“Marijuana and Meditation For Anxiety, Neither Should Be Seen As A Solution But Rather A Sidekick.”
There are varied treatments for anxiety. Recently, two studies have looked into marijuana and meditation as a reliable treatment for anxiety.
The Michigan Technological University study, discussed at the annual conference of ‘Experimental Biology’, found that just one sitting of midfullness meditation can significantly alleviate anxiety in individuals suffering from moderate/mild anxiety.
The Washington State University study, published in the Journal of Affective Disorders, looked into the role of marijuana in anxiety treatment. Their research tried to quantify the ratio of CBD/cannabidiol and THC/tetrahydrocannabinol that’s ideal for easing anxiety, stress, and depression.
The Michigan Technological University study
The Michigan Technological University study found that one session, lasting 60 minutes, of mindfulness meditation was sufficient to decrease (sometimes very significantly) anxiety in sufferers. The study subjects consisted of individuals suffering from moderate/mild anxiety. They had to undergo meditation consisting of introductory meditation of 20 minutes, body scanning for half an hour, and self-guided meditation for 10 minutes.
It was found that the participants experienced a reduction in their anxiety levels just after the meditation and after one week. There was improvement in their cardiac health as well. There was a decrease in mechanical stress exerted on the arteries, which can consequently lead to a reduction in stress on the kidneys, brain, and other organs as well as prevention of ailments like hypertension.
The Washington State University study
In the Washington State University study, the subjects had to smoke marijuana at home and then rate their anxiety, depression, and stress symptoms on an app that helped track the effect of different marijuana dosage on the symptoms. It was observed that low THC/high CBD was ideal for easing short-term depression, while high THC/low CBD was best for decreasing stress; both were good for alleviating anxiety.
These therapies yielded better results for women as compared to men.
It was also found that marijuana (read THIS article for further clarification on marijuana and what you need to know) was associated to exacerbation of depression symptoms over a longer period of time. Thus, continual use of cannabis may lead to worsening of depression symptoms in the long-term. This drawback defeats the basic purpose of pot for treating anxiety and other mental disorders.
Marijuana and Meditation for anxiety: Which is better?
Neither of the above mentioned studies were the first in the field. Previous studies showed the anxiety-alleviating effects of marijuana and how it helps the calming of social anxiety and social stress. Newer research is also undergoing as to the effects of cannabidiol oil for treating anxiety.
Meditation on the other hand has strong proof about its effectiveness in treatment of rumination, anxiety, and persistent depression. Several studies have shown that meditation can help treat depression as well as prevent a relapse. It can thus be seen that meditation is better when it comes to long-term easement of depression as marijuana does not offer this benefit.
Both meditation and medical marijuana can help ease anxiety. However, people who suffer from depression and anxiety should opt for meditation as a secondary treatment option to a proven CBT based method as its effects are more positive and better known and understood.