Anxiety is normal. The National Institute of Mental Health approximates about 40 million adults are suffering from some type anxiety disorder. It is a typical reaction to stress that in some cases is actually beneficial for survival. Like other things though, too much anxiety can be harmful and debilitating.
People with anxiety disorders such as obsessive-compulsive disorder or PTSD may be aware of their condition but can have a hard time controlling it. According to the NIMH, nearly two-thirds of anxiety disorder sufferers don’t receive treatment.
People with anxiety disorders are cited as being six times more likely to be hospitalized for psychiatric disorders than those who don’t have anxiety. As well, nearly half of the people diagnosed with depression are also diagnosed with anxiety disorder.
The causes of many different mental health conditions are still somewhat of a mystery to doctors and scientists. Anxiety disorders develop according to a variety of factors including genetics, brain chemistry, personality, and life events.
People with tendencies towards worry, exclusion, caution, and negativity may be more prone to generalized anxieties. Anxiety disorder may also be passed down genetically. Furthermore, epigenetic research shows it may be possible that our life’s experiences and traumas, along with diet and lifestyle, can actually affect how [genes] are to be expressed, or not, to be expressed.
GAD, generalized anxiety disorder, rarely occurs by itself. It’s often accompanied by other anxiety disorders, depression, and substance abuse.
Anxiety can be treated in a number of ways. Doctors are recommended to initially use [cognitive behavioral therapies] or recommend practices such as meditation and yoga. Unfortunately, statistics show that this may not be the case.
In late 2016, Medco published a report examining the use of mental health medications among over 2 million insured people in the US between 2001-2010. They found that in those 10 years, the numbers of people using anti-anxiety, antidepressants, antipsychotics, and ADHD medications had increased 22%, rising to 1 in 5 adults by 2010.
Anti-anxiety meds like Xanax, Klonopin, and Valium are often combined with antidepressants, opioids, and sleeping pills by over-prescription and in abuse. In the body they act synergistically, increasing risks of fatal overdose and deadly intoxication. This effect also occurs with [antihistamines].
The harmful side effects of overprescribing addictive psychiatric medication over the past three decades have led to a pharmaceutical epidemic plaguing North America.
In 1987, authors Vanna Schiralli and Marion McIntosh asked, “Are we overprescribing?” after analyzing a survey of [benzodiazepine] use from the Family Practice Units at Toronto General Hospital. Benzodiazepine is the most common type of anxiety drug prescribed. It is addictive and associated with organ damage, drug abuse, and death.
Fast-forward to nearly thirty years later and we have the case of LA physician Lisa Tseng who was the first US doctor convicted of murder for overprescribing drugs. Her clinic handed out some 27,000 prescriptions in just 3 years, during which at least 13 patients died in her care.
According to findings published by the National Security Council in 2016, Ninety-Nine percent of doctors are prescribing highly addictive medicines for longer than the 3-day period recommended by the [CDC]. They continue, saying that 74% of doctors incorrectly believe that morphine and oxycodone are the most effective ways to treat acute pain, while current research proves otherwise.
Research shows middle-aged women are twice as likely to take psychiatric medication. Also, in the first decade of the millennia, teenagers ages 10-19 using anti-anxiety medications increased by 50%.
Fast-forward to seven years later and we have lawsuits filed against the Missouri Department of Social Services over allegations of inappropriately providing psychotropic drugs to foster care children and systemic lack of oversight of the medications.
Medical marijuana has been shown to be just as effective as commonly prescribed harmful medications for anxiety, insomnia, and depression. Except, marijuana doesn’t come with so much death, organ failure, and addiction. Perhaps the most harmful part of cannabis is the laws and punishments for using the plant and its flowers as medicine.
The medical advisor at the NSC is quoted saying that, “Opioids do not kill pain; they kill people.”
A guided systematic review by American and Canadian clinicians and psychologists published in the Clinical Psychology Review late 2016 reported that cannabis could have a huge social impact on addiction and death from prescription drugs like [opioids] and [benzodiazepines] due to their efficacy in replacing prescription drugs and helping with addiction.
In addition to these findings, current research proves the potential for [high-CBD strains] to effectively reduce symptoms of anxiety, stress, and depression. On the contrary, high-THC strains may actually increase anxiety and have negative long-term effects on sleep and memory.
THC is known to help with managing chronic pain and inflammation, but at high dosage, it also is known for increasing symptoms of anxiety. However, CBD has also been shown to counter the psychotropic effects of THC. The effects of THC are dependant on the dosage, and in small amounts, it shows a high safety profile and effectiveness.
[Hybrid strains] of well balanced THC/CBD ratios may be highly effective in helping people to relieve symptoms of anxiety, pain, depression, and insomnia without the undesired effects of too much THC. The presence of multiple cannabinoids, like THC and CBD, along with secondary cannabinoids and terpenes, is vital to the medicinal effect of cannabis-based medicine, in that their presence induces a phenomenon called, the entourage effect.
It’s recommended to begin medical marijuana in small doses, increasing as needed. Cannabis will affect each individual differently according to a variety of factors including a method of administration, dosage, genetics, and mental health. Consult with a physician and medical marijuana professional about using cannabis. Below is a list of recommended cannabis strains that can help to treat anxiety and related symptoms.
· [[303 Kush]]
· [[3X Crazy]]
· [[Abusive OG]]
· [[Alien Kush]]
· [[Alien OG]]
· [[Alien Technology]]
· [[Allen Wrench]]
· [[Alpha Blue]]
· [[Amnesia Haze]]
· [[Apollo 13]]
· [[Apple Kush]]
· [[Arcata Trainwreck]]
· [[Aspen OG]]
· [[Banana OG]]
· [[Berry White]]
· [[Beyond The Brain]]