Does Medical Marijuana Help with Anxiety?

can medical marijuana be prescribed for anxiety

We’ve all felt it before—the unpleasant state of inner turmoil or worry that can sometimes accompany negative life experiences. Anxiety can be appropriate, as it is your brain’s natural way of letting your body know that danger may be nearby. But if experienced regularly, or without explanation, an individual may suffer from a clinically diagnosable anxiety disorder.

Anyone who suffers from an anxiety disorder can attest to the fact that the range of associated symptoms—fatigue, restlessness, lack of concentration, insomnia, nausea, racing or unwanted thoughts, irritability, and more—can be mildly frustrating at best, and severely crippling at worst.

Numerous prescription drugs have been developed by Big Pharma to treat the 40 million American adults who suffer from anxiety-related disorders (nearly 1 in 5 Americans, and that’s not including those under 18). These drugs include selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) like Prozac and Zoloft as well as tranquilizers (the most popular class being benzodiazepines such as Valium and Xanax).

As with most prescription drugs, however, these anti-anxiety medications are not without their shortcomings and side-effects—which can often end up doing more harm than good. The dangers of anti-anxiety pharmaceuticals have driven sufferers of clinical anxiety to search for a viable alternative. This is where medical marijuana comes into play. With more and more people nowadays becoming aware of the uncanny healing properties of cannabis, many have turned to medical marijuana in an attempt to treat their anxiety.

This brings us to the question: does weed help with anxiety?

Before this question can be answered, it is important to understand how the two main active chemical components in cannabis, tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD), interact with each other. THC is the main psychoactive molecule in cannabis.

To put it more frankly, it’s the intoxicant that gives marijuana users the ubiquitous “high” that people talk so much about. However, THC has also been found to be responsible for some of the adverse effects of using marijuana: heightened anxiety and paranoia.

Wait a second, that doesn’t sound helpful at all. But that’s not the full story. So, does medical marijuana help with anxiety? Well, let’s not forget about CBD, which is present in most cannabis strains, albeit in trace amounts. This often-overlooked compound has recently garnered a tremendous amount of attention among consumers, clinicians, and scientists for its powerful antidepressant and anti-anxiety properties.

Does CBD Oil Work for Anxiety?

In the past, CBD was thought to simply possess the anti-inflammatory and muscle-relaxing properties that accompany a stereotypical “high,” but further research has discovered that there is more to the molecule than what meets the eye. Project CBD, an organization dedicated to the dissemination of CBD information, has compared the chemical to a “dimmer switch.”

In other words, it has been known to calm excess signaling and activity in the brain’s endocannabinoid system. Evidence even suggests that when inhaled or ingested (usually in the form of CBD oil), CBD counteracts many of THC’s adverse effects, including anxiety. Numerous animal studies and accumulating evidence from human experimental, clinical, and epidemiological studies also serve to highlight CBD’s powerful anti-anxiety properties.

Administered acutely (“as needed”), it appears safe, well-tolerated and may be beneficial to treat a number of anxiety-related disorders, including:

  • Panic disorder
  • Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)
  • Social phobia
  • Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
  • Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD)
  • Mild to moderate depression


There is still much research to be done on the medicinal intricacies of CBD oil, and marijuana as a whole. At this stage, however, it seems safe to say that those suffering from anxiety-related disorders have much to gain by experimenting with CBD oil usage. If you are an adult with an anxiety disorder you can legally use cannabis if you desire! If you are wondering how to get a medical cannabis card in AZ go to and come visit us at Affordable Evaluations of Arizona!

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