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Dec 01st 2021
How to Cope with Anxiety and Depression this Holiday Season

Does the holiday season give you depression or anxiety? You are not alone.  About 1 out of every six adults, about 16 million Americans, suffers from depression at some time in their lives, the holiday season being one of those times.

Anxiety and depression can affect anyone at any.  Sadly, there is no natural way to combat the holiday blues; fortunately, a great deal of research suggests that cannabis might make the holidays more tolerable.

What is anxiety?

This holiday season, you may feel anxious about spending time with extended family or not having enough time to get everything done. Healthy levels of anxiety can be manageable in daily life. However, feelings of anxiety or fear can be constant, intense, or even debilitating for people with an anxiety disorder, especially around the holidays. There are many types of stress. As with depression, individuals can have a wide range of experiences with anxiety disorder which can include:

  • Restlessness
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Feelings of worry, fear or uneasiness
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Increased heart rate
  • Rapid breathing

What is depression?

Depression, or major depressive disorder, is a mood disorder that causes intense sadness and a lack of interest in life and activities you once enjoyed. People suffering from depression can have feelings of hopelessness and worthlessness and difficulty functioning through daily life at home and work. Holidays can undoubtedly add to the depression because everyone experiences depression differently as symptoms vary, but they can include the following:

  • General loss of pleasure in many activities
  • Sadness or overall depressed mood
  • Changes in appetite
  • Oversleeping or trouble sleeping
  • Fatigue or lack of energy
  • Feelings of worthlessness and guilt
  • Difficulty focusing, making decisions, and remembering things
  • Slowed movement or speech
  • Thoughts of death or suicide

Holiday Stress by the numbers

  • 25% of Americans agree that seeing family for the holidays causes stress.
  • 1/5th of all American parents will use cannabis to cope with holiday-related stress.
  • 76% of parents who consume cannabis intend on using cannabis as a way to deal with holiday-related stress.
  • 69% of cannabis consumers will use cannabis to deal with holiday-related stress.

Did you know “Family gossip” is a leading holiday table topic people will get high to engage with this year, beating out politics, money, and religion?

A recent study of 730,000 people 12 years and older shows, the bulk of cannabis consumption is by people suffering from depression. In addition, the study found that cannabis helped elevate the mood of those people that were “down-in-the-dumps.”

Medicating with cannabis during the holidays might be what the doctor ordered.  Other studies have shown that cannabis can combat anxiety and depression. So how we medicate with cannabis during the holidays can be the difference between an enjoyable holiday or not.

Researchers at Washington State University (WSU) found that medical cannabis could boost the overall mood of those suffering from anxiety and depression.  According to that research, cannabis which is high in CBD and low in THC, has been very effective in treating symptoms of depression.  This contradicts what most people believe that higher THC content equals happier times.  Cannabis strains with high THC contents can often exacerbate anxiety. 

Using Cannabis to help relieve anxiety and depression

If you are new to cannabis and would like to try to manage your anxiety and depression this holiday, make sure to start slow.  This will help determine your sensitivity to the medicine. Microdosing is a good way for beginners to start treating anxiety with cannabis.  It will allow you to start with small doses, ensuring you don’t overmedicate.  Make sure to look for high CBD strains like Harlequin, Jack Herer, or blue dream.

Did you know every strain has a different chemical makeup, and as a result, will have slightly different effects? Terpenes, which give cannabis distinct tastes and aromas, are also known to have beneficial properties that help relieve stress, and each strain has its own unique terpene profile. Don’t be afraid to try a few different ones to see what works for you!

 If you are unsure, Compassionate Clinics of America can help.  Are you considering medical cannabis for anxiety or depression? To help reduce patient frustration and aid patients in finding relief, Compassionate Clinics of America has medical cannabis nurses on staff to assist patients with finding the “sweet spot” and the relief they are looking for.

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