Folks with anxiety often try cannabis, and more specifically THC, to quell their symptoms. Then they’re frustrated that not only does it not help, but often makes it worse.

It’s not in their imagination. A new study from the University of Colorado Boulder using legal and commercially available cannabis backs this up.

Furthermore, it points to the notion that using CBD over THC for anxiety is far more effective.

An Anxiety Epidemic

Current figures show that nearly 20% of U.S. adults suffer from an anxiety disorder. This makes it the most common mental illness in the country.

While there are prescription drugs available for treating anxiety, they often come with side effects. What’s worse, they can lead to dependency. And they aren’t meant to be taken long-term.

So some folks turned to marijuana in hopes that it would give them same calming effect that it does for others. Yet, some studies are showing that using cannabis high in THC too frequently can worsen anxiety long-term.

What’s an anxiety sufferer to do?

How the Study Worked

The research team in Boulder recruited 300 people with anxiety. Of that group, 258 used cannabis, while 42 did not. The larger group was assigned to use one of three flower products. One was THC-dominant, one was CBD-dominant, and one with them in equal measure.

Because federal law prohibits the possession or distribution of commercially available cannabis on college campuses – even for research purposes – the participants had to purchase the products and use them off-campus.

Over four weeks, those using products could do so as frequently as desired. On average, they used the designated products three times per week. Researchers would test participants before and directly after smoking via a mobile laboratory.

CBD Over THC for Anxiety

Interestingly, all four groups (including those who used no cannabis) reported decreased anxiety. The cannabis groups saw greater reductions in perceived anxiety though than those who didn’t use any.

The group that felt the biggest improvement was the participants who used the CBD-dominant products. They didn’t feel impaired, felt less tense right after smoking, and didn’t experience paranoia as those in the other two cannabis groups. So from what researchers can gather at this point, CBD is associated with tension and anxiety relief with limited harm.

Of course, it was a four-week study so they can’t say for certain whether CBD could be a long-term solution. But CBD’s ability to reduce acute tension leads them researchers to believe that it could well be effective for the long haul.

So Why Does CBD Work?

The study’s researchers speculate that because CBD has greater anti-inflammatory properties than THC, CBD-dominant products reduce inflammation in the brain and nerves to provide relief.

Yet adding even just a tiny bit of THC (1%) can have a swift impact on mood. What’s more, research also shows that both early and frequent use of THC can increase the risk for problem use and cognitive difficulties.

For now, CBD products seem to be a better way than THC to relieve anxiety in adults. And it can be used regularly and long-term without the potentially harmful effects of THC or prescription drugs. It’s certainly worth a try!

Anxious About Your Cannabis Business?

If you’re a struggling cannabis business owner, before you load up on CBD over THC to calm your nerves, consider changing up your marketing strategy.

Contact us today and let us help.

As cannabis marketing and public relations specialists, we will stand firmly in your corner to ensure you get the attention you deserve.