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Medical Marijuana and Anxiety

As of Thursday, July 11th 2019, Anxiety Disorders are approved conditions for medical marijuana in the state of Pennsylvania.

Anxiety disorders are one of the most common mental health concerns in the United States. According to the Anxiety and Depression Society of America (ADAA), an estimated 40 million adults in the U.S. (18%) have an anxiety disorder. Meanwhile, approximately 8% of children and teenagers experience an anxiety disorder, and most people develop symptoms before age 21.

About Anxiety Disorders

Fear and anxiety are adaptive responses essential to coping with threats to survival. Yet excessive or persistent fear may be maladaptive, leading to disability. Certain anxiety disorders may have unique symptoms, but they all have one thing in common: persistent, excessive fear or worry in situations that are not threatening. Trauma, excess stress, genetics, medical problems, comorbid mental illnesses, and even drug and alcohol use are some common factors behind the development of anxiety disorders.

Anxiety can be very difficult to deal with. Regardless of the severity of the case, an anxiety disorder makes usually simple activities feel like insurmountable tasks. People with anxiety typically experience both emotional and even physical symptoms.

Common emotional symptoms:

  • Feelings of apprehension or dread
  • Anticipating the worst and being watchful for signs of danger
  • Restlessness or irritability
  • Feeling tense or jumpy

Common physical symptoms:

  • Pounding or racing heart and shortness of breath
  • Headaches, fatigue and insomnia
  • Sweating, tremors and twitches
  • Upset stomach, frequent urination or diarrhea


Types of Anxiety Disorders

There are many types of anxiety disorders, and each may have different symptoms. Symptoms arising from excessive fear and anxiety occur in a number of neuropsychiatric disorders, including Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD), Panic Disorder (PD), Social Anxiety Disorder (SAD), Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD), phobias, and more.

Medical Marijuana for Anxiety

The cannabis compound known as cannabidiol (CBD) has been shown to offer substantial benefits for people suffering from a variety of anxiety disorders. Not only does research and evidence suggest that CBD counteracts THC’s adverse effects, but accumulating evidence from human experimental, clinical, and epidemiological studies suggests CBD has powerful anti-anxiety properties. When administered acutely (“as needed”), medical marijuana and anxiety (namely, CBD) has shown to be safe, well-tolerated, and may be beneficial to treat and improve a number of anxiety-related disorders.

Medical marijuana and anxiety continues to be studied today and new findings are continually appearing. For example, researchers conducted a small double-blind study of patients afflicted with generalized social anxiety. After consuming CBD, participants reported a significant decrease in anxiety. Researchers validated patients’ subjective reports by performing brain scans showing cerebral blood flow patterns consistent with an anti-anxiety effect.

In another small study, researchers had patients suffering from Social Anxiety Disorder perform a simulated public speaking test. Participants reported significantly less anxiety, findings supported by objective anxiety indicators like heart rate and blood pressure. Researchers concluded, “[CBD] significantly reduced anxiety, cognitive impairment, and discomfort in their speech performance,” whereas the placebo group experienced “higher anxiety, cognitive impairment, [and] discomfort.”

Research on medical marijuana and anxiety is increasing as researchers continue to study and find results that show how CBD may be beneficial in the treatment of anxiety.

Solevo Wellness is a medical marijuana dispensary based in Pittsburgh, PA, dedicated to providing medical marijuana relief solutions for Pennsylvanians certified with serious medical conditions approved by the PA Department of Health. Founded by leading physicians, pharmacists, and medical professionals, Solevo offers personal, professional care, and quality medical marijuana products. You can check out all of our PA dispensary locations and visit our FAQ page to learn more about our dispensaries.