Stress and anxiety is an inevitable aspects of life. When stress consumes us, we may experience symptoms of sickness and worry.
The ability of marijuana to reduce stress and anxiety is one of the most popular reasons individuals use it. Up to 72% of daily cannabis users utilize the drug as a coping mechanism for stress. Fifty per cent of medical marijuana users say they use the plant to help them relax. Cannabis is obviously a widely used drug for treating anxiety and stress symptoms, but is it genuinely effective? Let’s investigate.
A closer look at stress and anxiety disorders
Stress and anxiety are closely related to one another. Stress is the body’s internal reaction to a trigger from the outside world. When thoughts about an external stressor continue even when that stressor is not present, anxiety results. Many of the symptoms of stress and anxiety are similar, including lack of sleep, trouble focusing, exhaustion, tense muscles, irritability, digestive problems, and a racing heart.
It’s normal to have occasional worry or anxiety. However, persistent stress can result in the emergence of anxiety and stress disorders. People with these illnesses experience stress and anxiety in ways that are overpowering or incapacitating, leading them to steer clear of regular, everyday circumstances that can set off their symptoms.
Does cannabis help anxiety or aggravate it?
After a demanding workday, marijuana can be a profoundly calming experience for some users. Others find that even a few brief puffs might make them feel paranoid. These contradictory feelings suggest a complicated truth: cannabis can both lessen and increase anxiety. Terpenes, cannabinoid dosage, and concentration may all have an impact on whether a plant induces a panic attack or a blissful feeling of relaxation.
The two main cannabinoids found in cannabis, CBD and THC, are the subject of the majority of studies investigating how cannabis affects anxiety and stress. According to studies, CBD can reduce tension and anxiety. On the other hand, research on THC demonstrates that the psychoactive cannabinoid can trigger anxiety, particularly when used at high levels.
Survey results, however, also imply that mixing these two cannabinoids can have diverse outcomes. For instance, real-world cannabis users seem to choose whole-plant cannabis in general when it comes to fostering calmness. Formulations made from whole plants often have a greater THC to CBD ratio. Other studies have revealed that CBD appears to counteract the anxiety-inducing effects of THC when it is delivered simultaneously with THC.
Dosage is key
Additionally, the dosage is important for how cannabis treats anxiety, especially when it comes to THC. THC dose dependence is high. The key cause, according to experts, is a biphasic interaction with the CB1 receptor in the body, which explains why cannabis in low and high dosages has various effects on users.
Cannabis in large doses seems to increase anxiety. However, other studies have also shown that THC, when used in smaller dosages, might reduce tension and anxiety. Starting with a very low dose of THC and gradually increasing it until the desired effects are achieved can provide the benefits.
Low dosages of CBD also seem to be the most beneficial for reducing anxiety. But unlike THC, bigger doses of CBD don’t seem to make stress, anxiety, or paranoia worse.
Terpenes and cannabis
Combining cannabinoids with other advantageous terpenes present in marijuana may also aid in fostering a feeling of peace and relaxation. Terpenes may be important in triggering the plant’s anti-anxiety benefits, according to a growing body of studies. The entourage effect, a positive synergy created by the interaction of various substances, contributes to the plant’s calming and energizing effects.
Particularly, it has been demonstrated that linalool and D-limonene have potent anxiety-relieving effects.
Numerous users of cannabis already depend on the herb to ease the symptoms of anxiety.
Speak with a doctor or specialist in cannabis medicine first if you intend to use cannabis or specific cannabinoids to reduce anxiety or stress. While the correct dosage of the right cannabinoids and terpenes can aid in relaxation, THC-rich marijuana may have the opposite effect. Start slowly and work your way up as you experiment with various terpene and cannabis combinations to see how they affect your mood.
Finally, it’s important to be aware that combining cannabis with anti-anxiety medications like SSRIs may have unintended consequences. Due to the fact that many medicines utilise the same liver enzyme pathways as cannabis, these interactions occur.