Stress is a normal part of life and everyone is stressed at one point or the other. It’s the body’s reaction to any change that requires an adjustment or a response. The body reacts to these changes either physically, mentally or emotionally and that explains why it is possible to experience stress from your environment, body, or thoughts. Stress is not only associated with negative changes because even positive life changes such as a job promotion, a mortgage or the birth of a child can result in stress. Nevertheless, stress can become a serious problem when a person faces continuous challenges without relief or relaxation between stressors. Consequently, often that the person becomes overworked and this also results in the building up of additional stress related tension.
The autonomic nervous system of the body has a built-in stress response that brings about psychological changes that makes it possible for the body to combat stressful situations. This stress response which is also known as ‘fight or fight response’ is often activated in emergency cases. However, this response becomes excessively activated during prolonged periods of stress, thereby resulting in both physical and emotional wear and tear of the body. When stress continues without relief, it leads to a condition known as distress. Some of the symptoms associated with distress include headache, elevated blood pressure, chest pain, sleeping disorders, sexual dysfunction, upset stomach and even emotional problems like depression, anxiety, and panic attacks. Stress has also been reported to be linked with some of the leading causes of death, including heart attack, cancer, accidents, lung ailments, cirrhosis of the liver, and suicide. However, the good news is that it is possible to manage stress by adopting healthy habits and a healthy lifestyle.
Among the wide range of positive effects of medical marijuana, there are also indications that it is effective in battling stress and anxiety. Many studies have revealed that medical marijuana is a natural stress relief with a great potential of treating stress and depression. Even though marijuana has been used as a treatment for many health conditions for many years, it was not until the 1980s when scientific evidence showed a receptor base mechanism. According to scientific evidence, marijuana affects the endocannabinoid system (ECS), which plays a vital role in regulating the anxiety as well as the stress levels of the body. It does this by releasing the endocannabinoids, which are quite similar to the chemical substances found in cannabis.
Even though there are many different cannabinoids found in the cannabis plant, its prime psychoactive ingredient known as tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) has great stress relieving properties. In a similar way, cannabidiol (CBD), which is also found in medical marijuana has significant benefits in treating people with anxiety and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). THC reacts with CB1, whereas CBD responds to the CB2 receptor in the brain, thereby bringing relief from stress.
A 2017 study that was conducted at the University of Illinois revealed that low doses of THC can help reduce stress. This study was conducted on 42 healthy volunteers aged 18 to 40, all of whom had experience of cannabis even though they were not daily users. The researchers in their conclusion underscored the importance of doses when it comes to THC and its effects because their findings revealed that low doses of THC reduced stress, whereas high doses increased it. Even though this study was done on a small scale, the findings corroborate with the claim that medical cannabis is used to reduce stress as well as relief tension and anxiety. The findings of this study are also important because they begin to plug some gaps in our knowledge, thereby making the need for further research more vital than ever.
According to a 2018 research that was published in the Journal of Affective Disorders by researchers at Washington State University, the use of medical marijuana resulted in significant symptom reduction, with up to 93.3 percent of sessions resulting in symptom relief. It should be noted that the findings revealed that the largest reduction in stress symptoms appeared from the use of products that had high levels of THC and CBD. As a matter of fact, the products that appeared to be most effective in handling stress had THC content at or above about 26.5 percent and CBD content at or above 11 percent.
Additional research needs to be done, however the evidence is mounting that stress can be relieved with medical marijuana.
Marijuana strains reported to help with Stress:
How To Get Medical Marijuana
If you are a resident of a legal state interested in trying medical marijuana to treat Stress or other medical conditions, you will first need to consult with a certified doctor in order to get a medical marijuana card. To get started, simply fill out the MMJ patient registration form, press submit and a physician or clinic representative will contact you as available.