Also known as SAD, social anxiety disorder has the potential to completely ruin a person’s life if it isn’t identified and treated as soon as possible. Imagine a situation where you constantly feel under the microscope, where every mistake you make is highlighted, and every move you make is judged? That is just a taste of what it feels like to have SAD.
In this article we are going to discuss Social Anxiety Disorder and review 5 marijuana strains that could be perfect for dealing with this difficult conditions.
What is Social Anxiety Disorder?
According to the Social Anxiety Institute1, social anxiety is a fear of interacting with people that bring on feelings of being judged negatively. Meeting other people makes you feel self-conscious and ultimately, you elect to avoid dealing with others. As a result, you become isolated and alone. You also feel inferior, inadequate and embarrassed.
The Anxiety and Depression Association of America2 (ADAA) believes that over 40 million American adults are affected by anxiety disorders which equates to over 18% of the adult population. Around 15 million people (of all ages) are affected by SAD which is almost 7% of the population. A survey from 2007 showed that 36% of people with social anxiety disorder wait over ten years before receiving help!
It is difficult to pin down an exact cause of SAD, but it is probably caused by a combination of genetic and environmental factors. For example, you’re more likely to have a social anxiety disorder if you are the victim of sexual abuse, bullying or family conflict. A serotonin imbalance may also be a reason as this chemical in the brain helps regulate mood.
It’s also possible that an overactive amygdala (one of the structures in your brain; it controls feelings of anxiety and fear response) could be responsible. While SAD can run in families, it is more likely because of environmental factors than genetic ones.
What Are the Symptoms of Social Anxiety Disorder?
If you have SAD, you may experience emotional distress when the following happens:
- Social encounters, especially with strangers.
- If you are teased, bullied or otherwise harassed.
- If you become the center of attention
- When you’re introduced to people.
- If you’re forced to speak to people, especially in a formal setting.
- Interpersonal relationships; friendships or romances.
People with social anxiety disorder may exhibit the following symptoms when any of the above happens:
- Shaking or trembling
- Difficulty speaking
- Lightheadedness or dizziness
- Increased heart rate
It is common for people with social anxiety disorders to deliberately miss appointments to avoid meeting anyone. They may even fake illnesses to stay at home from school or work and misuse alcohol when forced to deal with a social situation.
What is Life with Social Anxiety Like?
If you suffer from social anxiety disorder, you will do everything possible to isolate yourself from others. As well as shutting yourself off from the outside world, you’ll stay away from family and friends. You will steer clear of social events, group activities and won’t even eat or drink in front of others. You could experience symptoms such as diarrhea and nausea weeks before a dreaded social event arrives.
Conventional Remedies for Social Anxiety
There are different types of therapy for social anxiety including:
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy: You learn to control anxiety through breathing & relaxation and discover how to think positively rather than negatively.
Exposure Therapy: You learn to face social situations gradually.
Group Therapy: You learn social skills by interacting with others. By participating in therapy with people with a similar problem, you may feel less alone.
Medication: The most commonly used medications are selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) including Zoloft and Paxil. You may also receive SNRIs such as Effexor XR, benzodiazepines or beta blockers. Side effects include:
- Blurred vision
- Slurred speech
- Poor concentration
- Memory problems
Medical Research on Marijuana for Social Anxiety
Believe it or not, marijuana was first used as a treatment for anxiety back in 1563 when a Portuguese doctor wrote that cannabis could relieve patients of all worries! In 2014, a study by Vanderbilt University4 discovered that smoking marijuana increased the presence of endocannabinoids which normally get reduced due to chronic stress.
A 2017 Canadian study5 found that 40% of patients were able to stop taking benzodiazepines within 90 days of using medical marijuana for their anxiety. As marijuana is also said to play a role in memory extinction, it is capable of helping people forget bad experiences.
5 Best Marijuana Strains for Social Anxiety
1 – Granddaddy Purple (Indica Dominant Marijuana Strain)
This slightly indica dominant strain is a cross between Purple Urkle and Big Bud. It contains 7% CBD and up to 27% THC. It is one of the easiest marijuana strains to identify by taste alone as it lingers on the tongue and helps you feel relaxed.
Users report feelings of physical relaxation and cerebral euphoria and your body will find itself locked in one spot for a considerable period. While Granddaddy Purple is probably not the best option for going outdoors, it will help you interact with people better.
2 – Jack Herer (Sativa Dominant Marijuana Strain)
Although it isn’t normal to recommend a Sativa dominant strain with high THC for anxiety, Jack Herer provides you with a gentle feeling of euphoria with calming effects. It contains up to 23% THC against 1% CBN, and it is named in honor of a famed longtime cannabis activist.
The sativa high you receive is bubbly and happy, and it provides you with energy and a spark of creativity. It is the ideal strain if you plan to run an errand or need to carry out daytime activities.
3 – Critical Cure (Indica Dominant Marijuana Strain)
This indica dominant strain contains 5% THC against 10% CBD which means this is an excellent strain for daytime use. It helps fight stress without impacting cognition, and while it offers a slight sedative feel, it isn’t strong enough to put you to sleep.
However, it will make you feel introspective and extremely talkative which makes it one of the best out and out ‘sociable’ strains on the list. A major bonus of taking Critical Cure is that you won’t suffer from dry eye which is a common problem with cannabis strains.
4 – CBD OG Kush (A version of the famous OG Kush Marijuana Strain)
The original version of OG Kush is one of the most commonly used marijuana strains of all time. It is notorious for its extremely high THC content which means it is not a good option for daytime activities! However, CBD OG Kush typically has 5-10% THC and a similar level of CBD.
While other Kushes result in a state of mental relaxation, CBD OG Kush keeps you alive and alert. Even though you will have a spark of energy, you’ll also feel mellow and calm which makes it ideal for daily interactions.
5 – CBD MediHaze (Hybrid Marijuana Strain)
This Sativa dominant hybrid has a fairly even THC to CBD ratio and normally contains 9-13% of each. It is a cross between Neville’s Haze and Super Silver Haze and tastes like sweet earth. CBD MediHaze gets its name for its effective painkilling properties, but it also helps to relax the body and mind.
Soon after smoking it, you’ll receive an uplifting high that provides your mind with a sense of relief. Then you’ll feel a body buzz, and finally, you’ll feel completely at ease with yourself. Nonetheless, you won’t feel sedated and will actually feel rather energized.
Final Thoughts about Marijuana and Social Anxiety
Social anxiety disorder is not something we can afford to ignore. It is a genuinely debilitating condition that negatively impacts the lives of sufferers. It is a terrible feeling to believe that the world is against you and it prevents you from living life to the full. Fortunately, there is a large number of marijuana strains capable of helping you fight back against social anxiety and perhaps help you make new friends as well as keeping old ones.
Related Article: 5 Best CBD Oils For Anxiety [2017 Update]