Today, let’s talk about whether or not cannabis can be used to treat (or cure) anxiety.
Maybe you want to manage your anxiety.
Or eliminate anxiety completely.
If you’re on edge (or you’ve been on edge for a long time) this is a great video and blog post for you.
Watch Can Cannabis Cure Anxiety? below or keep scrolling for the post.
What is Anxiety?
…and how do you know if you have anxiety?
Over 40 million Americans are reported to live with anxiety or with an anxiety-based disorder.
We all know what it feels like to be anxious… I mean, take a second with me and feel anxious about anything!
You know it’s anxiety when you feel it.
The way I want to talk about anxiety is a bit of a paradigm shift, especially if you’ve been diagnosed with an anxiety disorder (like me). I needed this shift to overcome chronic anxiety.
Anxiety manifests when you get yourself into this pattern of overthinking situations and being in fear of things that might be happening. You’re unable to be present and you’re overwhelmed with fear about what may happen in the future.
Maybe you’re afraid or upset over something that happened in the past even when you’re in the present (especially when there’s not a whole lot going on). Your mind may take you back to a traumatic time in your life even when it feels like there’s no reason to go there.
We get caught up in the drama of it all, overwhelmed with the physical sensations that come with it. You can feel sick or burnt out. Anxiety can cause fatigue, muscle tension, and other physical side effects.
Managing and Eliminating Anxiety: A Paradigm Shift
I want to offer a different perspective from what conventional medicine may talk about.
The biggest thing with anxiety is that you can control and reduce your anxiety with a few simple practices that I’m going to share with you in today’s post.
I also want to share the different kinds of anxiety and their comorbidity (when two or more different diagnoses show up with your anxiety).
When you have anxiety, there is a good chance that you may also have PTSD, OCD, or depression. In fact, you have a 60% chance of also suffering from depression if you have anxiety.
With anxiety, life just feels way too big and like you can’t handle it. For me, I was dealing with anxiety on top of chronic pain. I also had digestive issues. So, you’re never treating just one thing when it comes to anxiety.
That’s why I prefer a holistic approach to healing so you end up working with your entire system.
A lot of us are used to taking pills to treat our issues. For example, we get prescribed SSRI’s, benzos, or something else. We end up taking these medications for either a short period of time or long-term.
But for me, and for a lot of other people, you have to get to a place where you can find healing. Cannabis is what ended up working for my anxiety.
Managing and Eliminating Anxiety with Cannabis
It’s really simple.
THC, especially in high amounts, can make things worse. They found a study that cannabis users are typically more anxious and anxious people are more likely to use cannabis. This was an observational study that was done a while ago.
This is important, especially because of the cannabinoids we’ve been breeding. It does matter what compounds are coming into play. The terpene profiles can also play a factor.
Cannabis is really dynamic.
I found that when I was working with general anxiety (and later, PTSD) is that higher doses of CBD were incredibly effective. The only studies to back up the use of CBD for anxiety are currently done on rats, but hopefully science will catch up soon.
THC is great but can exacerbate feelings of anxiety and paranoia.
What’s interesting is that small amounts of THC has been incredibly helpful for me to get out of the funk and go about my day. It can also be helpful for muscle tension.
If I have a lot of things to do (like shoot a video) I use a higher ratio of CBD to THC.
If you’ve never used CBD before or if you’ve abused high THC cannabis before, it may be a little confusing and hard to figure out exactly what you need.
Cannabis Strains to Managing Anxiety
Here are a couple of cannabis strains to help you manage anxiety, to get you started.
- Cannatonic (1:1 CBD:THC ratio)
- Girl Scout Cookies (17-28% THC) – Warning: Very high THC content but an anecdotal favorite of those who live with PTSD
- ACDC (20:1 CBD:THC ratio)
- Northern lights (1:1 CBD:THC ratio) – Leafly users have given anecdotal reviews that this may calm OCD related anxiety
- Purple Urkle – For sleep-related/nighttime anxiety
Tools for Managing and Eliminating Anxiety
Not enough people talk about anxiety in terms of breathwork and mindfulness. Earlier, we touched upon what anxiety actually is. Part of anxiety is caused by not being present in the moment.
What studies have found is that even one session of mindfulness or meditation, along with deep, slow, rhythmic breathing, you can eliminate or reduce your anxiety very quickly.
Sometimes anxiety will come back or keep coming back, but this practice is one of the tools you can use to help manage or eliminate anxiety.
The more you practice these tools, the less you’ll get wrapped up in some story in your mind. Eventually, you can get yourself into a deeper breathing state and you remember that you are okay.
Using Plant Medicine and Herbs for Anxiety
Herbs and plant medicine can assist you on the journey to make managing anxiety easier. It can also make it more fun and even faster.
You can try bouncing different ratios with microdosing.
One of the things I want to discuss is something you can do at home. It’s so easy.
You can also make your own THC oil.
I personally make homemade CBD infused MCT oil that I put in my coffee whenever I’m feeling anxious. A little bit goes a long way.
When I’m having a long day, this can be a magic bullet for me.
I also use an herb called ashwagandha. Ashwagandha has been shown to decrease cortisol levels to reduce stress and anxiety. It can also help with depression. The research has been absolutely incredible.
In my own life, I don’t know how I would have made it without ashwagandha, especially these past several months. It has played such a valuable role in dealing with anxiety and stress.
Want to learn more?
I find that the best tools for never-ending anxiety is mindfulness, meditation, or yoga to help practice deep, rhythmic breathing. You can call on this at any moment when you’re feeling anxious. This will instantly reduce the levels of cortisol in your blood.
Using herbs like ashwagandha and making homemade CBD oil in your daily practice can also help you in your healing journey.
There’s no magic pill that takes away anxiety. Managing and eliminating anxiety is going to take you a lot longer and it won’t be instant. Taking responsibility for your own health is key to transforming anxiety and other chronic conditions.
Cannabis can be a tool for your healing journey with anxiety, along with meditation and breathing.
I’d love to hear about your journey with cannabis and anxiety, so share what’s working (and not working), in the comments below!