Short answer: While anxiety is not a qualifying condition for receiving an Arizona medical card, if your anxiety occurs as the consequence of other illnesses that belong to qualifying conditions, you can apply for a weed card.
According to the ADAA (Anxiety and Depression Society of America,) approximately 40 million adults in the US, or around 18% of the country’s population, experience some form of anxiety disorder. These days, more and more of them are wondering whether medical marijuana can help with their anxiety, especially during the coronavirus pandemic, when anxiety is at a peak for people at all levels of health and wellness. As many patients have already discovered, medical marijuana offers benefits for people with anxiety, and some states, like California, Pennsylvania, Puerto Rico, North Dakota, and New Jersey, even list anxiety as one of the qualifying conditions for getting a medical card.
As such, if, in this environment, you’re one of the many Arizonans now wondering, “Can I get a medical card for anxiety in Arizona?” the answer is not a simple yes or no. Rather, while anxiety is not yet one of the qualifying conditions for a medical card in Arizona, that does not mean people with anxiety can’t still get one. As this article will explain in detail, anxiety is not just a medical condition in its own right but is also a symptom of a host of other medical conditions that do indeed qualify for a medical card in Arizona.
Anxiety Disorder Symptoms
Anxiety disorders can cause a wide range of symptoms that interfere with daily life and activities, including:
- Severe anxiety or terror episodes that generate extreme responses such as a fast pulse, shortness of breath, nausea, or sweating
- Racing heartbeat
- Feelings of fear or worry
- Shortness of breath
- Inability to focus
The mix and strength of symptoms might vary depending on the type of anxiety disorder. Just because you don’t have these specific symptoms doesn’t imply you don’t have an anxiety condition; only a professional mental health practitioner can make it clear.
Qualifying Conditions in Arizona With Symptoms of Anxiety
Medical marijuana provides benefits for many different anxiety-related conditions. So, while anxiety may not be listed as one of the qualifying conditions for receiving an Arizona medical card, if your anxiety occurs as the consequence of any of these conditions or their treatment, you can still qualify for that card:
- Alzheimer’s disease agitation
- Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis
- Crohn’s disease
- HIV-positive status
- Hepatitis C
What’s more, Arizona issues medical marijuana cards to patients with any medical condition that has certain symptoms, namely:
- Chronic pain
- Persistent or severe muscle spasms, such as those associated with multiple sclerosis
- Post-traumatic stress disorder
- Severe nausea
- Wasting syndrome (Cachexia)
Therefore, if you experience any of these symptoms as a result of any other medical condition, you can still qualify for a medical card in Arizona as well.
Read also: Can You Get a Medical Marijuana Card for Depression in Arizona?
It’s worth noting here that majority of the medical marijuana cards issued in Arizona currently are for either PTSD or Chronic Pain. Keep in mind that the coronavirus crisis is itself a traumatic event capable of producing symptoms of anxiety in virtually anyone. Consider that the effects of being quarantined from friends and loved ones, watching neighbors get sick and die, losing income from work, keeping kids calm, educated and entertained, not to mention fears of catching the coronavirus and getting sick with COVID-19, along with many other circumstances and consequences of the crisis are all legitimate causes of post traumatic stress with related symptoms of anxiety. So, even if you don’t have any of the other qualifying conditions or symptoms listed above, you may still qualify for a medical card in Arizona with PTSD as a result of the coronavirus crisis and social lockdown.
Finally, note that Arizona is still adding new conditions to its list of those that qualify for legal medical marijuana in the state. Every year, you can petition the Arizona Department of Health Services (ADHS) to add a new qualifying condition like Generalized Anxiety Disorder, Social Anxiety Disorder, Separation Anxiety Disorder or Panic Attacks to the list.
How Medical Marijuana Can Help Treat Anxiety
Though the understanding of cannabis nature has grown recently, experts are still investigating the relationship between marijuana, depression, and other mental health disorders. The following are some recent studies that attempted to shed some light on the marijuana effect on human bodies.
Research into the use of marijuana for treating anxiety and its associated symptoms has found promise for its use as a substitute for pharmaceutical anti-anxiety medications like benzodiazepines. Like these pharmaceuticals, medical marijuana may positively affect levels of GABA in the body and brain, a neurotransmitter associated with balancing mood and regulating anxiety. Unlike benzodiazepine, however, medical marijuana has not been found to produce a tolerance in people using it or cause death from overdosing on it.
Researchers have also found that medical marijuana can lower cortisol levels. Cortisol is a neurotransmitter associated with stress, including emotional stress, such as in cases of anxiety. When under stress, cortisol levels are higher. Lowering cortisol levels, therefore, can help to reduce stress, commonly associated with anxiety.
According to 2018 research published in the Journal of Affective Disorders, smoking cannabis can also considerably lower short-term levels of sadness, anxiety, and tension. The study was unique because researchers examined the effects of inhaled cannabis smoked by people in their own homes rather than THC pills delivered in a lab.
According to 2020 research published in the Yale Journal of Biology and Medicine, the majority of study participants had at least a short-term antidepressant effect from cannabis consumption. This is the largest study released to date that measured how different forms of cannabis flower (the most common type of product consumed in the United States) affect depression-related symptoms in real time.
In the more recent experiment published in Front Psychiatry in 2021, a link between cannabis usage and decreased self-reported depression was discovered. People who consumed marijuana reported improved sleep, a higher quality of life, and less discomfort. Participants in the research who began using cannabis products reported a 25% reduction in depressive symptoms.
