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In the last few years, the number of people living with anxiety disorders in the United States has continued to increase rapidly. Currently, they are the most commonly diagnosed mental health conditions, affecting over 40 million adults 18 years and older. And, after the past few years we’ve had, this isn’t entirely surprising. 


Anxiety disorders are often characterized by constant stress and tension about upcoming events, leading to restlessness, irritability, fatigue, insomnia, and many other upsetting effects. 


With how grueling it can be to live with mental illness, many people are becoming curious about the relationship between marijuana and anxiety. Is it helpful? What are the side effects? And, most importantly, where can I get an MMJ card for anxiety?


Don’t worry; that’s exactly why we’re here. Let’s start talking.


What States Allow MMJ Cards for Marijuana and Anxiety?


Using medical marijuana (MMJ) for anxiety has been proven effective for people from all backgrounds, whether the fears are chronic or just occasional. Of course, you cannot completely “treat” anxiety with a few puffs of cannabis. But it sure can make the symptoms much more manageable — if you consume it responsibly. 


Because of the therapeutic benefits we’re now seeing, a few states in the US currently list anxiety as one of the qualifying medical conditions for MMJ.

The states that qualify marijuana for anxiety are:


  • Pennsylvania,
  • Puerto Rico,
  • North Dakota, and
  • New Jersey
  • New Mexico
  • Nevada
  • Oklahoma
  • Virginia
  • New Hampshire (Some physicians may certify a patient with anxiety or depression under the legal provision that the patient has “one or more injuries or conditions that have resulted in one or more qualifying symptoms)


For these states, being diagnosed with the approved type of anxiety disorder is enough to qualify for a medical marijuana card. 


The Pennsylvania Department of Health lists anxiety as an approved medical condition for MMJ; this has been effective since July 2019. Likewise, Puerto Rico makes it legal for persons living with anxiety to get relief from marijuana and its related products. However, they have restrictions on the cultivation of cannabis. Also, all patients must hold an MMJ card and must only purchase from licensed dispensaries.


In North Dakota, patients are allowed marijuana for anxiety only if they’re residents of the state. So, residents with an MMJ card can get and use cannabis. Lastly, New Jersey’s Health Division of Medicinal Marijuana also includes anxiety in their list of medical conditions that qualify to use MMJ. So, if you’re living in any of these states and are hoping to get your hands on an MMJ card for your anxious mind, you’re in luck. 


In the District of Columbia, patients may qualify for the therapeutic use of cannabis if their certifying physician agrees that medical marijuana may provide relief from symptoms, including those related to anxiety.


On the other hand, Missouri allows patients to be qualified for medical marijuana if they have debilitating psychiatric disorders, which can include anxiety.


It’s important to note that anxiety is just one of many mental health conditions that medical marijuana may be recommended for. The symptoms of different mental health conditions often overlap, making it essential to consult with a healthcare professional who can assess your specific situation and determine whether medical marijuana is a suitable treatment option.


Here are some other states that permit the use of medical marijuana for various mental health conditions, including depression and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD):


  • Alabama: Allows medical marijuana for autism and spectrum disorder, depression, PTSD, panic disorder, and Tourette syndrome.
  • Arizona: Permits medical marijuana use for PTSD.
  • Arkansas: Allows medical marijuana for PTSD and Tourette syndrome.
  • California: Permits medical marijuana for Tourette Syndrome, PTSD, Autism, and Chronic Vocal Tic Disorder.
  • Colorado: Allows medical marijuana for Autism or Spectrum Disorders and PTSD.
  • Connecticut: Permits medical marijuana for Tourette Syndrome and PTSD.
  • Delaware: Allows medical marijuana for Autism or PTSD.
  • Florida: Permits medical marijuana use for PTSD.
  • Georgia: Allows medical marijuana for Tourette Syndrome, Autism Spectrum Disorder, and PTSD.
  • Hawaii: Permits medical marijuana for PTSD.
  • Illinois: Allows medical marijuana for Autism, PTSD, Tourette syndrome, and Anorexia Nervosa.
  • Louisiana: Permits medical marijuana for agitation of Autism Spectrum Disorder and PTSD.
  • Maine: Allows medical marijuana for PTSD and any condition that the certifying healthcare provider agrees cannabis may provide symptom relief.
  • Maryland: Permits medical marijuana for PTSD.
  • Massachusetts: While specific mental health conditions are not stated for medical cannabis eligibility, a healthcare provider can approve patients who have other debilitating conditions.
  • Michigan: Allows medical marijuana for PTSD, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, and Autism.
  • Minnesota: Permits medical marijuana for Tourette Syndrome, PTSD, and Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder.
  • Mississippi: Allows medical marijuana for Dementia, Autism, and PTSD.
  • Montana: Permits medical marijuana for PTSD.
  • New York: Allows medical marijuana for Autism Spectrum Disorder, PTSD, or Substance Use Disorder.
  • Ohio: Permits medical marijuana for PTSD and Tourette syndrome.
  • Oregon: Allows medical marijuana for PTSD.
  • South Dakota: Permits medical marijuana for PTSD.
  • Texas: Allows medical marijuana for Autism and PTSD.
  • Utah: Permits medical marijuana for PTSD and Autism.
  • Vermont: Allows medical marijuana for PTSD.
  • Washington: Permits medical marijuana for PTSD.
  • West Virginia: Allows medical marijuana for PTSD.


It’s important to emphasize that eligibility criteria and qualifying conditions may change, so it’s advisable to consult with a healthcare provider and check the latest regulations in your state if you are considering medical marijuana for a mental health condition.

