Anxiety

“Anxiety” is an umbrella term for a number of different conditions. There are several sub-types of anxiety, including generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), social anxiety disorder (SAD), obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). Some mental health manuals also list post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) as an anxiety disorder. Anxiety disorders are one of the most common forms of mental illness in the United States, affecting 40 million adults in the US aged 18 and over every year. Almost one-fifth of the US population will likely develop some sort of anxiety-related disorder.

Due to anxiety’s effect on serotonin receptors, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) are most often prescribed. In some instances, drugs such as valium, lorazepam and others in the benzodiazepine class are prescribed. Sadly, these have the problems of addiction, as well as many other negative side-effects. Moreover, for some forms of anxiety disorder (especially PTSD, if considered an anxiety disorder), benzodiazepines can make the condition worse. Alternatives are sorely needed, and cannabinoids may be of particular use. Many cannabinoids and terpenoids, including THC, CBD, pinene and limonene, have anxiolyitc effects. However, too much THC may prompt an anxiety attack, so microdosing is key. Anxiety is often co-morbid with depression, so always look at any other conditions a person is suffering from before deciding on a particular cannabinoid ratio or strain. Cannabis seems to be a very powerful anxiolytic, modulating anxiety-related behaviour and neurotransmitter release in otherwise stressful situations.

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