Using cannabis for social anxiety disorder (SAD) is a controversial topic. Although cannabis has been approved for medical use in Canada and recreational use in certain US states, there is still some confusion about its use in the treatment of SAD. While some research supports cannabis use for its treatment, studies on its long-term effect still need to be conducted.
If you live with SAD and you are considering cannabis as a treatment option, you might feel confused about whether it is going to help or not. This article will provide you with some basic information that will help you make an informed decision, whether cannabis might be helpful to you and the best way to get the best result.
Can Cannabis Reduce Social Anxiety?
A 2015 review supported cannabidiol (CBD) as a treatment of SAD when administered over a short period. However, the long-term effect of using cannabis for social anxiety disorder treatment is not known. Additionally, THC and CBD combinations have been shown to improve sleep duration and quality for those suffering from SAD. So cannabis can help to reduce social anxiety disorder in the short term and it can help you sleep better.
A study found that frequent marijuana users have a high prevalence of anxiety disorders while patients with anxiety disorders use cannabis relatively more. This means there is a relationship between using cannabis and social anxiety disorder. What is however not clear is which comes first.
Effect of CBD on Social Anxiety Disorder
CBD has been shown to work as an anxiety-reducing drug and it helps to increase blood flow in the cingulate cortex (plays a role in helping to interpret the reactions of others). They also experienced a decrease in the parahippocampal gyrus and hippocampus, which are critical in recalling and forming memories. Also, the inferior temporal gyrus helps you perceive faces.
CBD is also believed to inhibit the uptake of anandamide. Substances that inhibit the uptake of anandamide help to prevent anxiety. Also, all the areas of the brain involved in anxiety contain CB1 receptors that are indirectly involved in the effect of CBD. Overall, CBD may help patients to suppress unpleasant memories of embarrassment or anxiety.
Risks of Using Cannabis for Anxiety
Daily cannabis use can cause negative consequences for some people and it has the potential of intensifying existing feelings. The negative effects may even be greater if you use it in a stressful or unfamiliar setting. For instance, if you have never used cannabis before or you are already depressed. Research has also shown that it may be safer to use a vaporizer or ingest cannabis than smoking it directly.
So if you are in a legal state you can slide into a dispensary and ask for marijuana with a high CBD and low THC ratio, like two to one or even as much as 18 to 1 depending on how sensitive you are. If you are prone to anxiety, the last thing you want to do is to indiscriminately share a joint with someone when you don’t know what kind of marijuana is in it. I mean if it’s a really high level of THC you will be thrown into the twilight zone. If you want to be sociable and partake of some flour bring your own stuff and share that with the gang.