Other States’ Takes on Medical Cannabis and Anxiety


If you don’t live in those few states, you’re not entirely out of luck. Other states like California, Oklahoma, and Missouri give their physicians the discretion to recommend marijuana treatments for patients without outrightly listing approved medical conditions. This means that if you can prove that your anxiety disorder is hindering your everyday life, you can still likely get your medical card for this reason.


Furthermore, in states where recreational marijuana is legal, residents 21 and over can use weed for anxiety after discussing it with a qualified physician.


Nevertheless, with more states working towards legalizing marijuana, this number could easily increase soon. 

Should You Use Marijuana for Anxiety?


To use marijuana for anxiety, you will need to get the help of an MMJ doctor familiar with the relationship between marijuana and anxiety in the first place. You should always consult with a cannabis professional, like the ones here at Elevate Holistics, to see if MMJ is right for your anxiety disorder. 


While the right products can help people with anxiety get their lives back, the wrong products could do more damage. For example, many people find that THC-heavy cannabis strains exacerbate their anxiety symptoms, while CBD-rich strains help calm the mind immensely. Typically, experts suggest turning to CBD strains for your racing thoughts, as the calming effects of the cannabinoid can do wonders for your anxiety. 


Again, we must stress that marijuana and anxiety will act differently for every person. Because of this, the choice is entirely yours as to whether or not you should try MMJ for anxiety. However, with the help of professionals and some much-needed advice, there’s a good chance that some CBD products may be in your level-headed future. 

Seeking a Doctor’s Opinion and Risks of Self-Medication with Marijuana


Before considering medical marijuana as a treatment for any condition, it is crucial to consult with a qualified healthcare provider. Self-medication with marijuana can carry potential risks and may not always provide the intended relief. Here are some key risks associated with self-medication:

Psychological Dependence


Self-medicating with marijuana without proper guidance can lead to psychological dependence. This means that individuals may rely on marijuana to manage their symptoms, potentially leading to addiction or a compulsive need to use it.

Increased Tolerance


Over time, frequent use of marijuana can lead to an increased tolerance, meaning that higher doses are required to achieve the same effects. This can result in escalating consumption and potential health consequences.

Risk of Altering Moods and Conditions


Marijuana can alter your mood and cognitive functions, which may not always be desirable, especially if not under medical supervision. It can affect concentration, memory, and decision-making abilities, potentially exacerbating mental health conditions.


It’s important to recognize that while medical marijuana can be a valuable therapeutic option for many, its use should be guided by healthcare professionals who can assess your specific needs, recommend appropriate dosages, and monitor your progress. 


Self-medication with marijuana should be approached with caution, and individuals are encouraged to seek medical advice to ensure that it is a safe and effective treatment for their specific condition.

How Medical Marijuana Could Help with Anxiety


The potential of medical marijuana in alleviating anxiety has been a subject of interest and research in recent years. Understanding how specific compounds in cannabis affect anxiety is crucial for individuals seeking alternative treatments. Here’s an overview of how THC and CBD, two prominent compounds in marijuana, may impact anxiety:



 However, it’s important to note that at higher doses, THC can paradoxically increase anxiety and even induce panic in some individuals. This dose-dependent effect makes it essential for patients to work closely with healthcare professionals to find the right dosage.


  • CBD (Cannabidiol)
    CBD is a non-psychoactive compound found in marijuana and is often associated with potential therapeutic benefits. Studies have shown that CBD appears to decrease anxiety at all doses that have been tested. This suggests that CBD may have consistent anxiolytic properties without the dose-dependent effects seen with THC.


While there is growing interest in using medical marijuana to address anxiety, there are several reasons for the limited research in this area:


  • Complexity of Cannabis Compounds
    Cannabis contains a multitude of compounds, and their interactions within the body are complex. Isolating and studying the effects of individual compounds, such as THC and CBD, is challenging.

  • Federal Legal Status
    The federal legal status of cannabis in the United States as a Schedule I controlled substance has limited research opportunities. This classification makes it difficult to conduct large-scale clinical trials to demonstrate the effectiveness of cannabis in treating anxiety.


Do remember that pharmaceuticals, including cannabis, should not be seen as a replacement for talk therapy or other evidence-based treatments for anxiety. Instead, they can be used in conjunction with talk therapy as part of a comprehensive treatment plan. 

Marijuana and Anxiety: How Elevate is Here to Help


Whether you’re ready to use cannabis for your anxiety disorder or you’re still curious about how the whole MMJ process works, Elevate Holistics is here for you. Our online services are easier to navigate than any in-person doctor’s office, and all of the cannabis information you could ever need is right at your fingertips. Even if you aren’t the best with technology, we make our telehealth services completely effortless on your end. 


Check out our other information regarding marijuana and anxiety to see if the combination is right for you. Then, book an appointment through our website and take control of those anxious thoughts once and for all with Elevate Holistics. 

Get Your MMJ Card Right From Home

Elevate Holistics’ process is quick, affordable, and done entirely online. It’s never been so easy.

About the author

Ally Hilbert is the Content and SEO Manager here at Elevate Holistics, working to publish and run Elevate’s blogs and landing pages, as well as conduct keyword research, competitor analysis, and more. After having brain surgery at the age of 17, Ally became fascinated with medical cannabis and its benefits, and, at 18, had her first CBD-related piece published. Today, she’s been writing about cannabis for the past six years, and simply can’t think of a better company to get to do it for. When she’s not writing or editing, Ally’s side-by-side with her pup Sadie in Seattle.
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