The use of marijuana to manage anxiety, especially among teens, has been a topic of heated debate. While Greater Good suggests there may be potential in marijuana for managing anxiety symptoms, there are significant concerns regarding its long-term effects on young individuals.
Studies, including those referenced by Drexel University and the University of Washington, present a nuanced picture. They indicate that while some individuals may experience temporary relief from anxiety, the long-term use of cannabis, particularly during the adolescent years, could lead to a range of cognitive difficulties and potentially exacerbate anxiety disorders.
Adding to this complexity, research from the University of Illinois at Chicago found that low doses of THC may decrease stress, yet slightly higher doses could increase it. This dose-dependent response raises the question of whether the risks outweigh the benefits, especially since adolescents are still undergoing critical stages of brain development.
Moreover, Columbia Magazine highlights that individuals may turn to marijuana to self-medicate for mood and sleep problems, but evidence supporting its effectiveness in the long term is scant. The impact on cognitive abilities, as noted by Harvard Health, where long-term users showed a notable decline in IQ and cognitive function, casts further doubt on its suitability as a treatment for anxiety.
The potential for cannabis to offer therapeutic benefits, including possibly aiding with anxiety, has been acknowledged by Johnson & Wales University. However, the complex relationship between marijuana and memory, executive function, and psychomotor abilities, as described by Harvard Health, suggests that any potential benefits must be carefully weighed against these risks.
While marijuana may not directly produce serotonin, as indicated by Go Ask Alice!, its mood regulation properties continue to be investigated. And in the conversation moderated by University of Michigan experts, the pros and cons of marijuana use are explored with a level of skepticism, particularly regarding its role in mental health.