So you may have experimented with marijuana back in college and remember feeling surprisingly relaxed. Now, much later in life, the stresses of life are starting to give you anxiety and you’re tinkering with the idea of using marijuana again. Joe of Danville, CA is in a similar boat. Here’s what he asks.
Dear Dr. Patel,
I have crippling anxiety. It’s from dealing with a lot of stress at work. Unfortunately, it spills over into my personal life, affecting my relationship with my wife and kids.
At the end of the day, my mind races with thoughts. I can’t shut it down. I end up lying awake in bed for hours. I sleep for maybe two to four hours a night. It leaves me feeling exhausted the next day, which makes the anxiety even worse.
I have days when I simply can’t function because of the anxiety. I have to start cancelling meetings and have even gone so far as taking days off of work.
The worst is when my heart seems to pound at 100 miles an hour, I feel short of breath, and I sweat profusely. I ended up in the emergency room the first time this happened because I really thought I was having a heart attack. It turned out to be a panic attack.
My doctor has prescribed Lexapro and Xanax. The Lexapro is killing my sex drive, and I’m having to use the Xanax more and more frequently, which has me concerned about addiction.
At the end of the day, all I want is to be able to be fully present when I’m with my wife and kids. The time I have with them is precious to me, and in that time what I don’t want is to feel exhausted, irritable and worried about work.
I used marijuana back in college and remember feeling surprisingly relaxed. I’d like to give it a try now, but wanted to hear what your thoughts.
Anxiety is one of the most common conditions that I treat in my practice. So, you’re not alone.
Medical Marijuana for Anxiety: The RESULTS
From what patients have reported back to me, medical marijuana works and it works quite well. They say that it eases their anxiety in a way that allows them to function. They’re no longer left feeling paralyzed by the anxiety. The racing thoughts they have while lying in bed disappear, allowing them to fall asleep easily, stay asleep for a good 7 to 8 hours, and wake up well rested.
Being better rested, patients are able to take on the challenges of work with greater clarity and focus. Most importantly, marijuana provides relief from anxiety that helps to improve patients’ relationships with their loved ones. They find they are no longer chronically tired which makes for good quality time spent with family.
Medical Marijuana for Anxiety: The RESEARCH
What I’m seeing in my practice coincides with current research. Studies have found that medical marijuana has effects similar to pharmaceutical drugs used to treat anxiety in both animals and in humans.
In one particular study, a group of college students in a Psychology class were given 2 minutes to prepare a 4 minute speech on a topic they previously learned about in a another Psychology class the year before. They were then told that they would be videotaped and the recording would then be analyzed by a Psychologist. Stressful…right?
About an hour and half before spurring this news on them, one group of students were given marijuana in the form of a pill. Others were given Diazepam, Ipsapirone or a Placebo.
Diazepam is pharmaceutical drug commonly prescribed to help with anxiety. One of the drawbacks of this medication is that it’s very sedating. It also has a potential for addiction. Ipsapirone is another pharmaceutical drug that also has anti-anxiety effects. The only problem is takes a few weeks of continuous use to feel these effects.
In the end, participants given marijuana, experienced similar feelings of reduced anxiety like the groups given Diazepam and Ipsapirone.
Joe, I hope that helps you and anyone else looking for more information on using Medical Marijuana for Anxiety.
More information on Medical Marijuana for Anxiety: