Medical Cannabis for Anxiety

Medical Cannabis for Anxiety: Is CBD or THC Better?


States with active medical cannabis programs do not allow residents to use cannabis for any and all medical conditions. Rather, they outline a list of qualifying conditions for which cannabis can be recommended. Anxiety is on some of those state lists, but not all. So, is there a way to use cannabis to treat anxiety without violating state law? Perhaps.

The two primary cannabinoids harvested from cannabis plants cultivated specifically for medical reasons are CBD and THC. Traditionally, the medical cannabis community has referred to marijuana and THC under the banner of ‘cannabis’. But CBD and the plant from which it comes, hemp, are also cannabis products. The beauty of CBD is that you do not need a medical cannabis card to purchase or use it. Better yet, it seems more effective as an anxiety treatment than THC.

THC and Short-Term Relief

A number of studies conducted over the last five or six have given us a clearer understanding of how cannabis affects anxiety symptoms. You can check out this detailed piece from The Fresh Toast to find links to all sorts of studies. In a nutshell, the studies are divided into two camps: those that looked at THC and those that looked at CBD.

A couple of the studies have demonstrated that THC can relieve anxiety fairly effectively in the short term. But over longer periods of time, THC does not seem to have a significant impact on anxiety. In fact, it can actually increase anxiety and depression over the long term.

These studies indicate that THC is probably not the best cannabinoid for treating anxiety. In addition to potential risks associated with using it long term, THC has some other side effects that are not good for anxiety patients. CBD seems to be a much better option.

Long Term Relief Without the Side Effects

The Fresh Toast cites a number of studies indicating that CBD is a much better cannabinoid for anxiety. It seems to offer long term relief without any of the side effects associated with THC. And for those patients who do not want to get high while treating their anxiety, CBD offers that benefit as well.

CBD is legal for sale and possession throughout the United States thanks to the 2018 Farm Bill. You can buy CBD oil online, at local convenience stores and pharmacies, and even at grocery stores and health supplement outlets.

It’s Still Medical Cannabis

Although medical cannabis discussions almost always revolve around marijuana and THC, CBD is still medical cannabis under an exclusively scientific definition. Remember that CBD comes from hemp, and hemp is a variety of cannabis.

So, what is the difference between hemp and marijuana? According to Salt Lake City Utah’s Beehive Farmacy, it boils down to THC content. The 2018 Farm Bill defines hemp as a cannabis plant containing 0.3% or less THC by volume. A cannabis plant with more THC is considered marijuana.

The beauty of CBD is that it can be harvested in abundance from legal hemp plants. Moreover, cultivators are constantly working to increase CBD content to make their plants more valuable. They turn around and sell those plants to manufacturers who make all sorts of CBD products. The products can be purchased legally throughout the country.

If you suffer from anxiety and have considered medical cannabis as a treatment, think CBD rather than THC. THC might offer short term relief, but CBD appears to offer better long-term relief without the unpleasant side effects normally associated with THC. Best of all, you can purchase CBD without a state-issued medical cannabis card.

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