Doctors of Natural Medicine

MEdical Marijuana For Anxiety

In this article we hope to help you understand the main factors when considering using medical marijuana for anxiety. We will also dive into the legality of it for this condition and help you understand all your legal options.

First, is medical marijuana for anxiety LEgal?

As some of you already know, in Colorado, you cannot get your medical card without the permission of a doctor. Due to state regulations, to use medical marijuana, you must have a qualifying condition and anxiety, as of right now, is not listed as one of these conditions. However, many patients use medical marijuana for their anxiety, and although it is not one of the qualifying conditions at the time of writing this, this should not deter you from trying to get your card for several reasons.

There are a multitude of reasons why patient suffer anxiety on a daily basis. Some suffer from PTSD or have experienced Trauma of some sort. Others have intense pain which fuels their anxiety with the pressure of doing daily tasks. If your anxiety is a product of any of the qualifying conditions for medical marijuana, then you will be able to get approved by MMJ doctor.

Some Good news & bad News: Cannabis can reduce and Increase Anxiety

Anxiety is a complicated thing. The amount we know when it comes to medical marijuana is increasing every day. The little research that has been done has shown that cannabis can effectively treat your anxiety if you know where to start. Let’s dive into the specifics.

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Where Do I start

The science beHind Marijuana Compounds

As some of you already know, marijuana has many compounds. The most well known of these compounds are THC and CBD.

CBD is the non psychoactive compound which has numerous health benefits. CBD does not make you feel “high”. CBD is known to be anxiety-REDUCING.

THC is the compound most commonly known for giving you that “high” sensation. This is the compound know for its psychoactive properties. THC is known to be an anxiety-INDUCING.

This is a good base rule to go by if you don’t want to overthink it, however, anecdotal evidence suggests that it may not matter and it may depend on the patient.

PTSD & Chronic Pain Patients Suffering from Anxiety

According to, PTSD patients and chronic pain patients have reported reduced anxiety when using medical marijuana. There is a lot of research that still needs to be done however the study did look promising. If you are suffering from chronic pain or ptsd, you are eligible to get approved to use medical marijuana. Set up an appointment if you would like to get evaluated by one of our doctors.

Does medical marijuana have side effects?

Terpenes: The secret to Anxiety?

Each strain of marijuana has different terpenes.  It is important to know what terpenes are in your medical marijuana as some research has shown that specific terpenes can have a positive effect on anxiety specifically. 

What are Terpenes?

Terpenes are the oily compounds that cause medical marijuana to have a smell. These terpenes act as essential oils which are known to have specific therapeutic effects. The cannabis plant alone has over 200  different types of terpenes!


As you can probably guess from the name, Limonene has a lemon-like smell. This terpene has been known to help reduce anxiety. When shopping for medical marijuana, make sure to research which strains contain the lemon like smell. Sometimes you can tell from the name of the strain. If you are not sure, make sure to ask your local shop, as they will have this knowledge handy and be aware of all their products. 

This may not be the overall solution to your anxiety, but can definitely help point you in the right direction.

Commonly Reported Benefits

According to healthline, Sarah Peace, a licensed counselor in Olympia, Washington reports that some commonly reported benefits to using medical marijuana for anxiety are:
  • an increased sense of calm
  •  improved relaxation
  • better sleep
  • greater peace of mind
  • and reduction in symptoms that are considered “unbearable”.

Relieved Symptoms

Peace, mentioned above, has also reported a relief in symptoms for other disorders that commonly exhibit high levels of anxiety. These disorders are:
  • Agoraphobia
  • Social anxiety
  • Post traumatic stress disorder
  • Phobias
  • And sleep disorders related to anxiety.

NOt A Complete Cure

CBD has been the cannabinoid that has shown the most promise when dealing with anxiety. THC has been reported to help in low doses. However, it is important to remember that we do not recommend looking at medicinal marijuana as the complete cure. Patients have suggested that their symptoms are alleviated, however this does not mean anxiety just disappears. If you suffer multiple anxiety attacks per day, you may suffer only one. It is important to seek therapy and see where the root cause of your anxiety comes from. 

Some Negative Side Effects

It is always important to consider the negative side effects when trying new medication. Medical marijuana is no exception. Here is a list of reported side effects that you should consider and be aware of:
  • increased heart rate
  • increased sweating
  • racing or looping thoughts
  • problems with concentration
  • changes in mood/irritability
  • paranoia
  • hallucinations and other symptoms of psychosis
  • confusion and being “numb”
  • decreased motivation
  • trouble sleeping

These symptoms may seem contradictory to what we have mentioned above however it is important that each patient understands medical marijuana can affect each person differently. It is important to start slow and be safe. 


No one knows your body like you know your body. When considering using medical marijuana for anxiety please consider the following precautionary measures:
  1. Start slow.
  2. Start with a low dose.
  3. Talk with your Doctor about other medications you are taking
  4. Try CBD products over THC products.
  5. Refine your process over time

Getting healthy takes time. Sometimes the need to feel relief can cause us to move needlessly fast. In moments like these we urge each patient to go slow for your own safety.