About one million people in this country are expected to suffer from a panic attack each month. Usually, they start in early adulthood and sufferers experience significant physical symptoms, including feelings of having a heart attack. Those who have a panic disorder, which means they have suffered from more than one panic attack, have a significantly reduced quality of life. It is not known what causes a panic disorder, although it can be diagnosed. Women are twice as likely to suffer from it than men.
The problem with panic attacks is that they can happen at any time, even when the person is relaxing or sleeping. Usually, the attack lasts between 10 and 20 minutes, although some experience them for over an hour. The attack leaves people feeling a sense of panic and doom, accompanied with strong physical symptoms such as shortness of breath and a rapid heart rate. With cannabis being at the forefront of a lot of research, you may want to know how medical marijuana could help manage panic attacks.
Understanding How Medical Marijuana Could Help Manage Panic Attacks:
Someone who is diagnosed with a panic disorder will usually be provided with psychotherapy, cognitive behavior therapy (CBT), and medication. Medication, including anti-seizure, anti-depressant, and anti-anxiety, have significant side effects. In fact, some of these medications can even lead to anxiety! They are also highly addictive.
Because the cause of panic attacks isn't known, however, the treatment provided will vary greatly and is often quite experimental. How medical marijuana could help manage panic attacks is currently being studied. Some research is promising, with users in particular, suggesting it has helped them to relax. Others, however, say there is reason to believe medical marijuana could actually cause anxiety. So what does the actual evidence indicate?
Cannabis has gone through various tests in terms of its effects on anxiety. Some sufferers with mental disorders relating to anxiety have benefited from the treatment. However, as stated, some studies have linked cannabis to anxiety in a number of patients. Others, at the same time, say medical marijuana helps them to lower their levels of stress. It appears, therefore, that it all depends on the body chemistry of the individual. Hence, the only way to tell whether someone will benefit from it, is by trying it.
It is known that cannabis does not produce serotonin. However, it does affect anandamide, a neurotransmitter that reacts with the tetrahydrocannabinol found in marijuana. What this does is that it soothes and calms the body, which in turn reduces feelings of anxiety in people with a panic disorder. Also, there is suggestion that it may reduce the frequency of panic attacks.
It is known, hence, that stress, anxiety, and the likelihood of a further panic attack can be decreased with medical marijuana. Additionally, it has been shown to help with the physical symptoms associated with having a panic attack, including nausea. This is due to the CBD (cannabidiol), which has been proven to reduce and prevent convulsions, alleviate nausea, and reduce anxiety.
Those who suffer from a panic disorder may therefore want to try medicinal marijuana and see if it benefits them.