Cannabinoids and Anxiety

If you suffer from anxiety, you’ve undoubtedly heard one of the many claims that cannabis may treat anxiety symptoms.

There is a general consensus that cannabis is an effective anxiety treatment. 81 percent of respondents to a 2017 nationwide survey of more than 9,000 people said they thought cannabis provided one or more health advantages. One of these possible advantages was “relief from worry, tension, and sadness,” according to nearly half of the respondents.

But it also appears that just as many people claim that cannabis exacerbates their anxiety.

So, what are the facts? cannabis and anxiety: beneficial or bad? To find some solutions, we have compiled the information and spoken with some researchers.

CBD and THC, What’s The Difference?

It’s vital to understand that cannabis has two major active chemicals, THC and CBD, before delving further into the specifics of cannabis and anxiety.

Briefly stated:

  • The psychoactive component THC is what gives cannabis its characteristic “high.”
  • The nonpsychoactive substance known as CBD is utilised for a variety of possible medicinal uses.

How Can Cannabis Help

There is no doubt that a lot of individuals use cannabis to treat their anxiety.

In Olympia, Washington, licensed psychotherapist Sarah Peace states that many clients she’s dealt with have reported taking cannabis, including THC, CBD, or both, to relieve anxiety.

Frequently cited advantages of cannabis usage include:

  • enhanced tranquillity
  • greater relaxation
  • improved sleep

According to a 2015 analysis, CBD may be an effective therapy for anxiety, particularly social anxiety. THC may also be beneficial in little dosages, according to some data.

The Cons

While cannabis seems to reduce anxiety in some people, it has the opposite impact in others. Some people just don’t feel any change, while others see their symptoms get worse.

What’s the cause of this difference?

The psychoactive component of cannabis, THC, appears to play a significant role. High THC levels have been linked to worsened anxiety symptoms, including a faster heartbeat and racing thoughts.

The long-term effects of cannabis don’t seem to compare favourably to those of conventional anxiety therapies like psychotherapy or prescription. Although it may provide some much-needed short-term respite, cannabis use is not a viable alternative for long-term treatment.

What Should You Consider?

There are still certain drawbacks to take into account, even if cannabis may appear to be a solution to avoid the potential negative effects connected with prescription treatment.

Smoking Risks

Cannabis use by smoking can cause respiratory issues, lung inflammation, and a higher chance of developing some forms of cancer.


Contrary to common assumptions, cannabis use can lead to addiction and dependency.

According to Peace, some of her clients struggle to distinguish between daily or frequent cannabis usage for medical purposes and abuse.

According to Peace, “those who use cannabis regularly to dull their senses or stop caring about the things that are stressing them also frequently describe feeling like they are addicted to cannabis.”

Top Tips

There are a few things you can take to lessen your chance that cannabis will make your anxiety symptoms worse if you’re interested in trying it as an anxiety treatment.

Take into account these suggestions:

  • Pick CBD instead of THC. Start with a product that just includes CBD or has a considerably greater CBD to THC ratio if you’re new to cannabis. Keep in mind that THC levels that are greater tend to exacerbate anxiety symptoms.
  • Slow down. begin with a little dosage. Before using additional, give it plenty of time to work.
  • Understanding interactions Including vitamins and supplements, cannabis can interfere with or lessen the efficacy of prescription and over-the-counter drugs. It’s advisable to disclose your cannabis use to your healthcare professional. You can also consult a pharmacist if you don’t feel comfortable doing this.
  • Inform the therapist. Make sure to include your therapist if you’re working with one. They can provide you with extra advice and assist you in assessing how effectively it is treating your symptoms.

In Conclusion

Cannabis, especially CBD and cannabis with low amounts of THC, may have a temporary calming effect on anxiety symptoms.

Remember that cannabis might make some individuals more anxious if they decide to try it. Before trying it, there’s simply no way to predict how it will impact you. It’s better to use it sparingly and limit your dosage, and if using it to treat ailments always consult with your medical professional.


[1] Risks and Benefits of Marijuana Use


[3] Cannabidiol as a Potential Treatment for Anxiety Disorders

[4] Systematic review: Efficacy and safety of medical marijuana in selected neurologic disorders

[5] Outbreak of Lung Injury Associated with the Use of E-Cigarette, or Vaping, Products

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