Stress and anxiety can make a big impact on quality of life. And Americans have some of the highest levels of stress in the world. Between family, financial and work concerns, worries over the state of the environment, tension from the contentious political culture, or now fears surrounding Covid-19, it’s easy to get caught up and overwhelmed in distressed and anxious feelings these days. Amongst the many coping mechanisms for this stress – from therapy, to prescription medication, to cracking open a beer at the end of a hard day, few solutions have received as many raised eyebrows as smoking or vaping cannabis.
While many utilize cannabis as a way to relax and reduce anxiety, many doctors, researchers and former cannabis dabblers are skeptical of its ability to do this because of one well known side-effect of cannabis – its ability to induce paranoia.
But a new study is bringing added insight to this old question. Researchers from The University of New Mexico decided to investigate and found that inhaled cannabis is far more likely to reduce symptoms of anxiety than to cause them. Since this study looked at cannabis use in states where cannabis is legal, researchers even hypothesize that cannabis’ past reputation for bringing on paranoia may have had more to do with individuals’ worries over getting caught with an illegal substance, than from any strong chemical impact of the drug.