Anxiety is an amorphous feeling that helps humans react fear and challenging issues. Some may recognize it as the butterflies you get in your stomach before a date or your heart pounding as you tip over the highest hill on the rollercoaster.
However, for some it can be nausea that doesn’t go away, a multi-day long headache, or even the inability to move. Anxiety can be a great teacher and aid, however many adults need a form of relief in such an overwhelming world. Before searching for help it may be useful to categorize your anxiety. There are several types of anxiety that psychologists have recognized such as-
- Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD)- nervousness, impending sense of doom, difficulty concentrating, trouble sleeping
- Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)- emotional numbness, flashbacks of traumatic event, feeling jumpy
- Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)- constant checking, repeating, or cleaning or other tasks done repetitively to aid in soothing anxiety
While there are a few names to help group certain feelings together, many with anxiety will say that the anxiety changes as you grow and molds as your personality develops. There are ways to help ourselves better understand our anxieties and to better navigate them as they come up in our lives, no matter how gentle or intense they may be. Some who have lower levels of anxiety can combat with meditation and journaling, but you may have to reach out to a therapist or seek medicinal aid.
Options for Treating Anxiety with Medications
In the United States alone it is estimated that anxiety disorders effect over 40 million adults. Worse than that, only one in three adults will actively seek treatment at some point in their life. So what options are available for these adults? Pharmaceutical companies have developed SSRI medications which are stated to remove the symptoms of anxiety and depression to help the affected person cope. However, that all these medicines like Prozac Zoloft and Lexapro do-cover up the symptoms.
Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRIs) are designed to limit the amount of serotonin that it reabsorbed in the brain to have it more readily available. Unfortunately, they do not increase the serotonin in the brain- just reduce the amount our brain takes in at a time. These can leave the patient feeling numb or dull being that serotonin is the hormone responsible for our happy feelings. Not only are the medications only a patch over for the real issue, 11% of Americans are without health insurance leaving the doctor prescribed medications out of reach.
Treating Anxiety with Cannabis
With many adults unable to access these medications along with the unsatisfactory performance of them, many Americans have started looking towards a more natural option. Cannabis has lit up the health world recently as more adults’ search for relief from their anxiety- but does it really work?
Throughout history there have always been jokes made about people who smoked marijuana being lazy, relaxed, and a little bit too high in the clouds. Thankfully, science and legislation has opened for several companies to study this amazing plant and find that there is more than the initial impression. Through research it has been found that this plant can help people suffering from 700 different ailments. Glaucoma, Multiple Sclerosis, Arthritis, Alzheimer’s are a few of the diseases along with anxiety that cannabis can help treat.
While the world has become more open about Marijuana and its health benefits some novice users may be unaware of a few things that play into using marijuana as a healing herb for anxiety disorders. Marijuana is a plant that is comprised of over 480 different chemicals but the most discussed are THC and CBD. Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is the hyperactive chemical in cannabis. Several side effects can include feelings of euphoria, intensified feelings, sexual arousal and hunger. Side effects can also include paranoia, sleepiness, and disorientation. For this reason, the second chemical, CBD, is often used to treat anxiety either along with or in conjunction with low levels of THC. Cannabidiol (CBD) carries no psychoactive effects and has been shown to have hundreds of healing benefits from anxiety relief to an anti-inflammatory. This works perfectly for people who wish to carry on with their normal lives of working and operating heavy machinery.
As the cannabis industry continues to bloom and develop so do the products and medications on the market. Currently you can find any product you could imagine from CBD candies, tinctures, and topical applications. Such variety of products makes it easy for adults coming from every walk of life to try the healing properties of CBD. The proper dosing of the CBD has not be laid out by the FDA, so it is best to start low and work your way up until you find relief. The best way to find answers to your specific questions about anxiety relief from cannabis products please consult The Green Cross SF or your physician.
So, to the 18% of Americans out there suffering – there is no need to continue to live this way. Your feeling of dread does not need to overpower the good in your life. Anxiety may not be curable, but it is manageable.