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Condition Focus: Anxiety

Anxiety is pending approval to become a qualifying condition for the New Jersey Medical Marijuana Program. In general, an anxiety disorder is a returning feeling of panic or anxiety that escalates to panic or anxiety attacks. Possible causes of anxiety can be mental conditions, physical conditions, the effects of drugs, or a combination of these causes.

There are three common anxiety disorders: generalized anxiety disorder, social anxiety disorders and panic disorders.

 

A generalized anxiety disorder is characterized by excessive and unrealistic worrying for at least six months and is associated with at least three of the following symptoms: restlessness, fatigue, difficulty concentrating, irritability or explosive anger, muscle tension, sleep disturbances and personality changes. A social anxiety disorder is characterized by an intense, persistent and recurrent fear of situations like speaking in public or being in public places. Panic disorders are characterized by frequent panic attacks as well as a fear of having future attacks. Those with panic disorders often avoid situations that may trigger attacks. Treatment can include self-care, counseling or a range of mood-altering drugs.

 

Cannabis has been found to be helpful for anxiety in multiple studies. A double-blind study showed that after consuming CBD participants experienced a decrease in anxiety, and CBDs exhibited anti-anxiety effects on the brain. Additionally, researchers found that CBD significantly reduced social anxiety measured through a public speaking test. Participants reported reduced anxiety, cognitive impairment and discomfort.