It’s a sensation that most of us have probably felt before. For whatever reason, you find yourself overwhelmed with a crippling combination of stress and dread. Your mind starts to race, snowballing to various discouraging conclusions; meanwhile, your body is shaking, your throat dry, your heart pounding, and your breathing erratic. Maybe these symptoms were triggered by something, like a social interaction (or the very thought of one). Perhaps, even worse, these feelings have come out of nowhere and simply won’t go away. Just like that, you’re having an anxiety attack.
A few short decades ago, this sort of thing was chalked up to simply being shy. While shyness is a somewhat simpler issue that many people still struggle with today, doctors and psychologists now look at anxiety with a lot more seriousness. The market is flooded with anti-anxiety medications, each with its own list of pros and cons. While these drugs work for many people, others find their side effects almost as difficult to cope with as the anxiety itself.
When you think of anxiety treatments, one of the last options to pop in your head may very well be cannabis. After all, Hollywood stereotypes dictate that “reefer” automatically renders the user laughably paranoid, right? While it’s true that some people do experience heightened paranoia and anxiety during treatment, many strains of medicinal cannabis are actually used to combat those crippling sensations. In fact, treating anxiety with CBD (or cannabidiol, the most prominent non-psychoactive constituent in cannabis) has become a lot more popular in recent years. Time to find out why.
What Is Anxiety?
First, let’s clear up one big misconception surrounding anxiety: It’s not the same as fear. Whereas fear is the emotional response to a clear threat, anxiety is all about the “what if” scenario. You have a test tomorrow and you’re worried you’re going to flunk it. You have to speak in front of a crowd and you’re nervous you’ll embarrass yourself. Stage fright, social anxiety, worrying about the future; this is known as “trait anxiety.” For many, this sort of dread is an unchosen lifestyle. It can lead to depression, insomnia, high blood pressure, and panic attacks if left untreated, not to mention the toll it can take on an individual’s work ethic and social life.
The second type of anxiety is “anxiety disorder,” which is a more severe mental illness. Whereas almost everyone suffers from trait anxiety (albeit some much worse than others), anxiety disorder is a disease that affects close to 30% of the population. This is where you start to see phobias (a rapid onset of fear directed at one specific thing), PTSD (post-traumatic stress syndrome), and OCD (obsessive-compulsive disorder). Without therapeutic treatment, individuals suffering from anxiety disorders find that their overwhelming dread constantly interferes with their abilities to live a normal life.
Which Strains Can Help?
If we’re going to use CBD for anxiety, it’s important to distinguish the right types of cannabis for the job. Strains rich in THC are not the plants that many would recommend for anxiety, as that is the chemical responsible for most of weed’s psychological effects. Unfortunately, high THC levels can be the cause for increased paranoia in many users, and would only exacerbate most types of anxiety. Sativa strains containing high amounts of THC, therefore, should most likely be avoided.
Not all sativa strains contain high amounts of THC, however; AC/DC, for example, is chock full of CBD, and is mainly used as a relaxant for people suffering from anxiety. Northern Lights is another sativa high in CBD for anxiety, also notable for its euphoric and happiness-inducing side effects.
Indica strains often contain high CBD levels, and if you’re looking to use CBD for anxiety, Affie is one of the most beneficial options. While this plant does offer sedative effects, it first provides you with a small burst of gentle energy. This allows you to go about your day as usual for a moment, finishing tasks you need to accomplish while the Affie soothes your mind.
Anxiety, no matter the form it takes, can be extremely problematic. Medicinal cannabis is only one of many treatments one could try in an attempt to curb your symptoms, and its popularity is only growing. If you want to try using CBD for anxiety, check out Medithrive’s menu online to order any of the high-CBD products listed in this article – or give us a call and we’ll deliver them right to you!