If you’re a marijuana newbie, chances are you’ve gotten some mixed signals about using cannabis for anxiety. On one hand, decades of anecdotal evidence contain stories of “pot panic attacks.” On the other, new research suggests that cannabis may actually be able to combat feelings of stress or unease. Where does the truth lie? In this post, we’ll look at the science behind using cannabis for anxiety.
THC, CBD, and Anxiety
In fact, cannabis and anxiety have a complex relationship. That’s because the plant develops multiple organic compounds that can both increase and decrease anxiety in humans.
First, we’ll take a look at THC. Short for delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (you can see why they shorten it), research shows that THC bears responsibility for marijuana’s trademark psychoactive “high.” Typical traits of a high can include euphoria, a distorted experience of time, and a variety of other effects.
One sensation that THC can sometimes produce is anxiety. That’s because THC may have anxiogenic (anxiety-producing) traits. Not everyone feels this effect, and it can depend on a variety of factors.
CBD: The Key to Using Cannabis for Anxiety
In contrast to THC, CBD (short for cannabidiol) appears to demonstrate anxiolytic, or anxiety-fighting properties. Not only that, but CBD may actually counteract the anxiety-inducing properties of THC as well.
In fact, CBD appears to use similar neurological triggers as many current anti-anxiety pharmaceuticals. CBD binds with CB2 receptors in the endocannabinoid system, which it, in turn, uses to send messages throughout the body. One such message involves activating specific neurological receptors called 5HT1A. As a result, CBD may be able to help patients alleviate symptoms of:
- Generalized anxiety: Disorder characterized by excessive and persistent worry about real-world problems like relationships, money, or job stressors.
- Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD): Patients suffering from PTSD experience residual trauma from stressful and terrifying events they experienced in their past.
- Social anxiety disorder: Those suffering from this condition experience nervousness and stress when they find themselves in unfamiliar social situations.
- Obsessive-compulsive disorder: One trait of OCD is stress or worry whenever the patient resists their obsession or compulsion.
CBD may be able to reduce the anxiety that patients suffering from these conditions experience. Below, we’ll explore some of the most common ways to use cannabis for anxiety.
How Can I Use Cannabis for Anxiety?
If you’re trying to alleviate anxiety via cannabis, there are a few things to keep in mind. If you’re new to marijuana, begin by finding products with high CBD levels and low THC levels. This way, you can slowly become more familiar with how cannabis makes you feel.
Additionally, the way you consume cannabis can have an effect on how it makes you feel. Smoking or vaping cannabis flower or extracts will trigger its possible effects immediately. However, you’ll also stop feeling any beneficial sensations within an hour or two.
In contrast, taking a cannabis-infused edible takes longer to kick in (up to an hour in some cases). But if you take an edible, you may feel its effects for up to 6 hours. Make sure you’re choosing the right cannabis product for your anxiety!
Where Can I Find Cannabis for My Anxiety?
Want to take your first step towards using cannabis for anxiety? If you are an Oklahoma medical cannabis patient, check out our Oklahoma City Cannabis Dispensary. You can browse our dispensary menu now. Once you’ve found the right one for your particular situation, you’ll be well on your way to a calmer, more serene life. Good luck!