Panic Attacks and Marijuana

If you believe panic attacks are overrated, you have not searched Google lately on the subject. "Panic attacks" received roughly 15,600,000 hits hits and "anxiety attacks" Another 1,790,000. That proves that not only is there a great deal of interest in the subject but more importantly, a great many victims of the syndrome. I employ the word syndrome because its cause is mostly psychological as well as reliably "harmless" to the sufferer.

Its distinct cause is fear, plain and simple. This being said, however, it would be negligent to conclude that the symptoms are entirely psychosomatic because any number of panic attacks can be attributed to, enhanced by, or directly caused by the mental reaction to any number of drugs – marijuana included. One licensed practitioner (whose opinion has been affirmed by countless others) stated,

"Substance abuse and the withdrawal of the substance being abused can mimic panic attacks. Alcohol, marijuana, opiates, hallucinogens, cocaine, over-the-counter drugs (naspal sprays and diet tablets), caffeine and benzodiazepines can all be associated with panic attacks . "

The assumption that marijuana is the harmless drug that "the authorates love to hate" is simply an erroneous assumption. I'm not arguing here for continued criminalizing of pot or decriminalization for that matter, just citing the known facts.

Although marijuana has some therapeutic qualities, such as increased appetite for cancer sufferers, a dulling of pain caused by many maladies and its effectiveness in combating glaucoma, it argues nothing for the recreational use of the drug.

Every pot smoker is acquainted with the "privileged" negative effects of the habit. Things like laziness, listlessness, and lets not forget paranoia exhibited by many users.

The more serious effects that researchers have discovered are things such as the negative effect on short term memory. Studies have shown that long-term adult users score less on short-term memory tests, as well as demonstrate reduced verbal and math skills compared with non-users.

What makes these negatives even more disturbing is the comparative strength of marijuana from previous eras and the THC (the component that is mind altering) levels typically seen in today's variety.

According to the American Counsel for Drug Education, THC content of marijuana, which averaged less than 1 percent in 1974, rose to an average 4 percent by 1994. For the highly popular form of marijuana called Sinsemilla (from the Spanish "without seeds") , made from just the buds and flowering tops of female plants, THC content averages 7.5 percent and ranges as high as 24 percent.

The message has been clear in the case of marijuana use and panic attacks. The answer for these panic attacks is simple – break the habit. For those that want relief before the habit is broken or whose anxiety attacks are caused by other factors, check out my blog where I discuss the remedies.


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John Bland

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