Life has gotten crazy again. A pandemic will do that. And perhaps you’re enjoying the pleasures of cannabis to ease your anxieties.
Cannabis is all about delivering the chill, right? Well, yeah. For those with garden-variety anxiety it can be placating.
Until it isn’t.
Too much THC zipping around in an already anxious body can be bad news. When it comes to cannabis for anxiety, the research shows that lower doses lessen anxiety while higher doses seem to worsen it.
And people who struggle with anxiety disorders have to be very precise about their THC versus CBD dosage. For this population, the less THC, the better. Although high doses of CBD can help.
Experimenting with Different Delivery Methods
Of course, before you even consider your method of administering cannabis, you’ll need to find a strain with the right balance of THC and CBD for you. Most folks with anxiety lean toward strains with moderate to high levels of CBD to counteract the THC.
From there, you’ll want to experiment with different methods of delivery for countering your anxiety.
Inhalation is always going to deliver the most rapid and fast-acting effects. You can smoke or vaporize flower (dried buds) or vape cannabis oils. Starting small is always key. Rather than inhaling several times, take a small puff and wait a few minutes. This will help you figure out your dosage.
Tinctures are the next fastest method of delivery. A tincture is a liquid extract that allows for you to take an exact dosage each time. Just as with inhaling, you want to start small with a few drops under the tongue and then wait to experience the effects. Over time, you can add additional drops. Tinctures allow for very precise dosing and are among the most popular choices for those using cannabis for anxiety.
Edibles are by far the trickiest. Any foods or beverages infused with cannabis can take up to two hours to take full effect. So there’s a tendency to ingest an edible, feel nothing for a long time, and continue consuming. Then when the effect does finally hit, it’s too much. What’s worse, the effect can be felt for another several hours.
So you may wonder why cannabis can soothe anxiety at low doses, but ramp it up at higher doses? It all comes down to the biological system with which cannabis primarily interacts.
The Human Endocannabinoid System (ECS)
By now, most of us are familiar with the ECS. It’s a vast system of receptors located in our brains, organs, guts, and skin that play a key role in regulating the systems of our bodies and keeping them in balance.
It turns out that the human body naturally produces endocannabinoids. These cannabis-like compounds interact with the ECS in ways that are very similar to the cannabinoids in cannabis. But sometimes, the ECS can get thrown off kilter.
And this can be problematic, since the ECS plays an important role in regulating our responses to stress and anxiety. In fact, the areas of the brain involved in processing anxiety are rich with cannabinoid receptors.
Thus, supplementing with cannabinoids from cannabis can potentially help. But here’s the thing – THC and CBD activate different receptors in these systems. And CBD works to counter the effects of THC.
This is what makes it crucial to find the right balance of THC and CBD to ensure the proper receptors are activated.
Are There Interactions with Anti-Anxiety Medications?
Obviously, as cannabis marketing experts and NOT doctors, we’re not recommending anybody experiment with mixing different substances with cannabinoids.
And quite frankly, there hasn’t been a lot or research in this area. Not yet, at least.
But anecdotal evidence at this point shows that there have been very few adverse interactions between cannabis and selective serotonin re-uptake inhibitors (SSRIs) such as Zoloft and Lexapro. The same can be said for norepinephrine and dopamine re-uptake inhibitors (NDRIs) like Wellbutrin and Forfivo.
Other medications call for greater caution though, so it’s vital you always talk to your doctor about possible interactions with ANY pharmaceuticals and cannabis.
Interested in Trying Cannabis for Anxiety?
Cannabis is complicated. And so too is anxiety. So if you’re interested in trying cannabis for anxiety, it could take quite some time to find your ideal strain, product, dose, and delivery method.
Be patient and take it slowly. At the end of the day (or month, perhaps), it could end up being just what the doctor ordered. So to speak.
And for more articles on a wide range of cannabis related topics, keep checking back with us.