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Medical Marijuana and Panic Disorder

What Is Panic Disorder?

Panic disorder is one of many anxiety disorders that affects millions of Americans. Panic disorder tends to strike in early adulthood. Characterized by frequent attacks of intense, unfounded fear and anxiety, panic disorder can cause the sufferer to experience rapid heartbeat, dizziness, nausea and the inability to breathe normally. A severe attack may even leave the sufferer feeling as though he or she is going to die or is going crazy. Panic disorder can seriously interfere with both the quality and enjoyment of life for most sufferers. An extreme suffer can even become homebound and feel unable to lead a normal life due to the frequency and severity of attacks. Although the cause of panic disorder is unknown, genetics are believed to play a part. Panic disorder is typically diagnosed during the young adult years, although it can present itself as late as the 30s or 40s or as early as pre-adolescence. Women are twice as likely to suffer from panic disorder as men. A panic attack can come on suddenly, with no apparent precipitator. An attack can even happen while sleeping or relaxing. Attacks typically last for 10 to 20 minutes, although they can continue for up to an hour or more. During a panic attack, the suffer may feel that he or she is in a fearful or dangerous situation without a solution or escape. Unfounded fear may cause the suffer to feel that he or she is having a heart attack. Along with a rapid heartbeat, a panic attack may include shortness of breath, shaking, sweating, nausea, hot or cold flashes and numbness or tingling sensations throughout the body. Although anyone can experience a single panic attack, repeated attacks along with anticipatory anxiety and/or phobic avoidance of anything that has caused a previous attack leads to the diagnosis of panic disorder.

Medical Marijuana and Panic Disorder

Panic Disorders and Medical Marijuana  Use
Panic disorder has traditionally been treated with anti-anxiety, anti-depressant and anti-seizure medications that are aimed at reducing the patient’s anxiety level and unfounded fears. Unfortunately, most of these medications also come with significant negative side-effects that make them less than perfect treatment solutions for suffers of panic disorder. Many of the medications that are commonly prescribed for panic disorder carry with them a high risk of becoming dependent on the medications. Interestingly, one of the more common potential side effects of many of the traditional panic disorder medications is anxiety itself. Medical marijuana, however, offers an alternative to these medications that does not carry with it the same negative side effects, yet offers many of the same positive benefits. Medical marijuana can help a panic disorder suffer reduce anxiety, eliminate stress and prevent or reduce the nausea associated with the disorder.
Panic Disorder and Medical Marijuana Clinical Evidence
Medical marijuana has been widely studied as an anti-anxiety treatment and found to be beneficial to some suffers of anxiety related disorders. Studies have shown though that medical marijuana can actually cause anxiety in some patients; however, others report that the use of medical marijuana significantly reduces stress and anxiety. Individual body chemistry appears to dictate whether or not medical marijuana produces a relaxing, anti-anxiety reaction in a patient or not.
Although medical marijuana does not produce serotonin, the chemical that is produced or increased by some of the traditional anti-anxiety, anti-seizure, or anti-depressant drugs, marijuana does effect a brain substance known as anandamide. When anandamide reacts with the THC found in marijuana, it produces a calming or soothing effect throughout the body which can decrease the anxiety felt by a panic disorder sufferer, thereby reducing the likelihood of an attack.
Along with decreasing anxiety and stress for a panic disorder sufferer, medical marijuana has also been shown to decrease other symptoms of panic disorder such as the nausea that often precipitates or accompanies a panic attack. Cannabidiol, or CBD, is one of the major components of medical marijuana. Clinical studies have shown that CBD contains chemical properties that have been shown to reduce anxiety, alleviate nausea and even prevent or reduce convulsions.
For suffers of panic disorder, medical marijuana offers an alternative to traditional medications that may offer the same benefits without many of the negative side-effects that accompany traditional medications.

Panic Disorders and Medical Marijuana Use

Panic disorder has traditionally been treated with anti-anxiety, anti-depressant and anti-seizure medications that are aimed at reducing the patient’s anxiety level and unfounded fears. Unfortunately, most of these medications also come with significant negative side-effects that make them less than perfect treatment solutions for suffers of panic disorder. Many of the medications that are commonly prescribed for panic disorder carry with them a high risk of becoming dependent on the medications. Interestingly, one of the more common potential side effects of many of the traditional panic disorder medications is anxiety itself. Medical marijuana, however, offers an alternative to these medications that does not carry with it the same negative side effects, yet offers many of the same positive benefits. Medical marijuana can help a panic disorder suffer reduce anxiety, eliminate stress and prevent or reduce the nausea associated with the disorder.

Panic Disorder and Medical Marijuana Clinical Evidence

Medical marijuana has been widely studied as an anti-anxiety treatment and found to be beneficial to some suffers of anxiety related disorders. Studies have shown though that medical marijuana can actually cause anxiety in some patients; however, others report that the use of medical marijuana significantly reduces stress and anxiety. Individual body chemistry appears to dictate whether or not medical marijuana produces a relaxing, anti-anxiety reaction in a patient or not.

Although medical marijuana does not produce serotonin, the chemical that is produced or increased by some of the traditional anti-anxiety, anti-seizure, or anti-depressant drugs, marijuana does effect a brain substance known as anandamide. When anandamide reacts with the THC found in marijuana, it produces a calming or soothing effect throughout the body which can decrease the anxiety felt by a panic disorder sufferer, thereby reducing the likelihood of an attack.

Along with decreasing anxiety and stress for a panic disorder sufferer, medical marijuana has also been shown to decrease other symptoms of panic disorder such as the nausea that often precipitates or accompanies a panic attack. Cannabidiol, or CBD, is one of the major components of medical marijuana. Clinical studies have shown that CBD contains chemical properties that have been shown to reduce anxiety, alleviate nausea and even prevent or reduce convulsions.

For suffers of panic disorder, medical marijuana offers an alternative to traditional medications that may offer the same benefits without many of the negative side-effects that accompany traditional medications.

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