Anxiety And Medical Cannabis
What Is Anxiety?
Before looking at the specific connections between medical cannabis and anxiety, it is important to understand the definition.
Anxiety is a sense of worry or fear, and having some level of anxiety in daily life is normal. You might feel anxious before giving a speech or presentation, confronting a problem at work or home, or making a major decision that can have far reaching effects. While anxiety is normal, it is not normal when persistent anxiety interferes with daily life.
Every aspect of life is affected when someone has persistent anxiety. People experience insomnia, loss of appetite, irritability, and difficulty concentrating. Some people will endure panic attacks, periods of sudden and intense fear that is characterized by accelerated heartbeat, trembling, shortness of breath and feeling out of control. Anxiety can also lead to a number of different mental issues including depression, ADHD, eating disorders, and OCD.
Types Of Anxiety Disorders
There are a number of anxiety-related disorders. People with generalized anxiety disorders feel excessively anxious in regards to work, social interactions, and other daily routines.
It is estimated more than 40 million Americans live with anxiety-related disorders – making the drugs that treat these disorders a huge business for pharmaceutical companies. Anti-depressants like Zoloft and Prozac are often prescribed, along with powerful tranquilizers like Valium and Xanax.
However, these treatments come with their fair share of risks. Some people don’t respond favorably and carry a high risk of addiction and abuse. This is why researchers a started looking into how medical cannabis can be used to treat these all-too-common disorders.
Medical Cannabis And Anxiety
While both CBD and THC treatments have proven therapeutic for people suffering from anxiety, physicians are recommending and prescribing the use of high-CBD, low-THC products. Studies have shown that CBD can decrease anxiety by boosting the patient’s serotonin levels in the brain, very similar to how prescription anti-depressants work. Studies have shown that CBD may even help regenerate neurons in the region of the brain that controls memory and cognitive function.
The relaxing properties of high-THC products can also help reduce symptoms, but the psychoactive effects of THC can actually increase anxiety in some patients.
As with any cannabis-based treatment, every patient’s response will be different. It takes time and practice to find the right products to treat your anxiety, but with careful guidance and physician supervision, many anxiety patients will find that cannabis can be and incredibly helpful and a safe alternative to prescription pharmaceuticals.
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