As cannabis legalization continues to sweep the United States and other countries, a wider audience is being exposed to the medicinal potential of the many compounds found within cannabis. It seems as though new research providing evidence that cannabis can treat any number of conditions is released daily. One condition that has been increasingly linked to cannabis is anxiety.
STUDYING CANNABIS ANXIETY TREATMENTS
According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, over 40 million Americans have an anxiety disorder. As astronomically high as that number is, there are few effective treatments to alleviate this often-times crippling condition. At the moment, most treatment plans include therapy or prescription drugs that can often negatively impact a patient’s mental health. However some patients have begun to use cannabis anxiety treatments to treat some of the conditions crippling side effects.
While there is limited research into the effects of cannabis on mental health conditions, there is some promising evidence. One study released in the Journal of Affective Disorders found that, “Medical cannabis users perceived a 50% reduction in depression and a 58% reduction in anxiety and stress following cannabis use.” The study also found that women “reported larger reductions in anxiety as a function of cannabis than did men.”
CANNABIS COMPOUNDS FOR TREATING ANXIETY
There are a number of compounds found within the cannabis plant that have been revealed to have some medicinal use. The two most well-known and researched compounds are tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD). Both have been proven to have medicinal values and both can aid in the treatment of certain mental health conditions. Interestingly enough, the aforementioned Journal of Affective Disorders study found that while, “Low THC/high CBD cannabis was best for reducing perceived symptoms of depression, high THC/high CBD cannabis was best for reducing perceived symptoms of stress.”
It is of the utmost importance to be cautious with dosage and compound ratios when using medicinal cannabis. Mistreatment using cannabis anxiety treatments can lead to inefficacy and unwanted negative side effects. The Journal of Affective Disorders study suggests that high THC cannabis is better suited to treat anxiety while high CBD cannabis is better suited for treating depression.
LACK OF GOVERNMENT INITIATIVE
Though studies like the one outlined have yielded some encouraging results, there is still not enough research to make any concrete claims about the medicinal link between cannabis and anxiety. The lack of research being conducted in the United States is due to the scheduling of cannabis as a drug with “no medicinal value” by the federal government. Until the federal government can come together to de-schedule cannabis and make research possible the true possibilities of cannabis anxiety treatments.