Cannabis and Anxiety

Cannabis and Anxiety

Sep 17, 2023

Mark Kunicki

What anxiety disorders have in common is that they are a response to adverse memories. These memories are stored in the hippocampus (in the brain) and for most these memories fade away, but for some they are retained with detail. When triggered there is an increase in adrenaline, which is what causes that stressed, scared, or worried feeling. CBD stimulates the CB2 receptors in the hippocampus meaning that it can decrease the response or adverse memories and potentially decreasing symptoms. The first phase of a clinical trial at McLean Hospital in Massachusetts saw that those who received CBD in the trial saw 70% to 80% improvement in their anxiety symptoms.

CBD is highly recommended to potentially aid in anxiety relief. CBD can be used in a high dose or a low dose to provide relief, though when beginning to use CBD start with a low dose. If using a tincture for a daily therapeutic effect, begin with 10mg and increase 10mg every 4 days until relief is felt. Cannabis can also be used to potentially relieve anxiety symptoms, but it may not for everyone. For some using cannabis can cause anxiety when a high dose is used. To counteract this, users should take CBD to negate some of the psychoactivity from the THC. It is recommended to start with a low dose to gauge the personal effect that cannabis may have. A study in California of 1,746 patients revealed that 37.8% reported to use cannabis to relieve anxiety, 16.9% to relieve panic attacks, and 55.1% to relax.

What We Are Up Against

40 million adults aged 18 and older are affected by anxiety, making it the most common mental illness in the United States. Anxiety disorders do not just appear one day, they develop from a set of risk factors such as genetics, brain chemistry, personality, and life events. The following anxiety statistics are from the Anxiety & Depression Association of America to give an idea of some of the varieties of anxiety disorders.

  • Generalized Anxiety Disorder affects 6.8 million adults and often occurs with major depression
  • Panic Disorder affects 6 million adults
  • Social Anxiety Disorder affects 15 million adults
  • Specific Phobias affect 19.3 million adults and typically begin in childhood
  • Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder affects 2.5 million adults
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder affects 7.7 million adults and women are 5x more likely to be affected than men

Depression is one of the most prevalent mental illnesses in the United States with an estimated 14.8 million adults and 4.1 million children ages 12 to 17 had at least one severe episode in 2020.

 

Sources:

adaa.org/understanding-anxiety/facts-statistics

adaa.org/understanding-anxiety/depression/facts-statistics