Anxiety disorder diagnosis are becoming more and more common in America within the last few decades. Whether this increase in anxiety cases is the result of more people being affected by symptoms seeking medical help than in the past or if there is some underlying universal cause is anyone’s guess at this time. But, we are hearing more and more people speak out about their struggles with these types of conditions.
So, what exactly is an anxiety disorder? Very much unlike the normal nervousness we may feel every now and again, anxiety disorders are a a very real group of psychological ailments that are characterized by significant feelings of worry about future events and an often overwhelming sense of fear. Sort of a misfiring of our “fight or flight” response, these conditions can express themselves in a number of different and unpleasant ways that can include, but are not limited to, a constant and very often disproportionate sense of worry to the point of causing physical and mental exhaustion, general restlessness, problems with concentration, increased irritability and mood swings, muscle soreness, insomnia, digestive issues like nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea, among many others.
The root of these issues can also vary from person to person. Some catalysts include trauma or PTSD, serious illnesses, as well as other mental disorders like depression that often accompany anxiety. Due to the fact that anxiety disorders have a complex relationship with other conditions and with symptoms that correlate to other conditions, diagnosis and treatment can often times be difficult. While there are many medications available to help combat the different types of anxiety disorders, they all too often have side effects that make some patients seek alternative forms of treatment like marijuana. One can argue that marijuana would be a very effective choice as has it has very well known anxiolytic properties along with minimal side effects.
Instead of treating sufferers with the usual cocktail of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs), or benzodiazepines that have become the standard for treating anxiety disorders but have very significant side effects like insomnia, sexual dysfunction, and weight gain, cannabis offers a relatively side effect free alternative to these types of medications. Unfortunately this can be a bit of a double-edged sword as some high THC cannabis strains may end up inducing acute anxiety and paranoia. This reinforces the need for enthusiasts to do their homework and know what they are getting into when they purchase their weed.
For those suffering from anxiety disorders, we highly recommend strains that are low on the THC content and higher on the CBD side as CBD has properties that can help one relax and it influences the reabsorption of anandamide to help keep your mood balanced. Folks not looking to get high can always opt for for CBD-only products as the compound does not have any psychoactive properties.
Do you think that cannabis is an effective treatment for anxiety disorders? Have you used weed for its anxiolytic properties before?