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Risks of Using Marijuana to Deal with Anxiety

When you’re feeling anxious, you want to find relief in any way you can. Many people turn to marijuana as a form of self-medication for anxiety, and with recent legalizations, it’s more accessible than ever. While marijuana is often prescribed for medical purposes, using it as a form of self-medication for anxiety can be dangerous. It’s important to understand the risks of self-medicating with marijuana, and if you’re struggling with ongoing anxiety, mental health treatment can make a difference.

Columbia Associates offers anxiety treatment services in Bowie, MD, that support clients in managing their anxiety. Whether you’d like to explore medication options, learn coping techniques, or simply talk through your anxiety with an experienced therapist, our team is here to help. Call 703.682.8208 today to get started.

Does Marijuana Actually Relieve Anxiety?

There is a long-standing belief that marijuana can help alleviate anxiety symptoms, and some individuals do report feeling temporarily relaxed after using it. However, the relationship between marijuana and anxiety is complex and not fully understood.

While low doses of THC (the psychoactive compound in marijuana) may have a calming effect, higher doses can actually increase feelings of anxiety and even trigger panic attacks. Additionally, the effects of marijuana can vary greatly from person to person, making it difficult to predict how it will affect someone with anxiety.

One of the downsides of using marijuana as a form of self-medication is that it’s only effective in the short term. Once the effects wear off, anxiety symptoms may return and potentially worsen. Over time, tolerance also builds up, meaning that more and more marijuana is needed to achieve the same initial relief.

The Dangers of Self-Medicating with Marijuana

Some people might argue that marijuana is a natural and safer alternative to prescription medication for anxiety. However, self-medicating with marijuana can lead to several potential dangers.

  • Dependence – With any substance, there is a risk of becoming dependent on it. This is especially true for marijuana, which can be psychologically addictive and lead to increased use to cope with anxiety.
  • Legal consequences – While marijuana is legal for medical purposes in many states, it is still illegal at the federal level and can result in legal consequences if obtained or used illegally. This can add additional stress and anxiety for individuals already struggling with their mental health.
  • Interactions with other medications – If you are taking prescription medication for anxiety, self-medicating with marijuana can potentially interact with and disrupt the intended effects of your prescribed treatment.
  • Lack of guidance and support – Unlike prescribed medication, self-medicating with marijuana does not come with the guidance and support of a medical professional. This can lead to improper use and potentially harmful side effects.

There’s a better path to managing your anxiety. Discover the benefits of working with a mental health professional by reaching out to the Columbia Associates team today.

Get Started with Anxiety Treatment Services from Columbia Associates

At Columbia Associates, we understand that everyone’s experience with anxiety is unique. That’s why our team of mental health professionals works closely with clients to create personalized treatment plans that address their specific needs and goals. If you’ve been turning to marijuana to relieve anxiety, we can help you explore more effective and sustainable options. Our Maryland and Virginia counseling and psychiatry services can offer long-term relief and support for anxiety.

If you’re ready to take the next step in your mental health journey, click here to reach out to our team of empathetic mental health care experts. For existing clients, please click here and find your office location to contact your office directly.