Cannabis is one of the best-known substances in the world and is also one of the most commonly used substances in Europe and the United States. A 2015 survey, the National Survey on Drug Use and Health, showed that about 22.2 million people had used cannabis in the previous month in the United States alone. That’s a huge number, on any scale. Now, with legalization in place in many states and countries around the world, that number is expected to increase even more. Some people are using the substance for recreational purposes, for enjoyment, for relaxation or to relax.
In some cases, however, cannabis can cause anxiety. Cannabis Anxiety Disorder is a condition documented in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Health. This type of anxiety disorder can be a direct consequence of either using excessive amounts of cannabis or of using not as much as the body needs. Some people even experience panic attacks every time they try cannabis and therefore avoid it out of fear of the consequences. This can be a serious challenge for those who seek to turn to cannabis as a medicine.
Besides, some people are genetically more likely to have an anxious response to cannabis than others. Regardless of the reason, here are 5 ways to manage cannabis anxiety.
1. CHANGE YOUR ENVIRONMENT
Your environment is probably the main contributor to your anxiety about cannabis. If you are in a new environment, with people you have recently met, or if you feel physically uncomfortable, you probably feel anxious. If this is a situation where you start to feel slightly odd, one of the quickest ways to deal with this feeling is simply to change your environment. Do something invigorating, like going for a walk to get some fresh air, going to the garden to relax in a deckchair, or going home if you can. Your body needs to think that you are in a pleasant and safe place. Once this is the case, anxiety should decrease.
2.Use Calming Techniques
When we feel nervous, the body goes into “fight-or-flight” mode, a physiological response that occurs in response to what is perceived as a negative event, threat or attack. While this can be very upsetting, there is a technique to get your body to calm down quickly. Many people rely on controlled breathing methods to return to a normal state during a panic attack.
Deep breathing is a really useful practice and is something you can easily do anywhere. It will help you feel less stressed in a matter of moments. You can use the “square breathing” method: inhale to the count of four, hold your breath to the count of four, then blow to the count of four, hold your breath to the count of four, and so on. Do this in a loop and it will eventually help slow your heart rate and calm your anxiety.
3. Try Listening to Soft Music
When you feel bad, try music therapy. To calm your nervous system, play soft music. The ideal music should not contain strong variations in pitch or pronounced bass. This is because sounds that sound like high-pitched screams disrupt the nervous system. Likewise, sounds that sound like thud focus attention on finding threats in the environment. However, soft music in the background can promote a quiet environment without generating a reaction from the nervous system. It is also a good atmosphere to try the breathing exercises mentioned above.
4. Sit and Stretch
A very effective technique to calm the mind is to relax the body. That’s where exercise comes in: it’s a natural mood enhancer. Take a brisk walk outside, or simply roll out the yoga mat and do some therapeutic stretching. When your thoughts are stressing you out, exercise gives you something else to focus on. Second, exercise is a comforting act that can relieve nervous tension and promote blood circulation. Stretching signals to your body that it’s time to relax and let go. And where the body goes, the mind follows.
5. Take a hot shower
A good hot shower under the effect of cannabis might work in your case. Like physical activity, hot water can be very soothing and is a great way to relax. If for some reason you continue to feel uncomfortable in the shower, try a basic mindfulness technique. Mindfulness involves focusing on the present moment, with curiosity and without judgment. To shower mindfully, focus your attention on how the water feels. How do you feel the temperature? How does the water feel on your skin?
That’s it. These methods should not completely eliminate your anxiety, but they can certainly help make it more manageable until it goes away