Can Cannabis Really Help Anxiety?
Anxiety can be a debilitating condition that interrupts a person’s daily responsibilities. In some cases, the anxiety can reach the point where it conflicts with a person’s relationships, work duties, school assignments, and more. So, it is easy to understand why a person suffering from anxiety would turn to any solution to relieve the discomfort and pain.
Relief from Anxiety
Anxiety is a feeling of concern, worry, or unease. Sometimes, anxiety comes in waves that cause a person to freeze in a feeling similar to fear. In other situations, anxiety is a chronic feeling that sits in the back of a person’s mind at all times.
There are a variety of anxiety disorders, and medical professionals are actively looking for solutions to help patients find relief. If you are suffering from anxiety, it is important to know that you are not alone. It is estimated that over 30 per cent of adults will experience anxiety at some point in their lives.
Cannabis: Helpful for Anxiety?
One solution that is increasingly being considered is the use of medical cannabis to reduce the symptoms of anxiety. But, does the use of marijuana really relieve anxiety? Some people believe that cannabis use is a great solution for people who are looking to reduce stress. For example, research studies at Vanderbilt University found that there are cannabinoid receptors located in the brain in the area of the “fight or flight” response. So, it is possible that the use of cannabis could have an impact on the cellular communication that happens in the amygdala.
The reason cannabis might be beneficial for anxiety is that THC affects specific neurotransmitters that manage mood. When THC affects anandamide, the person can experience a relaxed, happy feeling as a result of using the drug.
Cannabis: Harmful for Anxiety?
On the other hand, there are differing opinions due to research studies that show a potential association between marijuana and psychosis. Even though the initial experiences using cannabis result in relaxation, the long-term effects can have a negative impact on mental health. It’s been found that there could be a link between cannabis use and cognitive impairment.
Some users experience negative mental health problems the very first time they use marijuana. The drug can result in panic attacks and higher levels of paranoia. In fact, some medical professionals are warning against the use of cannabis because it can induce anxiety and symptoms that are similar to schizophrenia.
These symptoms might increase for those users who already experience anxiety. So, it’s possible that someone uses cannabis with the intention of overcoming the mental challenges, only to find that the symptoms intensify. Additionally, people who haven’t had anxiety in the past could start experiencing mental health challenges as a result of the way the marijuana impacts the brain.
It May Not Be Worth the Risk
Ultimately, it’s hard to know if the use of cannabis will have a positive impact when someone is working to overcome anxiety. The drug causes different reactions in different people, which makes it difficult to predict what might happen with the use of the drug.
Even if a person experiences stress-relieving benefits of cannabis use, it is important to recognize the high risk of cannabis dependency. While it is well known that cannabis does not have the addictive properties of tobacco, alcohol, or opioids, its users still often become dependent on the drug, and begin to prioritize it over other aspects of their life.
If you are already facing the challenge of a marijuana addiction, rest assured that help is available. Don’t underestimate the power of seeking help from a substance abuse treatment program to identify the solutions that are right for your personal situation.
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