I’m Clyde, 46, and I suffered from severe anxiety problems for most of my adult life. My anxiety sometimes caused me to have uncontrollable bouts of inner rage while doing everyday things like cooking or cleaning. To help control my symptoms, I ‘d sometimes smoke medical marijuana while alone or while socializing with friends. I live in southern California where it’s legal to buy, sell, and use marijuana with a doctor’s note that costs between $60 and $100. I’ve lived a productive and rewarding life, having started several successful businesses, and I have a lovely wife of 20 years along with 2 beautiful daughters. For many years I smoked whatever weed I could find, mostly basing my decision on smell or pungency of the buds. But then I learned that, like teas, marijuana or cannabis comes in a multitude of types and plant species, but generally falls into two basic strains known as sativa, for daytime cerebral use, and indica, for calming and chilling out, maybe before going to bed. I also learned that some people use a blend of the two opposite strains for a very different effect. I started exclusively using sativa because, when a panic attack began, it offered me immediate calm, renewed motivation, and a sense of clarity.
OFFERS TEMPORARY RELIEF NOT A CURE
Some argue that marijuana offers only a temporary fix or “high”, as the active ingredient, THC, wears off in short time, leaving you hungry and mentally right back where you started – sometimes even leaving you feeling worse. I get that, and I agree to a large extent. Coming down for landing is a very different feeling depending upon the type of marijuana consumed. For me, as long as I stuck to the sativa daytime strain of marijuana, I felt much better overall, and the impact of my anxiety attacks was lessened if only for an hour or two. I knew that marijuana only offered temporary symptomatic anxiety relief, and was not a permanent cure for my anxiety. For a more permanent solution, I knew I had to deal with the root cause of my fears. But in the meantime, I knew I couldn’t function day to day experiencing the uncontrollable bouts of anger and panic. Like many prescription anxiety relief drugs, marijuana instantly unlocked me from the tight, seemingly inescapable grip of an anxiety attack. Where side effects were concerned, I was able to live with the lesser of two evils.
THE SIDE EFFECTS
Although I used marijuana to ease my bouts with anxiety, I also knew it carried certain risks of potential side effects like destruction of brain cells and documented effects on the lungs. Some experts also say it negatively impacts sexual libido, but I never noticed an impact in that department. In order to reduce the effect on my lungs, I began consuming cannabis edibles like butter, cakes, pies, teas and sodas, and even olive oil infused with marijuana. Regarding loss of brain cells, I figured I’d borrow someone else’s when time came. Side effects are a big concern for many people, but keep in mind that some prescription medications can present unforeseen problems as well. They all come with a price tag.
POLITICAL & LEGAL ISSUES
A century ago, a U. S. doctor might have recommended marijuana for anxiety. And the U. S. government used it to treat “nervous inquietude” back in the mid 1800s. It was also freely administered to anyone suffering from menstrual cramps, gout, cholera, or migraines. In 1937, Congress enacted legislation which criminalized marijuana. My home state of California was the first to decriminalize marijuana for treating illnesses. Now there are hundreds of retail dispensaries throughout the state, and there is a ballot initiative to completely legalize marijuana and remove the requirement for a doctor’s recommendation. Following California, there are 10 or 11 other states which have passed legislation permitting the medical use of marijuana.
CONFRONT YOUR ULTIMATE FEARS
Marijuana has become a more widely accepted tool for temporary relief from the effects of panic attacks and anxiety. But you shouldn’t look to marijuana or any other drug as a permanent solution. Ultimately, you must confront your deep seated fears and there are several forms of cognitive treatment that offer effective avenues for doing so. Read below to learn more tips on how to reduce or eliminate anxiety from your life.