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Cannabis has little affect on inducing anxiety, according to research


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Cannabis is only a minor factor in developing anxiety, according to UK-based researcher Conal Twomey.

Twomey determined previous studies on the connection between cannabis use and heightened anxiety to be “cross sectional in nature,” therefore only focusing on a specific demographic of users.

Many users believe cannabis to be an anxiety reducer, which may be true for the initial period of being high. In a study using mice, Vanderbilt researchers found cannabinoid receptors in the amygdala which “may help to explain why marijuana users say they take the drug mainly to reduce anxiety,” said senior author and professor of Psychiatry and Molecular Physiology and Biophysics Sachin Patel.

While these receptors help to explain why certain people react to Cannabis as they do, there is still difficulty because everyone reacts differently, and many factors must be taken into account.     

Of the many factors, five that stick out are genetics, biological sex, biochemistry, overall health, and tolerance.  The endocannabinoid system is particularly important to how Cannabis is received, given how someone may have more or less endocannabinoids depending on their dietary intake.

Everyone is unique in at least one of the above categories, and so the effects of using cannabis are different from one individual to another.

Although it is yet to be determined, studies also show “about 20% to 30% of recreational user’s experience [intense anxiety or panic attacks] after smoking marijuana,” says the Harvard Health Publications. Those most likely to feel these effects have never used Cannabis before.

Cannabis research is ongoing, and will more than likely offer important information on the topic as studies are conducted. With knowledge of the effects, understanding why some reactions result from using cannabis can be easier to understand.

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