The National Institute for Mental Health estimates that 40 million adults (18 percent of the population) in the United States suffer from anxiety-related disorders. With marijuana being legalized in innumerable states for medicinal and recreational use, some anxiety sufferers have started saying, ‘no’ to prescription medications. Many people have turned to weed for its calming effects to treat their anxiety-based disorders.
CBD to Naturally Treat Anxiety Disorders
Anxiety disorders are so prevalent that every time you turn on your television advertisements created by high-dollar pharmaceutical companies bombard you with ads promoting various prescription medications. Drug companies regularly promote selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) like Prozac and Zoloft and fancy tranquilizers such as Valium and Xanax. Although such medications may prove promising for some individuals many others experience a variety of unfavorable side effects. Tranquilizers, such as Xanax, have addictive qualities that many want to avoid. Many people have started use natural cannabis cannabinoids to treat anxiety disorders instead of prescription medications.
Types of Anxiety Disorders Treated by Cannabis
Anxiety takes on many forms. Some individuals experience a constant feeling of tension or nervousness, but others suffer debilitating and paralyzing panic attacks. Standard treatments often depend on the origin of the anxiety. Interestingly, marijuana can effectively treat all forms of anxiety-based disorders to varying degrees.
There are five common anxiety issues that occur in adults:, GAD, OCD, PTSD
- Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD): GAD sufferers experience exaggerated daily worry. Typically, their worries end up being groundless, but they cannot stop stressing.
- Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD): OCD can be mild or extreme. The OCD person lives in a world where repetitive actions dominate their daily lives. The rituals help distract them from fears and unbearable anxiety. However, even a small break in the routine can cause the sufferer to experience a meltdown and uncontrollable anxiety.
Panic Disorder: A panic disorder creates a constant state of anxiety that can come and go. Usually, some trigger causes an intense fear which may also cause chest pain, rapid heartbeat, dizziness, inability to breath, and abdominal upset.
- Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD): PTSD occurs after someone experiences a mentally and emotionally traumatic event. Many soldiers returning from war struggle to cope with PTSD and so do individuals who have survived violent attacks or disasters.
- Social Phobias (also called Social Anxiety Disorder): Social phobias cause a sufferer to undergo extreme bouts of self-consciousness during everyday situations that spur bouts of extreme anxiety.
THC vs. CBD for Anxiety
Most people who have tried marijuana are familiar with the feelings of paranoia that some strains promote in the user. This is believed to be a result of the levels of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). Obviously, feelings of paranoia prove counterproductive to lowering anxiety. However, the cannabinoid cannabidiol (CBD) does not spur paranoia or anxiety in users. In fact, it has the opposite effect and calms the user. Many people use CBD before bed to gain a restful night’s sleep.
CBD to Treat Social Anxiety
Researchers conducted a study on patients suffering from generalized social anxiety using CBD. They concluded that the participants who received CBD experienced reduced bouts of anxiety. Overall, CBD provides comparable, if not better, results than standard prescription medications. However, unlike other common anti-anxiety drugs, CBD had no unpleasant side effects. The study concluded that CBD was highly beneficial in treating anxiety. Other similar studies focusing on anxiety and CBD have also arrived at the same conclusions.
PTSD and Marijuana
In many states where marijuana has been legalized for medicinal use, it can now be prescribed to treat PTSD. In Edmonton, Alberta, Fabian Henry opened a medical marijuana company called Marijuana for Trauma to treat PTSD in military veterans. Cannabis lowers anxiety, relieves pain, and helps with sleep disorders brought on from anxiety that is causally related to PTSD.
Clearly, more research needs to be undertaken to discover the effects of the cannabinoids found in marijuana on anxiety. However, many individuals plagued with chronic anxiety disorders report significant improvement from the use of medicinal marijuana.
If you suffer from anxiety, then why not take the time to speak with your physician about the possible benefits of medical marijuana?