Medical marijuana for anxiety in Missouri?
Anxiety disorders and the rules for getting a medical marijuana card in Missouri
How medical marijuana is used to treat anxiety disorders
Which strains and delivery methods are ideal for treating anxiety
Links to lists of Missouri medical marijuana doctors and dispensaries.
How to get certified for medical marijuana for anxiety in MO
Can you get a medical marijuana card for anxiety in Missouri?
Yes, anxiety is one of the qualifying conditions for getting a Missouri medical marijuana card. In fact, one of the most common reasons given by Missourians for using medical marijuana is to help reduce anxiety.
However, it’s not as simple as claiming to be anxious. There are a number of symptoms that need to be verified for a marijuana doctor to put their name on the line and approve a patient for a medical marijuana card.
In order to expedite the process and get approved on the first visit, anxiety patients should bring their medical records to the appointment. If an applicant has already been diagnosed and treated by another doctor chances are good their request for an MMJ card will be promptly approved.
What are anxiety disorders?
Did you know that 15 percent of all U.S. citizens will suffer from at least one anxiety disorder? Actually, anxiety disorders are the most common mental illness in the U.S. That is according to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America.
The fact is, more than 40 million adults are currently being treated for anxiety. Moreover, many cases go undiagnosed and untreated. Only one in three Missourians with an anxiety disorder actually seek medical treatment.
There are actually several types of anxiety disorders. They are broken down into five categories by the US Department of Health and Human Services.
Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD)
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
Social Anxiety Disorder
Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD)
A report published in Medical News Today Journal suggests that there are a number of factors that can cause anxiety disorders including genetic predisposition, underlying medical conditions, environmental conditions, and substance abuse.
How does one know if they have an anxiety disorder?
In order to be diagnosed with an anxiety disorder, patients must exhibit several symptoms. Some of these include:
Sudden increased heart rate and shortness of breath
Loss of focus and attention span
Headache and back pain
Experiencing some of these symptoms on occasion is normal. However, if any of these symptoms persist, a doctor should be consulted.
How does medical marijuana help treat anxiety?
Compounds known as cannabinoids are produced in cannabis. These work in concert with cannabinoids produced naturally by our own bodies. For example, anxiety patients often have low anandamide levels which in turn results in low serotonin levels. Supplementing the diet with CBD oil has been shown to increase serotonin levels and reduce anxiety.
Another common cannabinoid called THC is responsible for the euphoria that comes with using marijuana. In small amounts, THC and CBD together might help to relieve anxiety. However, high doses of THC can actually cause anxiety and paranoia.
Ideally, for treating anxiety disorders, a proper balance of THC and CBD is recommended as is a proper dosage. If an anxiety patient chooses to use a high-THC product, then it should be used very sparingly. If a patient feels anxiety at work or school, a low-THC strain is recommended. Alternatively, patients with sleep disorders might fare better with a strain that contains a balance of CBD and THC.
A certified medical marijuana doctor will be able to help anxiety patients to choose an appropriate product.
Which marijuana strains are good for treating anxiety?
Some of the strains listed on Leafly that help to reduce anxiety include:
- Canna-Tsu – balanced THC/CBD
- ACDC – CBD dominant
- Remedy – CBD-dominant
- Granddaddy Purple – THC dominant
- Jack Herer – THC-dominant
- Jillybean – THC-dominant
- Purple Urkle – THC-dominant
If a dispensary does not carry a strain recommended by the patient’s doctor a knowledgeable budtender should be able to assist the patient in finding a similar strain.
Which medical marijuana products are best for treating anxiety?
The effects of inhalation methods such as smoking or vaping take effect almost immediately. This makes inhalation a good choice for patients suffering from sudden-onset of symptoms such as with PTSD episodes or panic attacks.
For patients who do not wish to smoke marijuana or vaporize cannabis oil, sublingual tinctures would be the next best choice.
Some anxiety patients experience symptoms throughout the day, or over longer periods of time, such as with social anxiety. In these cases, cannabis-infused edibles, although they have a slower onset time, offer longer-lasting relief.
In closing, it’s important to reiterate that not all cannabis products will reduce symptoms of anxiety for all patients. Each patient’s needs are unique and should be discussed with a qualified Missouri medical marijuana doctor.