What is Anxiety?
Anxiety, by definition, is the natural response of our body to stress. Often, anxiety is accompanied by feelings of fear and uncertainty. While everyone experiences stress and anxiety, those with anxiety disorders will often suffer from magnified symptoms which have a dramatic impact on their quality of life. Fortunately, anxiety has been approved as a qualifying condition for Medical Marijuana in Florida. Anxiety disorders are actually the most prevalent emotional disorder and appears to be slightly more present amongst females in the community.
Symptoms of Anxiety
Patients diagnosed with Anxiety will likely experience all or some of the following:
- Feelings of nervousness
- Feelings of restlessness
- Feeling stressed
- Difficulty concentrating
How Medical Marijuana Affects Anxiety
Research has shown that cannabis’ interaction with our endocannabinoid system can have a potentially tremendous impact on reducing anxiety. Activating the endocannabinoid receptors in our brain has been shown to be helpful in regulating stress and anxiety. Not only does it help moderate our stress, but cannabis and the activation of the endocannabinoid system has been shown to have tremendous behavioral benefits and an overall reduction in the level of stress experienced when reacting to external stimulus.
Medical Marijuana for Anxiety
Anxiety is one of, if not the, most common condition for which people seek relief through medical marijuana. In the continental United States alone, it is one of the top 5 conditions people use medical cannabis for. Cannabis has been found to lower overall stress and anxiety for the users.
Medical Marijuana and Anxiety FAQ
Can cannabis make my anxiety worse?
Experts and doctors recommend starting with a low dosage and noting how it affects your condition. Increase your dose from there to determine whether the effect is noticeably increased. The goal is to find the minimum dose that produces that maximum effect for you. Always listen to the dosing advice of your medical marijuana doctor.
Can I get medical marijuana for anxiety in Florida?
Anxiety, or Generalized Anxiety Disorder(GAD), is not a direct qualifying condition currently in Florida. However, your physician can qualify anxiety as a comparable condition if deemed appropriate after consultation. Anxiety is currently one of the most common conditions for which patients qualify in Florida.
How can marijuana help with anxiety?
Cannabis can alleviate anxiety through a number of mechanisms. Cannabis has a direct relaxing effect on some patients, while others benefit from improved sleep or elevation of mood. Be sure to discuss these options with your physician.
What is the best dosage of cannabis to treat anxiety?
Cannabis dosing is very individualized and often takes several adjustments to find the right dose to most effectively treat your condition. Be sure to discuss dosing with your physician, and also visit MMTC’s dosing information page to further educate yourself on proper dosing.
What ingestion methods of medical cannabis help with anxiety?
Really any type of dosage form can be effective for anxiety. Deciding which form is best for you is largely dependent on personal preference. The real difference between inhaled and ingested forms of medical cannabis, is that inhaled forms work faster, but wear off sooner, while ingested forms take 30 min-1 hour to take effect, but last anywhere from 4-6 hours
Generally speaking, Sativa strains, or products high in Beta-Myrcene(a terpene), are best for anxiety, as they are more relaxing. Lower THC levels are often advisable in anxiety as well.
Read what others say about Medical Marijuana and Anxiety
Stress is a normal part of life that everyone experiences now and again. Stress can motivate you to get tasks done, but sometimes high levels of stress can lead to anxiety and take a negative toll on your body. Fortunately, certain medical marijuana strains have become one of the go-to solutions to rapidly reduce elevated stress and anxiety levels.
What is Stress?
Stress is a physical and mental biological reaction to an external trigger, such as a significant life change, a traumatic event, or high academic or professional expectations. If your symptoms become persistent, overwhelming, or begin affecting your daily quality of life when no stressor is present, you may have an anxiety disorder.
