Medical Cannabis in Anxiety Disorders
Anxiety disorders affect more than 40 million people and cover a broad spectrum of clinical presentations.
The feeling of "anxiety” is something that almost everyone has experienced at some time in their life. However, chronic anxiety disorders are processes of recurrent physiological stress that, if not treated in time, can have serious long-term consequences.
Why? In the long term, anxiety has been linked to an increased risk of cardiovascular disease (high blood pressure, heart failure, and coronary heart disease), memory loss, and intestinal disorders. Other effects include decreased libido, constant migraines, respiratory problems, fatigue, and increased incidence of chronic conditions.
Nevertheless, medical cannabis has proven useful in many conditions such as epilepsy, cancer, and chronic pain. Likewise, one of its uses within the medical practice is psychiatric. Scientific evidence has demonstrated the therapeutic properties of cannabis in different conditions that affect mental health.
One of the most studied compounds of cannabis is cannabidiol (CBD), which has proven its effectiveness in managing anxiety. This cannabinoid can interact with more than 60 pharmacological targets, and among them are the serotonin A1 (5-HT1A) receptors involved in the origin of this affliction. Scientists have shown that CBD reduces anxiety and compulsive behaviors in animal models.
However, the anxiolytic effect of cannabis is not limited to CBD. Several research results indicate that cannabinoids such as cannabigerol (CBG) and cannabichromene (CBC), and terpene limonene may also contribute to decreasing anxiety.
CBG and CBC act by inhibiting the recapture of anandamide. Therefore, anandamide can exert its effects on CB1 receptors and produce anxiolytic effects.
On the other hand, limonene can modulate anxiety, stress, and emotional disorders through the A2A adenosine receptor, which regulates dopaminergic and GABAergic pathways in the nervous system, and increases serotonin concentration (known as the happiness hormone).
How to use cannabis for anxiety? As long as it is 100% under the recommendation and authorization of a professional, the most studied cannabinoid with the least adverse effects is CBD, which can be used in oils, edibles, or vaporizers.
The controlled and responsible use of medical cannabis can help treat anxiety and reduce the risk of developing other pathologies derived from this condition.
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