You are not alone!
Chronic Pain is defined as persistent pain that lasts longer than 3 months. It affects more than 50 million adults in the United States, which is 20% of the US population.
Anxiety is the most common mental illness in the United States, affecting over 40 million Americans.
Anxiety is one of the most common disease states for which medical cannabis users seek relief from.
How can Cannabis help?
A recent study showed a 64% reduction in opioid use amongst chronic pain patients who used medical cannabis. These patients experienced fewer side effects and improved quality of life. Unlike opioids, cannabis does not cause respiratory depression, which may lead to lesser mortality rates.
Cannabis works on the endocannabinoid system. The endocannabinoid system in a person’s brain can be important in processing fear, stress and anxiety.
Current research shows that the endocannabinoid system plays an important role in the pathophysiology of anxiety disorders and its modulation may be an effective treatment
Terpenes can help too
Terpenes with anxiolytic properties include D-limonene, myrcene, α-Pinene, linalool, β-Caryophyllene, humulene, trans-nerolidol
Terpenes that can help relieve pain: caryophyllene
What symptoms can medical cannabis help with?
What dose should I take?
The idea dosage is one that alleviates symptoms without causing intolerable side effects. Take the lowest dose first, wait 20-30 minutes to see effects and increase in small amounts if needed.
Multiple reports have indicated that THC can help anxiety symptoms at a lower dose, however can intensify anxiety at higher doses. CBD seems to help anxiety at all doses.
Studies & Reviews
A 2019 study in Social Science and Medicine, found that anxiety was a reason 50% of people reported using medical marijuana.
Kosiba JD, Maisto SA, Ditre JW. Patient-reported use of medical cannabis for pain, anxiety, and depression symptoms: Systematic review and meta-analysis. Soc Sci Med. 2019 Jul;233:181-192. doi: 10.1016/j.socscimed.2019.06.005. Epub 2019 Jun 8. PMID: 31207470.
A 2002-review found that CBD may be a potential therapy in patients with anxiety and depression.
García-Gutiérrez MS, Navarrete F, Gasparyan A, Austrich-Olivares A, Sala F, Manzanares J. Cannabidiol: A Potential New Alternative for the Treatment of Anxiety, Depression, and Psychotic Disorders. Biomolecules. 2020 Nov 19;10(11):1575. doi: 10.3390/biom10111575. PMID: 33228239; PMCID: PMC7699613.
A 2018 clinical trial found that patients using medical cannabis as an adjunct to treat chronic pain found that it reduced pain intensity, improved daily functionality, and reduced anxiety & depression symptoms.
Poli P, Crestani F, Salvadori C, Valenti I, Sannino C. Medical Cannabis in Patients with Chronic Pain: Effect on Pain Relief, Pain Disability, and Psychological aspects. A Prospective Non-Randomized Single Arm Clinical Trial. Clin Ter. 2018 May-Jun;169(3): e102-e107. doi: 10.7417/T.2018.2062. PMID: 29938740.
A 2019 observational analysis found that patients with chronic pain who reported using medical marijuana (80% of patients substituted medical marijuana instead of opioids) stated they had improved pain, health, and fewer side effects than opioids.
Boehnke KF, Scott JR, Litinas E, Sisley S, Williams DA, Clauw DJ. Pills to Pot: Observational Analyses of Cannabis Substitution Among Medical Cannabis Users With Chronic Pain. J Pain. 2019 Jul;20(7):830-841. doi: 10.1016/j.jpain.2019.01.010. Epub 2019 Jan 26. PMID: 30690169.
A 2016 study found that medical cannabis use was associated with a 64% decrease in opioid use, decreased number and side effects of medications, and an improved quality of life. This study suggests that many chronic pain patients are substituting medical cannabis for opioids, finding benefits and better side effects with cannabis use.
Boehnke KF, Litinas E, Clauw DJ. Medical Cannabis Use Is Associated with Decreased Opiate Medication Use in a Retrospective Cross-Sectional Survey of Patients with Chronic Pain. J Pain. 2016 Jun;17(6):739-44. doi: 10.1016/j.jpain.2016.03.002. Epub 2016 Mar 19. PMID: 27001005.
Always seek the advice of your physician or other health care provider before starting new treatment or discontinuing existing treatment. Each person responds to cannabis differently.