Anxiety is an ongoing stress response that may feel like a consistent sensation of dread or apprehension. Both anxiety disorders and chronic stress can detriment your physical and mental health, leading to:
- Chest pain
- High blood pressure
- Loss of sleep
- Heart palpitations
- Shortness of breath
- Difficulty concentrating
- Excessive sweating
- Headaches or stomach pains
How Medical Marijuana Relieves Stress
The Medical Marijuana Treatment Clinics of Florida (MMTCFL) have found that high THC cannabis may relieve stress and anxiety at lower doses. However, it is important to note that high THC cannabis in large quantities can worsen stress and anxiety, while CBD products can reduce stress and anxiety in high doses.
Medical marijuana has emerged as an efficient way to relieve stress due to the endocannabinoid system, an intricate network of receptors in the body that runs parallel with our nervous and immune systems. Our endocannabinoid systems play a critical role in several physiological processes, including:
- Appetite regulation
When phytocannabinoids like THC and CBD enter our body through medical marijuana, they bind to our endocannabinoid receptors, resulting in a biological response that regulates our behavioral response to stressful stimuli.
Identifying Different Marijuana Strains
There are two different ways to identify and differentiate marijuana strains:
Strain-based identification is typically used for inhaled versions of cannabis, as it is more difficult to identify specific amounts of cannabinoids for the cannabis flower. The three primary types of strains include:
- Indica: provides a physical effect through the body, recommended for nighttime use
- Sativa: entails a more mental and energizing experience, giving the user a feeling of alertness and creativity
- Hybrid: a mix of Indica and Sativa strains, may be Indica-dominant, Sativa-dominant, or a balanced strain
Ratio-based products are displayed on product packaging as the percentage of THC to CBD. For example, equal amounts of THC and CBD will have a ratio of 1:1, which beginners should avoid until they have a better understanding of how THC affects them. Ratio-based products that beginners can try to limit the psychoactive effects of THC may have ratios such as 50:1, 20:1, or 10:1, with higher levels of CBD and low THC. Remember, finding your perfect ratio of CBD and THC may take some time.
6 Best Marijuana Strains for Stress
Girl Scout Cookies
GSC, originally known as the Girl Scout Cookies strain, is composed of OG Kush and Durban Poison. The THC-dominant strand is recognized for promoting relaxation and happiness. With THC levels from 25% to 28%, GSC used in low doses is one of the most effective strains to relieve stress and anxiety. This type of cannabis may also aid with physical pain and depression.
Granddaddy Purple, commonly known as GDP, is a mix between Purple Urkle and Big Bud, inheriting a complex grape and berry flavor. This strain is ideal for generating a peaceful calm throughout the entire body and can help with numerous conditions, including:
- Stress and anxiety
- Muscle spasms
- Chronic pain
- Appetite loss
Cottonmouth, a dryness of sticky sensation in your mouth, is a common side effect of this stain, so remember to drink plenty of water if you use GDP.
Jack Herer is a Sativa-dominant hybrid with an appealing orange-lemon scent and taste with undertones of pine. This strain provides an excellent balance between cerebral and physical effects, promoting deep relaxation.
Sour Diesel (“Sour D”) is another Sativa-dominant strain that primarily provides mental stimulation, making it one of the best marijuana strains for stress and anxiety. This strain has fast-acting effects that not only energize the body but also induce a “dreamy” feeling. Consumers say that Sour D has a lemon/lime taste, hence, where the term “sour” originates. Sensations associated with Sour D include:
- Mental stimulation
You may experience cottonmouth with this strain as well.
Blue Dream is one of the most common and popular strains available. Originating in California, this strain has a sweet, earthy, and berry aroma. Blue Dream is utilized to mitigate:
- Chronic pain
- Difficulties with concentration
OG Kush is a reliable strain for those looking for stress relief. This strain produces a euphoric feeling and may help decrease stress, anxiety, and depression. Some users have also reported relief from headaches and migraines when using this strain. OG Kush has a woody, earthy taste and a unique aroma with notes of pine and a hint of sour lemon.
