A Journal of Cannabis and Culture

Inhale, Exhale, and CBD—Cannabis and Anxiety

Inhale, Exhale, and CBD—Cannabis and Anxiety

Whether you are afraid of flying, plagued by sleeping problems due to various worries, or experience general anxious feelings every so often, anxiety is an ailment that impacts countless individuals. And due to its prevalence, there are countless ways in which individuals work to conquer anxiety. From daily exercise classes and mental health days to prescription medications and meditation, there is something out there for almost everyone. And of course there is weed.

Some get by with a little help from their friends—we suggest getting by with a little help from cannabis. The medicinal uses of cannabis have been discussed at length—its usage to relieve pain is the common talking point. But its power to reduce and push away anxiety is another hot topic, and it is no surprise why: 40 million adults over the age of 18 in the United States have anxiety-related disorders. That is a large group of people seeking out solutions, and cannabis’ medicinal properties offer up an optimal route that steers away from traditional pharmaceuticals.

Because whether you are experiencing one bout of anxiety after the other or feel a tad bit overwhelmed and restless whilst traveling, there is one common thread that can certainly make it all better: CBD—the component of cannabis that does not create the psychoactive effects that THC does.

Maybe you are looking for an alternative to prescription medication, want a natural way to ease anxiety, or want a supplemental action to thwart off stress—CBD offers up the ideal solution. Numerous studies and the resulting evidence keep building the case that CBD has powerful anti-anxiety properties. From clinical studies to personal anecdotes, the accumulation of evidence is omnipresent in CBD’s ability to help patients deal with panic disorder, obsessive compulsive disorder, social phobia, PTSD, generalized anxiety disorder, and mild depression.

So how does it work in the brain? It has to do with a receptor in the brain called 5-HT1A, a subtype of the serotonin receptor. Many anxiety and depression disorders can be treated by targeting the serotonin system—a fact that has led to years of pharmaceutical companies formulating medications called selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs). You’re familiar with the names of these drugs: Prozac, Zoloft, and so on. SSRIs block the reabsorption of serotonin in the brain, making more space in the synaptic space and enabling brain cells to communicate the need for more serotonin, an interaction that studies suggest help to alleviate anxiety and depression.

CBD works in a similar way. Much like SSRIs, CBD products can boost the signaling through the brain’s serotonin receptors. Some studies even suggest that CBD works faster than SSRIs. CBD also works in another place in the brain: the hippocampus. The hippocampus controls cognitive function, and CBD has been found in certain research to help the hippocampus regenerate neurons and promote neurogenesis, an action that is particularly helpful considering the potential link between suicidal behavior and impaired neuronal plasticity.

So, you know the basics of how it works. Now we get into some products. One of the most popular forms to consume CBD for anxiety is CBD oil. Papa & Barkley offer up an awesome Releaf Tincture that boasts a 30:1 CBD:THC ratio. Add a few drops to your morning smoothie, place a standalone dose under your tongue, or simply swallow—it’s a customizable way to get some relief from any day-to-day drama.

And there you have it: the MedMen basics on CBD and anxiety. Interested in learning more and purchase some of your own? Head on over to MedMen—especially our Las Vegas marijuana outpost—and we’ll give you the CBD product rundown.

A Journal of Cannabis and Culture
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