Stress and anxiety are common issues that people experience in their everyday lives. Between work, family, and other obligations, it's easy for stress to build up. For some people, this can lead to anxiety.
While there are many ways to deal with stress and anxiety, choosing medical marijuana may be a good option for some people. In fact, anxiety is one of the most common reasons why people use medical marijuana. By using this guide paired with our free webinar, you will be able to learn what medical marijuana is and how it may help you with stress, anxiety, and other conditions.
Stress Vs. Anxiety
Before we can understand how medical marijuana may help with stress and anxiety, we need to understand the difference between the two. While stress and anxiety typically go hand in hand, they are actually two separate things.
Stress is a physical and mental response to events that cause us to feel overwhelmed. Our brain and body use stress to respond to danger or a challenging situation.
Things such as work and school performance, significant life changes, or a traumatic experience may lead to stress. While normal stress levels can assist in self-preservation and work as a motivator, chronic stress may lead to symptoms such as:
- High blood pressure
- Chest pain
- Heart palpitations
- Skin rashes
- Loss of sleep
Anxiety is an ongoing stress response characterized by a persistent feeling of apprehension. Nearly 264 million people suffer from an anxiety disorder, and about 31% of American adults will experience an anxiety disorder at some point in their lives.
Anxiety may develop from various factors, including genetics, brain chemistry, personality type, and life events. Types of anxiety include:
- Social anxiety disorders
- Panic disorders
- Generalized anxiety disorder
The main difference between stress and anxiety is that while stress is a physical and emotional response to events, anxiety is a persistent feeling of apprehension. Now that we understand the difference between stress and anxiety let's look at how medical marijuana may help relieve them.
How THC and CBD Affect Stress and Anxiety
There are two main cannabinoids in marijuana, tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD). THC is the psychoactive compound that results in the sensation of being "high," while CBD does not have psychoactive effects and may counteract the potency of THC.
Both THC and CBD have been shown to help with stress and anxiety. However, it is essential to pay attention to the strain of marijuana you are using. For example, strains with lower THC levels may reduce anxiety, while strains with higher levels of THC may increase anxiety. CBD has been shown to help with both stress and anxiety without the psychoactive effects of THC.
Best Medical Marijuana Strains for Anxiety and Stress
While it can take time to know which strains are most suitable for you, here are some of the best strains for reducing stress and anxiety:
What Are Cannabinoids?
While you probably have heard of THC and CBD, you may not be familiar with the term cannabinoids. Currently, there are over 200 known cannabinoids in cannabis. Cannabinoids can be broken down into two types:
Endocannabinoids are produced by the body and are responsible for maintaining homeostasis (The tendency of a system to maintain equilibrium or a stable internal environment).
Phytocannabinoids are cannabinoids found in the cannabis plant. Phytocannabinoids mimic the endocannabinoids found in our bodies and interact with cannabinoid receptors. This causes a change in how the human body sends and receives signals from the central nervous and immune systems.
The Endocannabinoid System
Endocannabinoids and phytocannabinoids interact with the body's endocannabinoid system (ECS). This system plays a part in regulating anxiety, fear, and stress responses. Other physiological processes that the ECS regulates include:
- Immune system
How Cannabinoids Treat Stress, Anxiety and Other Conditions
The most well-known phytocannabinoids are THC and CDB. However, there are many other cannabinoids that have been shown to have medical benefits. These cannabinoids can be found in every part of the cannabis plant but are most abundant on the trichomes. Trichomes are the hair-like structures found on cannabis plant flowers. These cannabinoids can do more than reduce your stress and anxiety levels. They may also:
- Alleviate pain
- Reduce Inflammation
- Increase appetite
- Improve muscle control
- Help treat mental illnesses such as PTSD and bipolar disorder
Other Possible Benefits
Because research on cannabinoids is in its early stages, there is still much to be learned about their potential benefits. Cannabinoids are currently being studied for their potential to treat immune system diseases such as:
That's not all. Early studies also suggest that cannabinoids may help fight cancer by slowing the growth of cancer cells or, in some cases, killing them. Cannabinoids may also reduce nausea from chemotherapy and increase the effectiveness of radiation treatments.
The Importance of Dosing
When taking medical marijuana to treat your anxiety, stress, or other conditions, it is important to start with low doses of THC and gradually increase as needed. This will help you find the appropriate dosage for you. You may need to experiment with different strains depending on your condition and its severity.
While discovering the appropriate dose, it is best to consult with a knowledgeable medical marijuana physician. They can help guide you in choosing the right strains. Remember that each person is different and what works for someone else may not work for you.
If you are taking other medications, it is important to speak with your Florida Medical Marijuana doctor before combining them with medical marijuana. THC can interact with some medications and may cause unwanted side effects.
The Entourage Effect
Simply put, the entourage effect is the idea that cannabinoids work best together. This is why many people prefer to use medical marijuana that contains a variety of cannabinoids rather than a single cannabinoid such as CBD or THC. When a combination of cannabinoids is present, they work together to create a synergistic effect.
For instance, if you feel anxious after consuming THC, adding CBD to the mix may help alleviate that anxiety. If you do not enjoy the psychoactive effects of THC, you may want to try a strain that is high in CBD and low in THC.
Unlike other pharmaceutical drugs, medical marijuana allows you to control your dosage. Furthermore, you can't overdose on medical marijuana because your body produces its own endocannabinoids. These benefits, along with the entourage effect, make medical marijuana an ideal treatment for anxiety, stress, and other conditions.
Contact a Florida Medical Marijuana Doctor
If you suffer from anxiety, stress, or another condition and want to see if medical marijuana is right for you, the Medical Marijuana Treatment Clinics of Florida can help.
Take our eligibility survey or book an appointment with one of our qualified physicians to determine if medical marijuana is the right treatment for you and find out if you qualify for a Florida Medical Marijuana card.