CBD for Stress Relief
Some patients may prefer to use CBD as their primary cannabinoid to relieve stress. CBD or cannabidiol is the non-psychoactive ingredient in the cannabis plant that offers a variety of medicinal benefits, including:
- Relieves stress and anxiety
- Lowers inflammation
- Alleviates chronic pain
- Promotes sleep
- Helps symptoms of PTSD
Others prefer THC because it has its own unique therapeutic and mood-boosting properties. Try selecting a product that contains both THC and CBD to optimize the benefits of both cannabinoids and leave you feeling a little more balanced. Products containing both CBD and THC may be the most successful in relieving your stress and anxiety because of the entourage effect.
The entourage effect refers to the synergy of compounds found in cannabis, including its cannabinoids, terpenes, and flavonoids, leading them to work more efficiently when used together than alone.
Get Your Medical Marijuana Card for Stress Relief
Although MMTCFL does not sell medical marijuana products, our doctors can determine if you are eligible for treatment and help you get your medical marijuana registration card. Ask your local dispensary about these strains and others that may help reduce stress if you’re still unsure of what may be best for you.
– 6 months on medical cannabis
– Previously treated with debilitating anxiety medications
When I was approved for Medical Marijuana, my anxiety had gotten so bad I was vomiting at times and I went up on anxiety medicines, which was bad for me and I could not drive. With Cannabis and a doctors recommendation I was able to go to a lower dose, and realize the pharmaceuticals were too high of a dose for me to be able to work and function normally. I am able to work more again have a second part time job now and feel like I am getting my life back. Driving again fine not when using of course. The doctors are great at MMTC and the cannabis pharmacies I have tried have all been excellent.
– 2 years on medical cannabis
– Degenerative Disc Disorder, Osteoarthritis, Fibromyalgia, PTSD, Anxiety, Depression
I live with a 3 level titanium neck. I have severe osteoarthritis. Severe fibromyalgia. Ptsd. Major anxiety. Bouts of depression. I am cane and wheelchair free by the grace of God and his plant.
– 5 months on medical cannabis
– Back Pain, Sciatica, Depression, Anxiety, Panic disorder, Insomnia
– Previously treated with opioids, benzos, antidepressants
After 5 months of cannabis treatment I am so happy to report the I no longer take any prescription medications for my conditions which are sciatica, major depression, general anxiety disorder with panic attacks and insomnia.
In the past I had a medication for each of those conditions that had bad side effects and addiction problems from the opiates to the benzos as well as the anti-depressants causing mania. After dealing with some of these for 20+ years it is AWESOME to have these conditions finally under some control that seems reasonable. Frankly, I haven’t had a quality of life this good in a very long time. Sansha was great to me at the Summerfield location and God bless you all at MMTC.
– 4 months on medical cannabis
– PTSD, severe physical trauma to back
– Previously treated with mood stabilizers
Excerpt: "I took 9-10 pills in the morning and another handful like that every night. Since I've come here, I don't take any of those pills in the morning. I do take some nighttime pills, but I don't take mood stabilizers like I had to. I’ve been treated with medical cannabis four months, and it has made a huge change.
I came to Dr. Dorn, and it seemed like I already had known him. I think the the best thing is, if I had any questions at all, he would answer them..."
Richard B., 71
Pensacola Medical Marijuana Doctor
– 2 1/2 months on medical cannabis
– PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder)
I’m a front line combat veteran. I was in Vietnam– July 67-68. The medical marijuana has given me some mental peace that I have not experienced in 50 years. It doesn’t take it away but it does soften the past experiences of combat.
– 2 months on medical cannabis
– PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder), Anxiety, sleeping problems
– Previously treated with antidepressants, anti-anxiety medication, antipsychotic medication
The side effects for taking pill medication are as follow. [antidepressants]: nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite, or stomach ache. Constipation or diarrhea. Loss of interest in sex (erectile dysfunction in men). [anti-anxiety medication]: sleep problems (insomnia), memory problems, poor balance or coordination. Slurred speech. [antipsychotic medication]: dry mouth, sore throat, stomach pain, upset stomach, nausea, vomiting, constipation. Which all equals no life. With medical marijuana I do not have any of these side effects. I can have a life full of activities. I sleep better with no nightmares. It helps with my PTSD and anxiety.