A recent study showed why marijuana reduces stress and could safely treat anxiety.
Cortisol is the stress hormone and it can easily be measured in human saliva, according to Forbes. A new study looked at how daily marijuana users respond to stress in comparison to those that do not. Regular users have a less severe reaction to high stress situations.
Carrie Cuttler, clinical assistant professor of psychology, said, “To the best of our knowledge, this is the first study to examine the effects of acute stress on salivary cortisol levels in chronic cannabis users compared to non-users. While we are not at a point where we are comfortable saying whether this muted stress response is a good thing or a bad thing, our work is an important first step in investigating potential therapeutic benefits of cannabis at a time when its use is spreading faster than ever before.”
Experts say that reducing stress response too much has both positives and negatives. What it also suggests is that these findings are in line with previous research showing that marijuana can effect levels of GABA (a neurotransmitter) that calms anxiety. It works counteractively to reduce some brain chemicals such as glutamate. Cannabidiol (CBD) has been researched to show that it increases GABA’s effects.
The most common types of medications prescribed for anxiety are benzodiazepines, such as Xanax and Klonopin. Although they may work to reduce anxiety, tolerances can easily be built up, which often lead to increased dosages. Dependency is also high on these types of medications. The withdrawal process from these medications can be difficult, leaving many people to just stay on them so they don’t have to experience the withdrawal.
What is more alarming is that overdose potential for these types of drugs is really high, resulting in thousands of deaths across the country annually.