How Can Marijuana Help Alleviate Anxiety Symptoms?

Anxiety is a common mental illness among Americans. According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, anxiety disorders affect 40 million adults countrywide.

With scientific evidence that marijuana can help ease anxiety, more patients are opting for it over prescription medications. You can access it legally with a medical marijuana card San Diego.

Marijuana’s cannabinoids, such as THC and CBD are known for their therapeutic properties. They can help in managing anxiety symptoms such as mood swings, sleep problems, lack of concentration, etc. Cannabis compounds work by stimulating the endocannabinoid system.

The Endocannabinoid System

The endocannabinoid system (ECS) is a cell-signaling system that exists in the body. Research says that it plays a key role in regulating different bodily functions, such as sleep, mood, appetite, memory, and reproduction.

In the ECS, there are 3 major components, endocannabinoids, endocannabinoid receptors, and enzymes. The endocannabinoids are the naturally produced molecules, which help the body to keep its functions run smoothly. The body produces endocannabinoids when required to perform certain functions. The two key endocannabinoids are—anandamide (AEA) and 2-arachidonoylglycerol (2-AG).

The receptors exist throughout the body. The endocannabinoids attach to these receptors to take the required action. CB1 and CB2 are the two main cannabinoid receptors.

However, enzymes help in breaking down endocannabinoids. For instance, fatty acid amide hydrolase that breaks down AEA and monoacylglycerol acid lipase that breaks down 2-AG.

Medical experts believe that the deficiency of endocannabinoids in the body can lead to certain conditions. It’s termed as clinical endocannabinoid deficiency. So, targeting the ECS can help in managing these conditions.

How Cannabis Works?

Marijuana works for anxiety by interacting with the endocannabinoid system. THC binds to CB1 and CB2 receptors, thus delivering effects on the body and mind.

On the other hand, CBD doesn’t interact directly with these receptors. It prevents the endocannabinoids from breaking down instead. Research says that CBD can help in managing anxiety, pain, inflammation, and nausea.

CBD works the same way as Zoloft and Prozac. It targets the body’s serotonin system and works by stopping reabsorption of serotonin in the brain. Additionally, CBD increases 5-H1TA transmission, thus affecting the serotonin faster than SSRIs. 

In a 2017 national survey,  81 percent of the 9,000 respondents agreed that cannabis had one or multiple health effects. And, approximately half of the respondents selected anxiety, stress, and depression as one of the potential benefits.

A recent study published in January 2020 reported that the endocannabinoid 2-AG reduced the risks of anxiety connections between the amygdala and frontal cortex. 2-AG activates the same receptors as THC.

According to a 2010 study, CBD could help in managing social anxiety disorder. Brain scans of the participants revealed that marijuana use improved the blood flow in the brain areas linked to anxiety. Additionally, the herb changed the way the brain responds to anxiety.

In addition to cannabinoids, terpenes can also play a role in marijuana’s anti-anxiety effects. These are fragrant oils responsible for the plant’s aroma. For instance, the terpene limonene is believed to have anti-anxiety effects. However, researchers are finding their therapeutic benefits.

When using marijuana for anxiety relief, dosage is the key. Research suggests that low doses can help in managing anxiety while higher doses may deliver the opposite effects. So, if you are using high-THC strains, make sure you check the dosage. However, high doses of CBD appears to provide anti-anxiety effects.

Anxiety Medications vs Cannabis

There’s a wide range of medications that can help ease anxiety symptoms. For instance, doctors usually prescribe benzodiazepines for patients with anxiety disorders. The medications work by managing the GABA levels. However, some studies show that cannabis also impacts GABA levels, thus delivering anti-anxiety effects.

So, which treatment you should choose—medications or cannabis. Well, it depends. Because everyone has a different condition and responds differently to medications and cannabis.

However, cannabis use has advantages over medications. Medications can lead to certain side-effects and tolerance. But, marijuana is safe to use.

There are various ways to consume cannabis. So, if you don’t like smoking, you can opt for vaping or tinctures. Marijuana-infused foods and drinks allow you to receive the plant’s therapeutic benefits without inhaling the smoke.

However, learning cannabis interaction with drugs is important. For instance, using marijuana while you are on antidepressants can be dangerous. It can lead to certain side-effects and worsen the symptoms. So, you do a quick research about how cannabis interacts with medications you are taking. It’s good to talk to a licensed doctor to seek professional help about mixing marijuana with prescription medications.

How to Access Medical Cannabis Legally For Anxiety?

Medical use of cannabis is legal in 33 US states including California. Patients with valid MMJ recs can access medical dispensaries for buying flowers, concentrates & oils, tinctures, edibles, etc. Unlike recreational users, medical users don’t have to pay cannabis sales & use tax. Other advantages include—access to high-potency marijuana products, age relaxations, and legal permission to grow cannabis plants for personal use.

Also Read- Major Requirements For Growing Cannabis Plants at Home

Using telemedicine technology, you can apply for your medical marijuana card San Diego from home. It’s simple and takes less than 10 minutes. The complete process is-

  • Sign up an account
  • See a doctor online
  • Receive MMJ rec letter in PDF format via email

Also Read- What You Need to Learn Before Going For Medical Marijuana Recommendations Online

Top Strains For Fighting Anxiety

Marijuana contains various compounds that contribute to its therapeutic benefits. Different strains have different levels of cannabinoids such as THC & CBD and deliver different effects. For instance, some strains boost energy while others promote relaxation. So, for managing your symptoms completely, make sure you get the right strains. Here’s a list of the best marijuana strains for anxiety sufferers-

  • ACDC
  • Granddaddy Purple
  • Jack Herer
  • Canna-Tsu
  • Jillybean
  • Purple Urkle
  • Cannatonic
  • Blue OG

Talk to your doctor to discuss your condition and seek professional help for marijuana strains.

Key Takeaways

Anxiety is a common mental health condition that can impact sleep, concentration, mood, and various other functions. Prescription medications can help ease anxiety, but they are linked to side-effects. Research says that marijuana’s medicinal properties can help in managing anxiety symptoms effectively. THC works by binding to the cannabinoid receptors CB1 and CB2 in the endocannabinoid system.

When using cannabis for anxiety management, make sure you consider dosage and strains. There’s some evidence that low doses can ease symptoms while high doses may lead to worsening the symptoms. Similarly, you should select the right strains to get the desired health benefits—improvement in sleep, energy, mood, etc. 

Apply for a medical marijuana card San Diego to access state-licensed dispensaries today.