Using Cannabis for Anxiety | High Times

Anxiety is the normal reaction to subjective stress experiences such as “performance anxiety.” This can happen when expectations for future events are in the mind related to thoughts and feelings that are not rooted at the moment. Anxiety can be considered part of daily life, but chronic or constant anxiety can debilitate quality of life. In fact, such interference can produce very realistic physiological changes in the short and long term. It is estimated that 2 in 10 people in the United States suffer from anxiety disorders.

Western medicine considers mood disorders of anxiety disorders, including generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), panic disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and social anxiety disorder (social anxiety disorder). Define five basic types.

Doctors often prescribe medications (eg, anxiolytics, antidepressants) or psychological interventions to treat anxiety, especially in the absence of an underlying physical cause. The side effects of anxiolytics range from mild to fatal. A thorough risk-benefit analysis is recommended before implementing such a regimen.

The science behind cannabis and anxiety

Although the combination of cannabis use and anxiety has been the subject of extensive scientific scrutiny in preclinical and clinical settings, the current scientific state of cannabis-based therapies in the treatment of anxiety disorders is in the preclinical stage. , Most often negative, inconclusive, mixed, or inconsistent results. This is probably a researcher’s prejudice and / or concern about the use of THC, the possibility of inducing adverse effects when administered in inappropriate doses or forms, a relatively low possibility of current addiction, or Due to the risk to various more vulnerable cohorts such as adolescents. For example, pregnant women, or patients who may develop mental illness. But the same is not true for the use of CBD-based medicines or the use of cannabis essential oils. There, some clinical trials provide more practical guidance. Here we review only currently available randomized clinical trials that directly examine the effects of regulatory regulation of the components of the endocannabinoid system (ECS) in the treatment of anxiety.

Double-blind, placebo-controlled trial

A team of Brazilian researchers (2004) enrolled 10 healthy volunteers to test the effect of a single oral dose of 400 mg of CBD or placebo during a typical anxiety-inducing nerve imaging procedure. The resulting data suggest that CBD has anxiolytic effects. The authors believe that these CBD-induced therapeutic effects were mediated by affecting the limbic and paralimbic brain regions.

Another similar study design in Brazil (2011) used 10 subjects. This time, instead of healthy volunteers, 10 patients diagnosed with systemic social anxiety disorder (SAD) received a single dose of 400 mg of CBD or placebo during a typical anxiety-inducing neuroimaging procedure. Even in this setting, CBD was associated with a significant reduction in anxiety experiences compared to placebo.

In yet another experiment in Brazil (2011), 24 patients with common social anxiety disorder (divided into two groups) received a single oral dose of 600 mg CBD one and a half hours before the mock speech test. I was struck. The placebo group had higher levels of anxiety, cognitive impairment, discomfort, and alertness. In direct contrast, the group using CBD significantly reduced anxiety, cognitive impairment, and speech performance discomfort, and reduced predictive speech alert levels.

Previous test results were confirmed by joint data released by the Israeli and Brazilian groups (2018). This group received oral dosage forms of CBD at doses of 150 mg, 300 mg, and 600 mg to 57 healthy men (divided into 4 groups). , Or a placebo before a simulated public speaking test. Researchers measured data on a subjective mood scale to obtain physiological measurements such as blood pressure and heart rate. The results showed that pretreatment with 300 mg of CBD significantly reduced anxiety during speech. The inverted U shape, which shows 300 mg (rather than 150 or 600 mg) as the most effective approach in this setting, suggests a particular narrow dose-dependent treatment window.

A group of Italian scientists (2018) have measured the autonomic nervous system (ANS) parameters (ie, blood pressure, heart rate) to determine the essential oil (EO) of cannabis (the main terpene content of Milsen and β-cariophyllene). The effects of EO were tested, respiratory rate, skin temperature), mood status, and brain wave recording results (alpha, beta 1 and 2, theta and delta waves) before, during, and after inhalation of EO. The results suggest that cannabis EO lowered diastolic blood pressure, increased heart rate, and significantly increased skin temperature. The patient’s subjective findings were reported as follows: “… more calm, relaxed, energetic, feeling better, hungry, and headache subjects were no longer in pain. In addition, alpha, theta, delta, and beta waves have significant changes in band power, amplitude, and relative power, as seen in people practicing meditation, yoga, qi, mindfulness, and more. was.

A Japanese team (2019) tested a single dose of 300 mg CBD in the treatment of 37 teenagers with social anxiety disorder. The results show that CBD can significantly reduce anxiety and can itself be a useful option for treating social anxiety.

The right type of cannabis, tailored to meet each individual’s needs (or preferences) and given in the right form and dosage, creates a deep sense of relaxation and homeostasis. In doing so, cannabis can provide a state of mind that facilitates the appearance of challenging emotional material on the surface without causing the usual strong reactions.

Cannabis is notorious for its ability to mitigate chronic negative effects (fear, anxiety, anger) and replace it with a calm attitude, a simple smile, and a more optimistic outlook. All of these have proven to support our natural self-healing abilities.

Excerpt from Cannabis health index

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