How are cannabis and social anxiety related?

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Social anxiety is a mental disorder with various symptoms such as social inadequacy and feelings of depression and anxiety. Recently, a theory emerged saying that cannabis leads to social anxiety. We think it’s worth looking over and confirming or denying it. When someone suffers of social anxiety, they’re afraid of being judged and rejected socially and personally. They’re afraid of being wrongly catalogued or misrepresented.

Social anxiety disorder or SAD (fitting name), is the official diagnosis of people who manifest these symptoms for more than 6 months. There are more criteria for someone to be diagnosed with SAD, and some evidence emerged saying that cannabis leads to social anxiety disorder. The 2009 study is called “Social Anxiety And Marijuana Use Problems: The Mediating Role Of Marijuana Effect Expectancies”.

Going further back in time, another study says that people suffering of social anxiety disorder are 7 times more likely to start consuming cannabis and develop a cannabis addiction. Keep in mind that these studies aren’t supported by concise evidence, only suppositions and unfounded deductions. Moreover, the first study never says that cannabis is associated with anxiety disorders in general, just that some side-effects of THC are common with those of social anxiety.

What studies support cannabis?

A few studies negate the findings of the other two studies mentioned previously. It says that most people suffering of social anxiety disorder never seek any treatment. Moreover, the onset of the disorder was at an extremely early age, having no connection whatsoever with cannabis consumption. SAD is a condition that appears during youth, and even the American Psychiatric Association says that SAD usually develops at age 13 in the US.

If you’re telling us that kids aged 13 who suffer from SAD are all cannabis consumers, then that’s a bit far-fetched, right? Moreover, BudStars comments that the anecdotic evidence shows a clear fact – cannabis just isn’t responsible for social anxiety disorder. Countless consumers can confirm that from all corners of the world. If you have pre-existing health or mental problems, consuming cannabis might make them worse, though. It’s known that cannabis may cause paranoia-like feelings and anxiety if the THC concentration is too large. However, that’s not all there is to marijuana.

Instead, recreational use of cannabis has been linked to a decrease in anxiety and depression. The mood-boosting effects, sleep-inducing benefits, and calming effects of THC and CBD have been studied even more. Some cannabis strains will uplift and instill a sense of joy in you. You’ll forget all about depression and anxiety after taking a few puffs from these strains. CBD-dominant strains are calming, sedative, and stress-relieving. Stress can also cause anxiety in some cases, after all. In fact, there are plenty of non-psychoactive cannabis strains focusing only on relaxation, calmness, sedation, and medicinal value.

Only psychoactive strains with high concentrations of THC could make you feel anxious or paranoid. Even these cases are disparate and only happen when the consumer overdoses on cannabis (not literally). There’s no way to overdose on cannabis because there aren’t any life-threatening risks associated with cannabis overconsumption. The worst that can happen is going through a bad trip and becoming paranoid for the time being. It can’t make you permanently anxious or paranoid, though. Once the trip ends, you’ll return to being your normal self.

In fact, a study performed on people suffering of SAD showed that CBD was beneficial on social anxiety disorder symptoms. The context was a public speaking event, and the participants reported fewer anxiety symptoms after receiving doses of CBD prior to participating in the event. As for the group who received placebos, they were even more anxious during the event. It’s clear that cannabis doesn’t lead to social anxiety disorder. Instead, it’s an effective treatment against it. While the side-effects associated with high THC concentrations include short-term anxiety and even paranoia, it won’t lead to long-term social anxiety.

How can we get rid of social anxiety?

To properly treat social anxiety, doctors recommend using medical or cognitive behavioral therapy. Social therapy groups are available where you can participate and understand your condition better. Discussing about your fears and learning to let go of them will provide many benefits in your life. Consuming cannabis in low enough doses, especially if you use CBD-dominant strains, should calm you down and relieve your social anxiety symptoms.

However, blaming cannabis for social anxiety disorder isn’t the way to go. First of all, it’s not backed by good science. Instead, it’s disproved by science!