Anxiety disorders are the most common mental health condition in the United States. According to an analysis of Census Bureau’s Household Pulse Survey, nearly 4 in 10 (39.3%) adults reported symptoms of anxiety or depression in February 2021.
The data also shows that young adults are more likely than adults of any other age group to experience mental health symptoms.
In addition to having such a wide reach in our population, anxiety is often underdiagnosed due to the stigma surrounding the condition. Only around 46% of those diagnosed are receiving treatment for this condition, according to data compiled by the Anxiety & Depression Association of America. Given costs and other barriers to treatment, many people turn to alternative ways to cope with anxiety, including using cannabis.
Anxiety is a feeling of worry, tension, nervousness, or fear relating to a specific event or situation. People with anxiety often also experience some physical symptoms, including an increased heartbeat or sweating.
It is a normal reaction in response to stress or stressful situations. However, if people experience excessive anxiety, which becomes a persistent problem, they may have an anxiety disorder.
Though more research and trials need to be conducted to provide scientific confirmation, adult patients who use medical marijuana to treat their anxiety report better control of their symptoms without the side effects experienced with pharmaceuticals used to treat the condition. Generally speaking, patients also report the best results when using cannabis along with therapy or counseling to better control their anxiety.
A 2018 survey looked at cannabis use in easing the symptoms of depression and anxiety. It reveals that medical cannabis users reported a 58% reduction in anxiety and stress.
Cannabis has different effects at lower doses than high doses. Generally, low doses of THC are well-tolerated, stimulating a release of dopamine, and higher doses of THC can cause people to feel anxious, said Peter Grinspoon, a primary care physician at Massachusetts General Hospital and the author of “Seeing Through The Smoke,” a book reviewing the latest medical research on cannabis. This is another reason to opt for medical marijuana which can be monitored by your physician and pharmacist to ensure patients get the maximum healing effects for their individual symptoms and conditions.
Cannabis holds promise in easing short-term symptoms of anxiety.
However, people should note that more human studies are needed to prove these findings definitively. There are also few studies looking at the long-term efficacy of cannabis on anxiety.
In some people, the use of THC, particularly in high doses, could also trigger anxiety symptoms. For best results when adding medical marijuana to your treatment, be sure to include your primary care physician, your medical marijuana physician, and your pharmacist on updates regarding reactions and results, both negative and positive so that proper adjustments can be made. Each person has the potential for different responses and the best results come from monitoring and adjusting according to your individual response.
If you’re ready to include medical marijuana in your treatment plan for anxiety, please contact The Healing Clinics to get started on your healing journey. Click the button below to take the first step.