Medicinal Marijuana and Anxiety

Anxiety has become an epidemic throughout the world as the global financial crisis, rising food prices and stagnant wages all threaten people's livelihood. There are certainly many other causes of anxiety that can be traced to personal experiences and lifestyle. Part of the solution is that individuals need to free themselves of toxic environments and get closer to nature. Cannabis that contains certain medicinal compounds satisfies this solution and provides benefits beyond the placebo effect. 

The reason cannabis helps diminish anxiety is that its active ingredient, tetrahydrocannabinol THC, unlocks the pleasure centers of the brain. Scientific proof that medical marijuana treats anxiety began in the early sixties with research from Israeli chemistry professor Raphael Mechoulam, who discovered THC in 1964. Then in 1992 Czech chemist Lumir Ondrej Hanus discovered anandamide in the brain in 1992. These two important findings led to the revelation that the brain houses CB1 and CB2 cannabinoid receptors, which are responsible for relieving anxiety. In other words, the brain already has built-in pleasure receptors and THC activates them. 

It's important to remember, however, that each individual has his or her own unique reaction to cannabis, whether it is smoked, eaten, drank or inhaled with a vaporizer. On top of that, there are many different strains of cannabis that each have different effects on the mind. Some strains of cannabis can even increase anxiety, which is why it is important for patients to research the various cannabis strains to find the best one to treat their condition.

Hanus was one of the first bold doctors in the modern world to state that "cannabis is one of the safest drugs known." His reasoning was that cannabis users cannot overdone on the plant. The key to the fact that medical marijuana treats anxiety hinges on strains that contain both the compounds THC and cannabidiol (CBD).  While THC can sometimes provoke anxiety, CBD blocks anxiety. Most street pot does not contain CBD and only has a small percentage of THC. That's why medical marijuana containing CBD is essential to treating anxiety.

At its most effective, cannabis can relax a patient and make them forget their personal problems. It often creates a calm, carefree and humorous feeling within foggy layers of a euphoric dream state. The popular stereotype that cannabis makes people forgetful is accurate, which also plays into forgetting problems.

Historically, pot has been portrayed in movies such as those made by Cheech and Chong as a party drug that produces recreational scenarios. There is plenty of truth to the fact that many users find cannabis to be a fun, pleasant and entertaining experience, which alone can reduce anxiety. The combination of ingesting cannabis with entertainment such as listening to music or engaging in comedy may be the best possible way to reduce stress.

Read More: The Medical Marijuana Association 

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