Anxiety disorders are different from the anxious feelings that we normally feel on certain days or situations. Those with the issue feel intense fear and distress that hamper daily living.
Based on the latest statistics, there are around 40 million adults in the U.S. who have some form of anxiety disorder.
Because of the prevalence of this mental health disorder, there’s an assortment of treatments developed to address it. One of the most promising ones is medical marijuana.
Because of the psychoactive compounds found in MMJ, its effects on anxiety have been recognized in many cultures around the world.
Medical science has recently caught up, with research showing how cannabis can help with anxiety, especially in low doses.
So how does it work and can you access MMJ for patients with anxiety in NOLA? Keep reading to find out.
Understanding the Different Types of Anxiety Disorders
Before going deeper into the topic, you’ll want to understand first the five types of anxiety disorders as recognized by the Department of Health and Human Services.
- Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD): This is one of the most common kinds of anxiety disorders. The most prominent symptom is exaggerated worry without little provocation. In addition, those with GAD have feelings of tension and dread that remain persistent for long periods of time. Medical marijuana is often used to treat severe attacks of those diagnosed with GAD.
- Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD): OCD is often used to describe a person’s need for orderliness thanks to pop culture, but those diagnosed with OCD suffer more debilitating symptoms. They have recurrent and unwanted thoughts and/or repetitive behaviors that cause distress and anxiety.
- Panic Disorders: As the name implies, those with panic disorders have unexpected episodes of intense fear and dread. These panic attacks usually have physiological symptoms like palpitations, shortness of breath, chest pain and abdominal distress.
- Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD): While most commonly discussed in reference to combat veterans, PTSD can happen to anyone who experiences traumatic events. These can include sexual assault, accidents, major health events, and natural disasters. Increased anxiety, sleeping issues, anger issues and intense feelings of guilt are some of the common hallmarks of PTSD. In recent years, MMJ has been seen to reduce these symptoms and enhance sleep.
- Social Phobia (Social Anxiety Disorder): It’s one thing to be nervous around people, but those with social anxiety disorder feel overwhelming anxiety in normal social situations. In most cases, this disorder manifests only in specific settings or circumstances, like meeting new people or eating in front of others. However, there are severe cases where a person can feel excessive self-consciousness whenever they’re around people.
How Marijuana Helps Anxiety
The psychoactive compounds found in marijuana bind to the brain’s cannabinoid receptors. These send messages that increase adenosine levels and trigger the release of endorphins.
When this happens, the person with an anxiety disorder will start to have feelings of calmness. In addition, there are physiological effects like reduced heart and breathing rate associated with MMJ compounds.
Can Medical Marijuana Be Effective for Anxiety Symptoms?
Most studies show that cannabis for anxiety is effective in low doses. As with any treatment, it is not a cure due to the complexity of mental disorders.
However, it has been shown to be highly effective in managing the symptoms of anxiety, allowing patients to resume their everyday activities.
Should You Use Medical Marijuana for Anxiety in NOLA?
MMJ for patients with anxiety in NOLA is legal and can be purchased from dispensaries and pharmacies. In the state of Louisiana, physical cards are not needed, just a doctor’s recommendation. Just visit your local medical dispensary to find MMJ products.
Cannabis vs. Pharmaceuticals to Treat Anxiety
Before MMJ was recognized by the medical field for its effects on anxiety, there were already pharmaceutical anti-anxiety medications available.
However, they have side effects and other disadvantages that make them a poor choice for some anxiety patients. SSRIs, for example, may cause weight gain, nausea and more, according to Medical News Today.
Cannabis is now considered a great treatment option because of its effectiveness in managing neurotransmitters connected to anxiety levels.
Are you having frequent anxiety attacks? If you’re qualified, MMJ for patients with anxiety in NOLA can be easily brought from the several dispensaries around. You can consult with medical professionals first to make the process easier.