Can Microdosing Marijuana Help Battle Anxiety and Stress?

More people are turning to cannabis microdosing for a new way to deal with longstanding anxiety issues as marijuana legalization sweeps across the country.

Treating Anxiety With Cannabis Microdosing

Many people report they experience a calming effect using marijuana in small doses. Scientists have backed up that claim. Research led by Vanderbilt University found that there are cannabinoid receptors in the amygdala, an area of the brain that regulates anxiety and the “fight or flight” feeling people experience when under stress.

The research may explain “why marijuana users say they take the drug mainly to reduce anxiety,” the research paper’s main authors said at the time.

Some have found cannabis works best in this regard when taken in small doses.

Calm and Serenity

Microdosing marijuana is not about trying to get “high.” Rather, people who microdose are seeking the health effects of marijuana without having it interfere with cognitive abilities. In other words, it’s the sort of thing people can do and then go about their day.

Recently, a group of women talked about the issue with Women’s Health magazine. They all explained why marijuana and cannabis products have become a central part of their day. In many cases, they sought to fight anxiety.

A 39-year-old mother said small doses of marijuana edibles gave her a feeling of “calm and serenity.” She uses marijuana-infused mints carried discreetly in her purse. She said the effects have helped her “with stress, anxiety, the pressure of life, and kids.”

Another woman, also 39, said she consumes small amounts of marijuana edibles before, during and after work. Taking cannabis in small doses helped her maintain focus and reduce stress-inducing “outside noises and other distractions.”

Another 37-year-old woman said the small doses do not interfere with her having a productive day. She takes small doses to reduce her anxiety over flying.

All of these stories seems to reflect what scientists have found.

Aiding The Body’s System

The Vanderbilt study, published several years ago in the journal Neuron, found that the brain naturally creates its own cannabinoid that regulates anxiety. Small doses of marijuana may actually help the brain further reduce the anxious feeling.

Conversely, the study found that using too much cannabis can lead to more feelings of anxiety. That’s the reason microdosing has risen in popularity.

A more recent study, in August 2017, reached similar conclusions about the effectiveness of marijuana in combating stress. Researchers from Washington State University found that those who regularly used marijuana had a blunted reaction to stress.

They discovered this by measuring the Cortisol levels in patients. Cortisol, found in saliva, is a reliable indicator of stress in the human body.

While stopping short of saying such a muted response is a good thing, the researchers did show that it definitely happens in the bodies of those who use marijuana. It’s yet another step in the potential uses of marijuana, and could eventually lead to marijuana becoming a prescribed anti-anxiety agent for some.

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