As we stroll into a new decade one of the industries that is growing is cannabis. BACK IN THE DAY…. This is your brain, this is your brain on drugs… If you survived the 80’s like me, you remember that quote. The social stigma of marijuana is gone and that’s a good thing. Full disclaimer, BACK IN THE DAY I followed the Grateful Dead around, I smoked a lot of weed. In my late 20’s I settled down got married had kids started a career.
Fast forward to today. The “weed” today is super potent. What we had in the 80’s simply pales in comparison to what is out there now. I live in the U.S. in a state that has legalized pot sales. Literally 10 miles from my house there are 2 stores that sell pot products it great. So, with the new acceptance of weed, comes some very good news, it can calm your anxiety.
I’m not advocating for you to roll a joint and light up, or pack a bowl etc., you do you. That said science is happening surrounding the benefits of cannabis consumption. I found a great article here about some of the research
From the article: “The study was done on mice, and the researchers focused on a neurological “circuit” in the brain that links the amygdala and the prefrontal cortex. They showed that when the mice were under stress, the circuit between the two regions is activated. That link is associated with “anxiety-related behaviors,” the press release states, and as stress builds, the link between the two regions becomes stronger.
“As people or animals are exposed to stress and get more anxious, these two brain areas glue together,” said Sachin Patel, the paper’s corresponding author, “and their activity grows stronger together.”
To further understand how this neurological mechanism works, the researchers assessed a molecule called 2-AG. It’s an endocannabinoid, a class of neurotransmitters that assists in a wide range of bodily functionsOpens in a new Window.. The 2-AG molecule blocks the circuit between the amygdala and the prefrontal cortex by binding to receptors, which in turn reduces stress. The researchers posit that a breakdown in 2-AG signaling could be a root cause of chronic anxiety. If the molecule isn’t produced by the brain to interrupt the amygdala-prefrontal cortex circuit, the connection becomes stronger and anxiety symptoms may not dissipate like they’re supposed to.”
Now the article in of itself is short but it does link to the study cited if you desire to read it. The net bottom line here is a side effect of relaxing laws around cannabis has inspired companies to do research on its effects. We’ve all known for some time that weed can relax you, but studies like this prove it.
This can translate into better treatment options for patients. There is a slew of medications on the market now for anxiety and depression, some with serious side effects. For those of us who are functioning with Anxiety, perhaps cannabis is an alternative to a daily pill? Again, its about what works for you but having options is a positive thing.