Skip to content

Anxiety and Medical Marijuana: What’s the Connection?

axiety marijuana

Medical marijuana has become more popular over the past few years as an alternative treatment for various medical conditions and their symptoms. This is not that surprising, given the growing number of scientific studies supporting its positive uses. Although there is no conclusive research that pins down the medical benefits of marijuana, more and more doctors are inclined to prescribe it to their patients.

Patients taking medical marijuana have experienced relief from a number of medical conditions, including anxiety. Anxiety is a common symptom of many different disorders and medical conditions. However, anxiety often causes significant distress and interference with daily life.

What Is Anxiety?

Anxiety is the normal emotional response to the anticipation of danger or stress. In some people, anxiety becomes severe, persistent, and uncontrollable. Certain medications and medical conditions can also cause anxiety. Fear of public speaking or failure in a job interview, for instance, are common triggers for anxiety. Many people experience a relatively low level of anxiety even without any real reason.

Nevertheless, severe forms of anxiety will heavily interfere with daily life and cause further medical issues. When standard treatment does not show signs of improvement, doctors have the alternative to prescribe medical marijuana as long as they believe it would benefit your condition.

Medical Marijuana and Anxiety Symptoms

Anxiety disorders are the most common mental illness in the United States and worldwide. Research suggests that around 25-30% of the population have an anxiety disorder at some point in their lifetime.

Medical marijuana contains chemicals called cannabinoids which interact with our endocannabinoid system. This system is part of our nervous system and receives chemical signals from our body. Cannabinoids activate receptors in the endocannabinoid system, triggering specific responses that improve mood and reduce anxiety. 

CBD and Low Levels of THC

CBD and low levels of THC, the chemical that makes people feel “high,” reduce anxiety symptoms such as social withdrawal, sleeplessness, and trembling. CBD is a non-psychoactive cannabinoid that has proven anti-anxiety properties and may also help treat other conditions related to the endocannabinoid system. 

While CBD is present in both strains and flowers of cannabis, it is most concentrated in hemp strains. It can also help reduce the physical symptoms of anxiety, such as muscle tension and elevated heart rate. Medical marijuana, however, is only accessible to registered patients.

Anxiety disorders can take many different forms, but the most common types include the following:

1. Social Anxiety

People suffering from social anxiety feel intensely uncomfortable in public and may avoid such places because of it. Social anxiety manifests through the fear of embarrassment while being perceived by others.

Marijuana was found to improve blood flow in the brain, more specifically in the cingulate cortex. In the case of social anxiety, marijuana could help patients with interpreting people’s reactions.

2. Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD)

People with a generalized anxiety disorder will experience overwhelming anxiety on most days, heavily interfering with the quality of daily life. With GAD, anxiety can have multiple triggers rather than one specific event. Patients will also experience difficulty with sleeping or concentrating.

3. Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD)

People with obsessive-compulsive disorder have recurrent thoughts or images that cause them distress. They try to reduce their anxiety by trying “undo” the ideas or pictures in their mind, however, that will only increase distress.

Recent studies have shown that cannabis was able to reduce some of these symptoms temporarily.

Can I Buy Medical Marijuana for Anxiety in Mississippi?

In Mississippi, medical marijuana is legal for registered patients. This means that a state-licensed doctor must determine whether your medical condition qualifies for the treatment. If you are wondering how to get medical marijuanas card Mississippi, there aren’t many requirements you must meet.

First, you must be a resident of Mississippi and your medical condition must qualify. If you are a minor, only a legal guardian of a caregiver can purchase and administer medical marijuana.

Once your application is approved by the state, you will be able to purchase medical marijuana from any licensed dispensary in Mississippi.

Conclusion

Anxiety may cause physical symptoms like heart palpitations and a racing or dizzy feeling in the head. It can also cause feelings of frustration or restlessness, making it difficult to get things done. If anxiety is interfering with your life or causing you significant distress, you must seek treatment as soon as possible. Similar to any other medication or supplement, it’s essential to consult a doctor before taking medical marijuana for treating your anxiety disorder.

Katherine Hallow

As a medical journalist, Katherine Hallow wrote countless articles, guidelines, and news covering the healthcare system, the opioid crisis, advancements in the medical field, and more. In the past years, she focused on the research and developments surrounding medical marijuana, tackling the subject from multiple perspectives, including legislation, certifications, patients’ rights, etc. Katherine wants to educate and inspire healthcare professionals and people in finding alternative health solutions.View Author posts