At this point, we are all familiar with the world of cannabis and all the testimonials of how incredible it can be! One of the most popular ailments that is treated with cannabis is anxiety. Almost every person in this country has some form of mild anxiety, whether it be from a high stress situation or a chronic illness. Anxiety is commonly described as feeling overwhelmed, rapid increase in heart rate, and difficulty focusing or making decisions.
CBD and THC are most commonly smoked when treating anxiety, as it is the most immediately effective delivery method. Most consumers report a sense of calm or decreased heart rate within 5-10 minutes of smoking. However, a large amount of people describe the exact opposite results! The heart rate is rapidly increased, a sense of paranoia will begin to set in, and dizziness/nausea are also extremely common. These very different reactions are extremely uncommon, especially for a plant! Some customers even feel this negative reaction with CBD oil and edibles!
So how on earth does this happen? Many people firmly believe that cannabis is beneficial for everyone, and that it is just a matter of finding the perfect strain or product. But for those who feel this negative reaction, it is not worth trying.
Cannabis works by turning on the cannabis receptors in your body that you are born with. Turning on these cannabis receptors changes both stimulating and relaxing neurotransmitters. Cannabis can slow down the process of GABA, which is the main neurotransmitter that anxiety medication boosts. Weakening GABA can lead to severe anxiety for people who generally don’t have an issue with this neurotransmitter (i.e, someone who rarely suffers from anxiety).
On the other end of this spectrum, cannabis also reduces excitation of Glutamate, a neurotransmitter responsible for sending signals between nerve cells. Essentially, this means that CBD/THC slow town the signals between nerve cells, reducing anxiety for many.
All in all, this means that depending on your GABA or Glutamate levels, cannabis can affect your anxiety very differently! It is not a matter of “finding the right thing” but a matter of brain chemistry. This is a myth that many hold firmly to, and thanks to the cannabis industry and their incredible studies, we can officially say- “Myth Busted!”