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Cannabis and Anxiety

Introduction In a survey done in 2013, an estimated 3 million Canadians aged 18 and older, or 11.6% of the adult population, self-reported having a mood or anxiety disorder. It is perhaps no surprise that this has greatly increased over the last near decade; in a survey done in December of 2021, the charity group Mental Health Research Canada found that roughly 20% of survey respondents reported having been diagnosed with an anxiety disorder. The unique stressors of the last two years have strongly contributedto and accelerated this increase in anxiety disorders, but they have also forced businesses to migrate online; consequently, it has never been easier to buy cannabis online and have it delivered. Can cannabis help to mitigate the symptoms of anxiety? While the epidemiological evidence is limited, there is enough research available to suggest an acute, therapeutic effect from consumption. Let’s take a look at the details. Impact of Cannabis on Anxiety While studies are currently inconclusive due to a lack of longitudinal data on the long-term impacts of cannabis consumption on anxiety, there have been studies showing therapeutic effects in the short term. It is important to note from the outset that cannabis is not one specific plant, but a range of species with different distributions of the cannabinoids (namely, Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and Cannabidiol (CBD)) and the terpenes. Different formulations will have different effects on different people, but a review of the literature can help us pick out the right product for a beneficial result. Studies have consistently shown the anxiolytic (anxiety-reducing) properties of CBD in both animals and people, but the track record for THC is a little spottier. THC is the main psychoactive compound in cannabis, and in high doses, it has been shown to exacerbate anxiety issues, and potentially even trigger panic attacks. Low doses on the other hand have shown to have positive effects on the treatment of anxiety, especially in conjunction with CBD. Especially for inexperienced smokers, it would make sense to start with a strain that is higher in CBD. Insomnia, Anxiety, and Cannabis Anxiety and sleep disorders are strongly correlated, and they can both feed into feedback loops: whether you’re anxious because you’re not sleeping or you’re not sleeping due to your anxiety, these cycles can be very detrimental to your mental health. There is another shortfall in long-term studies in this area, but the short-term studies that have been done are fairly positive towards CBD’s use as an aid for acute disordered sleep. The record for THC is a little murkier, but points towards low doses being potentially beneficial as a sleep aid and higher doses being a potential detriment to sleep quality in the long term. The overlapping benefits of CBD and low-dose THC in helping to mitigate the symptoms of insomnia and anxiety make whole-flower cannabis a good option for helping to moderate those issues. Picking the Right Strains and Getting the Right Dose If you’re looking to buy cannabis online, you can’t do better than the Quadbros website for selection and quality prices. As noted above, higher CBD strains are better at helping to relieve the symptoms of anxiety and depression, so those should be your priority. If you’re not an experienced smoker, you should start with a strain with low (<5%) THC and higher CBD. High CBD strains include Charlotte’s Web, ACDC, Ringo’s Gift, and Harle-Tsu. As you get more accustomed to the effects, you can move to strains with more mid-range THC content (~10%). Roughly 1:1 strains include Pennywise and Harlequin. It is important to progress through strains slowly and carefully—if you start noticing that your symptoms are getting worse when you switch to a higher THC strain, switch back. The evidence suggests that the best approach is to either use pure CBD or to use the whole flower. There are not many studies about the role of the other phytocannabinoids or terpenes in moderating anxiety and sleep disorders in isolation, but there is some evidence that they help to moderate some of the anxiogenic effects of THC consumption during whole-flower consumption. Alternate Means of Consumption If you’re interested in starting but concerned about the impact that smoking might have on your lungs (or health more generally), there are some other options that are worth considering. Especially when buying online, there is typically a fairly good selection of edibles and concentrates It’s also generally easier to find pure CBD in the form of extracts, oils, or edibles, so it may be easier to switch to an alternate form of consumption if you want to avoid THC entirely.  It is still important with alternative products to make sure you have a concentration and balance that works for you; different preparations and formulations are going to affect you differently, so always be careful when consuming cannabis in new ways for the first time. Buying Cannabis Online in Canada While the jury is still out, the current evidence suggests at least a temporary benefit to consuming low-THC high-CBD cannabis products in moderating the symptoms of anxiety and insomnia. With the growing prevalence of those two conditions in the population coupled with the ease of availability of mail-order cannabis services, it has never been a better time to start if you’ve been curious (about how it could help you?) Head on over to the shop and take a look at the different products available, with a focus on highly CBD dominant whole-flower strains and pure CBD extracts, oils, or edibles. Remember to be careful when trying new products for the first time—tolerance builds quickly, so you can afford to take it slow at the start.
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