Best Marijuana Strains for Stress & Anxiety
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Cannabis, known for its psychoactive and therapeutic qualities, can do more than get you high. It can be a natural remedy for many conditions, including stress and anxiety.
There is growing evidence showing its potential benefits in managing mood disorders. It works by triggering the endocannabinoid system in our body, which regulates our stress response and anxiety levels.
Here’s our list of the top 7 cannabis strains renowned for their calming and soothing effects.
This guide aims to help you find a strain that matches your needs, whether to unwind after a long day or regain your mental balance.
Cannabis strains for stress and anxiety relief
These are the top picks from Weed Review for the most effective cannabis strains in combating stress and anxiety.
Some have more THC, which can cause a high, while others have more CBD, which doesn’t make you high. Both affect your mind in their ways, so experiment with different flowers to find your preferred stress-relieving strain.
1. Granddaddy Purple
Granddaddy Purple is an Indica-dominant hybrid with 17-23% THC levels. It is famous in the medical cannabis community for its stress-relieving and pain-reducing properties.
Terpenes like linalool and myrcene contribute to its therapeutic effects. People using Granddaddy Purple report a sense of calmness and relaxation. The strain has the potential to ease tension, leaving you relaxed and in a state of blissful peace.
This Sativa-dominant strain stands out due to its high CBD and low THC levels. The THC concentration rarely exceeds 2%, while the CBD levels range from 13-18%.
ACDC can deliver a gentle and clear-headed high without the overwhelming effects usually linked with high THC strains. If anything, this cultivar is a great introduction to the medicinal potential of cannabidiol.
ACDC is a go-to strain for anxiety management as it uplifts the mood and eases worries. Users report feeling more focused and calm, which makes it an excellent choice for daytime use.
3. Pineapple Express
Pineapple Express combines the best of both worlds: the cerebral high of a Sativa and the full-bodied relaxation of an Indica.
This strain is potent, but its effects are well-balanced. The THC concentration averages 20%; the flower also contains other cannabinoids like CBD and CBG (cannabigerol) in small quantities.
Pineapple Express lifts the mood and provides mental clarity that helps you decompress from stress. It is also known for its energising effects, making it suitable for those dealing with fatigue, stress, and anxiety.
4. Jack Herer
Named after the famous cannabis activist, Jack Herer is a Sativa-dominant strain revered for its mood-enhancing effects. A THC range of 18-22% gives users a sense of euphoria and well-being.
The uplifting effects can counteract stress and anxiety. The bud is not too potent, which has given it the nickname ‘morning medicine.’
Jack Herer can also boost creativity, which can be beneficial when your stress stems from a mental block or lack of inspiration.
5. White Widow
White Widow is an Indica-dominant hybrid known for its balanced and comforting high. The strain boasts around 15-20% THC, blending physical relaxation and mental unwinding.
Its powerful euphoric effects can banish stress and anxiety, creating a happy and relaxed state of mind. White Widow also features CBD and CBG at roughly 1%, which work in tandem with calming & soothing terpenes like myrcene, caryophyllene, and pinene.
Cannatonic is famous for its CBD: THC ratio. The cannabidiol concentration ranges from 13-17%, while the THC amount does not exceed 5%.
This hybrid strain induces a short-lived but mellow high, excellent for those new to cannabis or sensitive to THC.
Cannatonic is particularly effective at reducing anxiety and lifting mood without any intoxicating effects. It can also be a helpful remedy in easing the symptoms of depression. Increased focus, better creativity, and a relaxed mind are reported effects.
7. Girl Scout Cookies
Girl Scout Cookies is a potent Indica-hybrid strain that is known to help with stress & anxiety, pain, and depression. That said, this recommendation is only for experienced users with THC tolerance. Beginners looking to ease their strain with marijuana should not try GSC for the first time.
The THC levels can go as high as 28%; you will also find small amounts of CBG. Another positive of this cultivar is its delicious, cookie-like flavour.
