If you’ve ever wondered why anxiety is not on Ohio’s list of approved conditions for taking medical marijuana, you’re not alone. A 2017 national survey reveals that 81% of people believe that medical cannabis has one or more health benefits! And almost half of the respondents listed anxiety, stress, and depression relief as one of several potential uses of cannabis-based medicine! That’s why over the past couple of years, advocates in our state have petitioned for anxiety to be included on the list of 22 qualifying conditions for taking medical marijuana.
Unfortunately for those advocates, the board rejected the petitions in the past. However, there seems to be a shift in attitudes and perceptions around medical marijuana’s potential healing power, offering new hope.
Ohio opens up the petition window to Dec. 31, 2020
The window to petition the State to add new medical marijuana qualifying conditions has reopened through Dec. 31. We wrote a detailed post about the process for adding conditions if you want to learn more. Along those lines, many proponents believe that the time is right for the board to add anxiety, but it’s not a slam dunk. Ohio Medical Marijuana Control Program states that a petition will be rejected if the condition has been previously reviewed by the board and dismissed “unless new scientific research that supports the request is offered.”
So, what’s the research say about cannabis and anxiety?
It’s a mixed bag when it comes to scientific research into cannabis; because it’s a natural remedy that’s still not yet legal at the federal level. However, a few studies out there, such as one from the National Institutes of Health (NIH), shed some light. Their findings conclude that two of the primary compounds in the marijuana plant – CBD and THC – may have therapeutic properties. Not only that, terpenes, the natural chemical found in cannabis plants that produce certain smells, many have anti-anxiety properties.
The NIH study also shows that CBD may help treat social anxiety, in particular. And there’s evidence that suggests that THC – in low doses – may play a critical role in reducing stress. Scientists speculate that cannabis interacts with our endocannabinoid system to reduce our stress response and even regulate how we process fear and anxiety. Lead researcher on the project Emma Childs, associate professor of psychiatry in the UIC College of Medicine, sums up the team’s findings.
“We found that THC at low doses reduced stress, while higher doses had the opposite effect, underscoring the importance of dose when it comes to THC and its effects.”
While research into MM and anxiety is still in the early stages, it’s clear that many patients use marijuana to help ease their anxious symptoms, which may be caused by social situations, PTSD, panic attacks, phobias, or disruptions to sleep. What are some of the top recorded benefits?
- Improved sleep
- Increased sense of calm
- Peace of mind
- Greater relaxation
What does it mean for Ohioans?
While we don’t know for sure if the board will move forward, there are some things you need to know. If it’s added, how do you achieve the best individual results possible for your health? Let’s dive into a few recommendations for MM and anxiety.
- Go low – For those who decide to try medical marijuana, the number one piece of advice is to start with a low dose! As we mentioned, many people also believe cannabis products with low-THC content are most useful in reducing feelings of anxiousness compared to products that have high-THC, low-CBD properties.
- Go slow – It may seem redundant, but it’s worth stressing. Go slow! Meaning, wait the proper amount of time to see if the products are working before using more. A measured approach to MM may help you reduce your anxiety symptoms to focus on lifestyle things and other healthy habits that can help you live more fully.
- Do you – Remember when you’re selecting the right products, that everyone is different! For example, edibles and beverages can be potent and long-lasting, which may be trickier for beginners. On the other end of the spectrum, pre-filled oil vapes may be an excellent way to try out the potential benefits of marijuana. Another option to consider for fighting anxiety is tinctures. These are liquid extract solution users apply under the tongue. While the effects are typically fast, they also offer the added-bonus of precise dosing.
Self-care starts now
Do you think the State Medical Board of Ohio will add anxiety to the list of approved conditions? Do you want to get a jump start on getting your MM card? We can help! At Releaf Health, we offer simple, convenient, and secure telemedicine appointments to get you on the path to natural wellness and a happier, healthier life. Don’t wait! Call, email, or schedule your appointment right now.