High anxiety

Photo of a hand holding a lit matchMore than one in six people in the United States experience anxiety or post-traumatic stress disorders. Could marijuana, which is now being used more widely and legally for medical purposes, help relieve the stress?

NIU psychology professor David Valentiner and graduate student Sara Wyman tackle that topic in a new blog entry this week in Psychology Today. The authors discuss current research but say more is needed before any firm conclusions can be drawn.

If pot use led to a reduction in anxiety symptoms, “you’d expect to see a low percentage of marijuana users suffering from anxiety disorders or PTSD –
why would their problems persist if they smoke regularly?” the authors say. “However, rates of cannabis use are not lower among individuals with anxiety disorders, and are, in fact, higher among individuals with PTSD.”

NIU psychology professors are regular Psychology Today contributors. They’ve been blogging monthly on the site for more than a year.

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