With the help of its terpene profile of myrcene, limonene, and caryophyllene, Girl Scout Cookies delivers an all-rounded body high that also takes the edge off your mind.
Indica v Sativa: What to choose?
When trying to pick the right kind of cannabis for stress and anxiety, remember there are three main choices: Indica, Sativa, and hybrids that mix both. Indica is good for calming down, Sativa can be too stimulating, and hybrids try to balance both effects.
But there’s also CBD, which doesn’t make you feel high. It can help with anxiety.
To decide, think about what you need. If you want to relax a lot, Indica might be best. If you want to feel active, be careful with Sativa. Hybrids mix things up. When buying weed flowers, look for strains that can fulfil your need.
To ease stress, low-THC/high-CBD varieties and Indica-dominant strains can be a good starting point.
How does weed help with stress?
Cannabis may help in stress management in the following ways:
- Induce a sense of relaxation and calm, promoting peace of mind.
- Stimulate the release of dopamine, creating a feeling of euphoria and happiness.
- Promote better sleep, which is often affected by stress.
- Ease physical discomfort, such as chronic pain that may often contribute to stress.
- Uplift mood and promote a positive outlook.
That said, the effects of marijuana on mental health are still being studied.
If you have a history of mental health conditions like schizophrenia or bipolar disorder, using marijuana with high THC levels may worsen your symptoms or lead to a crisis. It may be safer to opt for CBD strains and products instead. In either case, speak to your doctor before taking cannabis for your mental health.
Are there any side effects of taking weed for stress?
Yes, despite its potential benefits, there can be side effects from using marijuana for stress, particularly to your mental health:
- Potential for dependence: Long-term, heavy use of marijuana can lead to dependence.
- Increased tolerance: You may need more weed over time to achieve the same effects.
- Memory and cognition: Long-term use can impair memory and cognitive functions.
- Worsening anxiety: In some cases, particularly with high-THC strains, weed can worsen feelings of paranoia and anxiety.
- Withdrawal symptoms: Some users experience irritability, mood swings, and sleep disruptions when they stop using marijuana.
These side effects are more common when taking high-THC strains of cannabis. CBD-rich strains typically have fewer side effects and are less likely to cause dependence.
Be mindful of smoking marijuana if you take antidepressants or anti-anxiety medications. Cannabis can affect how your liver breaks down medicines in your body. As a result, weed can potentially change the concentration of the drugs in your system.
If you take meds regularly, please speak to your doctor before you start using marijuana – this can help fine-tune the dosage to ensure no side effects take place.
How much weed should you take to ease your anxiety and stress?
Low doses of weed produce the best results for easing anxiety and stress. Research shows this low dose to be in the range of 3-8 mg of THC.
In high doses, THC can have the opposite effect; it can worsen your anxiety and make you paranoid and stressed.
There is no universal dosage for using marijuana for stress relief. The golden rule with cannabis is to start low and go slow. Begin with a small amount, observe the effects, and adjust the dosage as needed.
Moreover, everyone reacts differently, and what works for one person may not work for another.
Some people might find relief with just a few puffs from a joint, while others might require more. It also depends on individual factors like tolerance, sensitivity to cannabis, and potency of the strain. For example, if you are taking a potent flower like Gelato, then a few drags may do the trick.
You may also talk to your doctor for more personalised guidance.
Marijuana can be a natural ally in the fight against stress and anxiety. Strains like Granddaddy Purple, ACDC, and Jack Herer, among others, are known for their soothing effects and potential to help manage these conditions.
However, weed is not a one-size-fits-all solution. Everyone’s response to cannabis is unique, and what works for one person might not work for another.
In either case, stick to a low dosage, as that is what helps relieve stress the best. If you take a lot of THC, it can have the opposite effect on your mind.
Additionally, long-term use can have side effects, including dependency, tolerance, and, in some cases, worsening of pre-existing mental health conditions.
And, as always, speaking to a doctor is recommended in such scenarios. Remember, responsible use is key to making the most of cannabis’s therapeutic potential.