Did you know that 40 million people in the United States suffer from some kind of anxiety disorder? That’s almost 20 percent of the adult population. With so many people affected, it’s a wonder that any of us leave our homes.
Anxiety is one of many conditions that can be successfully managed and treated with medical marijuana. While not everyone finds that marijuana is a good fit for them, we know some ways to get the most out of your prescription weed.
Find the right strain.
If you’re new to the world of weed, you may be surprised to know that there’s more than just one type of marijuana. In truth, there are countless strains and varieties that have differing flavors, effects, and uses.
Some strains, such as Charlotte’s Web are used nearly exclusively for their medical properties (that one is used to treat medication-resistant epilepsy). Others are used by both medical and recreational users who are looking for similar effects. Some strains are known for their energetic, cheerful highs, while others are known for their relaxing and restful effects.
The best way to find a strain that’s right for you is to talk to your local budtender and give them an idea of what you’re looking for. As the employees at these dispensaries spend every day working with their available strains, they can guide you to one that best suits your needs and budget.
Set an intention.
Before lighting that joint, it can be a good idea to set an intention for what you want to get out of it. Are you looking to relax? To get through a social event without panicking? Set yourself up for success by consciously considering what you’re hoping to achieve.
These few moments before getting high can drastically improve your experience. Setting the intention helps put you into the right frame of mind to enjoy your high and forget the anxiety you’re leaving behind.
Try medicating in smaller amounts more often
People who are new to smoking weed occasionally have a tendency to go overboard. Being stoned is great, so it logically follows that being really stoned must be even better. They might go from being a complete rookie to clearing fat bowls in the parking lot before an event.
While we obviously support clearing fat bowls, getting too high can keep us from being fully present and occasionally turn us from social butterflies to silent weirdos who spend an entire evening staring intently at the patterns on someone’s Persian rug.
Instead, try using portable vaporizers or a one hitter to give yourself small doses as you need them. Not only does this keep you from falling asleep in public, but it allows you to adjust your dose to meet your needs. You might take a small hit off a one hitter for mild anxiety or take several hits when you really need it.
Whether you struggle with asthma, don’t care for the smell of marijuana smoke, or just don’t like smoking, many may find themselves put off by the prospect of having to smoke their medicine. For those people, edibles are a fine alternative, though they come with some key differences. One of the benefits of smoking is that it works rapidly, wears off much more quickly, and the dose can be easily adjusted to meet the needs of the moment. In contrast, edibles take almost an hour to take effect and last for several hours.
The benefit to edibles is that their long-lasting duration can make them an ideal option for people who would like to have some coverage of their symptoms throughout the day. Additionally, the dosage of many edible products can be predictable, while smoking flower is highly variable. If you take a 5mg edible, you can be certain that it will have similar effects as the last 5mg edible you took. For people who want an experience more like conventional medication, edibles can be a great way to treat cannabis like any other oral medication.
Try conventional management techniques.
Just as with conventional pharmaceuticals, medicating anxiety can only take you part of the way. In addition to using cannabis, you can incorporate complementary therapies to increase the efficacy of your treatment. Cannabis pairs superbly with relaxation techniques like guided imagery, journaling, and even clinical approaches like cognitive behavioral therapy with a psychologist. Using cannabis to enhance your relaxation will help you achieve the best benefits of both.
You can also use cannabis to improve your recreational time. While most don’t consider “having fun” to be a medical necessity, for conditions like anxiety disorders it can be highly effective. This is particularly true for individuals with high-stress professions, difficult schedules, or other emotional demands. Scheduling time to relax with a book, movie, music, or a favorite hobby can bring the kind of relief that prevents chronic panic attacks, insomnia, and other symptoms of anxiety.
If you are interested in trying cannabis as an approach to anxiety treatment, RYOT is here to help you do it in style. Our pieces are designed for smokers and by smokers to ensure the best possible experience. Our herb grinders, vapes, and stash boxes will help you keep your stash fresh and ready to go the second you need it. Give us a try at RYOT.com.