policies were in full swing. Yet, in 1996, California became the first state to legalize medical marijuana use. A dozen states soon followed.
  • In 1998, the British government licensed GW Pharmaceuticals to grow cannabis and develop a consistent plant to extract use for clinical trails. GW’s co-founder Geoffrey Guy, MD, was convinced that by using CBD-rich plants, GW could make medicine of cannabis that had little or no psychoactive effect.
  • In 2009, medical professionals began to discover and test new strains with more CBD than THC. CBD-rich strains were generally not available to cannabis consumers across the United States at this time. Studies analyzed CBD-rich cannabis to determine the medical benefits and disadvantages for patients.

Today, many states across America have legalized the use of medical marijuana, but usage still remains illegal under U.S. federal law.

Worldwide, Uruguay became the first country to remove its prohibition entirely on marijuana in 2013.  Colombia and Costa Rica have bills in Congress that would allow for medical marijuana usage. Jamaica recently passed a law to make it possible to supply marijuana for medical and religious purposes.

Arguments Against Medical Marijuana Use to Treat Anxiety

 arguments against marijuana

While most studies prove that medical marijuana can help anxiety, some doctors and anti-drug advocates believe it can make anxiety worse. A common compound found in cannabis, THC, is linked to feelings of paranoia and anxiety, because it activates the amygdala area of the brain, which is responsible for fear.

The University of Washington Alcohol and Drug Abuse Institute stated the following in an online fact sheet titled "Mental Health and Marijuana," based on information from the National Cannabis Prevention and Information Centre in 2012:

“Marijuana may seem to help ease depression before the effects of the drug wear off; however after that, smoking marijuana may make depression worse. Those who use marijuana have been shown to have higher levels of depression and depressive symptoms than those who do not use marijuana.

“Marijuana can lead to symptoms of anxiety, such as panic, in the short-term, but there is a lack of evidence pointing to marijuana as an important risk factor for chronic anxiety disorders... Again, if someone has a genetic vulnerability or has an existing mental health issues, marijuana should be avoided."

For those looking to treat anxiety disorders with cannabis, treatment relies heavily on the appropriate dose. Research proves that THC begins to raise anxiety levels after a certain threshold is passed. Those using medical marijuana to treat anxiety will need to find strains with high compounds of CBD when purchasing medical cannabis. 

Anxiety Disorders Treated with Medical Marijuana Use

anxiety and marijuana

Anxiety disorders involve more than temporary worry or fear. For a person with an anxiety disorder, the anxiety doesn’t go away and gets worse over time, effecting a person’s daily activities, job performance and relationships. Most common forms of anxiety disorders are generalized anxiety disorders, panic disorders and social anxiety disorders.

Sometimes, a physical evaluation is advisable to determine if a person’s anxiety is associated with a physical illness. Occasionally, anxiety can be paired with other conditions, such as alcoholism, depression or other coexisting conditions. If other existing conditions exist, a patient should seek treatment for those before treating the anxiety disorder.

Many with a variety of anxiety disorders claim to find relieve from their symptoms of anxiety with use of medical marijuana. Numerous studies have suggested that medical marijuana use can decrease feelings of anxiety. Yet, we’ve only just began studying the benefits of medical marijuana use for those with anxiety, so physicians are not likely to prescribe use to their patients.

Medical Marijuana with CBD can Treat Anxiety and PTSD

When taking a close look at medical studies and results of medical marijuana used to treat anxiety, it’s evident that the chemical makeup, specifically high doses of CBD, is the main ingredient to treat anxiety.

A study aimed to determine CBD’s impact on social anxiety in public speaking showed that those pretreated with a dose of CBD experienced significantly reduced anxiety, cognitive impairment and discomfort during their speech performance. The placebo group experienced higher levels of anxiety and discomfort. The study stated that CBD holds many advantages over standard social anxiety treatments, such as anti-depressants, due to the quickness of efficiency and absence of severe withdrawal or side affects.

Medical marijuana can help people with PTSD by working with the body’s natural compounds to create a relaxing, reverse effect on the brain. Studies prove that medical marijuana with high levels of CBD provide a therapeutic effect on those with anxiety disorders. For more info you can check Maps latest study here

 

 

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By Salomon Ptasevich

 

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