Can Medical Marijuana Help My Anxiety?
As medical marijuana becomes legalized across the country (even in states like Utah), more and more patients are asking what it can be used for. While most people are familiar with cannabis’ medical uses for ailments like cancer, seizures, or glaucoma, fewer people are aware that cannabis can aid their mental health as well.
If you are considering medical marijuana for anxiety, there are a few questions you should consider before breaking out the one hitter.
What kind of cannabis should I buy?This is a complicated question. In short, you should buy the strain of cannabis that helps you feel better. That said, most people find the high CBD, low THC strains have the most soothing qualities.
THC is the psychoactive component of cannabis, so these strains won’t get you quite as stoned, if that’s something you are looking for, but they can certainly alleviate anxiety. Some users even prefer non-THC products, such as oils or edibles, to help them feel at ease. Strains like Sour Space Candy or Sweet and Sour Widow are particularly popular for people looking for low THC options.
How do I take it?
This depends on whether your anxiety is acute or more of a chronic (no pun intended) problem. For acute anxiety, you will want the active ingredients in cannabis to make you feel better quickly. For that, an inhaled method would be best. While some medical users prefer actual herb, many find that a portable vaporizer is a great solution. While most vaporizers use concentrated oils, fans of flower can also use dry herb vaporizers, which feature all the best of both methods.
For chronic anxiety and long-lasting relief, edibles are the way to go. Users report feeling the effects of cannabis edibles 6-12 hours after ingestion. The downside is that edibles can take approximately an hour to begin working therapeutically. This makes them a poor choice for someone in the midst of a panic attack, but a great solution for someone with anxiety throughout the day.
How much do I take?Again, the best answer is that you should take as little or as much as you need to feel better. Generally speaking, starting small is the best way to begin, increasing your dosage gradually as you find what is most comfortable.
Most find that a small amount of herb is perfect for taking the edge off of anxiety and finding relaxation, while large doses can make their anxiety even worse. Try one puff of herb from a one hitter, pipe, or vape and wait a few minutes before taking another. If you are using edibles, take half of a recommended dose and wait an hour before taking more. This is especially true with strains that are high in THC, which can exacerbate anxiety in high doses.
How does it work?
Cannabis interacts with the endocannabinoid system in the body. This system is made up of receptors that communicate with the central nervous system. This is the system that helps regulate emotions like fear, anxiety, and stress.
By altering the way this system functions, cannabis can help relieve stress and anxiety. The active chemicals in marijuana, especially THC and CBD, are highly active in the endocannabinoid system, leading to cannabis’ calming effects. While THC is psychoactive, CBD is not. Because of this, CBD is the most commonly sought after cannabis ingredient for medical purposes.
Can I use it with my anxiety medication?
You should consult your doctor or pharmacist before mixing cannabis with any other drugs or substances. Some types of antidepressants, like SSRIs and NDRIs are relatively safe for use with cannabis. Other medications may cause harmful interactions, so caution should be exercised. MAOIs, tricyclic antidepressants, and sedatives like Xanax should be avoided. These drugs can potentially interact in a way that increases the sedative effect of each, which can cause serious health risks.
Is it effective?
Yes! Countless people use cannabis daily to manage their anxiety, depression, and other mental health issues. When used in consultation with a doctor, medical marijuana is an effective, natural remedy to an array of problems.
RYOT works hard to make sure our products meet the needs of a wide variety of herb smokers and enthusiasts, including the medical marijuana community. From our high quality 4 piece grinders to our stash containers, we bring the best quality to each product so everyone can get the most out of their bud.