Chances are you've heard all sides of how marijuana can affect anxiety. While cannabis can have a calming effect for some people, it can also induce a panic attack for others. And aside from all that, some people just don't want to experience a high or feel intoxicated at all, but they do want to reap the antianxiety effects of cannabis.
While CBD (the nonpsychoactive compound of a cannabis plant) on its own can help with anxiety and won't create any intoxication effect (read: won't make you high), we've been told by several doctors that using THC in conjunction with CBD has significantly stronger, more synergistic effects. But THC is psychoactive and can cause that intoxicated feeling. So what do you do? You want to chill out, but you don't want to feel high, right? Solution: sleep it off. Use your marijuana products at night before bed.
Dr. Jordan Tishler, MD, a Harvard-trained physician and the president of both InhaleMD and the Association of Cannabis Specialists, gave POPSUGAR this tip for using the full effects of cannabis without experiencing any intoxication side effects: "If you use a THC-forward medicine at bedtime, even though the intoxication wears off overnight, the antianxiety and antidepressant benefits last throughout the next day." Quick clarification: THC-forward would mean if you're using a product that's higher in THC than it is in CBD.
"The intoxication wears off overnight, [but] the antianxiety and antidepressant benefits last throughout the next day."
"There's very rarely a reason to dose people during the daytime," he said. "For my anxiety patients, I have tremendous success giving them a low-dose — 10 to 15 milligrams of vaporized flower around bedtime — and that's all they need."
So you don't need to be "feeling it" to get the effects you need — and why that is still remains something of a mystery. Dr. Tishler says, "That remains entirely to be explained, but I'm seeing [the results] loud and clear."
Why add THC if CBD is a great antianxiety medication on its own? "I use CBD as an adjunct to THC," said Dr. Tishler. "For the average patient, I think in terms of THC with the idea of the entourage effect: if you're using a whole plant, you use the plant or an extract; [this way] you get CBD and other supportive chemicals," he said. "CBD is more complementary." Essentially, you can get more powerful results — and because it's nontoxic and not harmful, it's definitely worth a try.
So if you live in a state where THC is legal to consume or you have a medical card that allows you to use prescription cannabis to treat anxiety, this might just be your new bedtime routine to beat anxiety.