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Marijuana For Agoraphobia [Explained by New Jersey Marijuana Doctors]
Marijuana helps relax the body and mind. Studies have shown that cannabis can reduce stress response and manage agoraphobia. As a result, the number of patients opting for cannabis over prescription drugs is increasing. It’s now legal in more than 30 US states including New Jersey. With a recommendation signed by one of New Jersey marijuana doctors, you can legally buy, possess, and consume it.
But, how does cannabis work in the body and what are the top strains for agoraphobia patients? Can you use marijuana if you are using anti-anxiety drugs? Let’s find out.
What is Agoraphobia?
Agoraphobia is a type of anxiety disorder characterized by fear of places or situations. Patients with this medical condition often feel uncomfortable and unsafe when visiting public places. They often have fear of leaving their homes alone, enclosed & open spaces, and using public transportation. Thus, they usually avoid situations, which cause anxiety.
In some cases, patients have both panic disorder and agoraphobia. Symptoms of a panic attack are—increased heart rate, loss of control, excessive sweating, chest pain, and trouble breathing.
Using Marijuana For Agoraphobia
Marijuana provides calming effects and feelings of relaxation, thus helping patients deal with anxiety and panic disorder. Medical studies have found that it’s also effective in boosting sleep. Lack of sleep is one of the major causes of mental health conditions such as anxiety, depression, etc.
How Does Cannabis Work?
Marijuana reduces anxiety by affecting GABA, a neurotransmitter that plays a vital role in the anxiety response. Benzodiazepines also work by targeting GABA levels.
Additionally, cannabis helps in reducing levels of cortisol (the stress hormone), thus treating agoraphobia. Agoraphobia causes fear and stress.
In the cannabis plant, there are more than 100 cannabinoids. They work by interacting with the endocannabinoid system. Research says that humans and mammals have endogenous cannabinoids & receptors, which work together to regulate various bodily functions.
THC, a psychoactive cannabinoid, binds to CB1 and CB2 brain receptors. It has a similar chemical structure as anandamide.
According to a study published in 2020, 2-AG, an endogenous cannabinoid, can help in reducing anxiety between the amygdala and frontal cortex. 2-AG targets the same receptors as THC. This shows cannabis (if used in certain doses) may help in reducing anxiety.
Marijuana’s non-psychoactive cannabinoid CBD has anti-anxiety properties. When you consume CBD, it affects the CB1 receptors, thus altering serotonin signals in the brain.
So, if you are concerned about the psychoactive effects of THC, you can use CBD-based products for treating agoraphobia.
Can You Mix Marijuana With Medicines?
For agoraphobia treatment, doctors suggest cognitive behavioral therapy, lifestyle changes or medications. Commonly prescribed medications for this medical condition are-
- Antidepressants (SSRIs)
- Anti-anxiety drugs (Benzodiazepines)
Since cannabis also helps in managing anxiety, many patients opt for mixing the herb with medications. Is it ok? Should you start cannabis treatment if you are on medicines?
Well, there’s not much research available on mixing cannabis with anxiety drugs. Some patient reports say that it can cause adverse effects.
However, you should avoid using CBD if you are taking drugs that come with a grapefruit warning. The FDA says that grapefruit can increase the concentration of medication in the bloodstream, thus causing side effects or even overdose issues.
Most mood medications, such as Quetiapine, Lurasidone, and Buspirone, come with a grapefruit warning.
So, avoid taking cannabis and medicines together. But, if you want to do so, make sure you consult your doctor first.
Top Cannabis Strains For Agoraphobia
Studies show that the ratio and amount of organic cannabinoids (THC and CBD) play a vital role in the plant’s anti-anxiety effects.
Additionally, terpenes impact the therapeutic effects of marijuana on the body and mind. For instance, terpene limonene has anti-anxiety effects.
In other words, different strains have different cannabinoid profiles and deliver different therapeutic effects. So, you should select the right cannabis strains to alleviate your symptoms.
Some of the best cannabis strains for agoraphobia patients are-
- OG Kush
- Sour OG
- Purple Kush
- Jack Herer
- Northern Lights
- Sour Tsunami
Don’t Forget Dosage & Consumption Methods
Apart from cannabis strains, the amount of cannabis you consume and how you deliver cannabinoids into your body matters.
Taking lower doses of high-THC cannabis can help you reduce anxiety while higher doses may worsen it.
When you smoke or vape cannabis, you will experience therapeutic effects instantly. But, if you eat cannabis, you have to wait for about 30 minutes to 120 minutes to feel the effects. Thus, there are risks of consuming higher amounts, which can lead to negative effects. Also, edibles last longer than other methods.
Want to learn how to consume edibles safely? Check out our previous blog.
Covering it up—marijuana helps calm the body and mind, thus managing agoraphobia. Studies have found that organic compounds in cannabis work by interacting with the endocannabinoid system in the body.
If you are considering cannabis as a treatment for agoraphobia or other mental health conditions, learn how to use it. Choose the right cannabis strains and dose. Remember, factors such as age, body fat & genetics determine marijuana’s therapeutic effects you receive. Talk to your doctor to get professional help regarding using cannabis for managing your health issues.
Want to use medical marijuana legally in New Jersey? Get a doctor’s recommendation today. MD Ganja can help you get your MMJ card online within a few minutes. Here’s the process-
- Submit a simple form online
- See one of our New Jersey marijuana doctors via video call
- Get your MMJ recommendation letter via email
Have your loved ones or you tried cannabis for managing anxiety or other health issues? What’s their or your experience using the herb? Feel free to share your thoughts in the comment section below.