Cannabis Increases Anxiety: Truth or Myth?

December 19, 2021

If you have ever been diagnosed with anxiety, you know how troubling and stressful the medical condition can be. Sudden triggers, panic attacks, nervousness, these are some of the common symptoms of anxiety that might leave you with distress for the next few days. People actively looking for anxiety treatment might have found themselves taking advice on how marijuana can ease out their symptoms of anxiety. You must have read about patients who take cannabis with a medical marijuana card online

That is, because the growing popularity of cannabis has legalized medical cannabis in more and more US states making it easier for the patients with a qualifying medical condition to access legal cannabis. Though cannabis is legal for seeking anxiety treatment, there still goes a lot of controversy behind the potential of cannabis to treat the disease. We will have a detailed discussion on this later, let us first make our facts clear about cannabis and its scope. 

What is Cannabis?

Cannabis refers to a group of three plants namely Cannabis Sativa, Cannabis Indica and Cannabis Ruderalis. Also popularly known by the name of marijuana, weed, pot or hash, the plant contains hundreds of chemical compounds, THC (Tetrahydrocannabinol) and CBD (Cananbidiol) being the two most prevalent ones. 

CBD has garnered a dedicated following as a significant therapeutic agent that actually works wonders in the management of different medical conditions. It is known as a great reliever for pain and anxiety. THC, on the other hand, is the psychoactive component of the plant that produces the euphoric or ‘high’ feeling. Both CBD and THC have become the trending cannabis compounds enjoying a great market demand for the treatment of an array of ailments such as chronic pain, relaxation, anxiety, etc.

Cannabis and Anxiety: Understanding the Relationship 

Well, the relationship between cannabis and anxiety is a bit complicated. Different studies believe that the scientific community has not given marijuana for anxiety the attention it deserves given the growing use of the substance. 

Though a considerable number of people claim marijuana to have anxiolytic properties, there are some people who believe the substance has even brought or worsen their anxiety symptoms. CBD, as mentioned earlier, is high in demand due to its anxiolytic properties. CBD helps prevent the flow of anandamide in parahippocampal gyrus. Substances that restrain the flow of anandamide are likely to prevent anxiety. 

As per CBD statistics 2021 by SingleCare Team, 33 percent of Americans have used CBD once or more. Of all the people who have used CBD, 49 percent of them used it for anxiety-relief and 42 percent of them used it for insomnia. 

Cannabis Increases Anxiety: Truth or Myth?

A major chunk of the global population view cannabis as a benign substance with relatively minor complications that can be tolerated for medicinal or recreational purposes. Permissive beliefs about cannabis and its cannabinoids are generally fueled by the way the substance has been portrayed in different cultures.

However, there is a section of the society who argues that the growing unrestricted use of cannabis can lead to a serious public health problem if left uninvestigated. Now, jumping straight to the point, does cannabis increase anxiety? 

Is it just a myth there in the market or a truth that needs to be heard? Well, it all depends. As mentioned earlier, existing data has witnessed both types of people, one for whom cannabis works like a magic drug and others who find the substance dangerous for long-term consumption. 

So, it can be said that cannabis does not really increase anxiety in every case, a careful observation and understanding of one’s body and its reaction to cannabis is what is needed. 

Are There Any Side-Effects? 

As cannabis contains a bunch of cannabinoids, both psychoactive and non-psychoactive, its long-term consumption can lead to some of the below-mentioned side-effects.

  • Dry mouth
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Headache
  • Short-term memory loss
  • Difficulty in concentration
  • Paranoia 
  • Anxiety ( in some cases) 
  • Hallucinations

Again, if you’re a beginner getting his/her hands on marijuana for the first time, your marijuana experience could be a little overwhelming as you would not have built your tolerance level. That is why, it is always advised to consume the substance on a low dosage. You can gradually increase your dosage if you feel your anxiety requires a higher amount to get the satisfactory results. Also, if you are confused about whether marijuana is the right treatment for your medical condition or not, seeking medical advice from an expert can never go wrong.