Anxiety is more than feeling stressed out for a day or two. Millions of people worldwide are diagnosed with Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD) which is defined by the Mayo Clinic as, “excessive, ongoing anxiety and worry that are difficult to control and interfere with day-to-day activities.” They continue to explain that the symptoms vary from person to person, but if not treated can worsen over time causing both serious emotional and physical issues. Treatment for GAD traditionally includes a combination of prescription medication and behavior therapy.
Traditionally using cannabis treatment of anxiety disorders and stress reduction has been considered self-medicating, controversial, and dangerous, but recent research and the increase of statewide legalization of cannabis for medical issues is creating a positive “buzz”. According to ScienceDirect.com 2018 study, “medical cannabis users perceived a 50 percent reduction in depression and a 58 percent reduction in anxiety and stress following cannabis use.”
Increased Cannabis Treatment of Anxiety Disorders
In addition to treating anxiety, cannabis is making more and more contributions to medicine. Every day there is even more encouraging scientific evidence that supports using cannabis as a treatment for cancer, autoimmune disorders, eating disorders, chronic pain as well as stress, depression, and other clinically diagnosed anxiety issues. According to a Harvard Health Blog, “patients reported many benefits of CBD, from relieving insomnia, anxiety, spasticity, and pain to treating potentially life-threatening conditions such as epilepsy.” The article continued to explain that patients should not self medicate and use cannabis treatment of anxiety disorders on their own.
Instead, be open and honest with their doctors about symptoms. Doctors are actually playing catch-up and learning more about the positive effects that cannabis is having which is a huge step for the medical profession. The article, written by an authoritative medical doctor encouraged doctors to entertain cannabis use for patients who want it as part of their treatment, “(doctors) whether you are pro, neutral, or against medical marijuana, patients are embracing it, … we need to learn about it, be open-minded, and above all, be non-judgmental.”
That said, there are some strains of cannabis that help anxiety issues and some that don’t. Many reports confirm that the effects of using cannabis are temporarily calming and relaxing. It is important to note that some strains can calm the nervous while others aggravate symptoms. Some experts believe that strains with low tetrahydrocannabinol, known as THC, and higher cannabidiol (CBD) are effective for calming the nervous system. THC is psychoactive, causes a high, and can cause paranoia and increased anxiety in some. CBC, on the other hand, does not cause a high and offers a more calming result. Some effective cannabis strains prescribed to treat anxiety disorders are ACDC, Cannatonic, Jack Herer, Lavender, Pineapple Express, Harlequin, Cinex, and XJ-13.
Although marijuana and cannabis use is gaining traction as a treatment for GAD and other medical problems, it is still not recognized legally by the federal government. More and more states including Michigan, Vermont, and Illinois, among others, have full legal status while others like Pennsylvania and Indiana only recognize it for medicinal uses. There are still states where using cannabis is totally illegal like Kansas and Tennessee. Although cannabis treatment of anxiety disorders is still not totally accepted nationwide, there is no doubt is it revolutionizing the treatment of anxiety disorders.