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Using Medical Marijuana For Anxiety – What You Should Know?

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Cannabis is effective in managing anxiety and depression. It contains over 100 cannabinoids that possess therapeutic properties. They work with the same brain chemicals as anti-anxiety medications. The commonly prescribed benzodiazepines regulate the levels of GABA, thus reducing the anxiety levels. Medical studies have found that cannabis also impacts the GABA levels. However, marijuana use for anxiety is safer than medications. In fact, it doesn’t cause side-effects such as tolerance.

In the United States, medical use of marijuana is legal in 33 states currently. With a doctor-signed medical cannabis card, you can easily access it from any state-licensed dispensary. But, before using the herb for anxiety, you need to learn how it works in the body, what studies have to say & more. Read on to learn more.

Cannabis & Anxiety – What Science Says?

Anxiety is a common mental health condition that can lead to sleep problems, lack of focus, excessive worrying, etc. In the United States, about 40 million adults age 18 and older are suffering from anxiety disorders—according to the Anxiety And Depression Association of America.

Research says that cannabis can help in managing anxiety symptoms. In fact, its cannabinoids stimulate the endocannabinoid system of the body.

The endocannabinoid system is a complex biological system in the body, which plays a key role in regulating different bodily functions. These include sleep, mood, memory, and appetite. It contains cannabinoid receptors, endocannabinoids, and enzymes. Endocannabinoids are similar to cannabinoids present in cannabis plants. When you consume marijuana, the cannabinoids interact with the receptors in the endocannabinoid system, thus providing positive effects.

Medical studies have found that cannabinoid receptors that are involved in anxiety processing are abundant in the hippocampus, amygdala, and prefrontal cortex areas of the brain. Research says that THC can help in reducing anxiety, thus promoting mental wellness. THC is a major psychoactive compound found in the marijuana plant.

A recent study reported that 2-AG helped reduce the anxiety effects between the frontal cortex and the amygdala. 2-AG is an endocannabinoid that has a similar chemical structure as THC. Additionally, both activate the same receptors.

According to a study published in the Journal of Affective Disorders, marijuana is effective in reducing stress, anxiety, and depression. However, marijuana provides anti-anxiety effects for the short-term while long-term use may increase depression levels.

Factors Affecting Marijuana Effects on The Body

Marijuana has medicinal properties, which can help improve daily life. However, it doesn’t deliver the same effects to everyone. In other words, how you feel after consuming marijuana depends on various factors listed below.


Consuming an optimal amount of cannabis is important if you want to manage your anxiety symptoms completely. Remember, lower doses can help anxiety while higher doses may deliver the opposite effects. So, if you are considering high-THC strains, don’t forget to check the dosage.

For beginners, it’s recommended to start with a low dose. The motive is to analyze the effects of cannabinoids on the body. Thus, you can adjust the dosage over time to receive the desired health benefits.

Delivery Method

There are many ways to consume cannabis, such as smoking, vaping, tinctures, edibles, and topicals. Smoking is the most common delivery method, which provides immediate effects. However, it’s not recommended for patients with lung problems. Edibles are processed through the digestive system, thus they take longer to kick in (usually 30-60 mins). However, the onset time of edibles depends on their cannabinoids.

Topicals can be applied directly to the skin. They provide the ultimate relief from pain and inflammation, thus reducing stress & worries.

Also Read – 6 Amazing Reasons to Use Cannabis Topicals

So, how you deliver cannabinoids into the body influences the cannabis effects you receive. Talk to a licensed doctor to seek professional help.

Strain Type

There’s a wide range of cannabis strains with different levels of cannabinoids, and they deliver different effects. Some strains are good for sleep while others for pain relief. So, depending on your needs, you can select strains.

When buying cannabis for anxiety, make sure you check THC and CBD ratio. Some of the top strains for anxiety relief are—Harlequin, ACDC, Bubba Kush, Northern Lights, Jack Herer, Strawberry Cough, Pennywise, and Cannatonic.


Everyone has a different tolerance for cannabis. Major factors affecting tolerance levels are frequency of cannabis consumption, since when you have been consuming, and age. It’s necessary to know your personal tolerance levels so that you know how much to consume to get the desired effects. If you are smoking marijuana in a group of friends, make sure you consume too much. Remember, your friends have different tolerances, so the dose they take may not work for you.


Terpenes give distinctive flavors to strains. The development of terpenes is affected by factors such as weather, climate, soil type, age, etc.

Medical researchers believe that terpenes may influence the cannabis effects on the body. However, scientists are working to evaluate how exactly terpenes affect marijuana high.

Some terpenes are good for relaxation while others for stress relief. For instance, limonene is effective in boosting mood and relieving anxiety.

Marijuana Interaction With Anti-Anxiety Medications

When mixing cannabis with anti-anxiety medications, you need to consider various things.

Some studies show that when mixed with marijuana, some medications may deliver adverse effects or they become less effective. So, it’s advisable to talk to a licensed doctor to seek professional help.

SSRIs (Prozac and Zoloft) are the most common medications prescribed for anxiety. Many patients report adverse interactions between marijuana & SSRIs.

Moreover, it’s recommended not to mix CBD with medications that come with a grapefruit warning. The US Food & Drug Administration (FDA) says that consuming grapefruit while you are taking these medications may deliver a higher concentration of the medication in the bloodstream, thus causing adverse effects. However, some anxiety and depression medications come with a grapefruit warning.

There’s some evidence that taking cannabis and antidepressant together can result in dizziness, nausea, mental contradiction, headaches, panic attacks, and increased heart rate.

Get Legal Access to Medical Marijuana

Medical marijuana is legal in 33 states. However, different states have different laws for medical users. The common one is—getting a medical cannabis card to access state-licensed dispensaries. There are various benefits of getting an MMJ card, legal access to medical cannabis, age relaxations, tax saving, and permission to grow cannabis plants for personal use.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s not safe to visit a doctor’s clinic. However, using telemedicine, you can apply for 420 evaluations online. So, no need to leave your sweet home. Fill a simple form and see a doctor online. The doctor will send your MMJ recs in PDF format via email. Here’s the complete process-

  • Sign up an account
  • Talk to a licensed doctor through the HIPAA-compliant software
  • Receive your MMJ rec letter via email

Final Thoughts

Marijuana is effective in managing anxiety symptoms effectively and naturally. It has cannabinoids that work by interacting with the cannabinoid receptors in the body’s endocannabinoid system.

However, when using marijuana for anxiety, you need to consider various things. Marijuana dosage is important, lower doses can help anxiety while higher doses may cause adverse effects. Different strains and consumption methods may deliver different effects. Other factors affecting cannabis effects are terpenes, tolerance, and the environment. It’s good to talk to a licensed doctor to get sound advice for marijuana use for anxiety.

Get a medical cannabis card to access the herb legally for anxiety.