There are different strains of marijuana made for different purposes nowadays. Advancements in the field of marijuana research and breeding have led to a lot of different types of marijuana strains in today’s modern society. That said, there are also marijuana strains for anxiety in a day and age where marijuana strains are bred for more specific effects, flavors, and other attributes.
In that regard, many believe that marijuana is great at helping treat symptoms of anxiety. That is why there are plenty of people who go for a short marijuana break whenever they feel stressed out due to their anxious thoughts. They believe that weed is great when it comes to calming their nerves so that they would not have to worry so much. But is there really some truth to this? Does marijuana really help treat symptoms of anxiety?
Understanding the chemistry of marijuana
Before we answer whether or not cannabis really is helpful when it comes to treating anxiety, it is important to actually explore their chemical composition in brief because the different chemical compounds found in cannabis are responsible for the effects that are commonly associated with weed.
Marijuana is composed of different types of chemical compounds called cannabinoids. You can find different types of cannabinoids in weed. In fact, most strains of cannabis actually have nearly a hundred different cannabinoids. Other than that, cannabis also contains terpenes, which are the aromatic oils you can find in cannabis. There are over a hundred different terpenes found in marijuana, and they were originally developed by the plants themselves to repel possible predators in the wild.
The cannabinoids and terpenes you can find in cannabis plants have different purposes of their own. In that sense, a certain cannabinoid reacts differently with the chemistry of a person compared to other types of cannabinoids. The same is also true with terpenes, which also have different purposes and different effects.
The most common and most abundant cannabinoids you can find in marijuana are tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD). Those two are largely responsible for most of the recreational and therapeutic effects of cannabis. And when combined with the terpenes found in marijuana, both THC and CBD can produce different results.
How the chemicals affect our bodies
Of course, our bodies have their own reactions to the different chemical compounds and terpenes found in marijuana. Our brains have something called cannabinoid receptors, which are the ones responsible for binding with cannabinoids to produce different types of effects. For example, certain cannabinoid receptors react differently to THC to produce a mentally disruptive effect that we commonly call the feeling of getting “high”.
Meanwhile, CBD binds with different receptors, which are responsible for sending pain signals to our brain. That is why CBD is known as the medical cannabinoid. It has effects that are more therapeutic in nature and are more than likely going to help different types of illnesses since it not only affects the body’s ability to perceive pain but also the way our immune system reacts to different illnesses.
THC and CBD are also closely linked to many different types of mental health conditions. For one, marijuana is believed to have a high that tends to be euphoric in nature in the sense that it uplifts your mood. This is particularly effective against mood disorders because of how it makes you feel happier and uplifted than you usually are.
And while CBD is closely linked to physical ailments, there are studies that show that it has a positive effect on cancer patients as well and has been found to be effective at treating such an illness.
THC, on the other hand, is what is responsible for the high we get from using marijuana. This produces a psychoactive effect that distorts our sensory perception and can make us feel heavy. That is why some people tend to have different types of thoughts rushing through their head when under the effects of marijuana. At times, THC can distort our senses to a point where we would hallucinate or see or hear things differently.
So, what does that mean? It means that THC can have a negative effect on our anxiety levels because of how it can make us see or hear things that normally are not the same as they are when we are under the effects of marijuana. And, depending on how you react to such distortions, you might find yourself in a state of paranoia especially if you are not used to the effects of THC or if you had more than what you can take. This tends to be a common effect of marijuana strains that have high concentrations of THC.
So, does marijuana help treat anxiety?
Well, it really depends. While THC does have a tendency of making you feel more anxious, it is not a common effect. However, what is usually common are the effects of CBD. This chemical compound not only fends off the psychoactive effects of THC but also have their own positive effects on your anxiety as well.
CBD has the ability to affect the neurotransmitter GABA and allows you to feel less anxious than you are. On top of that, this chemical compound is also good at lowering cortisol, which is also closely linked to anxiety and its symptoms. Of course, CBD helps regulate your mood so that you will feel happier than you usually are when you are under the effects of marijuana?
So, is THC that bad? Not exactly. THC is a great cannabinoid when it comes to helping your body relax. When it reacts to certain terpenes, THC relieves stress and makes your entire body feel heavily sedated due to how relaxed it is. Those effects can help treat certain symptoms of anxiety and may work well in conjunction with CBD to deliver an overall therapeutic experience that is great at relieving you of any anxious thoughts and feelings that you may have.
However, there are also other factors you should consider as well. People have different chemical compositions as well and may react differently to the effects of the cannabinoids found in marijuana. It also depends on your mental state as well and how you react to your environment when you are under the effects of cannabis.
In short, there is no general consensus as to whether or not marijuana is great for anxiety because different people react differently to the various chemicals you can find in cannabis. However, if you happen to have a good medical marijuana strain that contains only trace amounts of THC, you might find it effective against the symptoms of anxiety. Or, if you are already used to the effects of THC, you may also feel less anxious when you are smoking a good blunt or two.