Anxiety is one of the most common medical conditions across the globe and can come in many forms, affecting everyone differently. With the Coronavirus global pandemic, millions of people are struggling with unemployment and isolation which will likely increase the number of anxiety victims worldwide. Fortunately, there are heaps of cannabis strains to combat a variety of symptoms.
While therapy and anti-depressants are a popular form of treatment, many people are now turning to marijuana as we learn more about its medicinal benefits. This miraculous plant can provide people with the relief they need without the use of addictive beta-blockers and other medications with adverse side effects.
Every human is unique and will react differently to medication of any kind. So, before you light up that joint to alleviate your anxiety, we would suggest doing your research to find the most effective strain for you.
Cannabis for Anxiety: Does it help?
It’s hard to argue with the facts. Millions of people self-medicate with cannabis for anxiety, and with this many claiming that it works, we should lean towards a yes and take their opinions heavily.
It is important to note that marijuana certainly is not a cure for this condition but can be used to relieve symptoms such as panic attacks and insomnia.
The human body has several major systems that have an influence on mood and mental wellbeing, one of these being the endocannabinoid system. These cannabinoid receptors are located all over the body and brain, which have been found to have a hand in anxiety disorders. As cannabis co-operates with this system directly, it is clear how it can be used to treat anxiety symptoms.
Smoking (or eating, vaping, ingesting) marijuana releases serotonin, a powerful neurotransmitter that plays a crucial role in general happiness and wellbeing. Currently, we are unsure as to how this occurs, and further research is required to discover the full effect of cannabinoids on our brain’s receptors.
Cannabidiol, or CBD, seems to be the leading cannabinoid regarding anxiety relief. However, it is becoming more apparent that several components working in synergy are far more effective, this is known as the entourage effect. Therefore, it is likely that weed strains with higher levels of CBD will provide the most relief.
Top Cannabis Strains for Anxiety
Certain strains of marijuana are far more effective than others, as each strain has its own genetic make-up which produces unique effects. Kootenay Botanicals sells an impressive range of cannabis strains, many of which are fantastic for the treatment of anxiety disorders.
Here is a list of some of the top cannabis strains for anxiety:
- Blue Coma – A Sativa-dominant hybrid that effectively blocks overthinking and unwanted mental activity, inducing a long-lasting calm and relaxing effect. It’s high CBD content (over 2%) will help reduce anxiety and keep you in a positive mood throughout the day.
- Do-Si-Pie – This sweet-tasting Indica-dominant strain induces a strong and relaxing high that gradually melts throughout the entire body. Do-Si-Pie may not be for novice users – however, for regular cannabis smokers, this strain can do wonders to alleviate anxiety symptoms. It is particularly effective at combating severe anxiety types, such as PTSD.
- Chocolate Samurai – A euphoric and lively strain created by crossing four separate parent plants, ideal for daytime use as it can initiate a happy and social buzz. An excellent choice to treat medical conditions such as anxiety and depression due to its uplifting effects.
- Crunch Berry – Another Indica-dominant hybrid strain with a relatively unknown lineage, its only known parent plant being the legendary OG Kush. Releasing sweet berry and candy aromas, this wonderful strain feeds creativity and can help slow down a racing mind making it a strain of choice for anxiety sufferers.
- CBD Sour Widow – This CBD heightened White Widow strain offers users a 1:1 ratio of THC to CBD, making it an outstanding strain for both recreational and medicinal consumers. Due to this increased level of CBD, this strain is great for novice marijuana smokers as it will allow users to self-medicate without the heavy hit of THC.
- Dutch Crunch – An intercontinental hybrid combining famous strains from both Amsterdam and the USA. Providing deep and powerful relaxation upon consumption makes this strain ideal for night-time use. This piney, earthy bud certainly will aid those experiencing overwhelming panic and nervousness as it will effectively calm the mind and elevate users to a state of total relaxation.
- ACDC – Jump on the highway to heaven with this CBD dominant hybrid. This strain boasts little to no psychoactive effects due to its extremely low THC content, perfect for medicinal users who need relief symptoms but are not looking to get high. The strain was created solely for therapeutic use.
- Canna-Tsu – Another CBD-rich marijuana strain that will provide users a mellow high with a gentle and soothing psychoactive feel. This strain is an excellent choice for those looking to increase their focus and lessen their anxiety while not getting completely stoned.
- Remedy – This aptly named bud is yet another medicinal CBD-dominant strain. Much like ACDC and Canna-Tsu, this weed will ease pain and worry without mind-altering effects.
Indica vs Sativa for Anxiety
When choosing a strain of marijuana to combat anxiety it is vital to learn the difference between Indica and Sativa varieties. Indica’s are renowned for their calming and euphoric effects, while Sativa strains often increase mental activity and boost creativity.
