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If the world has you stressed, refer to these 15 best weed strains for anxiety disorders.
Some simple ways to relieve your anxiety include exercise, socializing, laughing, deep breathing, practicing mindfulness, and many other methods including consuming marijuana.
Is Marijuana Good For Anxiety?
Cannabis has been shown to be beneficial with conditions such as social anxiety, phobias, and obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD).
Marijuana has also been shown to reduce pain and inflammation, as well as induce sleep for insomnia patients. Feeling more comfortable in your skin can dramatically lower your anxiety.
Can You Get Medical Cannabis For Anxiety?
Many states across the country now list anxiety, depression, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) as qualifying conditions allowing patients to participate in their medical marijuana program.
Patients can receive a prescription from a licensed marijuana doctor, fill out an application, and start buying and growing (if allowed) when they receive their medical card.
Anxiety Disorders Cannabis Can Help With
The risk factors associated with anxiety can be complex. Many of those who suffer from it also struggle with depression. Nearly half of those who suffer from depression also suffer from anxiety disorder. Other factors that can result in chronic anxiety are traumatic life events, brain chemistry, and personality. Because anxiety can be a trend in families, genetics are also thought to play a role.
- Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) are closely related to anxiety and often are considered to be forms of it. Many people suffer from both simultaneously, along with depression. The large number of Americans on antidepressant medication benefit from it for their anxiety. Numerous categories of anxiety are commonly diagnosed. Let’s identify some of the most-common forms.
- Major Depressive Disorder (MDD). This is the most common cause of disability in the US for people ages 15 to 45. More than 16 million Americans suffer from it in a given year. MDD can occur at any age, but it is most common in women in their early 30s.
- Persistent Depressive Disorder (PDD). PDD is long-term depression that lasts longer than two years. It impacts 3.3 million American over the age of 18, but more than 60 percent of those who suffer from it receive treatment.
- Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD). The are 6.8 million adults who suffer from GAD, yet less than 44 percent of them receive treatment. Women are twice as likely to suffer from GAD than men.
- Panic Disorder (PD). Many people suffer from panic attacks, and many people consider this term to be synonymous with anxiety, although it is just one of the diagnosable forms. Again, women suffer from it the most, with twice as many of them affected by it compared to men.
- Social Anxiety Disorder (SAD). Another common type of anxiety strikes people when they are exposed to crowded social situations. Nearly 7 percent of Americans are affected by SAD, which equates to 15 million adults. Men and women are equally impacted by it, with some of them having experienced it since age 13.
- Specific Phobias (SP). The fear of specific situations or things is common, and you have likely known someone who experiences this condition—or you might even struggle with it yourself. Ophidiophobia (fear of snakes) and Acrophobia (fear of heights) are two of the most common types of SP. Despite these fears being seeming irrational, they are very real to and can profoundly affect those afflicted with them. SP affects 8.7 percent of the US population (19 million adults), with women twice as likely to experience it than men.
- Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD). OCD affects 1 percent of the US population (more than 2.2 million adults). Both men and women are equally affected by it. Most people with OCD show signs of it by age 19, with some showing signs as early as 14.
- Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Women are more commonly affected by PTSD than men, which is likely because rape is the most likely trigger for it. Among rape victims, 65 percent of men and 46 percent of women will develop the disorder. Childhood sexual abuse is a leading cause of PTSD.
For many people who experience anxiety on a regular basis, cannabis is an effective way of controlling it. Since some cannabis strains also work well for treating depression—which commonly occurs with anxiety—these two commonly concurrent mental disorders can benefit from its use.
Can Cannabis Cause Negative Side Effects for People with Anxiety?
For many people, cannabis has helped them get instant and long-lasting anxiety and stress relief when they need it most. However, cannabis affects everyone differently. What works for one person may not work for another.
In some cases, users may not notice any effect, especially after taking non-intoxicating CBD products. In a worst-case scenario, cannabis use can actually worsen the symptoms of anxiety or cause dependence and addiction.
THC, the main intoxicating compound in cannabis, is the primary reason for the negative side effects people may experience. High concentrations of THC have been linked with increased anxiety symptoms including a rapid heart rate and racing thoughts.
Negative side effects include:
- Rapid heart rate
- Racing thoughts
- Hallucinations or psychosis
- Irritability/mood swings
- Difficulty concentrating
- Short-term memory issues
- Increased sweating
- Confusion/brain fog
- Lower motivation
- Sleeping issues
In addition, smoking or vaping cannabis can irritate your lungs and cause or worsen respiratory issues, not to mention increase the risk of some types of cancer.
One of the main reasons people turn to cannabis is due to the negative side effects of other prescription anxiety medications. While cannabis may produce mild side effects, it should not be treated as a long-term treatment option such as psychotherapy or medication. Cannabis offers immediate and short-term relief.
Cannabis can also cause dependence and even addiction, known as cannabis use disorder. Some users may come to completely depend on cannabis in order to not feel any stress at all, which can increase the risk of feeling negative side effects and becoming addicted to the drug.
How to Safely and Legally Use Cannabis for Anxiety
If you want to use cannabis to treat your symptoms of anxiety, consider the following factors to reduce your risk of worsening your condition.
