I have written a little about mental health before, but asking Can Medical Marijuana Cure My Anxiety? is a big step for me. If you know me at all, you know I've never been a fan of marijuana. From a young age, I only saw horrible examples of marijuana use. Whether it was my dad driving drunk and high, swerving off the road trying to kill us, or my little brother ending up homeless and couch surfing because of his addiction to marijuana, it just hasn't been good.
I've since realized that the addiction my brother has is just his issue, it's not an addiction to marijuana itself. And I realize my father abused every drug possible, and marijuana alone was not his issue. But it's still tough to think about using it, you know?
Can Medical Marijuana Cure My Anxiety?
Once our daughter started struggling with migraines, we turned to the best neurologists we could, to help us figure it all out. After years of struggling to find the right medication, and dealing with horrible side effects, we turned to medical marijuana. I know many will judge me for using medical marijuana for my 10 year old, but I also know it was our last resort and we are so thankful for it.
Medical marijuana can be helpful for many conditions. We're going to talk about this in a series on medical marijuana, starting with anxiety. I've struggled with anxiety for years and years, since I was a pre-teen (with a drunk father, it's no wonder). Medications have always been horrible for me, and I've never stuck with taking them.
Will Marijuana Cure My Anxiety?
Spoiler alert: Nah. Nothing will 100% cure your anxiety, but that’s another story.
Anxiety is the absolute worse, and it is a common condition. I think everyone has a little bit of anxiety, but people who have anxiety are flooded with persistent and pervasive thoughts of worry or concern. What’s there to worry about? Everything. Anxiety sufferers worry about the past, they’re worried about the future, they’re worried about something they said 45 minutes ago that may have upset you. Their palms are sweaty and their heart is racing. They are, in short, not having a good time. To boot, the medications they prescribe for anxiety? An absolute mess.
Anyone who has suffered from anxiety or depression (or both, seeing as they like to carpool and save time) will readily admit to you that they have to go through several medications before finding one that produces the best results with the least amount of side effects. Adding to that frustration is the knowledge that it takes 4-6 weeks for the medication to reach therapeutic levels, and you’ll find that you could be wasting a great deal of life searching for a needle in a haystack. For a growing section of the population, they’re turning their attention to a new, but old, alternative to dealing with their anxiety: medical marijuana. While we’re a long way from curing anxiety, marijuana can definitely help, and without the 4-6 week wait or nasty side effects.
Winning the war on marijuana
In order to begin to answer the question of whether or not marijuana can help, you first have to know whether it is legal in your state. Marijuana is still illegal under federal guidelines, but the state legislators are listening to people, and flipping the script on marijuana usage. Finally. Starting with the popularity of a documentary on CNN that featured a young girl suffering from epilepsy, lawmakers began to open their mind to the idea that marijuana may not be the nefarious drug that they believed it to be. More and more states are legalizing medical marijuana, and some have even allowed it for recreational usage. As far as the war on marijuana goes, the people are speaking up, and they are winning.
Speaking of the young girl suffering from epilepsy, have you heard of Charlotte's Web? That's the name of the CBD oil our daughter Sapphire uses for her migraines. The documentary I mentioned above follows the story of a young girl named Charlotte. Her family moved to Colorado to be able to treat her, and it worked. Amazingly enough, Charlotte's Web CBD oil does not have THC in it. That means anyone can buy it – and benefit from it, but it's not cheap. We tried two other brands of CBD oil before deciding on (and sticking with) Charlotte's Web. Charlotte's Web is a hemp extract and we are so happy it's safe to use on children. Speak with a health care professional to see if CBD oil is right for you.
This is your brain “on drugs”.
The human brain is still largely mysterious, but one of the things we know for sure is that there are receptors in the brain that respond to marijuana in a way that produces a positive effect. Those receptors can reduce pain, inflammation, and yes, even anxiety. The name of the system in your body with these receptors? The endocannabinoid system. In people with anxiety, this system is missing cannabinoids that it needs to function well. Marijuana usage replaces those cannabinoids and can reduce anxiety.
Will it help me?
To put it plainly, yes, it definitely could. Though you’re going to have to go through some stuff to get it, marijuana could potentially help you a great deal with your anxiety. You’re going to need to do your research and discover what the laws are in your state, find out what the process to obtain and use a medical marijuana card is, and go through the process. It isn’t an easy task. Lawmakers are not handing out cards to every person who wants to get a legal high. You have to prove that you are suffering from this condition, and you’re going to have to go through the legal channels, or you’re going to find yourself in a great deal of trouble. Here’s the thing though: if you are suffering everyday with a condition like anxiety, isn’t it worth a little bit of trouble to finally get some relief?
If you decide that medical marijuana is something you'd like to try, you'll need help choosing the right dispensary. Depending on the laws in your state, it might be easy or it might be fairly difficult.