How Does Marijuana Soothe Anxiety?

AnxietyPeople have been using marijuana to self-medicate since before the term “medical cannabis” existed.  Marijuana users knew, before the medical community did, that cannabis can reduce anxiety and produce a mellow feeling.  Things have changed a lot recently.  Now there is marijuana delivery in Los Angeles.  In some states, you can practically find a cannabis delivery business on every corner.  Best of all, though, there has been more research on how the therapeutic effects of cannabis are achieved.

Cannabinoid Receptors

Cannabinoids are chemicals found in plants of the Cannabis genus; they also occur naturally in the human brain.  The ones in the brain are called endocannabinoids.  When cannabinoids bind to cannabinoid receptors in the brain, the result is a feeling of reward.  Thus, cannabinoid receptors are responsible for the calm feeling that many people get when they smoke or ingest cannabis.  They are also the reason why cannabis increases people’s desire for and enjoyment of food and music.

People with chronic stress and anxiety have fewer endocannabinoids than the general population.  The cannabinoids from cannabis edibles help some people regain the feeling of euphoria and calm.

When Cannabis Increases Anxiety

The relationship between cannabis and anxiety is complex and not entirely understood.  While many people find cannabis effective at reducing anxiety, it can have the opposite effect on other people.  Some people, especially long-term cannabis users, experience an increase in anxiety and paranoid thoughts when using cannabis.  The explanation for this phenomenon may be that THC is a stimulant.  Almost any stimulant can be a double-edged sword of euphoria and anxiety.  Consider how caffeine can make you more productive, but can also give you the jitters.

Cannabis can produce pleasant feelings of anxiety relief.  It is not, however, an effective form of anxiety relief for everyone.