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How cannabis can help manage stress and anxiety

New study by Washington State University tries to illuminate the science of what we already know 🙂  Cannabis can really help with stress!

These wicked smart scientists that study things published their work in the  Journal of Affective Disorders  They found out, *suprise, surprise*  that using cannabis can significantly reduce short-term levels of depression, anxiety, and stress.  I mean cannabis is a pretty popular herb, I know the people that use Canada Wide Weed seem to really like it! There is good reasons for it’s popularity.  Sometimes you’re just not feeling that great and cannabis can really lift your spirit.

What is unique about this particular study is it’s one of the first by ‘Merican scientists to see how cannabis with varying concentrations of THC and CBD affect medicinal cannabis users’ feelings of wellbeing. I bet they had some real fun with that study!  It’s interesting and also a little bit sad to think of all the square people dissecting this beloved plant.  We certainly understand that science is not satisfied with stipulating that something gives you good “vibes”.  To me this just seems like a sketch comedy waiting to happen.  In fact, I’m pretty sure this is the premise to Half Baked.  Dave Chapelle must of had a crystal ball!

Previous research on the topic was handled by observing the effects of those that took THC in a capsule.  This is pretty par for the course of science, make everything into a pill.   Glad to see they are maybe giving some credit to good old nature and efficacy of plant based medicines.

Carrie Cuttler, clinical assistant professor of psychology at Washington State University (WSU) and lead author of the study, said: “Existing research on the effects of cannabis on depression, anxiety and stress are very rare and have almost exclusively been done with orally administered THC pills in a laboratory.

“What is unique about our study is that we looked at actual inhaled cannabis by medical marijuana patients who were using it in the comfort of their own homes as opposed to a laboratory.”

I mean this makes sense right?  I don’t think I really want to go smoke weed in a laboratory.  That really doesn’t sound like fun.  I’m sure I would personally have elevated anxiety if I had a bunch of scientists staring at me.  I mean I’d probably just be staring at the two way mirror they put in the room.  I would probably just start thinking I was insane.  They really should have studied people getting high at the beach, in the forest or at a concert.  Maybe let them go to an art gallery sober, jot down notes and then revisit high.   Observe the details and length of time that people stare at the paintings.  I think these scientists need some help!

The team found that one puff of cannabis high in CBD and low in THC was optimal for reducing symptoms of depression, two puffs of any type of cannabis was sufficient to reduce symptoms of anxiety, while 10 or more puffs of cannabis high in CBD and high in THC produced the largest reductions in stress.  I mean, that is a pretty good metric I suppose.  Stress can certainly lead to some chain smoking tendencies.  However over consumption of sativa can really send someone into the panic loop, I’ve been there too many times to count.

Cuttler continued: “A lot of consumers seem to be under the false assumption that more THC is always better. Our study shows that CBD is also a very important ingredient in cannabis and may augment some of the positive effects of THC.”  This is something we always advocate for at CWW.

Cannabis combats stress, anxiety and depression

The results of the study showed that patients inhaling cannabis saw a significant reduction in their adverse feelings with depression symptom being reduced in 89.3% of sessions. However, the study also revealed that the symptoms of depression were exacerbated in a total 3.2% of sessions, and there was no change in 7.5% of sessions.  So basically if your not feeling so well you have a 9 out of 10 chance of feeling better with a little cannabis.  That’s probably better then Zoloft.  No weird commercials of people with plastic smiles required!

Symptoms of anxiety were reduced in a total of 93.5% of tracked sessions but were exacerbated in 2.1% of sessions, and there was no change in symptoms for 4.4% of sessions.  This is actually kind of surprising, as I unfortunately can suffer from anxiety as a result of cannabis from time to time.  I must fall into the 2% category.  Maybe it’s the boatload of coffee I have to drink to focus on writing these blogs.  The one thing I really can’t quit is coffee.

Symptoms of stress were reduced in 93.3% of tracked sessions, increased in 2.7% of sessions, and there was no change in reported levels of stress for 4% of sessions. The study also compared the impact of cannabis on these symptoms between the sexes and found that women perceived a greater reduction in symptoms of anxiety than men did.  There ya go ladies!  It’s much better than getting blackout drunk on a Tuesday.

Dosage and the interaction between THC and CBD

The study compared different strains of cannabis that had different levels of THC and CBD to see if there was any difference.

An interesting thing that was found is that the greatest ratings of depression were reported after using cannabis with low levels of THC and high levels of CBD.  We have strived here at CWW to source strains that are rich in CBD.   We recommend our Master Hemp strain if your looking for something with medicinal properties to lift you out of the Canadian winter blues.  No need to be a snow bird, especially with Covid going on.  Just lit a fire and fat joint and you can save money on a plane ticket.

Final Thoughts

It’s interesting that scientists are performing studies and coming up with what us cannabis users have known anecdotally for years now.  Cannabis can be a wonderful tool for managing stress, anxiety and depression if it’s used responsibly.   It is important to note that some of the best results come from low to moderate use during sessions.   I believe this is the conclusion you can come to with most things in life, moderation is the key.  You can literally over do anything and turn a beneficial activity in to a detrimental one.  We suggest you use cannabis as a tool in your arsenal of wellness.  Please also remember that the foundation to health is through proper diet and regular exercise.  Also our overall mood can be based on our interpersonal relationships.  One thing this study didn’t look at is how cannabis can often make you more patient, introspective, kind and forgiving.  Thanks for reading, peace and love everyone!