Cannabis used to be known as just another recreational drug, but over the last few decades, this has changed drastically. People now associate marijuana with its myriad of health benefits almost as much as its recreational side.
Websites such as Marijuanabreak.com have helped to change the way that we think about cannabis, making scientific studies accessible to everyone. More people than ever before are using cannabis-derived products either as daily dietary supplements or as a form of natural medicine to treat chronic health conditions.
Cannabis-derived products are often used by those who suffer from anxiety, providing a completely natural alternative to more traditional pharmaceuticals. Not all cannabis products will help to treat anxiety, though, often leaving people confused as to why smoking a joint has little effect on their anxiety levels.
Some components of cannabis can even increase anxiety levels, and it is, therefore, essential to understand which parts within cannabis affect anxiety and how. Before you shop for cannabis products, let’s take a look at some of the main components of the drug and how they affect anxiety.
The Main Components within Cannabis
Cannabis plants contain hundreds of different cannabinoids, terpenes, and flavonoids. Each strain includes a diverse mix of these compounds, determining the effects, flavor, and aroma of the strain.
The two main cannabinoids within cannabis plants that most people have heard of are cannabidiol (CBD) and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). CBD is a non-psychoactive cannabinoid that has been linked to many of the health benefits of cannabis. CBD also has very few adverse effects due to its lack of a psychoactive high and is one of the reasons why it has become such a popular supplement option.
THC, on the other hand, causes psychoactive effects and is used for recreational purposes in order to experience a high. Each cannabis strain has a different level of THC, which determines how strong the effects felt are. THC can also cause a range of different side effects, from headaches to paranoid thoughts.
How Does CBD Affect Anxiety?
There are many different types of anxiety, and while CBD is thought to be able to improve the effects of anxiety, the extent to which it can do so will depend on each case.
CBD has been found to be particularly useful in treating social anxiety. When CBD enters the body, it works alongside the body’s natural supply of cannabinoids to support the endocannabinoids system and ensure that you can manage stressful and anxiety-inducing situations.
CBD can help to alleviate the effects of depression that can cause anxious thoughts and a sense of spiraling emotions. CBD can change the way in which the brain responds to negative and anxious thoughts, giving you a chance to look at situations more objectively.
CBD is thought to be effective at treating both long term chronic anxiety and temporary, more situational anxiety.
How Does THC Affect Anxiety?
The effects that THC has on anxiety levels are a little more complicated, with it having the ability to increase anxiety in some situations.
THC triggers the psychoactive effects associated with cannabis, but not every strain will trigger the same reaction. An indica-dominant strain can leave you feeling calm and lazy, both mentally and physically.
The sedative effects of an indica can lower your heart rate and help to reduce the impact of anxiety. The trippy psychoactive effects, however, can leave you feeling out of control of your own body and cause panic and anxiety.
Sativa-dominant strains increase your energy levels, causing you to feel motivated, but they can often increase your heart rate in order to achieve this. Depending on the cause of your anxiety, an elevated heart rate can trigger an anxiety attack, even when you feel mentally calm beforehand.
Most recreational strains contain both CBD and THC, and some studies have shown that CBD can balance out the adverse effects caused by THC. CBD’s ability to reduce the adverse and anxiety causing effects of THC will, of course, depend on the precise levels of THC; with it becoming less effective the more THC is present.
Final Thoughts on Cannabis and Managing Anxiety
THC and CBD are not the only components within cannabis that affect a strain’s ability to manage anxiety. Some terpenes have been found to lower anxiety; limonene, for example, can cause a sense of euphoria, pushing anxiety-inducing thoughts to the back of your mind.
The terpene linalool, which is found within lavender as well as some cannabis strains, helps to relax your mind and leave you feeling calm and sedated.
For those who are looking to manage anxiety using cannabis-derived products, the general advice is to avoid THC whenever possible. Using CBD oil for anxiety has become a popular choice for many, especially since it is possible to purchase CBD oil that gets derived from hemp plants, ensuring that there is zero THC present.
When smoking cannabis for recreational purposes, it is not possible to avoid THC altogether, but it is still a good idea to stick with strains that have low THC content.
We are happy to present this collaborative post to offer valuable information to our readers.