If you are living with anxiety, you probably read or had it whispered to you that marijuana could help reduce it. Marijuana use is increasingly accepted in society, and many people believe that it can be a helpful alternative to pharmacological intervention for anxiety.
The symptoms of anxiety are difficult to miss. The person exhibits restlessness and nervousness. They may also have an increased heart rate, breath rapidly, and tremble. Some people sweat profusely and feel or appear weak. Anxious people also have trouble thinking about anything but the current problem. They continually expect doom.
For its ability to silence these symptoms, some people champion the use of marijuana for treating anxiety. They say that marijuana creates a calming effect that temporarily relieves anxiety symptoms. Yet, some people opposed to this claim feel that marijuana makes anxiety worse.
With varying opinions, it’s essential to get to the facts. The following will provide an overview of what experience and science show.
Weed and Anxiety
There is a vast network of receptors throughout the body as part of the endocannabinoid system (ECS). These receptors play an essential role in ensuring that the body operates well and that everything balances. Among their critical functions is regulating emotions like fear, anxiety, stress, and other behavioural responses to the stimuli.
The body also produces endocannabinoids that resemble those of the cannabis plant. The endocannabinoids behave like cannabis compounds by interacting with the ECS. Researchers say that whenever a person is suffering from anxiety disorders or chronic stress, there is often a decrease in endocannabinoids production. When this happens, that is, cannabis consumption comes to play.
Taking marijuana releases many cannabinoids into the body, including cannabidiol (CBD) and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). These two influence the networking of the endocannabinoid system (ECS). Therefore, when the body declines the natural production of endocannabinoids, you may start to panic. After consuming weed, the body floods with cannabinoids, you relax, and anxiety symptoms disappear.
The Effects of Marijuana Interacting With the ECS
Some people begin to take marijuana and go off prescription drugs. A study conducted in 2015 found that marijuana was helpful to 40 percent of the participants taking anti-anxiety drug benzodiazepines. The drug produces many undesirable side effects, which makes marijuana a welcome alternative.
Another study published in 2020 confirmed the same. The study found that endocannabinoid 2-AG reduces the connections between the frontal cortex and the amygdala, which induces anxiety. Consuming marijuana brings in cannabinoids that resume the connection and bring down anxiety symptoms. For as long as a person is high, there are cannabinoids in the system, and the anxiety will be under control. However, in the long term, the person may develop a dependence on cannabinoids when the body gets used to not producing enough.
Besides the cannabinoids, THC and CBD, exerting their effects, cannabis also contains terpenes. They are the fragrant oils that give the cannabis plant its aroma. Terpenes also have anti-anxiety effects. Researchers confirm that the smell soothes your mind and senses, bringing down the anxiety.
The Effects Can Go the Other Way
When experimenting with marijuana, it would be challenging to know the reaction to expect. Some people become anxious rather than calm when under the influence of marijuana. It’s possible that the “outside” cannabinoids overpower the natural ones rather than aid them. Without cannabinoids getting to the receptors, the body cannot control emotional reactions, and a person may suffer anxiety.
The aggravation of anxiety, however, depends on some factors. The first is the mental state a person is in and the environment around him. Some people say that their anxiety heightens whenever they use cannabis in an unpleasant condition, or when trying to hide that they are under the drug’s influence. For example, if you are smoking at a workplace where drug use is prohibited, chances are you will keep looking over your back to see if anyone is watching you. If anyone saw you, you will be wondering whether the person will report you to your superiors. So, rather than enjoy a deep sense of relaxation, you start becoming paranoid and anxious.
Marijuana may also cause anxiety in the long term when abused. Cannabis is a generally well-tolerated drug. It contains THC and CBD that may work against each other, reducing one’s chances of overpowering the other and permanently affecting your system. Although the process may be slower than for other drugs, eventually, the body breaks down marijuana into metabolites that your system excretes. If you consume marijuana in moderation, you will be fine. However, with overconsumption comes marijuana dependency and significant behavioural changes.
You may notice a change in the person’s priorities, social activity, and behaviour. The person becomes disinterested in friends, hobbies and is less involved in social activities. Most addicted stoners prefer to be alone, with their thoughts, consuming marijuana. The individual may also start struggling with academics, finances, and employment. Some people even suffer reduced physical and cognitive abilities. The feeling of being high is quite enjoyable, and some people want to remain high all the time.
Marijuana Alters the Mind
The reality is that marijuana is a mind-altering substance. With prolonged high doses, you may delink some natural body processes. For example, your body may stop producing natural elements the body needs. If you are continually supplying cannabinoids that overpower your natural ones, the body may stop creating its own. If you were using weed to get over your anxiety, withdrawing from weed may make your anxiety more severe. The body will have lost its natural anxiety-control abilities. You will need to hit weed again to bring down your symptoms.
People are different and have varying reactions to weed. So, before you begin your cannabis journey, get factual information about marijuana and its use. Source your products from a trusted source. If taken right, marijuana may bring down the anxiety symptoms. Your body will also eliminate it fast, without permanently altering the normal functioning of the body. Contact Togo Weed for advice on dosage and to get the right strain for you.