Pennsylvania just became another state which added anxiety as a condition for medical marijuana.
My somewhat anxious gut, based on 30 years of treating people with addiction and anxiety and seven years of smoking pot every day, tells me this opens a door for a lot of abuse. I have not looked at the research literature closely enough because it is complicated and very incomplete but based on what I have seen and discussions with and reviews from people I deem worthy of understanding the complexity of THC/CBD, anxiety and addictive behaviors, I think many more people will be looking for relief the easy way rather then learning to tolerate discomfort, natural anxiety and suffering.
For many people, and myself personally, marijuana both alleviated anxiety and caused greater anxiety over the long run which I believe can set folks up for a lifelong battle with addiction. As many decisions are made according to economic factors, yet again (as with opioids, ADD meds and benzos) I feel we’ll increasingly be in a position as psychologists who treat addiction and anxiety of having to help our patients get off “medication” that other doctors (lawmakers and our culture) have put them on.
Here is the article introducing the new law in Pennsylvania:
I do believe that some people are actually good candidates for medical marijuana and that in the context of good mental health treatment and working hard and carefully on one’s disordered anxiety, some individuals will experience improved health if they use marijuana as part of their treatment but I believe individuals and our society in general need to be careful in how we make these options available to those about whom we care.
Getting medical marijuana in PA:
To get help deciding whether medical marijuana is right for you or whether you may be at risk for additive-like behaviors and to help you with anxiety and other mental health symptoms contact a professional knowledgeable in addiction, mental health counseling and psychology.