People dealing with anxiety in New Mexico are getting some relief as medical weed for anxiety in NM is now legally approved. Officials in the state have approved anxiety disorders as a qualifying condition under the state’s medical marijuana program.
Why Medical Weed for Anxiety in NM is Important
The New Mexico Cannabis Advisory Board noted that up to 25% of New Mexico’s population, equaling around 465,000 people, could be dealing with anxiety. The new ruling would allow them to get some relief if they are doctor approved.
The move to make medical weed for anxiety in NM legal was largely advocated by physician assistant Stephanie Richmond and Dr. Jean Paul Dedam, both of whom are advisory board members. They asked if they could add their own petition when public petitions to add certain mental conditions to the program abruptly ceased when cannabis was legalized for adults 21 and over.
In addition to bringing relief to patients, medical weed for anxiety in NM will reduce the need for benzodiazepines which are commonly prescribed for anxiety disorders. While benzos are effective, they cause unwanted side effects and can easily lead to addiction. Cannabis is not known to be physically addictive, nor does it cause many physical side effects.
Dedam is also hoping the legalization of medical weed for anxiety in NM will reduce stigmas and misinformation and open a forum for discussion on using cannabis for more medical conditions.
Implications of the Medical Weed for Anxiety in NM Change
The change of legalizing medical weed for anxiety in NM goes into effect on Jan. 1. Once active, it could expand the medical cannabis program with thousands of patients partaking. While dispensary managers are seeing this as a positive step forward, they note that recommending dosages will be the responsibility of cannabis shop employees until doctors are more aware of the products and their effects.
Richmond and Dedam excused themselves from voting on the petition, but the four remaining board members unanimously approved it.
Does Cannabis Really Help with Anxiety?
The legalization of medical weed for anxiety in NM will help many people. But can it hurt others? Cannabis is known to produce feelings of relaxation in some, but it can also increase anxiety symptoms. Therefore, it’s important that it’s used responsibly.
Let’s start by establishing the difference between CBD and THC. Both are cannabis constituents, but THC has psychoactive characteristics while CBD does not.
Both types of marijuana have been used for their calming effects. They are said to increase relaxation and help with sleep. They have been used to treat a variety of anxiety-related conditions including:
- Social anxiety
- Panic disorders
- Post-traumatic stress disorder
- Difficulty sleeping
However, marijuana can also aggravate anxiety. This is particularly common with THC use. Its psychoactive affects have been known to increase heart rate and promote racing thoughts to make anxiety worse.
There are also other side effects associated with marijuana use including the following:
- Smoking Risks: Smoking and vaping marijuana can lead to respiratory issues and increase the risk of some forms of cancer.
- Dependence and Addiction: Although cannabis is not physically addictive, it can be mentally addictive.
- Legal Status: There is a lot of confusion over the legal use of marijuana in certain states and jurisdictions. People who are not aware of the laws in their area may find themselves dealing with legal issues.
- Other Side Effects: In addition to increased heart rate and racing thoughts, people may also find themselves dealing with side effects such as hallucinations, sweatiness, confusion, difficulty sleeping, decreased motivation, mood swings, irritability, paranoia, and memory issues.
How to Use Marijuana Safely
If you would like to try marijuana to treat your anxiety issues, the following guidelines will help you have the best possible experience.
- Opt for CBD over THC: CBD does not have psychoactive effects. Therefore, it’s more likely to reduce anxiety rather than making it worse.
- So Slow: Start with low doses to see how marijuana will affect you. Increase gradually if necessary. Give it plenty of time to work before taking more.
- Purchase Marijuana from a Dispensary: It’s advisable to purchase marijuana from a dispensary as this will increase the chances that you are buying a pure, potent product. The dispensary employees will also be able to advise you on the best products to suit your needs and how high of a dose you should be taking.
- Be Aware of Interactions: Be aware the cannabis can interact with vitamins, supplements and OTC medications causing side effects and/or reducing their effectiveness. If you are taking any sort of medication, speak to a doctor or pharmacist before using cannabis.
- Tell Your Therapist: If you are working with a therapist, you should make them aware that you are using cannabis. This will help them determine how well it’s working to treat your symptoms.
The legalization of medical weed for anxiety in NM should bring some changes for the better. But all users must be aware of how cannabis may affect them before partaking. Be careful when you use marijuana products so you can be sure it’s doing all it can to increase your wellness.