Mental illness will impact all Canadians at some point – whether it is directly or indirectly.
Did you know…?
• 1 in 5 Canadians will experience mental illness directly
• Mental illness can impact you, regardless of: age, sex, socioeconomic status or culture
• 5% of the household population is impacted by anxiety disorders
Recognizing the Sign of Anxiety
Most Common: Nervousness, irritability, restlessness, trouble sleeping, fatigue, trouble concentrating
In extreme cases: Trembling, dizziness, weakness, shortness of breath, excessive perspiration, numbness or tingling, rapid heart rate.
The Endocannabinoid System
The endocannabinoid system (ECS) is a well-established system that dates back over 500 million years. It has been found in the earliest known nervous systems and is crucial to our survival. As a result, the ECS is vital for the development, function, and control of our entire nervous system, as well as a variety of bodily functions.
The ECS communicates through a class of compounds called endocannabinoids, which are produced naturally by our bodies and attach to our own internal cannabinoid receptors. Cannabinoids from the cannabis plant (such as CBD and THC) have properties that are similar to those of our internal endocannabinoids.
The Relationship Between Anxiety and Cannabinoids
CBD is one of the two major cannabinoids found in cannabis plants, and unlike THC, CBD does not cause intoxication or activate the receptors that provide sensations of euphoria or ‘high.’ CBD has been reported to help with symptom management in a variety of conditions, including inflammation, seizures, and anxiety.
When we are under stress as a result of a perceived threat, our fight-or-flight response is triggered. CBD interacts with the ECS in parts of the brain involved in emotional processing, such as fear, anxiety, and aggression, perhaps reducing panic and anxiety by decreasing the stress response.
In some patients, THC has been showed to contribute to calming and anti-anxiety effects. On the other hand, THC can contribute to negative symptoms which increase anxiety. When CBD is administered with THC, it can ‘undo’ the unwanted anxiety-inducing effects.
Incorporating Medical Cannabis in Your Treatment Plan
• Everyone’s experience with medical cannabis and its effects on the mind and body is different and unique. When it comes to creating realistic treatment goals, it’s critical to understand the effects of cannabis. When considering introducing medical cannabis, always consult with a healthcare professional.
• It’s crucial to learn about THC, CBD, and the many strains of cannabis, as well as how they affect your health and well-being.
• Pace yourself because everyone reacts differently to cannabis, which is why healthcare professionals always advise to start slowly and gradually increase your dosage until you achieve your therapeutic goals.
• Keeping a journal of your medical cannabis experience will assist you in achieving the greatest results by recording your dose, method of consumption, strain, and body’s reaction.
What else can you do to help alleviate anxiety symptoms?
• Mindfulness meditation
• Regular exercise
• Eating well-balanced and nutritious meals
• Maintaining social connections
• Attending support groups
Do you or someone you know suffer from anxiety and would like to speak with a licensed healthcare professional about medical cannabis? Please Book an Appointment today.