Can you get a medical marijuana card for anxiety in Florida?
Florida’s rules regarding medical marijuana for the treatment of anxiety.
Which delivery methods and marijuana strains are ideal for treating anxiety
Where to find a Florida medical marijuana doctor and dispensary
More information about cannabis and anxiety.
Using medical marijuana for anxiety in Florida?
The treatment and relief of anxiety disorders are among the top reasons why Florida medical marijuana patients turn to cannabis.
The short answer as to whether or not anxiety disorders qualify patients for a medical marijuana card in the state is, yes.
If a Florida medical marijuana doctor certifies a diagnosis of any anxiety disorder then you are eligible for a Florida medical marijuana card.
However, you can’t just walk in and claim that you are suffering from anxiety and be granted a card.
Before the doctor approves you for medical marijuana he or she will question you about the symptoms that you’ve been experiencing. We’ll go over the symptoms of anxiety below.
What are anxiety disorders?
Anxiety disorders are actually a collection of conditions, not just one disease.
Anxiety disorders are the most common cause of mental illness in the U.S. More than 40 million adults in the U.S. suffer from some type of anxiety disorder, according to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America.
People who suffer from anxiety disorders are up to 600 percent more likely to be hospitalized.
According to the US Department of Health and Human Services, there are five major types of anxiety. Let’s go over each of them briefly.
Different types of anxiety disorders
Social Anxiety Disorder
Social anxiety disorder is characterized by feelings of high anxiety resulting from typical social situations. People suffering from social anxiety disorder will sometimes avoid gatherings and public places.
More than 15 million Americans or about 7 percent of the US population suffer from social anxiety disorder.
Panic disorder is characterized by sudden panic attacks and/or intense fear. The symptoms often include chest pain, hyperventilation, increased heart rate, and sometimes dizziness.
More than 6 million adults, or almost 3 percent of the US population suffers from panic attacks. Women are twice as likely as men to be affected.
Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD)
Obsessive-compulsive disorder is characterized by excessive worry (obsessions) resulting in repetitive behaviors (compulsions). For example, some people are compulsive germaphobes who feel a need to avoid contact with people and obsessively wash their hands.
More than 2 million adults, or about 1 percent of Americans suffer from OCD.
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
Post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD, is caused by a history of traumatic experiences such as exposure to violence or physical abuse. PTSD is common among military veterans, rape victims, and domestic abuse victims. Patients with this condition will fear intense fear and anxiety in non-dangerous situations.
Almost 8 million adults, just over 3 percent of the US population, are affected by PTSD. Two out of three PTSD patients are women.
Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD)
Generalized anxiety disorder produces excessive worrying and tension without any apparent reason. Oftentimes patients will blame their anxiety on stressful situations, however, these are usually just triggers that don’t result in anxiety in most people. There is usually a different underlying cause.
More than 6.8 million adults, or about 3 percent of the US population, are affected by the condition. Women are twice as likely to be diagnosed with anxiety as men.
What are the symptoms of anxiety disorders?
Obviously, in order to a state-licensed medical marijuana doctor to diagnose a patient with an anxiety disorder, the patient must be showing symptoms of the condition.
Anxiety disorders manifest in a variety of psychological and physical symptoms.
Symptoms associated with anxiety disorders include:
- Increased heart rate
- Shortness of breath
- Excessive sweating
- Headache and back pain
- Trouble sleeping
- Mood swings
- Bowel irritation
- Loss of focus and attention span
Occasional feelings of anxiety are generally not harmful. However, frequent and excessive fears and worrying brought on by these conditions can impede judgement and the ability to function normally in everyday situations.
According to the CDC, 15 percent of Americans experience some form of anxiety disorder in their lifetime.
According to the Medical News Today Journal, factors that can trigger anxiety disorders include environmental conditions, underlying medical conditions, substance abuse, or genetic predisposition.
Sometimes a combination of the stress of everyday life and an imbalance in brain chemistry can cause anxiety.
How does medical marijuana help treat anxiety?
Anxiety disorders are easily treated. However, sadly, only about one-third of patients seek medical treatment.
Scientists believe that cannabinoids produced in marijuana such as THC and CBD act through various receptor-independent channels.
For example, CBD to some extent mimics the effects of one of our own naturally produced cannabinoids called anandamide. Anandamide is responsible for the production and uptake of the hormone serotonin. Anxiety patients often exhibit reduced levels of serotonin. Boosting those levels can calm anxiety in some patients.
Another common cannabinoid found in marijuana, THC, has the ability to induce feelings of euphoria which can go a long way toward helping to reduce feelings of anxiety.
However, in some patients, high doses of THC can result in feelings of anxiety paranoia. Medical marijuana patients need to be careful to not overmedicate.
Ideally, for treating anxiety disorders, a balance of THC and CBD is recommended.
Moreover, some strains of medical marijuana contain compounds called terpenes which have been shown to be useful in inducing feelings of relaxation.
Which marijuana strains are good for treating anxiety?
A qualified medical marijuana doctor can help a patient find the correct mix of CBD and THC that will significantly reduce one’s anxiety with little to no side effects.
These are the best reported marijuana strains for treating anxiety:
- ACDC – CBD dominant
- Remedy – CBD-dominant
- Granddaddy Purple – THC dominant
- Jack Herer – THC-dominant
- Jillybean – THC-dominant
- Purple Urkle – THC-dominant
- Canna-Tsu – balanced THC/CBD
Whether or not you use a product that contains THC often depends on your lifestyle. If you feel anxiety at work or school, products high in CBD and low in THC are probably best. On the other hand, if you have trouble relaxing or sleeping at night, a product with a balance of CBD and THC is ideal.
Which medical marijuana products are best for treating anxiety?
Which medical marijuana product is best for treating anxiety depends on the patient and the type of anxiety.
For generalized anxiety disorder that comes and goes throughout the day, cannabis-infused edibles are best as they tend to have a slower onset time but longer-lasting relief. This is also true for those suffering from social anxiety.
A cannabis-infused edible such as gummy candy or capsules taken about an hour before social activity can help reduce social anxiety. However, don’t use too much or you can make it worse.
For anxiety types that come on suddenly such as PTSD and panic attacks, inhalation works best. Inhalation provided almost instant effects. Inhalation methods include smoking dried cannabis flower, vaporizing dried flower, oils, or concentrates, and using inhalers that deliver purified THC and/or CBD.
For those that don’t want to inhale their medicine, tinctures are the second-fastest onset time. Tinctures are oils or alcohol-based preparations that are held under the tongue and absorbed directly into the bloodstream via capillaries in the mouth.
How to Get a medical card in florida
If you are interested in becoming a Florida medical marijuana patients, we make it easy to connect with a Florida marijuana doctor near you that is actively certifying MMJ patients. You will also receive updates, news as well as specials from local dispensaries.
To get started, simply fill out the MMJ patient registration form and press submit. A clinic representative will contact you to review and schedule your appointment. For Florida marijuana card renewals, appointments can be done online using telemedicine. See if you qualify today!