Cannabis can make some feel more anxious, whilst it can help reduce it in others. Much of this is not only down to the sufferer’s individual constitution, but also the strain that they choose. Strains and concentrates high in THC but with little or no CBD may help induce anxiety, whilst high CBD strains may help prevent anxiety attacks.
Like with most research on cannabis and different medical problems, evidence is limited due to legal restrictions. However, cannabis seems to be a very powerful anxiolytic, modulating anxiety-related behaviour and neurotransmitter release in otherwise stressful situations.
Also, it is worth mentioning that a big part of physical pain is anxiety. Pain can cause anxiety, and an increase in anxiety can make pain worse. Panic attacks can also make a person “hypersensitive” to pain.
- Cannabis contains several stress-busting terpenes like linalool, caryophyllene and borneol
- CBD may improve regional cerebral blood flow (rCBF) in the brain, helping reduce anxiety
- Terpenes like pinene can help prevent hyperventilation, which can cause chest pains and further anxiety
- CBD and caryophyllene work on CB2 receptors, helping reduce anxiety
- Some strains may increase anxiety – careful with the THC!
- Where low to medium dosages may help, high dosages may hinder
- Can cause an initial increase in heart rate
- Trouble with breathing
- Can cause depersonalization