With the ramp-up over the last couple weeks over the Coronavirus, new information being reported daily, and the uncertainty of it all, it’s not unusual that you may be feeling a heightened sense of stress and anxiety. There is a lot of concern running through everyone’s minds from worry about contracting a potentially fatal virus to concern over running out of toilet paper. And while everyone seems to have their own take on whether there is an overreaction or not enough being done, one thing is for certain, this is a trying time for not just our physical, but our mental and emotional health.
One of the known therapeutic benefits of cannabis is its ability to help anxiety. We preface that you should always proceed with caution and do your research, much like any medicine or drug you may encounter. Cannabis can be beneficial in easing your anxiety, but it can also have adverse reactions as well.
It’s also important to remember that a lot of information is general and very broad in nature. Anxiety looks different for different individuals. So no one treatment will look alike, but use the information as a baseline and tailor your findings to what you think would work for you.
These are some suggested guidelines on how to go about experimenting with cannabis to help treat individuals looking for some anxiety relief.
1. Pay attention to the CBD & THC levels
The strain you are using makes a difference. There is evidence suggesting that strains higher in THC can have adverse reactions and make you feel uncomfortable or paranoid. There is a plethora of information out there pointing towards strains that are 1:1 THC to CBD, or the strains that are higher in CBD can be more productive when treating anxiety. However, everyone is different, and every strain is going to affect each individual differently. Leafly put out this cool Cannabis Guide that you should check out that will help you navigate the strains for you and your individual needs.
2. Start small
We recommend that you always start small. You can increase your dosage, but you cannot reverse onset if you take more than is needed, much like traditional over the counter medicines. In this scenario, you would have to wait it out and potentially have an unpleasant experience if you overdo it. Depending on the method you are consuming, you can take individual drags from a vape pen, start with one, see what the effects are, and take more as needed. If you prefer edibles over inhaling, you can try microdosing. This is simply taking very low doses. You can take something like an edible gummy and break it into small pieces. These are great ways to help you find the right amount for your individual needs.
3. Consider interactions of other medications you may be taking
We want to make sure you take into consideration what other substances and medications you may be taking. It’s just not smart to mix certain drugs. Especially, if you are taking other anti-anxiety medications. If you are already under the care of a doctor, have a conversation with them as well. While cannabis is typically safe, there may be certain medications that medical professionals would advise against taking together.
4. Choose your method of consumption
Take into consideration how you will consume cannabis. Some things to remember, when taking edibles, it can take a significant amount of time to feel the effects when compared to sublingual or inhaling. If you need immediate relief, something like a vape pen may be the best option. It’s important to remember with edibles that it takes time for the full effects to kick in. So be cautious with taking more in a short period of time if you are not feeling the relief you need right away.
5. Set yourself up for success
Whenever you are experimenting with therapy like cannabis, knowing it can have an effect on your mind, be sure you are in an environment where you can have a positive experience. If you experience negative effects, you want to be in a comfortable environment where you can mitigate. You do not want to be driving or in any kind of compromising situation that could cause harm or any other type of negative experience.
Anxiety and mental health is a very real and rampant illness for many people. We certainly hope that you can find the relief and therapeutic benefits you are looking for in the right method for you.