Yes, My family uses cannabis to combat both anxiety and depression. Both my wife and I have anxiety and depression disorder running in the medical history of our families, and we (like many other Americans) started struggling with these disorders in high school.
What is the difference between anxiety and depression?
Anxiety and Depression are two different disorders, but are often diagnosed and treated hand-in-hand because one usually leads to the other (reasons unknown).
There are four general types of anxiety (with many subsections I won’t get into).
- Panic Disorder: Feelings of terror that strike suddenly often causing sweating, chest pain, and heart palpitations. May occur without cause.
- Social Anxiety Disorder: Overwhelming worry and self-consciousness about everyday social situations. Usually centered around fear of judgment and ridicule.
- Specific Phobia: Intense fears of objects or situations that are uncontrolled.
- Generalized anxiety disorder: Excessive unrealistic worry and tension even if nothing provokes the anxiety. (This is what I was diagnosed with, it generally occurs when I’m overthinking something, like my job, or trying to multitask important issues.)
BEFORE Cannabis, my wife suffered from severe social anxiety. She cried in her car everyday on her way to work because she was afraid she would do a poor job or say something wrong and lose her job.
This may seem crazy to some people, but this is a real disorder.
(She really doesn’t have control over her fearful emotions when presented with any social situation.)
AFTER Cannabis, my wife is beginning to enjoy shopping alone, she says its cuz I complain. I hate running errands. But a year ago, she would never go without me.
All four types of anxiety disorder can cause symptoms;
- Feelings of panic/fear
- Problems sleeping
- Cold sweats
- Shortness of breath
- Heart palpitations
- Feeling Jittery
- Dry mouth
- Numbness in fingers and toes
- Muscle tension
Depression, can be independently diagnosed but usually coexists with anxiety.
It can often be difficult to catch in the early stages, especially when occurring independent of anxiety.
Many people suffering from depression don’t even recognize that they are depressed and often go through a denial period.
People who have depression can develop anxiety symptoms, but the depressive mood is the strongest and dominating symptom.
There are different types of depression with increasing levels of severity including persistent depressive disorder, major depression, and bipolar disorder also called manic-depression).
Here’s a list of anxiety symptoms caused by depression;
- Sleeping problems
- Concentration problems
The medications used to treat these conditions can include a number of different anti-depressants, anti-convulsion, low-dose anti-psychotics, and many more.
There are also some alternative treatments available; counseling, changes in diet, and even relaxation therapy. Although many of these treatments are recommended in addition to prescription medication.
How does cannabis affect Anxiety and Depression
Cannabis has seen a lot of recent research regarding the cause and relief of anxiety and depression. There are many medical organizations that document cannabis as being a cause of anxiety and depression.
But honestly, most of the reporting was conducted on heavy, long term use, and included juvenile exposure with very little data on subject pools. (Meaning the people in the study).
There is much more recent research that suggests the opposite and includes more specific data and conclusions.
This research contained much more information on the subjects and how the results suggest cannabis can be used safely treat anxiety and depression in adults.
One such study suggests that those suffering from PTSD may see a 75% reduction in symptoms. THAT’S AMAZING!!!
Another study conducted with 35,000 people, concluded that cannabis does not cause anxiety or depression, but could be linked to other pre-dispositions like smoking tobacco.
(In my opinion all these findings are early, it will take decades of unrestricted research to truly understand cannabis).
The effects of prescription medications used to treat anxiety and depression should not be used by anyone under the age of 18 long term, due to the negative effects they have on development.
(18 only because that’s the age this society decides you’re an adult, the human body isn’t fully developed till the mid 20’s).
My wife was prescribed medications throughout her life for multiple reasons including anxiety and depression.
Today she uses cannabis to treat all of them. She NEVER used any “recreational drugs” and only began consuming alcohol socially in her mid-20’s.
She began trying herbal medicines, like cannabis, because I couldn’t stand to watch her take so many prescriptions and be so fragile, knowing there was a better way.
Here’s a list a ways to in try using cannabis.
I have been treating my ADHD and anxiety with cannabis for many years.
I have seen the changes in her ability to focus and the decrease in her anxiety attacks, which were considerable before using cannabis.
We went through some really rough situations during this period of time and out of all the medications they tried to give her, cannabis alleviated most of her symptoms and kept her optimistic without the negative side effects she was experiencing with prescriptions.
There are also lots of cannabis friendly websites, including mine, which promote the treatment for anxiety and depression.
If you’re unsure whether you have depression “this link” will connect you with a self-rating scale which may help you determine whether you should seek a medical professional.
Resources used in the research and development of this article;