By Michael Backes, member of MGT Science & Medical Advisory Board
Author of Cannabis Pharmacy, The Practical Guide to Medical Marijuana
Many people are experiencing a little extra anxiety during the “COVID-19 World Tour,” but anxiety is also a common symptom among qualified medical cannabis patients
The parts of the brain that manage stress and anxiety are controlled by your body’s own endocannabinoid system (ECS). The active ingredients in cannabis, specificially THC & CBD interact directly with your ECS. If used correctly, cannabis is terrific for reducing anxiety, but it is essential to understand proper dose and how cannabinoids work.
THC is the most famous cannabinoid, because of its psychoactivity, so many are surprised that it offers a host of medical benefits as well.
When using THC to manage anxiety it is essential to control dosage.
The most important thing to understand is the bi-phasic nature of THC. That simply means THC acts differently at low doses than it does at high doses. At low doses, it relieves anxiety and at high doses, it often intensifies anxiety. Because CBD has no intoxicating or euphoric effects, it can relieve anxiety at both high and low doses.
To help manage anxiety, I recommend using a combination of THC and CBD.
CBD makes it possible to take larger doses of THC without causing anxiety because it acts like a “safety net,” by hindering THC’s most undesirable side effects. This is important information for patients who rely on larger doses of THC for pain or nausea relief.
For most people, a 2.5 mg. dose of THC will effectively relieve anxiety; that dose can scale up to about 7.5 mg, but very few people require that high of a dose. If a 2.5 mg. dose doesn’t feel sufficiently effective, slowly double the dose over a period of 3 days. For most patients, a 5 mg. dose of THC will sufficiently ease anxiety while still delivering its nausea or pain-relieving benefits.
A common mistake made by those who ingest cannabis products is taking an exessive dose of THC.
You can avoid that by taking 10 mg. of CBD along with your THC, or take CBD alone; it’s a powerful anti-anxiety cannabinoid that works well for most people. Maui Grown Therapies’ Kula Cherries tincture delivers 10 mg. CDB and 1 mg. THC per milliliter, offering a quick, easy-to-dose antidote for most anxiety symptoms.
It’s also important to remember that medical cannabis works best when it is part of a holistic health program that incorporates nutrition, exercise, social connections and spiritual practices like breathwork or meditation.
Together, all of these components will help to keep anxiety at bay. We may live in anxious times, but we each have the power to manage our own response to them.
Watch “Maui Grown Mana`o“, our live webinar series about all things cannabis. Episode One is about Managing Anxiety with Cannabis.