Everybody’s anxiety is unique and while an increase in cerebral activity may worsen symptoms like panic attacks and overthinking in some, others may find solace in exploring the intimate corridors of their mind.
So, when it comes to answering the question of whether Indica or Sativa strains are better equipped at battling anxiety, it really does depend on the patient. In general, however, Indica’s tend to have lower levels of THC and higher levels of CBD, meaning you’ll feel the calming effects of anxiety treatment, with a reduced risk of paranoia and other symptoms.
Luckily as the world opens its mind to the powers of cannabis, people are creating new and exciting hybrid strains that merge the best benefits of both Indica and Sativa to help treat anxiety.
Marijuana breeding is a complex science which produces a variety of strains, each with their own unique genetic make-up. The effects of these strains will be different for each individual. One person’s go-to medication could be somebody else’s panic attack. The best way to decide if you require an Indica, Sativa, or Hybrid strain is to test the strains that appeal to you the most and see which alleviates your anxiety symptoms most broadly and efficiently.
Potential Risks and Benefits
It is always important to remember that while being a naturally growing plant, marijuana is a drug and may cause a small minority of people to develop cannabis-induced paranoia. Most people smoke weed without adverse effects (only pleasant ones), however, there is known to be a link between cannabis and paranoid thoughts.
Like most psychosomatic events, paranoia exhibits a spectrum of severity throughout the population. The vast majority of people have little to no paranoid thoughts, while for a select few these can be frequent and severely disturbing. For these individuals, we do not recommend self-medicating with cannabis and instead seek the help of a medical therapist or counselor.
The medicinal benefits of marijuana appear to outweigh most potential risks. Cannabis has been found to have an abundance of healing and therapeutic qualities, being used by numerous cultures over thousands of years. Specifically, marijuana can help reduce symptoms of anxiety by:
- Relaxing your body and muscles
- Improving sleep quality and reducing insomnia
- Lowering your heart rate
- Preventing recurring and horrible thoughts and feelings
- Relieving nausea
- Calming your mind
- Uplifting your mood
Like with any other drug in existence, it is important to find the right dosage for you. Luckily, unlike all other drugs, it is categorically impossible to ‘overdose’ on marijuana and nobody has ever died from ingesting cannabis.
When it comes to treating anxiety symptoms, THC has been found to decrease this at lower doses and actually increase it at higher doses. CBD on the other hand has been shown to decrease levels of anxiety at all doses tested. It can become difficult to maintain an effective dosage as tolerance will develop over a relatively short time after regular use.
Choosing the Right Strain for You
There are thousands of different cannabis strains, with new ones being created on a daily basis. It can be a daunting task to pick your plant, luckily there is a ton of resources online (like this one) to guide you in the right direction.
Nevertheless, reactions to marijuana vary from person to person which can be affected by a range of factors. If you’re new, the surest way to select the right strain for you is to pick AAA+ quality and reference the strains we listed above, such as Do-Si-Pie and Crunch Berry.
This is only for novice smokers.
For those who are beginning to dip their toes into the world of weed – firstly, welcome! Secondly, if you suffer from serious bouts of anxiety, we highly recommend that you first consult with a healthcare professional.
When self-medicating with cannabis for the first time, make sure you are in a comfortable and familiar place where you will not feel paranoid or judged. Take it easy, start with a small amount, and allow your body and mind to unwind as you ride the wave of euphoria to total relaxation.
CBD Over THC
Look, we get it – not everybody wants to take psychoactive drugs on a daily basis, which is why the use of CBD is skyrocketing across the globe.
Cannabidiol, or CBD, is the second most prevalent cannabinoid found in cannabis that possesses zero psychoactive properties. It does, however, contain robust anxiolytic qualities (amongst many other major health benefits).
CBD can be taken in numerous forms:
All of these will allow users to enjoy the health benefits of cannabis without getting stoned. This is an excellent option for individuals that require treatment but need to remain clear-headed and focused.
Kootenay Botanicals should be your go-to dispensary for all CBD products as we stock only the highest quality goods at competitive prices!
Overall, the effect of marijuana on anxiety disorders is complicated. Research is still in its early stages and we do not fully understand the role that cannabinoids have on our biological systems. There is substantial evidence that both THC and CBD exhibit anxiolytic abilities and as the research delves deeper, we will surely uncover the full truth behind this extraordinary plant.
Anxiety is a serious mental health issue and should not be taken lightly, it affects millions of people and can leave them feeling lost and hopeless at times. Cannabis can be an extremely powerful medication to treat the symptoms of this condition but should not be relied on as a long-term cure. There are a host of other variants that individuals should consider such as diet, levels of exercise, personal relationships, birth control, anti-depressants, and even alcohol consumption – all of which can have an adverse effect on anxiety levels.
Even though we highly recommend marijuana use to treat anxiety symptoms, it is important to seek help from a counselor or therapist to continue your personal mental health journey to recovery.