Qualified patients in Florida (and various other states) can now use medical marijuana to treat a range of symptoms.
When many people think of medical marijuana, they think of its ability to tackle physical issues such as chronic pain, inflammation, and muscle spasms. However, it’s also incredibly useful for mental health issues. For instance, one of the most prevalent qualifying conditions for medical marijuana in Florida is anxiety.
Anxiety is characterized by intense stress, fear, and uncertainty. It’s often accompanied by depression, and can also cause other physical and mental issues.
While many people experience mild anxiety, those with severe or debilitating anxiety disorders may find it helpful to use medical marijuana as a way to manage and relieve their symptoms, especially as it provides many benefits without the harmful side effects of traditional anxiety medications.
What is Anxiety & How is it Treated?
Before looking at the specific connections between medical cannabis and anxiety, it is important to understand the definition. Anxiety is the term used to refer to the discomforting emotion of fear, stress, and uncertainty that most people experience at one point or another. 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. All this is normal, but when someone experiences a persistent, disproportionate and debilitating level of anxiety, it becomes a severe medical issue. Anxiety disorders can impact your ability to sleep, concentrate, and live a normal daily life. They can lead to loss of appetite, irritability and difficulty concentrating. They may even affect your ability to work. Some people endure panic attacks, periods of sudden and intense fear that are 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 and eating disorders.
There are many types of severe anxiety disorders:
• Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD) is when a person finds it hard to focus due to excessive anxiety for at least 6 months.
• Social Anxiety Disorder leads to a fear of social interactions and feeling embarrassed about the way one is perceived by others, and is characterized by excessive stress, worry, and sometimes even panic attacks.
• Separation anxiety causes people to fear the loss of a loved one.
• Panic Disorder (PD) is another anxiety disorder characterized by sudden panic attacks.
• Specific phobias are also a form of anxiety – while many people have a fear of heights, public spaces and spiders, these disorders can turn a healthy sense of caution into a paralyzing nightmare.
• Other types of anxiety disorders include OCD and PTSD.
Statistics from the Anxiety and Depression Association of America state that Anxiety Disorders affect 40 million adults in the U.S. each year, a whopping 18.1% of the adult population. Anxiety can also lead to other issues, such as insomnia, depression, appetite problems, and digestive problems. Anxiety is commonly treated with psychological therapy. Anti-anxiety disorders are a huge business for pharmaceutical companies, as medications like Zoloft and Prozac are often prescribed to treat them, along with such powerful tranquilizers as Valium and Xanax.
Unfortunately, these medications can cause a range of unwanted risks and side effects. Some people don’t respond favorably to treatment by prescription drugs and the pharmaceuticals themselves can carry a high risk of addiction and abuse. This is why researchers started looking into how medical cannabis can be used to treat these all-too-common disorders.
Medical Marijuana & Anxiety
Marijuana has long been used as an alternative treatment for anxiety due to its ability to relax both your mind and body. It’s now one of the common conditions medical marijuana is used for. Not only does marijuana have a naturally calming effect, but many studies have found that cannabinoids in marijuana can help with anxiety and its associated symptoms.
A 2018 study found that marijuana significantly helped reduce ratings of depression, anxiety, and stress in users. The study found that medical marijuana users perceived a 58% reduction in anxiety and stress after using marijuana. What’s more, it only took a couple of puffs of marijuana to significantly reduce anxiety and depression, although taking 10 puffs or more had the best results.
Research suggests that CBD also has anti-anxiety properties. CBD is a non-psychoactive cannabinoid found in cannabis that works in conjunction with other components to provide various benefits. A 2019 study found that, after a month of taking CBD, the majority of patients reported reduced anxiety and improved sleep.
How Medical Marijuana Helps With Anxiety Symptoms
As well as showing anti-anxiety properties, marijuana can also help with many of the common causes and symptoms of anxiety. Anxiety is often associated with a lack of sleep, depression, extreme stress, loss of appetite, and digestive issues, all of which marijuana can help with.
Insomnia is commonly linked to anxiety. Lack of sleep can lead to anxiety and anxiety can lead to poor sleep, resulting in a negative cycle. Marijuana has sedative effects that can help patients get to sleep easier and get a restful night of sleep. What’s more, research suggests that CBD helps lower anxiety and improve sleep simultaneously. Other studies have shown that CBD boosts serotonin levels in the brain and may even help regenerate neurons in the region of the brain that controls memory and cognitive function.
Medical marijuana also has antioxidant effects which can help reduce oxidative stress. Oxidative stress can lead to various physical and mental issues, including depression and anxiety. What’s more, marijuana has been shown to boost your appetite and help with digestive issues, both of which can improve your physical and mental health and reduce the negative effects of anxiety.
How To Use Medical Marijuana For Anxiety
Medical marijuana can be used in many ways. Many patients choose to smoke Cannabis Flower to help manage anxiety, stress, and depression. This is an effective method as the effects hit you instantly and it can help manage anxiety symptoms in just a couple of puffs. It’s best to use a relaxing indica strain for anxiety – some sativa strains can be overstimulating. High-CBD strains are also a great choice.
Some users may prefer vaping marijuana or even using Vape Oils as an alternative to smoking. Vaping involves heating products without producing smoke, making it a smooth and healthy experience. Vaping marijuana also hits you instantly, much like smoking.
You might also want to consider alternative methods of consumption. Cannabis tinctures offer an easy and convenient way to get a dose of THC within minutes. You can also use Capsules or Edibles, although it’s best to only use a small amount.
CBD products are also an excellent option for those looking to relieve anxiety, especially as studies suggest that CBD can significantly help with anxiety and its symptoms. CBD allows you to get the benefits of cannabidiol without the psychoactive effects of THC, which can potentially exacerbate 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 an incredibly helpful and safe alternative to prescription pharmaceuticals.
How To Get Medical Marijuana For Anxiety
If you want to use medical marijuana for anxiety in Florida, you’ll need to get a medical card first. This also applies to other states where marijuana is only legal for medical purposes, although those in states where marijuana is legal for adult use can access marijuana much more easily.
Getting a medical card involves seeing a qualified marijuana doctor. They’ll assess your medical records and current symptoms to determine whether you qualify for medical marijuana. If you’re approved, you’ll be prompted to apply for a medical card online.
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Once your medical card is approved, you can buy marijuana from dispensaries across the state. As well as various strains of Cannabis Flower, you can also buy cannabis edibles, tinctures, capsules, and more.
You’ll also have access to a wide range of non-psychoactive CBD products.
Anxiety is one of the most common conditions medical marijuana is used for. Studies show that marijuana can swiftly help reduce anxiety as well as help manage many of its associated debilitating symptoms, such as insomnia, stress, and loss of appetite.
To get medical marijuana in Florida, you’ll need to find a qualified medical marijuana doctor and apply for your Florida Medical Marijuana Card first. MY FLORIDA GREEN is here to help you through this process. We were among the first companies to assist patients in navigating the uncharted waters of Medical Marijuana in Florida and are helping thousands to get the most from the Florida Medical Marijuana Program. Our dedication to patient education and support sets us apart. Our five-star ratings prove our commitment and quality. Contact us today to see how we can help you fight anxiety!
Treat Anxiety naturally by getting your medical marijuana card. The first step is to schedule an appointment with a medical marijuana doctor. We make it fast and easy!
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