Medical Marijuana and Anxiety
Anxiety is a psychological condition that can have an incapacitating effect on people?s lives. Whether you are newly diagnosed or have suffered from anxiety for many years it is difficult to deal with and at times can make even the simplest of tasks seem impossible.
What makes anxiety even more difficult for the sufferer to deal with is that it is not always visible to other people, meaning it can be challenging to explain and manage, particularly in social situations.
There are a number of different treatments available for those diagnosed with anxiety from cognitive behavioral therapy and anxiety medication to medical cannabis. As every individual has unique brain chemistry each treatment will work differently for the individual, so many patients who suffer with anxiety will have to experiment with these treatments to find the one that works best for them.
Medical marijuana is still being learned about by medical professionals, and studies are continually discovering new ways that it could be used as an alternative to pharmaceutical medication. One such use of medical marijuana is to effectively treat anxiety disorders.
But why is medical cannabis worth considering for treating anxiety and how can you get medical weed in Canada? In this article we will answer these questions and more to help you determine whether medical marijuana might be a suitable option for you.
Can Medical Marijuana be a substitute for anti-anxiety medication?
Research on medical marijuana suggests that it could be an alternative to standard anti-anxiety medication. This research shows that medical cannabis has similar components to the drugs that pharmaceutical companies manufacture to combat anxiety symptoms.
One of the most commonly prescribed anti-anxiety medications is benzodiazepines. These are used to manage the level of GABA ? a neurotransmitter in the brain. Studies have shown that medial cannabis also has an effect on your GABA levels and the components in marijuana, particularly CBD (cannabidiol) help manage the GABA in your brain.
Medical cannabis has also been shown to lower your levels of cortisol ? the hormone that affects your stress levels. Lower cortisol means a dulled reaction to stress, which might be good effect for someone with anxiety.
Research into medical cannabis still has some way to go to being fully conclusive, however early studies suggest that it can help people suffering from the condition a lot.
For someone suffering with anxiety medical marijuana is definitely an option worth considering. It is an alternative to prescribed anxiety medication that might work for you.
What types of Medical Marijuana are available?
When you decide to use medical marijuana you need to consider the strain that will suit your health needs best. Each different strain of medical weed will have its own unique effects, so it?s worth doing your research and consulting with a doctor or dispensary.
It?s also worth noting that there are two families of medical marijuana strains ? Indica and Sativa. Indica is high in CBD – a chemical in medical weed known to be beneficial for the treatment of anxiety. Sativa has THC in it which can cause anxiety in some people. When choosing this means that you should lean towards an Indica strain or a hybrid strain that is Indica leaning with a high volume of CBD.
Below are some of the most common strains recommended for anxiety:
- Granddaddy Purple ? an Indica hybrid strain that is known for its relaxing effects and ability to make you feel euphoric it has been known to help manage stress, relieve pain, stress and insomnia.
- Northern Lights – this is a full Indica Strain – Northern Lights is known for providing stress relief, aids sleep and relieves pain.
- Chocolate Chunk – this is a 100% Indica Strain. Known for its full body relaxation only a small amount is suggested for you to feel the effects.
- Amnesia Haze ? this strain has around 20% Sativa in it and will help calm you down while also boosting your mood and energy.
Is there a best way to take Medical Marijuana for treatment?
There is no best way for you to take medical cannabis for your treatment, it really depends on you, your symptoms, how you react to using medical marijuana and how you prefer to take it.
Common methods used include smoking, vaping, edibles, topicals such as lotions and balms or by taking pure CBD through using oils, and pills.
Some of these may work better than others for you, and the best thing to do is likely to be to try out different products and work with your doctor to find the one that will work best for you.
Are there any side effects of Medical Marijuana?
As with most treatment options as well as the benefits medical weed also has some potential side effects for patients. As with other treatment options side effects will vary from person to person and with anxiety disorders what might be a bad side effect for one person ? eg becoming sleepy, may be a benefit for another person who is looking to use it to help them with insomnia.
Some side effects of medical weed are:
- Hunger ? medical marijuana can cause you to eat more.
- Drowsiness ? if you are using a strain high in CBD it can make you sleepy, which depending on your reason for taking medical marijuana may be an advantage or disadvantage.
- Insomnia ? if you are using Sativa strains with high THC levels you may experience insomnia.
- Red eyes ? although this will have no negative impact on health it can make users self-conscious that people will know they have been taking marijuana.
- Respiratory problems ? if you?re smoking or vaping there may be a risk of respiratory issues.
- Thirst/dry mouth ? you may experience higher thirst levels than user while taking medical marijuana
- Short term memory loss ? when your medical cannabis is in full effect you may feel a little more forgetful.
How can I begin Medical Marijuana treatment?
If you?re interested in trying medical marijuana as a treatment for your anxiety after learning about the potential benefits then it?s simple and easy to try it out.
In Canada Health Canada approved the use of cannabis as a legal medicine since 2001 and there are 35 Health Canada regulated Licensed Producers (LP) who sell it to Canadians.? In order to possess and use medical cannabis you must be authorized by a regulated healthcare provider to have it as a medical treatment.
In order to qualify for a medical marijuana license in Canada you must be at least 18 years of age (or have assistance from your parents), and authorization from a physician. A physician can authorize your medical cannabis prescription for up to one year and you will receive proof of your prescription from the LP, which you should keep with your as a support document to prove that you are eligible to be in possession of marijuana.
Discussing this with a knowledgeable doctor is also important to ensure that you get the best out of your treatment plan. A trained doctor with experience in medical marijuana will be able to help suggest the right strains for you and advice on the right options for you based on the type of anxiety you have.
How can I get a Medical Weed card in Canada?
Getting a medical weed card in Canada is a very simple process and it is even possible to access a prescription for medical marijuana online.
Websites such as Namaste MD make it as easy as 3 simple steps to get your medical marijuana license that will allow you to get medical marijuana from one of the Health Canada regulated Licensed Producers as soon as the same day.
You simply need to follow these steps:
- Fill out an online application form ? The application form will ask you for some basic personal information such as your email, phone number and information on any existing medical conditions you may have.
- Online consultation ? You will need to go to an online consultation with a nurse practitioner. They will ask you a few standard questions regarding your request for a medical cannabis prescription and based on your answers determine what their recommendation should be.
- Get your recommendation ? If the nurse practitioner approves your request and recommends that medical marijuana is a suitable treatment then your prescription will be transferred to your LP the same day. The average prescription at Namaste MD lasts for one year.
Medical marijuana can be a great alternative option for treating anxiety. With the variety of strains of medical cannabis available and a host of ways to take it many patients find it a successful way to manage their anxiety symptoms. If you are interested in trying medical marijuana as a treatment for anxiety but still have questions, then feel free to contact Namaste MD.