Exploring Medical Cannabis for Anxiety

We are living in some of the most challenging times we’ve ever had to face within our country, and on a global scale, with the difficulties of COVID-19 adding stress and often leading to times of anxiety in an already challenging world.

Anxiety in Canada

According to the Government of Canada’s 2014 Survey on Living with Chronic Diseases in Canada, anxiety affects approximately 3 million Canadians, or about 11.6% of the population. It is the most common mental disorder affecting Canadians. 27% of people living with anxiety disorders report that their anxiety is affecting their life “quite a bit” or “extremely,” which indicates that anxiety can tend to affect one’s everyday functioning and ability to take on tasks and activities.

Anxiety is the body’s natural response to stressors in one’s life or environment, with feelings of anxiety that are often associated with fear or nervousness. Anxiety can be short-lived or be a continual experience for some, and can range in intensity from manageable to debilitating.

According to research, the two areas of the brain that are impacted by anxiety are the amygdala and hippocampus, but also may be brought on by genetic and environmental factors. The amygdala and hippocampus control the fear center and long-term memory storage, respectively.

Medical cannabis, in particular CBD (cannabidiol), is becoming an increasingly common tool that people across the world are discovering for the management of anxiety, with research supporting its potential.

 

Pharmaceutical Approaches to Managing Anxiety

Modern medications designed to reduce anxiety mostly surround the production of serotonin, which usually include selective serotonin re-uptake inhibitors (SSRIs) and serotonin and norepinephrine re-uptake inhibitors (SNRIs). These medications increase serotonin production in the brain while blocking reabsorption of serotonin by the brain, making it more available and at balanced levels.

Many are experiencing unwanted side effects from these medications that are leading them to search for other tools to manage their anxiety, and medical cannabis, along with CBD-rich products, are beginning to take centre stage.

 

CBD and Anxiety: A Scan of the Research

It’s important to note that for those who are living with anxiety, CBD will likely be a more likely recommended path, as THC may exacerbate symptoms of anxiety. It’s generally recommended those suffering from anxiety refrain from using sativa strains. CBD is being researched heavily for its ability to affect and balance serotonin in the brain.

A 2011 study looking at the benefits on CBD on human subjects who were experiencing anxiety accompanied with Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) showed promise in the potential for CBD to manage negative symptoms.  In this study, 400mg of CBD was administered to half the participants, while a control group took a placebo. The study concluded, “relative to placebo, CBD was associated with significantly decreased subjective anxiety.”

A research study in Current Opinion in Psychology examined CBD in the context of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). The animal-based study showed that CBD regulated fear memories in rodents, with the researchers commenting that the data is promising for the human population. The study demonstrated that CBD has acute anxiolytic (anxiety-reducing) and anti-depressant effects.

A 2015 review of previous studies on CBD for anxiety concluded that “CBD oil is a promising treatment for numerous forms of anxiety, including social anxiety disorder, panic disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, generalized anxiety disorder, and post-traumatic stress disorder,” yet this specific study cited that more longitudinal (long-term) data is needed to fully assess how CBD manages the effects of anxiety over time.

In 2015, Nora Volkow, Director on the National Centre on Drug Abuse in the U.S. presented the conclusion that “CBD has shown therapeutic efficacy in a range of animal models of anxiety and stress, reducing both behavioral and physiological (e.g., heart rate) measures of stress and anxiety”. Volkow cited that the reduction in anxiety in preliminary studies shows serotonin signaling as the key to managing anxiety with CBD.

 

How to Use CBD

CBD comes in many forms, including in flower form, as well as in oils, tinctures, topicals, and edibles. Patients should explore the various methods of consumption that will work for their medical situation, their needs, and ease of administration.

It’s important to note that it’s impossible to “overdose” on CBD (or cannabis for that matter), but there is such thing as too much of a good thing. When you access your medical cannabis documentation, a qualified physician will assess feelings of anxiety in the patient and will then suggest products rich in CBD that may help calm the symptoms of anxiety, with a recommended dose for maximum efficacy.

CBD may affect different people in different ways, which is why it’s always good to give it some time so that you can fully understand how CBD is affecting your body. Like any medication, it can take up to 4-6 weeks to take full effect, while some users may experience changes immediately. Depending on your needs, your medical cannabis doctor may recommend you take your CBD at certain times of the day, such as first thing in the morning, or before bed, although CBD can have a stimulating effect.

JC Green’s medical cannabis brand JC Medicinal has cultivated a CBD medical cannabis flower strain called CD1, that has been grown to harness the benefits of CBD through medical cannabis. CB1 is a sativa-dominant hybrid boasting a 10-14% CBD percentage. Combined with a high terpene content and an intense tangerine aroma, this strain is great for a boost in mood.

 

Access CBD for Anxiety Through JC Medicinal

JC Green is committed to ensuring that all Canadians have access to medical cannabis, and CBD-rich cannabis strains, recognizing that many Canadians are looking for alternative solutions to manage anxiety. JC Medicinal’s cannabis is grown under the care of a highly-skilled and caring cultivation team that takes great care into producing small-batch, hand-trimmed, quality cannabis for medical cannabis patients. Grown free of pesticides and potentially harmful irradiation practices, JC Medicinal’s medical cannabis is cultivated with full terpene preservation to maximize the potential of terpenes.

To ensure new and existing patients who are considering exploring medical cannabis for anxiety or CBD for anxiety can access JC Medicinal’s products, we partner with the cannabis clinic Karthia Medical Group.

Patients are assessed for free, and conveniently online by a qualified practitioner to get their medical cannabis documentation. Patients are supported by Karthia’s Patient Services Team to explore the best CBD and medical cannabis products for their needs. Patients who register with Karthia can access the CBD1 strain from JC Medicinal or the CBD products with our network of Licensed Producers. The whole process is completed online, and medical cannabis products can be ordered right to your door through contactless delivery.

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More information about Karthia can be found at https://karthia.ca/, and the clinic can be accessed directly by calling 1-833-222-6777, or emailing info@karthia.ca. JC Medicinal’s superior quality products can be viewed at https://jcmedicinal.ca/products/.