Dr. Hyla Cass, M.D. board-certified in psychiatry and integrative medicine, author of The Addicted Brain and How to Break Free, was interviewed on the Anxiety Summit by host of the Anxiety Summit, Trudy Scott, Food Mood Expert and Nutritionist, author of The Antianxiety Food Solution.
Marijuana and anxiety: Panacea or Pandora’s Box?
- Marijuana: THC and CBD
- Medical marijuana/CBD benefits for nausea and mood
- The risks: schizophrenia, psychosis, cognitive effects and worse anxiety
- Toxins in marijuana and smoking dangers
- Marijuana addiction and why it’s different from 20 years ago
- The use of targeted amino acids for breaking the addiction
I invited Dr. Cass to present on this topic because many people use marijuana to chill out from anxiety, and as a psychiatrist she sees how disabling marijuana use can be in certain susceptible individuals. It can actually trigger schizophrenia and psychosis. There are a number of studies supporting this connection and it’s not discussed a great deal by medical marijuana proponents. When someone gets affected it’s serious. It’s really, really serious. I asked her to share more about this in the interview and this is what she said:
I have absolutely seen somebody without much of a family history of schizophrenia or bipolar illness but they’ve really tipped the balance by using marijuana. Or some of them may have a history but if they hadn’t smoked pot nothing would have happened. But this really does tip the balance in terms of when you don’t have the essential fatty acids and neurotransmitter precursors – and you can become psychotic.
Here are some other gems from our interview:
So when you say well it’s my choice to smoke. Yes it’s your choice but do it really in an educated way. There are pesticides and there are herbicides. Do I have a susceptibility to this genetically? What kind of things run in my family? What kind of disorders run in my family? Is it worthwhile to do this? What am I getting myself into? Are there other ways to go? Are, pPeople using pot to relax – maybe you need some GABA or Theanine. I have a product called Calm that’s great and a lot of people that had been smoking pot or drinking alcohol to their detriment switched to my Calm product which has Theanine and GABA in it and again just did really much better because it was restoring what you need.
Treat your brain extremely well. It’s the only brain you have. And once you ruin it, it’s very, very hard to bring it back.
Here are some of the studies we discussed in the interview:
- Marijuana use in the immediate 5-year premorbid period is associated with increased risk of onset of schizophrenia and related psychotic disorders
- Cannabis use and symptoms of anxiety in adolescence and the moderating effect of the serotonin transporter gene
- Solitary cannabis use frequency mediates the relationship between social anxiety and cannabis use and related problems
This paper Adverse Health Effects of Marijuana Use lists a number of adverse effects:
Marijuana use has been associated with substantial adverse effects, some of which have been determined with a high level of confidence. Marijuana, like other drugs of abuse, can result in addiction. During intoxication, marijuana can interfere with cognitive function (e.g., memory and perception of time) and motor function (e.g., coordination), and these effects can have detrimental consequences (e.g., motor-vehicle accidents). Repeated marijuana use during adolescence may result in long-lasting changes in brain function that can jeopardize educational, professional, and social achievements.
And follow-up letters to the journal article above list additional adverse effects (not discussed in the interview):
- increased stroke risk (even in young people)
- fungal infections
- and the potential for interactions between marijuana and medications
This paper discusses how much stronger cannabis/marijuana is now compared to 20 years ago: Changes in Cannabis Potency Over the Last 2 Decades (1995-2014): Analysis of Current Data in the United States.
We discussed amino acids for the breaking the addiction and Dr. Cass’ season 1 interview: The Addicted Brain and How to Break Free
Here is a blog post that may help if you’re new to amino acids: Targeted individual amino acids: what do we really mean?
Dr. Cass recommends two books for further reading:
- True Bud: Understanding Toxic Marijuana Syndrome by Scott Gillet LCSW CRNC
- The Anti-Aging Miracles of Hemp-Derived CBD Oil: 5,000 Years of Healing The Body and The Brain by Sally Schutz M.D. and Bayne Boyes
Here are two of Dr. Cass’ great books:
- Eight Weeks to Vibrant Health: A Take Charge Plan for Women to Correct Imbalances, Reclaim Energy and Restore Well-Being
Get your free gifts from Dr. Hyla Cass: “Outsmart Your Addiction Quiz” and “Reclaim Your Brain” e-report
If you are not already registered for the Anxiety Summit you can get live access to the speakers of the day here: www.theAnxietySummit.com
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