Using Cannabis for Anxiety
What are Anxiety Disorders
Anxiety is a state of mind in which the individual feels increased tension, apprehension, a painfully increased sense of helplessness, a feeling of uncertainty, fear, jitteriness, and worry. Anxiety Disorder is disorders characterized by chronic worry.
- Anxiety disorders include all the following:
- Generalized Anxiety (GAD)
- Obsessive-compulsive Disorder (OCD)
- Panic Disorder
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
Common associated characteristics of anxiety include:
- Rumination (anticipation)
- Physical tension
Anxiety can also overlap as a feature of other psychiatric conditions such as:
History of Cannabis Use to Alleviate Anxiety
Cannabis has actually been used for thousands of years to help with symptoms which are associated with Anxiety. It’s claimed that Indian medicine bhang (which is a milk-based Cannabis drink), creates joy and helps destroy Anxiety. The use of oral Cannabis to treat Anxiety first appears in the Atharvaveda (a core Vedic text dating to approximately 2000 BCE.
Cannabis Effectiveness on Anxiety
Biphasic and Bidirectional
Biphasic in regards to Cannabis means low and high doses of Cannabis may produce opposing effects. So, what does this all mean? To put it simply-while Anxiety has the capability to be relieved at smaller doses, it can also intensify Anxiety symptoms (the symptoms you’re trying to alleviate) at higher Cannabis doses. Instead of giving the user relief from Anxiety it does just the opposite, leaving the user with even more Anxiety, paranoia, stress, and uneasiness.
Density of CB1 cannabinoid receptors which are found in the brain’s amygdala, hippocampus, and anterior cingulate cortex illustrates that the endocannabinoid system helps regulate Anxiety because these structures regulate Anxiety and conditions related to it.
CBD and THC are both effective at relieving Anxiety symptoms. However, there is a discrepancy that states Cannabis may be more effective using CBD and THC separately, rather than combining them, for the treatment of Anxiety.
- A dosage of THC for the successful use of Anxiety is between 1 and three milligrams.
- A dosage of CBD ranges between 2.5 and 10 milligrams.
Studies on humans have been performed using very large doses of CBD for the treatment of Anxiety, however, the side effects of such high doses result in cognitive impairment characterized as a “mental sedation”. It’s safe to say that doses of up to 50 milligrams of CBD (being the sole cannabinoid) should most likely be well-tolerated by most users.
How to Avoid Building Up a Cannabinoid Tolerance
However, if you plan on using cannabinoids for long-term-monitoring your dose closely is very important to avoid building up a tolerance. If you do end up building up a tolerance, you may benefit greatly from something called a drug holiday. A drug holiday is exactly how it sounds- it’s a period of time during which a user abstains from using Cannabis to allow return of normal function or to maintain sensitivity to the drug.
Effective Ways to Ingest Cannabis for Anxiety
Using THC Cannabis by swallowing or placing under the tongue (sublingually) is effective for Anxiety. Use extreme caution though when using consecutive doses of oral THC Cannabis in order to avoid an additive overdose (which can increase Anxiety).
CBD cannabis can also be taken orally or sublingually.
Using a combination low dose of both THC and CBD seem to be mildly synergistic in some users, which can be slightly Anxiety provoking. It’s highly recommended to reduce both THC and CBD doses. It’s also important to note that cultivars that contain THCV and CBDV may also increase Anxiety.
Cannabis Smoking and Vaping
Smoking and vaping Cannabis for Anxiety is effective, due to how quickly the user learns to titrate the proper dose. Always start with a very small dose of Cannabis when vaping (about the size of match head), completely vaporizing the active ingredients of the dose.
Types of Cannabis Used to Relieve Anxiety
For the most part, nearly any type of Cannabis can be used to help relieve Anxiety. Provided that the dose is tightly constrained, even the most typical anxiogenic varieties such as Hazes and Diesels are effective. The micro-dose method allows the use of Cannabis varieties which are less sedating.
Cannabis and Phobias
Users with phobias should avoid any Cannabis strains that are high in pinene. The reason pinene should be avoided is due to the fact that THC’s ability to interfere with memory and recall, pinene tends to counter the memory effect.
Cannabis and Social Anxiety
For users suffering from social Anxiety, CBD Cannabis varieties tend to be extremely effective. CBD Cannabis varieties may also be effective for those suffering from phobias and Panic disorders as well.