A little stress or anxiety in life is normal. It’s not unusual for a looming project deadline or preparing for a public speaking event to make someone feel a little stressed or anxious. For some, however, those feelings are constant. Excessive stress or anxiety can have a substantial impact on a person’s quality of life. That can make it difficult to do things that others do with ease. Even things like grocery shopping or hanging out with friends can be difficult.
In today’s world, stress and anxiety are becoming increasingly more common issues. Nearly 8 out of 10 adults say that the pandemic has been a significant stressor in their lives. Almost half of all adults have said their behaviors have been affected, noting that they’re quicker to get angry and experience unexpected mood swings. The uncertainty of the future is also playing a role in the increase in stress and anxiety.
Managing stress and anxiety is essential for living a healthier, happier life. Common ways to reduce the symptoms include deep breathing, meditation, and exercise. In some cases, a doctor may prescribe medication to help. Some people have found that using cannabis helps. What’s more, research is showing that it may provide an effective solution for managing symptoms. Here’s what you need to know.
The Growing Popularity of Cannabis
Over the last few years, cannabis has grown significantly in popularity. While it’s still illegal on the federal level, many states across the country are starting to legalize it for medical (and even recreational) purposes.
People are using the plant as an alternative way to manage symptoms of various ailments. Many people use it to manage chronic pain, such as arthritis or neuropathy. Cancer patients often use it to manage pain and appetite loss that often accompanies chemotherapy. Others say it helps them relax and feel less anxious in certain situations.
The growing popularity of cannabis has led to the development of numerous new products, too. It used to be that smoking was the go-to method for quick relief from symptoms. Edibles were also popular, usually in the form of baked goods like brownies. Today, medical cannabis users have a broad range of products to choose from, including flowers, concentrates, vape pens, edibles, tinctures, topicals, and more.
Cannabis for Stress and Anxiety: Can It Help?
People say that cannabis provides them with relief from the symptoms of stress and anxiety. The question is, what does the science say?
While much of the evidence we have currently is anecdotal, there is some scientific research available. Many of the studies we have right now point toward cannabis as an effective therapy.
For instance, a 2018 study published in the Journal of Affective Disorders found that inhaling cannabis can significantly reduce stress, anxiety, and depression in the short term. The study found that high THC/low CBD strains were most effective for stress, while low THC/high CBD strains were best for anxiety and depression. However, it’s also essential to note that the study also found that repeated use doesn’t necessarily lead to long-term symptom reduction. In some cases, long-term use may even exacerbate those symptoms in users.
There are some older studies out there, but many of them focus on CBD only. For example, a 2010 study found that CBD oil can help reduce anxiety symptoms in individuals with social anxiety disorder. A 2015 review of multiple studies also found that CBD could be effective for treating a variety of anxiety disorders, including social anxiety, generalized anxiety, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
Unfortunately, current research is limited. Many studies also use animal models instead of human participants. While we need more research, the available evidence currently points toward cannabis as a potentially effective therapy.
Tips for Choosing Cannabis Products for Stress and Anxiety
If you’re interested in using cannabis to manage stress and anxiety symptoms, the best place to start is with your doctor. In many states, including Florida, anxiety is a condition that can qualify you for a medical cannabis card.
Once you have your card, you can visit a medical dispensary and choose products to help manage your symptoms. However, the array of available items can quickly become overwhelming. How are you supposed to know what to choose?
Everyone’s different. A strain or product type that works for one person may not necessarily provide you with the same results. Here are a few tips that can help you find the best cannabis products for your needs:
Determine What Kind of Relief You Need
When choosing cannabis for anxiety, what kind of relief are you seeking? Methods like smoking and vaping will provide the fastest-acting results, with the effects kicking in almost instantly. On the other hand, cannabis products like edibles take longer to kick in. However, if you take them in advance of a social engagement (or other anxiety-inducing events), they can take effect when you need them. They’ll also provide longer-lasting relief.
Pay Attention to the Cannabinoid Content
If you’re sensitive to THC (or THC worsens your anxiety symptoms), you may find that a low THC/high CBD strain works best for you. Different products will have varying concentrations, so be sure to read the label.
Assess the Quality of a Product
You also want to make sure that any product you buy is high-quality. Again, reading labels is essential. Cannabis labels will provide you with valuable testing information. If you’re purchasing flowers, be sure to give them a good look to make sure that they’re fresh, too.
Talk with a Budtender
If you’re unsure of what products might be best for you, don’t hesitate to speak with a budtender at your dispensary. Budtenders are knowledgeable of their products. In addition to answering your questions, they may ask some of their own to help you narrow down your options and point you in the right direction.
Find the Best Medical Cannabis for Stress and Anxiety
Research may be limited right now, but the available studies and anecdotal evidence point toward cannabis being an effective way to manage symptoms of stress and anxiety. If you’re interested in giving it a try, be sure to speak with your physician.
Are you looking to purchase cannabis products to manage your anxiety symptoms? VidaCann offers a broad range of products, allowing you to find what’s best for you. To view our selection or locate a dispensary near you, visit VidaCann today!