Since more states decriminalize pot for medicinal and recreational purposes, an increasing number of people are turning to it to treat anxiety and generalized anxiety disorder (GAD).
Although scientific evidence in this area is limited, there are case reports and recent scientific reports of marijuana producing a calming effect that temporarily improves anxiety symptoms in people. Whether you’re planning on using it after seeing enticing marijuana packaging or for any other reason, read on to know if marijuana really helps with anxiety.
Self-Medicating with Marijuana
Self-medicating occurs when you take it upon yourself to use a substance to manage or cope with a medical problem or symptom. Self-medicating frequently provides instant relief from unpleasant symptoms, promoting its usage.
The concern with self-medication is that, while marijuana usage is becoming increasingly mainstream, there is still a lack of knowledge about the drug’s usefulness for certain medical conditions as well as its long-term repercussions.
Benefits of Marijuana
The research community has only lately begun to investigate the effects of cannabis on anxiety, and the result is that there are some short-term advantages.
In a recent study, researchers from Washington State University discovered that smoking cannabis can reduce self-reported depression, anxiety, and stress in the short term. Repeated use, on the other hand, does not appear to result in any long-term alleviation of symptoms and, in some cases, may instead worsen depression over time.
Risks of Marijuana Use
Marijuana has a variety of effects on your body in addition to getting you high. The chemical ingredient tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), which gives marijuana its psychoactive properties, is responsible for the high feeling you may get after smoking or consuming marijuana.
THC’s effects are not without risk, and long-term or frequent usage has been linked to a number of possible negative effects.
Risk of Psychiatric Disorders
Despite any advantages they may have observed in this respect with short-term usage, it’s probable that persons who use marijuana for an extended period of time have higher levels and symptoms of depression.
Long-Term Memory Loss
Long-term marijuana usage has been linked to memory decline in several studies. THC causes memory impairment by affecting the hippocampus, which is crucial for memory formation in the brain. It can also have a negative impact on the brain’s motivation system.
Amplified Symptoms of Anxiety
Everyone reacts to THC differently. In the worst cases, THC can increase the heart rate, which can make you feel even more worried if you already experience anxiety.
Marijuana can also produce orthostatic hypotension, which is a quick dip in blood pressure when you stand up, which can make you feel light-headed or dizzy. Cannabis can also make you feel dizzy, nauseated, confused, and have blurry vision, all of which might make you feel anxious.
CHS or Cannabis Hyperemesis Syndrome
Cannabis hyperemesis syndrome is a rare side effect of regular marijuana usage, especially with today’s more strong strains (CHS). This is characterized by cyclical nausea and vomiting.
Because marijuana has been used to reduce nausea and vomiting in cancer treatment, this is perplexing and difficult to diagnose. Sufferers sometimes find comfort in hot baths and showers, but for long-term recovery, marijuana abstinence is required.
We strongly encourage you to talk to your doctor to ask if the use of marijuana can aid your symptoms of anxiety. If it is legal in your state and your doctor green lights its use, then be sure to proceed with care and caution
If it works for you, make sure that you control its use for medical purposes only.
We hope that this article helped you learn about the risks of self-medicating with marijuana for anxiety. If you have any questions, let us know in the comments.