Using Cannabis For Anxiety: Does It Work?

Many of the visitors to our Brookline dispensary come to talk to us about using cannabis for anxiety. That’s no surprise.

In today’s fast-paced and interconnected world, anxiety is becoming a common condition. In fact, it’s believed that more than 30% of Americans will experience an anxiety disorder at some time in their life. Unsurprisingly, many people are looking for solutions to those anxious feelings that plague their peace of mind and harm their quality of life. One potential solution is cannabis.

Cannabis for Anxiety: CBD and Anxiety

Evidence exists that cannabis may be able to help with anxiety, but it’s not quite that simple.

The therapeutic powers of cannabis are believed to primarily come from cannabinoids, a certain kind of chemical compound found in the cannabis plant. More than 100 individual cannabinoids have been found to exist in the cannabis plant, most only in small trace amounts.

The two best-known and most abundant cannabinoids are CBD (cannabidiol) and THC (tetrahydrocannabinol). Most of the cannabis buds that you’ll find on dispensary shelves are rich in THC. However, you’re sure to also find some CBD-dominant strains as well, not to mention many other kinds of cannabis high-CBD products such as oils, edibles, and more.

While the relationship between THC and anxiety is a little bit more complicated, research indicates that CBD may very well be useful for managing stress and anxious feelings.

For example, one review of animal studies found evidence that CBD exerted both anxiolytic (anti-anxiety) and antidepressant-like effects. The connection doesn’t stop there. The potential anti-anxiety benefits of CBD haven’t just been noted in animals, they’ve also been seen in humans.

One 2011 study provided doses of CBD to people struggling with social anxiety, before putting them in public speaking situations that would normally trigger anxiety symptoms. Researchers found that one large dose of CBD was enough to significantly reduce anxiety, cognitive impairment, and discomfort in speech performance. Furthermore, an in-depth case report from 2016 found that CBD was able to reduce anxiety and improve sleep for a patient struggling with PTSD.

If you’re interested in using medical cannabis for anxiety, a pure CBD or CBD-dominant strain or product should be the first thing on your list when visiting a dispensary in Brookline MA.

THC and Anxiety: A Complicated Relationship

While CBD may potentially reduce anxiety, things are a bit murkier when it comes to THC.

THC is an intoxicating cannabinoid known for producing the mind-altering, euphoric, and uplifting effects of cannabis. You can kind of think of it kind of like this: while CBD is the therapeutic one, THC can be both that and the fun one. THC is best known for its recreational effects, but it’s also believed to have serious therapeutic potential when it comes to conditions such as pain, inflammation, nausea, insomnia, and possibly even anxiety.

However, when it comes to using THC for anxiety, careful dosage is extremely important. High levels of THC are known to actually produce anxious feelings. Also, taking too much THC on a regular basis is also believed to possibly trigger lasting anxiety symptoms.

One 2017 study found that while larger doses of THC can trigger anxious feelings, low doses may actually provide relief from anxiety. A dose of 7.5 mg of THC seemed to lower self-reported distress, while a dose of 12.5 mg increased negative mood.

Apart from dosage, it’s also important to be mindful of the specific strain of cannabis that you are ingesting. Certain strains are known to be more stimulating and energizing, while others are known for being deeply relaxing and sedating.

Try a simple rule of thumb: Strains with strong sativa genes tend to be more energizing, and are thus much more likely to cause anxiety, while strains with strong indica genes tend to be more relaxing, and are thus much more likely to keep anxiety at bay. Additionally, your local budtender or even a strain directory such as Leafly or Allbud can be a priceless resource for determining which strains are best to use and which to avoid when using medical cannabis for anxiety.

A cannabis treatment for anxiety and depression may seem tempting, but it’s important to know what you’re doing and what to expect. Using too much of the wrong kind of cannabis (THC sativa) can actually make things worse, so if you’re looking to try cannabis for anxiety from a dispensary in Brookline, we recommend that you stick to either CBD or low doses of indica THC.

The Best Dispensary in Brookline

Looking to try cannabis for anxiety? Stop by our Brookline dispensary today to see how we can help you out. Whether you’re looking for some high-grade CBD oil, or just want more information about using cannabis for anxiety, we’re here to help. Drop by our Brookline dispensary in person or check out our online menu to browse a wide selection of top-notch cannabis products!