In the early stages of marijuana use, people who are prone to anxiety attacks, or who are just anxious or stressed, find that using marijuana relaxes them and reduces anxiety levels. This is quite true, so the temptation to use marijuana when you are feeling anxious or stressed is very strong.
But, is this treatment really effective?
This is exactly what we will try to explore here. With several people, it is absolutely true that using marijuana tends to significantly reduce anxiety during use. This is effective for some time, although it will not work for all users.
However, even in people who really benefit from marijuana experiencing lower levels of anxiety, this effect is not permanent.
With continued use for a reasonably long period, resistance to the effects of the active components of the drug increases and is no longer able to reduce anxiety as before. This causes users to take higher doses of the drug or seek stronger mixtures. However, as the dose increases, with continued use, tolerance also increases.
At higher doses, there is a serious risk of addiction
About a tenth of those who use marijuana, even casually, will eventually become addicted to the drug.
Not only does the drug’s anxiety-reducing effect decrease with continued use, but anxiety levels actually increase when the person is not using the drug.
High levels of anxiety when you are not using the drug, if you are a chronic marijuana user, may not even be due to lifestyle factors. Marijuana itself can create high levels of anxiety in chronic users who try to abstain from the drug.
More than that, as the dosage increases, it can cause a series of disorders …
The user can start to have delusions, can easily become obsessed or even become psychotic.
This, combined with high levels of anxiety (which cannot now be controlled by the drug), can result in a range of obsessive-compulsive disorders.
Ultimately, when someone uses marijuana chronically for a long time in an attempt to control anxiety, withdrawal can also cause intense levels of anxiety … as well as a host of other emotional and psychological symptoms. There may be outbursts of anger and intense feelings of aggression, the patient may be very irritable and restless and may also have difficulty with sleep patterns.
Finally, and perhaps the biggest reason of all for not using marijuana to reduce anxiety levels, is that if we do that, we’ll never learn more sensible and common sense methods to reduce anxiety through lifestyle changes and training the mind to cope better.