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Smoking weed to relieve anxiety - Good or Bad idea?


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#1
taZox

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Within the past half a year or so I was randomly hit with a severe case of  generalized anxiety and panic disorder. My doctor prescribed me Clonazepam which is a benzodiazepine medication and it helps immensely but I know that the long term negative effects outweigh the positive effects so I refuse to take it anymore even though it works really well. Plus, it can't be healthy to be inhibiting my sense of fear like it does.

 

So instead I smoke weed. and it helps, a lot. I feel so relaxed and at ease, even if I'm trippin' out in public laughing really hard or something like that, I still feel anxiety free. I've been smoking for about two years, so before I was even diagnosed with anxiety and panic disorder.

 

My question however:

Can smoking weed make my anxiety even worse in the long run?

 

I've been trying to figure this out myself by seeing if my anxiety feels any worse the days following a good smoking session. But I don't notice any huge difference...but do you think if I keep smoking weed it will slow down my natural recovery and take even longer for my brain to heal itself of my anxiety? I know for a fact that things are getting better for me. Last month I was a wreck and now I'm feeling a whole lot better from simply eating healthier & through therapy. But will marijuana push me off track of my natural recovery?

 

Any input is greatly appreciated. I would like to hear some of your opinions on this.

 
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#2
0ri0n

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#3
taZox

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That's great to hear. A lot of people claim that weed makes their anxiety much worse but I never understood that. I never felt a panicking sensation even high. Its just so relaxing.
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#4
taZox

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Never felt a panicking sensation WHEN high*
Whoops,My phone auto corrected it to even
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#5
Fue_2

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Honestly throw the pills away nothing but junk.
Buds helped not just all my anxietys but helpd me figure out why i was having those problems to begin with. Try it and see for yourself, dont assume because you have this disorder and you smoke pot to fix it docters will call you addicted. Thats the difference between addiction and self medication.
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#6
Nalak

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As long as you keep a good routine going, a fairly good diet and exercise you'll be fine, so long as your mind isn't susceptible to wandering to a bad place when you smoke. Keep a chill, comfortable environment going when you toke and it'll all work out.

 

Anxiety is a product of thinking too much, and a physical manifestation of stress, worry and fear. Sometimes it can happen for no reason, other times after a rough day or simply waking up on the wrong side of the bed can weed cause anxiety attacks. It really depends on what's going on in your life and how you choose to deal with it, and how comfortable you're capable of getting when you unwind.



#7
Flosculus libidi

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All this is mostly hypothetical, but I would say that, generally, an occasional dose of a quality (sativa?) strain can be helpful, supplemented with therapy, mindfulness meditation, good nutrition, exercise, etc. - general healthy living, as you seem to be doing. My guess would be that exacerbated anxiety that (at least some) people experience when high is due to ignoring the underlying causes of anxiety and expecting mj to be the cure. Also, the up/down response probably depends in some measure on the people around you and the environment you're in when you're lifted. In any case, when the underlying triggers are still there, it makes sense that smoking can backfire by only intensifying your focus on those triggers. So I would think that one main negative side-effect of long term use in order to alleviate anxiety is the risk of developing an over-reliance on bud as the main coping mechanism.

I wish you well!


Edited by Flosculus libidi, 05 December 2013 - 06:42 PM.


#8
Retsii

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I was on Ativan and Xanax (two different times, of course). I, too, have GAD and let me tell you... stay off those NASTY benzos! It made me heavily suicidal and depressed to the point where I couldn't function. I felt like a walking, miserable zombie and had to be pulled from high school some days.

 

For me, the herb works. Best alternative for anxiety aside from antidepressants (they worked for me, I was on lexapro then zoloft for the longest time.. but I've gotten off of them since July and the herb assisted me ever since).

 

When people say marijuana enhances anxiety/paranoia... most, but not all, is due to the fact that the herb is illegal and getting caught can cause severe consequences. Or it just legitimately makes people anxious. For me, it does the exact opposite. I'm an occasional smoker (twice a month, four times if it's a REALLY bad month like last month) and I never once had worse anxiety from it.

 

I say, just keep using until it does the exact opposite. But remember, sativa and indica have different effects and some strains could be too powerful and blahblah other factors. Just enjoy! I doubt it'd be worse in the long run.


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#9
fancypantsdawg

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#10
Smooth Criminal

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It won't have an effect after you stop smoking.For me sometimes it makes it worse.



