Using Cannabis to Treat Anxiety

Nearly 1 in 5 American adults experiences anxiety each year, and nearly 1 in 3 or 31% of Americans will experience an anxiety disorder at some point in their lives, according to the National Institute of Mental Health.

Anxiety can get in the way of everyday tasks like going to work, socializing with friends, or doing school work. Increasingly, people with anxiety are turning to pharmaceutical treatments to relieve pressure. For a plant-based alternative, cannabis can help when used with intention.

Although New Jersey is the only state where anxiety is officially listed as a qualifying condition, states such as California and the District of Columbia allow physicians to recommend cannabis at their discretion. If you live in a state where adult-use cannabis is legal, then you can make the decision to use cannabis holistically.

Sometimes Less is More

A 2018 study at Washington State University surveyed individuals’ stress, anxiety, and depression after smoking cannabis. It found that just two puffs of cannabis could help reduce anxiety, and that 10 puffs or more of high-CBD cannabis relieved stress.*
Micro-dosing, or taking small doses of cannabis throughout the day, is one way to ensure that you receive the therapeutic benefits of cannabis with mild or no psychoactive effects.

Try CBD: How It Works

High-CBD strains like Tikun’s Avidekel are particularly effective for relieving anxiety. In high concentrations, CBD is an agonist for the 5-HT1A serotonin receptor, meaning that it blocks the reuptake of serotonin in the brain and increases serotonin levels. Serotonin is a chemical that produces feelings of well-being and calmness. Many pharmaceutical medications called SSRIs (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor) are prescribed to help increase serotonin and to treat anxiety and depression.

Tikun Studies

A survey of medical patients in Israel found that 77% of patients reported improvement in anxiety when using our Alaska or Erez strains. Both Alaska and Erez are high-THC, low-CBD strains.

Try micro-dosing with high-THC strains to make sure that the psychoactive effects produce a calm rather than racing thoughts. Record how you feel when you are consuming different strains to make sure that you are using the one that is best for you.

Exercise Caution

Some cannabis consumers do report increased anxiety when consuming marijuana. To reduce the likelihood that you will feel anxious, be sure to consume in a safe, familiar place where you can safely medicate. Check out our post on how to use cannabis with intent for more tips on how to incorporate cannabis into your treatment. You can also change your strain. Some sativa strains can produce feelings of anxiousness.

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Resources

*https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2018/04/180419100110.htm
NIMH Link: https://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/statistics/any-anxiety-disorder.shtml
CBD Serotonin Studies: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24923339, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26711860