Another study was conducted by the Canadiens in 2022, confirming the effectiveness of medical marijuana in the treatment of anxiety and depression. The study looked back at patients who had used medicinal cannabis and obtained their documentation and allocation from a Harvest Medicine clinic in Canada. All participants were at least 18 years old, filled out a validated anxiety (GAD-7) and depression (PHQ-9) questionnaire during their first evaluation, and had at least one follow-up visit. The sample consisted of 7,362 patients, the average age of whom was 49.8 years old, and 53.1% of whom were female. The research demonstrated significant improvements between baseline and follow-up assessments for both anxiety and depression, with more improvements noticed in patients who actively use medical marijuana for treatment.
Read also: Can You Get a Medical Card for Mental Health in Arizona?
How to Get an Arizona Medical Marijuana Card for Anxiety
With Affordable Certification, you can get your MMJ card AZ online quickly, easily and affordably. When you sign up at Affordable Certification, we’ll set you up with a tele-health appointment from the comfort, safety and privacy of your own home with a doctor licensed to practice in Arizona. That way, you don’t need to ask your regular doctor for authorization if you don’t feel comfortable doing so.
To have Affordable Certification help you get your AZ MMJ card online, simply sign up at AffordableCertification.com by clicking Get Started button. After providing some basic information and paying your fee, Affordable Certification will set up your appointment. Assuming the doctor finds that you qualify for a medical marijuana card in Arizona with one of the qualifying conditions, Affordable Certification will submit your application on your behalf to the Arizona Department of Health’s Arizona Medical Marijuana Program. The state will, then, issue you an AZQP number for your reference and a receipt. Once your application is approved, generally within four to five business days of accepting your application, you’ll get instant access to your digital medical marijuana card. This digital card you receive in your email is all you need to purchase, possess and use medical marijuana legally in Arizona. If you want you can also print a physical card. We can do it for you for $20.
Read also: 8 Reasons to Keep Your Medical Card in Arizona.
Using Medical Marijuana For Anxiety
Once you have your Arizona medical marijuana card, you are ready to visit your nearest Arizona dispensary to make your first purchase as a legal medical marijuana patient. Getting the benefits you need from the medical marijuana you purchase depends largely on your choice of medical marijuana product. This includes both the strain you choose and the method of ingestion.
Which Marijuana Treatment Method Is Most Effective for Anxiety Disorders?
The best way to consume marijuana depends on your symptoms, diagnosis, and how you react to cannabis. You have several alternatives, and each approach changes how your drug affects you. Let’s take a look at how you can utilize medicinal marijuana:
- Smoking. It’s the most common technique for both recreational and medicinal users to consume cannabis. However, it may not live up to the hype for you – in fact, it may be harmful to your health. Smoking marijuana, like smoking tobacco, generates tar and poisons that you inhale along with the cannabis.
- Vaping. Toxins can be reduced when vaping appropriately with a high-quality vaporizer. However, no matter how you vape it, it will still emit a trace quantity of those toxins.
- Edibles. If you don’t have any dietary limitations or concerns that prevent you from consuming edible marijuana products, they can deliver a longer and milder impact. If you don’t mind feeling the effects later than you would with inhalation, edibles may help alleviate any negative effects that marijuana may cause.
- Topicals. Most topicals, such as lotions and balms, aid patients suffering from localized pain. However, in certain places, patches are available that allow the drug to enter your blood system immediately. Patches are available in a 100 percent CBD mix, allowing you to escape the paranoia caused by tetrahydrocannabinol (THC).
- Pure CBD. Pure CBD is a therapy approach that is gaining popularity. CBD oils and tablets are taken similarly to pharmaceutical medications yet have the same effect as other CBD products.
While you may use marijuana in almost any way and get comfort, some products will perform better than others. Patches, tablets, and oils containing 100 percent CBD can alleviate your anxiety without exacerbating it. Try different products and keep in touch with your doctor so you may make changes as you go.
Best Strains of Medical Marijuana For Anxiety
Some users find that certain types of marijuana produce, rather than reduce, anxiety in them. In most cases, this is due to the psychoactive component known as tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, contained in many marijuana strains. By choosing marijuana low in THC and high in CBD, or cannabidiol, instead, you can significantly reduce, or even eliminate, this risk.
CBD does not contain any psychoactive properties, but is known to be effective in treating anxiety and many of its related symptoms, as seen in a comprehensive research review on its use in both rats and humans for that purpose. In this review, CBD was found to produce an immediate anxiolytic (or anxiety-reducing) effect as well as reduce social anxiety disorder. Therefore, medical marijuana strains high in CBD and low in THC can provide you all the anxiety-reducing benefits you desire without the mind-altering affects so commonly associated with marijuana. Hemp oil, in particular, is one such type of medical marijuana high in CBD but containing little or no THC.
Read also: Israeli Researchers Study Cannabis as Possible COVID-19 Treatment.
Begin Your Treatment With Affordable Certification
If you decide to try medical marijuana for anxiety after reading this post, you need to have some basic understanding of how marijuana can influence your body. Our objective at Affordable Certification is to provide you with the knowledge you need to make an informed medical marijuana decision. We can help you identify if you have a qualifying condition, advise what type and dose of medical cannabis is best for you and where to buy it.
Finding a competent doctor and dispensary is crucial for creating an effective marijuana treatment plan. A licensed marijuana doctor in your area can provide suggestions, while a qualified staff at the dispensary can advise you on the items they sell and how they can help with your anxiety.
Anxiety, like depression, is not considered a sufficient condition for obtaining a medical marijuanas card. However, if the anxiety is a symptom of another medical condition that is a qualifying condition, then you may consider including medical cannabis in your treatment plan. Of course, this should be done only after consultation with a certified doctor, whom you can contact through our telemedicine service by registering right now.
If you suffer from anxiety or concomitant symptoms and want to know if medical marijuana is suitable for you, use AffordableCertification.com to find a nearby, competent medical marijuana doctor. Let us make your life better!