We've put together a list of 5 popular indica strains for anxiety because more than 40 million adults aged 18 and older struggle with it each day, yet most of them go untreated. This article highlights the use of cannabidiol (CBD) to treat anxiety, why indica strains work well for anxiety, and five cannabis strains that relieve anxiety effectively.
Let’s dive in.
What is Anxiety?
Anxiety is a biologic response that alerts us on potential for danger which we need to address. However, anxiety may also be a pathological response to situations that ideally should not trigger the symptoms of anxiety. Anxiety disorders are a group of disorders that present with a spectrum of symptoms associated with anxiety.
Common types of anxiety include:
- General anxiety disorders
- Social anxiety disorders
- Panic disorders
- Obsessive compulsive disorder
- Post traumatic stress disorder
When the body perceives danger, the brain is alerted to invoke the release of a fight or flight response by releasing the adrenalin hormone. Adrenalin triggers symptoms associated with anxiety which include cardiovascular, respiratory, mental, and other physical effects.
Symptoms cut across the spectrum of anxiety disorders and include insomnia, restlessness, apprehension, GI disturbances, depression, anger, low self-esteem, nervousness, etc.
CBD for Anxiety
Cannabidiol (CBD) is one of the many compounds in marijuana that are being investigated for therapeutic use. It belongs to a group of compounds known as phytocananbinoids. So far, about 100 phytocannabinoids have been identified in marijuana. The most popular cannabinoids are CBD and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). While THC is predominant in marijuana strains, CBD is predominant in most help cultivars that contain negligible amounts of THC. Unlike THC, CBD lacks psychoactive properties making it ideal for combating stress and anxiety.
CBD interacts indirectly with cannabinoid receptors located in the brain (CB1 receptors) and other parts of the body (CB2 receptors). On the CB1 receptor, CBD is a negative allosteric modulator. This means that it inhibits action at this receptor and thus it is able to mitigate some of the negative effects caused by THC including anxiety and short term memory loss. At the CB2 receptor, CBD is a weak agonist.
CBD also acts on the serotonin system which is closely linked to the regulation of anxiety and depression.
A study published in The Permanente Journal in 2019 showed that CBD is effective in relieving anxiety in adult subjects suffering from chronic anxiety. Another study that was published in the Journal of Affective Disorders showed similar findings. Cannabis users experienced a 58% relief from stress, anxiety, and depression after using CBD.
Currently, the market is awash with many strains touted as “best strains for anxiety.” It is important to note that everyone has a unique endocannabinoid system and experiences the effects of CBD in a different way. However, the 5 high-CBD strains listed below are not mere hype but have immense potential for anxiety-relief based on their chemical composition.
Why are Indica Strains Good for Anxiety?
Indica strains are popular for the body stone that they produce. Indicas relax the muscles easing away chronic fatigue, aches, pain, tension, and other physical symptoms that may be triggered by chronic anxiety. Indicas also promote sound and restful sleep. Coupled with the anti-anxiety effects of CBD, the strains listed below are the perfect antidote for chronic anxiety.
Best Indica Strains to Relieve Anxiety
1. Cannatonic Marijuana Strain for Anxiety
Cannatonic is a highly medicinal strain with a ratio of 1:1 CBD to THC that was originally bred by Resin Seeds. The CBD content can be as high as 17% which is very high compared to most marijuana strains which have less than 1% CBD.
This strain has an earthy and woody fragrance that may be overwhelming for new patients. The indica effects are strong and will easily trigger a couch-lock effect.
Cannatonic strain is ideal for relieving chronic anxiety and stress.
2. CBD Critical Mass Marijuana Strain for Anxiety
CBD Critical Mass is an indica dominant marijuana strain with 80% indica characteristics. Most plants will have 1:1 ratio of CBD: THC with at least 5% CBD.
The indica effects are potent and will trigger immediate relaxation and the couch-lock effect. It is a strain that can be used for both recreational purposes as well as therapeutic purposes for anxiety relief.
3. Remedy Marijuana Strain for Anxiety
Remedy is an indica leaning marijuana strain that induces muscle relaxation and improves sleep. It is a hybrid cross between Afghan Skunk and Cannatonic strains. It causes a gentle body high that has a positive effect on anxiety and depression. Users have reported feeling instantly uplifted and energized after using this strain. The scent is earthy and citrusy.
4. Pennywise Marijuana Strain for Anxiety
Pennywise is an indica dominant marijuana strain that is a cross between Jack the Ripper and Harlequin strain. It is considered a happy strain because of the uplifting and mood-boosting effects that it produces. Pennywise has a CBD: THC ratio of 1:1 with CBD that may be as high as 12%. Pennywise has been used to treat PTSD and other anxiety disorders.
5. CBD Therapy Marijuana Strain for Anxiety
CBD Therapy was created for medicinal purposes and true to its name it relieves a myriad of medical conditions. With a CBD content of up to 10% and a THC content of less than 1% this strain can be enjoyed by people of all ages.
CBD therapy was created by Seedbank but its exact genetics remain unknown. As much as it is a balanced hybrid strain most of its effects are indica leaning.
CBD Therapy causes a body centered high, which is extremely relaxing and sedating to some extent. The aroma is a mix of berry and flowery with some hints of citrus and spice.
Worst Strains for Anxiety
Strains with high THC may have overwhelming effects on new users and trigger anxiety. It's best to use moderate doses when trying out new strains with high THC amounts such as Memory Loss, Ghost OG, Death Star, White Tahoe Cookies, Gorilla Glue, Laughing Budhaa, and Thai.
If you experience anxiety after consuming a high- THC marijuana strain you should not panic. Find a quiet place to sit or lie down as you wait for the anxiety to wear off; THC clears from your system within 1-4 hours. You can also use CBD-only products to tame your buzz.
That brings us to the end of our piece on popular indica strains for anxiety with high CBD.
Keep sane and safe from COVID-19!