#11
Storm Crow

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The type of cannabis you are using has a lot to do with whether you have a panic attack or not!   :eek: 

 

People who are prone to panic attacks should be using a strain that has cannabidiol (CBD) in it! CBD prevents panic attacks as well as lessens the memory problems that the "pure THC" strains can bring!     :yay:        

 

Cannabidiol inhibits THC-elicited paranoid symptoms and hippocampal-dependent memory impairment.        (full – 2012)       http://jop.sagepub.c...9.full.pdf html

 

Project CBD has a nice list of "high CBD" strains that you might want to look up, or just run a search for "High CBD cannabis" and you will get seed banks offering their products.

 

 

Granny



#12
Nalak

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I would wager that there are (3) factors in which can cause panic attacks for ganja users.

 

1) Underlying mental conditions. If you are prone to anxiety, paranoia, racing thoughts or mood swings then chances are weed will tie into one of these things at one point or another, especially if you can't keep a proper atmosphere going when toking. I smoke indoors usually with a lamp and furnace on. I brew a tea, get a video game or movie going and then I'm off. Smoking with somebody is always better for me as it takes the focus off my thoughts. I have Bipolar, so being properly medicated for my condition has played a massive factor in whether or not I'll have an anxiety attack. Also, taking the wrong medications for the BP also exacerbated the anxiety to heights that I wouldn't wish on anyone, so research whatever you put into your body.

 

2) Stress. If you're having relationship problems, issues with your family, financial troubles or any of the 20 other things you can haul out of a hat then chances are it will enter the high at some point. Clear your head, find a good grounding point and go from there. Coming home after a hard day or waking up on the somber side of reality then smoking a bowl to the head probably isn't going to go over well all of the time. Put that shit in the bag before you spark up your ganj.

 

3) The strain. Storm Crow worded it well. Certain strains can surely cause more anxiety, even for users who have never had an anxiety attack before. A few batches a year that I smoke cause much more anxiety out of the blue.


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#13
GreenExperience

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Depends on the strain and amount. If you take two hits of an indica dominant strain with that small hint of Sativa, you'll be alright.

#14
BearJew7

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There are some awesome replies in this thread. Thanks guys.

#15
Grizzly Tracks

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Some great advice already shared.

 

Watch your strains and measure their effects.

 

Take one or two hits and wait a bit to see how your noodle is processing the other random crap.

 

Exercise.  Often. Endorphins do some amazing shit.


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#16
NoobHillbilly

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Honestly throw the pills away nothing but junk.
Buds helped not just all my anxietys but helpd me figure out why i was having those problems to begin with. Try it and see for yourself, dont assume because you have this disorder and you smoke pot to fix it docters will call you addicted. Thats the difference between addiction and self medication.

 

Sometimes people think they're having withdrawal symptoms when what they are actually experiencing is just a return of the symptoms of the underlying anxiety disorder, which the cannabis, or other medication, was controlling.  I think cannabis is probably statistically safer than benzodiazepines.  Withdrawal from those is horrible, and some people even have seizures when they try to stop medications in that class.  


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#17
Hypoxic

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For me I made the personal decision to use mmj as my first line of defense for a severe anxiety and an even more crippling social anxiety disorder. I still feel that Klonopin (clanozepam) is a more effective treatment for an acute episode and is fast acting, but for my needs the mmj when medicating throughout the day keeps the attacks from developing all together. So I keep klonopin on hand for an emergency but now I use the cannabis almost exclusively as my treatment for fairly debilitating anxiety conditions.

My one piece of advice is try not to smoke to the point of being totally baked if you are serious about using it as a medicine. If you just smoke to the point of greening out your more likely to have paranoia or a panic attack which will intensify any anxiety you have. A good buzz will take that anxiety edge right off.

Good luck.

Edited by Hypoxic, 27 December 2013 - 02:14 PM.


#18
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For me it varies, if I've been smoking on a daily basis then smoking a small amount before going somewhere will help with social anxiety. If I haven't been smoking regularly I tend to have a harder time with anxiety if Im around anyone that doesn't know Im stoned. 

 

If Im alone it works all the time every time to fix any kind of stress... smoking weed, good idea. 



#19
DopeGame

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no not really , but if you have like sckitzo or depression it can worsen it for you but if its just anzxiety nothing to worry about



#20
bossawesome

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I used to have really bad anxiety and skrt of an anitsocial depression before i started smoking and now im happy have friends and am alot less worried about everyhting. Weed really tirned my life aroud for awhile i was contemplating suicide then i was introduced to weed and i found reasons to live and that alot of people would miss me.




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