The Holy Mari: Is Marijuana The Holy Grail Of Anxiety Treatments?

A Brave New World 

Less than a decade ago, marijuana was still too taboo to discuss openly or in mixed company. Today with ten states decriminalizing and legally selling marijuana, cannabis has been thrust into the national spotlight. Marijuana enthusiasts no longer have to go to someone's house in a less-than-savory neighborhood, sit on a grimy sofa, and listen to a bearded man named Dave clumsily play "Stairway To Heaven", just so they can purchase a bag of cannabis of dubious quality.

In Oregon, Colorado, Washington, and the seven other states where weed is legal, one can simply walk into a cannabis dispensary and make a purchase. Different strains of marijuana are proudly displayed in glass cases and jars, with sleek photographs of cannabis buds adorning the walls, illuminated with gallery lights. The overall aesthetic of most dispensaries is bright, clean, and organized, with items displayed like a jewelry shop or sunglass pagoda. Everything is organized and labeled, and more importantly, all of the cannabis products have been lab tested to determine levels of THC (Delta-9-Tetrahydrocannabinol), the chemical component of cannabis that produces psychoactive effects, and also CBD (cannabidiol), the chemical component that reduces pain and anxiety, but is not psychoactive.

Anxiety Reaches New Heights

Anxiety is increasing in the United States of America. With the constant pressures of modern life, such as stagnant wages but rising living costs, the student loan crisis, and worrying about things like climate change, it's no wonder that the average American is feeling the squeezing tendrils of anxiety. Medication, exercises like yoga, and calming activities such as meditation, are all touted as cures for anxiety. These treatments are not effective for all sufferers of anxiety, however, and medications can have side effects such as poor sex drive and weight gain. Enter CBD, which holds a promising key for anxiety reduction.

A Miracle Drug

Although research is limited thus far, CBD appears to be an effective drug for pain and anxiety. It can can be applied topically or ingested orally; through smoking cannabis, tincture concentrates or sprays, or by eating candies or chocolates that are infused with the oil. There are even dog treats and ice cream that are infused with CBD!

Pick Your Preference

CBD can be utilized many different ways. For anxiety relief, spas are offering massages with CBD-infused creams and oils. When applied topically, CBD provides pain relief and relaxes muscles. Anxiety sufferers have a hard time relaxing, which often leads to tense and sore muscles in the back and other areas of the body. CBD-infused skin products are often sold at dispensaries, alongside more traditional marijuana flower. Many people with anxiety choose to smoke CBD-only cannabis, which produces the relaxation associated with THC marijuana, but without the impairment or subsequent high. Most dispensaries also sell products like chocolates and gummies for folks that prefer to refrain from smoking anything.