Many tout the benefits of cannabis when it comes to medicating their anxiety, or at least assisting with its management. Whether it eases agoraphobic symptoms (fear of crowds or uncontrollable situations), allows the otherwise socially nervous to blossom, or brings a quick end to an impending panic attack, there are countless ways cannabis has been known to assist those suffering from anxiety symptoms.
On the flip side, there are those who cite it as a potential cause of anxiety, and most regular users will vouch that they’ve experienced at least a moment of paranoia after a strong hit at the wrong time. So, which is it? Both, of course: everyone experiences cannabis differently, so your results will certainly vary. You do have some say in the matter, though. Here are three key factors to consider when medicating anxiety with cannabis more effectively:
1. Coordinate treatment with medical professionals
First and foremost, you should feel comfortable discussing your anxiety with a medical professional, be it a psychiatric therapist or your primary care physician, and you should not hide your marijuana use – patient confidentiality has you covered, and it’s really in your best interest to disclose everything. Ideally, this chosen professional will encourage your chosen method of therapy in the form of a medical marijuana license, and can point you to the second most important players in your therapy. If you don’t live in a state that has passed medical marijuana laws yet, don’t worry – you can always move to one. If your doc doesn’t approve, consider the reasoning behind their objection before seeking a second opinion. Medical marijuana has widespread uses, but it’s not for everyone. That said, many otherwise-respectable doctors have outdated perspectives and carry undue prejudices against cannabis, so don’t rule that possibility out either.
2. Use the right amount at the right time
Getting high all the time may be awesome, but it may not be the best for your anxiety. In fact, it may not even be good at all – though don’t rule the plant out right away if so; its non-psychoactive elements may still make cannabis an option for you. There are many self-help guides that go into further depth on the balance that is required to medicate anxiety effectively with marijuana, but one thing’s for sure: anxiety is a unique symptom, and managing it similarly requires a unique plan for each person, sometimes dependent on numerous factors such as time of day, environment, company and more.
3. Choose the right medication/strain
Strain selection may seem like an obvious inclusion, though it’s difficult to give a straight formula that works for everyone. For best results, try experimenting a bit and ask your local medicine supplier which strains they recommend based on your prior experiences. Those who experience panic and generalized anxiety probably prefer a low-CBD strain, while those with social anxiety may find higher-THC strains to be effective in releasing them from social tension. Check out this interactive map to choose and locate some potential winners. You may also find that your success varies with different methods of consumption – even switching from smoking to vaporizing may show a significant difference. Try switching things up until you find the best method.
In the end, it’s up to you to find the right method, strain, routine and environment to make it work effectively.