“I’m a long time user of THC products, but due to the pandemic, have found myself more anxious than normal. Would it be wise for me to continue using THC for anxiety or switch to CBD?”
Cannabidiol or CBD is the primary non-intoxicating cannabinoid in cannabis. It is a potent anxiolytic and is very effective in reducing anxiety. Tetrahydrocannabinol or THC can reduce anxiety when taken in low doses. However, it can exacerbate anxiety at high doses and cause panic attacks depending on the consumer. Every person responds differently to cannabis, and what a high dose is to one person, it may not be to another.
When taking a closer look at medical studies, it is evident that the chemical makeup of Cannabidiol is the primary cannabinoid and ingredient which treats anxiety effectively. While a healthy ratio of CBD to THC can effectively treat anxiety, too much THC in an anxious person can lead to feelings of paranoia. Alternatively, CBD has the opposite effect. Studies have shown that CBD can, on its own, lower, and in certain circumstances, eliminate anxiety.
Scientists believe that CBD works to reduce anxiety because of how it interacts with the serotonin receptors in the brain. CBD blocks the reabsorption of serotonin in the brain, making serotonin more available in the synaptic space increasing serotonin signaling.
With all this being said, for those looking to remedy anxiety disorders with cannabis, your treatment will rely more heavily on your dosing and less on the specifics of the strain. Using cannabis is highly individual, so it is essential to first experiment with some trial and error to discover your perfect dose.
Those looking to use medical marijuana to treat anxiety should be in the market for strains with higher levels of CBD; this can be a flower, tincture, vape pen, or edible. For those just beginning their medical cannabis journey, a CBD-dominant tincture or hybrid strain is highly recommended. Finding your proper dose can be done quickly by experimenting with ratios, starting with a very high CBD:THC ratio such as 30:1 or 10:1. Take a small dose and titrate up as necessary.
When treating anxiety with cannabis, your best bet is a low dose of a high CBD strain or a hybrid strain with higher CBD levels. If you’re looking for immediate relief from anxiety from something like an anxiety attack, vaping CBD oil may be a good idea as the effects kick in almost automatically. However, suppose you want a cannabis product that will allow you to maintain a steady flow of relief throughout the day. In that case, ingesting CBD sublingually or orally at regular intervals may be a better option.
So, while a few puffs of a CBD vape pen may provide immediate anxiety relief, a better long-term solution would be allowing CBD to build up in your system through consistent CBD ingestion. VerIlife gives a great explanation of how to find your correct dosing and correct cannabis products.
Overall, when treating anxiety with cannabis, CBD is most often the better option. But, again, every person is different, and for some, THC may be more stress-relieving than CBD. If you’re just starting the use of cannabis for anxiety, it is recommended that you start with CBD over THC.