Medical marijuana can be used for treating anxiety and has been used to do so for many years. We give you some of the options and also tell you about the possible risks associated with using medical marijuana when treating anxiety, so you can decide for yourself if this is the right treatment for you.
Medical marijuana can be used to treat anxiety very well. In fact, many recreational users have been using marijuana exactly for this purpose: to calm down and relax. There are two different use cases of medical marijuana for treating anxiety: long term usage and reactionary usage. The first kind is where you use marijuana for a prolonged period of time, in order to lower your anxiety levels throughout the day. We would only really recommend this when you really suffer from your anxiety and are looking for a permanent solution. If you are interested in this start out with low dosages and weaker strains, so you can see if this is the right solution for you. The second use case is in order to calm you down when you feel the anxiety coming up, using a quick method such as vaping. You have a little bit more freedom when choosing strains and inhalation methods, because the effects last shorter. For example, if you want more of a kick you can choose a strain that is high in THC, or you can choose a different method, such as inhaling. When you are looking for long term solution your options are more limited, with most users opting for low THC strains with either edibles or vaping as the preferred method.
Even though some use medical marijuana to treat anxiety there are still some risks associated with using medical marijuana. In fact, there are some signs that using marijuana might increase anxiety instead of treating it. In trials with mice researchers found that there are cannabinoid receptors in their amygdala that react to marijuana. These amygdala are responsible for regulating fight, flight and fear responses and so these receptors might explain why some actually experience an increase in anxiety. Another common side effect that does not play well with already anxious people is the paranoia that comes from using marijuana. When under influence you become more sensitive to sounds and other sensual inputs, which might cause a feeling of paranoia, especially combined with the state of mind you feel when using marijuana. Some people even experience panic attacks when using marijuana, which causes them to act weirdly and impulsively. Again, if you are using medical marijuana to treat anxiety this might not be the effect that you are after. Whether you will experience these kind of panic attacks really varies from case to case and to only real way to know is to try it out. We always recommend to begin easily when using medical marijuana and to be under supervision of someone else.
Besides the risks described above there is also a controversial link between marijuana use and psychosis, a condition where patients hear or see things which are not actually there. Common examples are conditions such as schizophrenia or bipolar psychosis. There are some studies to suggest that those who start using marijuana in their childhood are at a greater risk of developing these psychotic disorders. These studies are however not conclusive and by no means has a causal link been proven. It is also possible that those who are more likely to develop psychotic disorders are more likely to use marijuana to treat these conditions, but there is not enough conclusive proof to exclude this option. For this reason marijuana is not considered safe for children, unless in special cases, such as for the treatment of certain seizure disorders.
Using medical marijuana for treating anxiety is thus a very sensible option. We recommend you start out slow and talk to your doctor if you encounter any issues or if you are already taking anti-anxiety medication. This way you can enjoy medical marijuana and the soothing effects it can have in a responsible and safe way.