Can Cannabis Help Manage Stress and Anxiety During The COVID-19 Pandemic?

April 25, 2020

Anxiety is a tricky medical condition and combating this mental health problem can be extremely difficult. There are several anxiety treatment methods out there in the world and some experts believe that medical cannabis can be one of them. However, how substantial is the use of medical marijuana for the treatment of anxiety? This question has driven many scientists to consistently study cannabis cannabinoids over the past few years. So, whether or not medical marijuana can help treat anxiety, particularly when the world is facing a global crisis is something we will look forward to answering in this write-up. Read on to find out.

What Does Research Say?

Patients often use anxiety as a blanket term to describe feelings that cause uneasiness. And most often anxiety is caused under stressful situations. Moreover, in today’s corona affected world, there is high pressure. It’s almost impossible to not feel anxious under quarantine. In fact, Centres for Disease Control and Prevention have issued guidelines regarding how to cope up with quarantine stress.

Interestingly, whether you fall under the category of individuals who are already suffering from anxiety or quarantine has forced you to feel anxious. Whatever your reason, medical cannabis may help you. And we have reports suggesting the same. For instance, in a 2015 study, it was shown that CBD can help reduce the symptoms of anxiety. Particularly, anxiety behaviors associated with multiple disorders such as OCD, PTSD, GAD, PD, and SAD.

The study also went on to say that CBD’s interaction with the endocannabinoid system leads to these actions. Scientifically speaking, CBD’s anxiolytic actions depend upon CB1R reaction in the brain region. While CBD is a phytocannabinoid of the cannabis plant, our body too has natural cannabinoids that successfully interact with CBD. Perhaps this is the reason why most patients with anxiety use CBD and report relief from anxiety-related symptoms.

In addition to this, the study also showed that lower levels of THC doses could help individuals treat the symptoms of anxiety. However, these doses should be consumed under medical supervision.

Recent Research on Medical Marijuana For Anxiety

A study was published in The Permanente Journal in January 2019. The study looked at the varied aspects of CBD to find whether it improved anxiety or not. The authors of the study after evaluating 72 adults concluded that the anxiety score decreased in 79 percent of the individuals in the first month. Also, the level of anxiety remained low throughout the duration of the study. Not only this but the sleep score also improved in 48 percent of the adults for the first month. Also, CBD was well tolerated and no major side effects were seen in patients during the study. 

Is Cannabis The Answer To Your Quarantine Anxiety?

The reason most cannabis users associate marijuana with anxiety is because of its ability to provide relaxation. With cannabis use, people experience a sense of happiness and calmness. It drives them away from negative emotions while patients are under the influence of marijuana. However, it has to be kept in mind that these effects are short term. And it makes sense why people prefer selecting cannabis for anxiety treatment.

The only question that hovers the mind of researchers, is the long term effects of marijuana for anxiety patients. In fact, some mainstream doctors are of the view, while cannabis temporarily reduces the symptoms of anxiety, it may also worsen anxiety in the long run. After all, regular consumption will reduce the natural ability of the patient to curb the anxiety. The dependency will grow over time and cannabis may become a part of false safety behavior. In other words, patients using cannabis will use it as an excuse to escape from the harsh reality. That said let us delve a little deeper and study “false safety” behavior.

The Role Of False Safety Behaviors In Anxiety Patients

In order to understand the role of cannabis for anxiety patients, it is also vital to examine false safety behaviors or FSBs. For the same, we will look at research or, to be precise in a case study. In this case study, 77 adults seeking cannabis use for anxiety were thoroughly examined. Their results indicated that patients with severe anxiety symptoms were naturally inclined towards safety behaviors than patients with mild anxiety.

Also, the data of the study were collected at a specific time with less no. of adults. Which, in turn, prevents the study from drawing concrete results. Particularly, results that convey a clear picture of cause and effect. Although, the results successfully established a connection between anxiety and false safety behaviors. Yet, the evidence clearly indicates that cannabis consumption can result in increased dependencies. So, the patient has to be mindful of cannabis use, especially those who have clinical anxieties. All in all, cannabis use for anxiety is a debatable topic. We have a few research to prove cannabis effectiveness but all the effects are short-term.

Final Thoughts

From the studies and evidence, we have discussed so far in this write-up. It is perhaps safe to say that marijuana use for anxiety under quarantine is not promising. Instead, you can opt for Cognitive Behavioral Therapy as your first treatment option. You can also combine both medical cannabis and anxiety with other mindful treatment activities. But ensure that you have a medical marijuana card of your state before you purchase medical cannabis. For instance, medical marijuana card Rochester can help you avail of medical cannabis in Rochester. The same applies to states with legal status. As for the patients seeking medical cannabis to treat their anxiety, stress under quarantine, make sure you talk to a doctor first through telemedicine. 

About the Author

Alfred Collins is a writer by profession. He is working with Rochester420Clinicians it is one of the best medical marijuana clinic in Rochester, NY. He always aims at educating people about healthy living.