"A few of my friends use weed to help with their anxiety, and they say it works. I’ve heard that it can make anxiety worse, so I’m not sure what to believe."
Anxiety has a lot of different causes and there are many ways to treat anxiety. One of the most effective and natural methods of treating anxiety is undergoing cognitive behavioral therapy with a psychologist. This process teaches you to understand the nature of your anxiety and how you might moderate your behavior to lessen and cope with anxiety. SSRIs (like Paxil) and SNRIs can be helpful as adjuvant therapy and are relatively benign in terms of side effects. There are no significant longterm adverse effects associated with these medicine.
Some patients have treated anxiety successfully with cannabis. Indica dominant strains tend to be more effective because they are often sedating, whereas sativa dominant strains can actually worsen anxiety or even cause panic attacks in some individuals. Cannabidiol (CBD) has been found to be helpful for alleviating anxiety as well.