Life is rough. It is stressful. It is hectic. It is unpredictable, and for some, it comes with things like anxiety and depression that make it that much more unmanageable. For women, the truth that is mental illness is something that 20% of us deal with on the daily. While everyone may feel anxious or depressed from time to time, dealing with these spontaneous and sometimes even constant feelings is something that millions of people deal with annually.
Specifically, though, according to WomensHealth.gov, mental health conditions such as anxiety and depression are much more prevalent among women. Let’s take a closer look at these two conditions and how cannabis may be (and is) the saving grace of many women and men alike who are battling these demons.
Cannabis for Anxiety and Depression
Anxiety is defined as “a feeling of worry, nervousness, or unease, typically about an imminent event or something with an uncertain outcome.” It is also defined as “a nervous disorder characterized by a state of excessive uneasiness and apprehension, typically with compulsive behavior or panic attacks.”
The Anxiety and Depression Association of America is an authoritative voice for mental illness and states the following regarding anxiety disorders in the United States.
“Anxiety disorders are the most common mental illness in the U.S., affecting 40 million adults in the United States age 18 and older, or 18.1% of the population every year. Anxiety disorders are highly treatable, yet only 36.9% of those suffering receive treatment.”
An article by Veriheal states the following regarding the scientific research we have surrounding cannabis for treating anxiety disorders.
“A study conducted by scientists at Washington State University, consuming cannabis through inhalation holds the potential to “significantly reduce self-reported” levels of anxiety in the short term. The study concluded the following regarding anxiety.”
- Cannabis significantly reduced ratings of anxiety.
- Females reported a more significant decrease in anxiety than men.
- Cannabis varieties with a high level of both THC and CBD seem to be best for reducing symptoms of stress and anxiety.
Below you can find a summary of the signs and symptoms of anxiety as well as the different types of anxiety related disorders.
Signs and Symptoms of Anxiety
- Difficulty Concentrating
- Excessively Fatigued
- Feelings of Impending Danger
- Feelings of Nervousness and/or Irritability
- Increased Heart Rate
- Insomnia / Sleeping Issues
- Rapid Breathing
- Stomach Problems
Types of Anxiety Disorders
- Generalized Anxiety Disorders (anxiety regarding ordinary activities)
- (OCD) Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (occurs when an individual gets caught in cycles of compulsive behavior and obsessions)
- Panic Disorder (random and unexpected panic attacks commonly preoccupied with the worry of another attack occurring)
- (PTSD) Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder(anxiety and fear associated with a previously experienced traumatic situation or event)
- Social anxiety(anxiety about and in social situations)
Depression is defined as “feelings of severe despondency and dejection,” as well as, “a mood disorder characterized by low mood, a feeling of sadness, and a general loss of interest in things.” According to research, women are more likely to be diagnosed with depression than men. Amongst women, Hispanic, African-American, and Caucasian women are more commonly diagnosed than Asian-American women and other ethnicities.
Studies conducted at the University of Buffalo, by researchers in Montreal at McGill University and by researchers at the University Medical Center Utrecht in the Netherlands have all concluded that cannabis and cannabinoid-based treatments could be an effective tool for addressing depression-related disorders. Check out what the science says below!
- The production of endocannabinoids is reduced under chronic stress in comparison to normal conditions. These naturally occurring cannabinoids are vital in maintaining balance within the body.
- Low doses of THC help to increase the production of serotonin in the brain in return, acting as an antidepressant.
- THC can alter responses to negative aspects by activating cannabinoid receptors in the brain.
Below you can find a summary of the signs and symptoms of depression as well as the different types of depression related disorders.
Symptoms of Depression
- Appetite loss or increase
- Difficulty making decisions
- Excessive sleeping
- Feelings of guilt or hopelessness
- Feelings of sadness that persist consistently for more than two weeks
- Inability to concentrate
- Loss of interest in things you enjoy
- Major weight loss or gain
- Thoughts of self-harm or harming others
Types of Depression
- Bipolar Depression (depression related to bipolar illness)
- Dysthymic Disorder (depression prolonging more than two years with less severe symptoms)
- Major Depressive Disorder (a combination of depressive feelings that affects one’s ability to do everyday activities such as work, eat, and sleep)
- Prenatal and Postpartum Depression (major depression occurring during pregnancy or after delivery of child)
- Psychotic depression (depression accompanied by delusions, hallucinations, and a loss of touch with reality)
- Seasonal Affective Disorder (depression occurring only during the winter months and times of less natural sunlight)
Do you utilize cannabis to help with anxiety or depression? If so, drop us a line below and share your tips and experiences with other readers who may also be looking for natural relief against these widely diagnosed conditions.