Have you been struggling with anxiety and wondered whether the marijuana you use is not actually helpful to you and that it may actually be the real cause of your anxiety? Today’s blog discusses the impact of marijuana on the body and mind and what you might want to consider the next time you feel anxious.
Many people may feel overwhelmed and anxious about dealing with day-to-day hardships and worry about the future in an uncertain world. Such concerns and stressors can cause us to experience anxiety that seems so unbearable that it makes us forget that our bodies can withstand some anxiety—normal anxiety, that is.
Hating and fearing how anxiety can make them feel, many people seek substances to take charge of their bodies and minds. Marijuana is an increasingly popular alternative solution people use to soothe their anxiety symptoms. However, before you reach for your next fix, learn more about what causes anxiety and how this substance affects the mind and body.
What is Anxiety and What Causes It?
Normal anxiety is an aspect of the body’s natural defenses. It’s a signal from the brain warning you of an unknown threat and helping you prevent certain occurrences or decrease the harmful effects of those you cannot control. Sometimes, normal anxiety can even stem from a person’s internal fears.
Having an anxiety response is a normal reaction for many situations. Still, in some cases, such a response occurs at the wrong times or can be debilitating, possibly signaling an anxiety disorder.
Mental health professionals such as those at The Ranch Tennessee can help you determine if you are experiencing normal anxiety or should be diagnosed with an anxiety disorder.
Marijuana: How Does it Impact the Body?
While marijuana lowers anxiety in some people, it intensifies it and produces adverse effects in others. Using marijuana could produce results most people never associate with this drug, such as an increased risk of respiratory diseases, heart issues, decreased fertility, pregnancy complications, newborn health problems and changes in homeostasis.
For example, marijuana cigarettes can contribute to increased heart rate and diastolic and systolic blood pressure. Additionally, there’s an association between marijuana and heart attacks in young male users. Furthermore, using marijuana and cannabis products every day can modify the body’s endocannabinoid system, overriding its natural ability to maintain homeostasis and carrying out processes related to appetite and eating, sleeping, mood and memory.
What Are the Mental and Emotional Risks of Marijuana Use?
Most people believe marijuana use results in relaxation, but seeking relief through this drug can give some people more than they bargained for: fatigue, apathetic feelings, paranoia and panic, which can ultimately exacerbate their anxiety. In attempts to temporarily turn off your anxiety, you could experience a drug-induced disconnect from your loved ones, personal relationships, once-enjoyable activities and responsibilities.
According to functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) studies, chronic cannabis use can even contribute to structural and functional changes in parts of the brain involved in and responsible for reward processing and emotional processing.
Preventing and Responding to Marijuana Use Disorder
Smoking marijuana every day to starve the problem that is anxiety could ultimately feed an addiction. Marijuana use can become addictive when habitual smoking disrupts daily activities. Chronic marijuana use can produce adverse effects such as legal consequences, job loss, reduced academic performance and in some cases, depression and anxiety. Trying to quit using this drug can also cause terrible withdrawal symptoms such as aggression, irritability, depressed mood, restlessness, decreased appetite, physical discomfort, sleeping difficulties and more.
Anxiety can seem like a hole that sucks up everything in your life. In your desperation to patch this hole up, you may turn to marijuana, only to feel betrayed by your mind and body when the harmful effects of dependency, addiction, abuse and withdrawal hit harder than anxiety.
Acknowledging that you have a problem with this type of drug use and recognizing that you need guidance and support from professionals who understand what substances can do to you physically and mentally are imperative to regaining control of your life. Mental health professionals and clinicians at a trustworthy treatment and counseling center, such as The Ranch Tennessee, provide effective, evidence-based therapy through programs including:
- Marijuana addiction treatment
- Anxiety treatment
- Depression treatment
- Mood disorder treatment
- Inpatient drug treatment
Judgment-free guidance and treatment at The Ranch can help you protect yourself from the consequences of drug use and engage in healthy coping methods that allow you to soothe your anxiety symptoms and improve your mental, physical, and emotional health. Call us today at 888-645-7453.