Cannabis is one of the most popular drugs in the world. It is also one of the most widely used psychotropic substances in Europe and the USA. According to the 2015 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, in the US alone, around 22.2 million people have used cannabis in the last month. This is a huge figure from all points of view. Today, legalisation is spreading to many countries and states around the world. This figure is therefore expected to rise even further. Some people use cannabis recreationally – for fun, for sleep or for relaxation.
However, in some cases, marijuana can cause stress and discomfort. Cannabis-induced anxiety disorder is a disorder documented and described in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Health. This type of anxiety disorder can be caused by excessive or insufficient cannabis use. Some people even experience panic attacks as soon as they take a joint and therefore tend to avoid using the substance for fear of a recurrence. This can be a problem, especially for those who want to use cannabis for therapeutic purposes.
In addition, some people are more prone to anxiety reactions after using cannabis. Here are few ways to cope with and control marijuana anxiety:
DO SOME RELAXATION TECHNIQUES
When you feel nervous, your body basically triggers a “fight or flight” mechanism. This physiological response occurs when the body senses an imminent threat, attack or dangerous event. This feeling can be really annoying, but there is a technique to get the body to relax quickly. Many people do controlled breathing exercises to regain control during a panic attack.
Deep breathing is very effective. In addition, breathing exercises can be done easily and anywhere. Over time, they will help to release tension. You can try the square breathing method: inhale to the count of four, hold your breath to the count of four, exhale to the count of four and start again. Do this exercise several times. Eventually, you will notice that your heart rate has calmed down and your anxiety has eased.
TRY LISTENING TO SOFT MUSIC
If you feel depressed, you can try music therapy. Listen to soft music to help ease your nerves. Ideally, there should be no sudden changes in rhythm or intrusive bass. Sounds that sound like sharp or shrill screams are disruptive to the nervous system. Similarly, sounds that sound like growling or moaning agitate the mind, encouraging it to search the environment for any threat.
On the other hand, soft background music can promote calm without disturbing the nervous system. This type of music also creates a great atmosphere for breathing exercises.
SIT AND STRETCH
A very useful way to calm the mind is to relax the body first. This is where physical activity comes in handy: it is an excellent natural antidepressant. Go outside and take a walk in the greenery or roll out a yoga mat and do some stretching exercises. If negative thoughts are the cause of stress, physical exercise allows you to focus your mind elsewhere. In addition, physical activity calms, relieves nervous tension and boosts blood circulation. Stretching signals the body that it is time to stretch and relax. And where the body goes, the mind goes.
TAKE A HOT SHOWER
A hot shower could be another great choice to relieve cannabis-induced anxiety. Like exercise, hot water can provide relief and allow the body to let go of stress. If for some reason you still feel anxious even in the shower, try some basic Mindfulness techniques. This technique allows you to focus on the present moment with clarity and curiosity, without making judgements. To bathe in full awareness, focus your attention on the sensations you are feeling. What is the temperature? What do you perceive when your skin is immersed in water?
Accomplished. These techniques may not eliminate your anxiety completely, but they will certainly help you to make it more bearable and easier to cope with.