- Know your laws: Cannabis is not legal for medical and recreational use in all states. In addition, some states may restrict the types of cannabis products that can be sold. Make sure to research your state and local laws to ensure you are not breaking the law.
- Buy CBD: If you're new to cannabis or you don't want to experience any high at all, stick with products that only contain CBD or a high ratio of CBD to THC. With higher THC concentrations, you run the risk of experiencing negative side effects. Always buy CBD products that have been lab tested for contaminants.
- Start slow: For new or low-tolerance users, we recommend starting with the smallest dose possible. A dose of 5 mg or less can be a good starting point. Allow for the product to take effect before increasing your dose. Remember, different consumption methods (edibles, flower, tinctures) have different onset times and durations.
- Buy from licensed retailers: Buying from a licensed dispensary is a much safer option than going with a black market source. For one, all products will be lab tested for purity and potency. In addition, you can trust the recommendations from trained budtenders.
- Talk to your doctor: If you are worried about interactions with your prescription or over-the-counter medication including supplements, consult your doctor or pharmacist to determine if there is a risk for negative interactions.
- Consult your therapist: Make sure to let your therapist know you will be using cannabis to treat your anxiety. Being open and honest about your cannabis use can help them determine how well it is working for you and offer guidance.
- Practice self-care: Besides using medical treatments such as prescription medication and cannabis, it is important to have a well-rounded regimen of self-care treatments that may include meditation, yoga, and breathing exercises.
Best Weed Strains For Anxiety
Marijuana strains are not all the same. Each strain features varying concentrations of cannabinoids, terpenes, and other therapeutic compounds. The most common compounds are tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD). THC produces a euphoric and intoxicating high, while CBD has anxiolytic properties.
For anxiety, low-THC and CBD-rich strains are ideal to reduce THC’s, sometimes, anxiety-inducing effects and increase CBD’s clear-headed effects.
Besides cannabinoid content, consider terpenes, too. A full spectrum of cannabinoids and terpenes has been shown to contribute to an improved “entourage effect” in which the compounds work together to elevate the health benefits while reducing the negative side effects. Finding the sweet spot of cannabinoids and terpenes can take time.
Common anxiety-relieving terpenes include:
1. ACDC Strain
ACDC’s anxiety-reducing effects are legendary. ACDC is a sativa-dominant phenotype of another CBD-rich marijuana strain: Cannatonic. ACDC’s 20:1 CBD-to-THC ratio produces almost no intoxicating high. Instead, ACDC provides blissful relief for anxiety, epilepsy, inflammation, and pain.
2. Canna-Tsu Strain
Canna-Tsu is a balanced CBD-rich hybrid strain made from Cannatonic and Sour Tsunami genetics. Canna-Tsu’s CBD-forward characteristics provide users with focus and mellowing effects that can reduce anxiety. Canna-Tsu is also preferred by patients with pain, inflammation, and seizures.
3. Cannatonic Strain
Cannatonic features balanced CBD:THC ratios of 1:1 or 2:1 that can put nearly anyone in a better mood. Cannatonic’s mellowing effects provide a subtle buzz that still allows users to function and be productive.
A high myrcene content elevates Cannatonic’s anxiety-reducing effects. Cannatonic can also reduce pain, headaches, and migraines.
4. Critical Mass Strain
Critical Mass is an indica-dominant strain that has been bred over the years to maximize its CBD concentration. CBD levels can reach between eight and 12 percent with THC levels between five and eight percent.
Critical Mass’s high myrcene and caryophyllene content promote relaxation and euphoria.
5. Pennywise Strain
Pennywise is a balanced CBD:THC strain that provides users with a clear-headed and blissful experience. Pennywise’s low intoxicating effects provide just the right mental boost without worsening anxiety or paranoia.
Pennywise has also been used to treat arthritis, epilepsy, pain, and inflammation.
6. Remedy Strain
Remedy is a CBD-dominant marijuana strain that is a go-to for many users with anxiety. Remedy high-CBD content and myrcene, pinene, and caryophyllene levels make this one of the most calming strains around.
Users can fall into a tranquil state where worries are rare. Remedy has also helped patients to treat pain, inflammation, and headaches.
7. Jack Herer Strain
Jack Herer is an invigorating sativa-dominant cannabis strain with a high concentration of terpinolene, caryophyllene, and pinene terpenes. Jack Herer provides a moderate euphoric high that can keep users focused and alert. Low-to-moderate doses can promote creativity and ward off pain and fatigue.
8. White Widow Strain
White Widow is a popular strain among Dutch coffee shop aficionados. White Widow delivers refreshing, euphoric effects that can provide an anxious patient with energy and creativity.
Low doses of this marijuana strain can be enough to ease tension from sore muscles and stress.
White Widow is also helpful with pain, depression, and insomnia.
9. Northern Lights Strain
As far as indica-dominant strains go, Northern Lights is an iconic strain beloved for its relaxing and sedating effects.
Northern Lights can promote feelings of happiness and tranquility. Users may also feel more focused and creative after consuming this indica hybrid.
Northern Lights is also beneficial for treating insomnia, pain, and appetite loss.
10. Granddaddy Purple Strain
Granddaddy Purple (GDP) is an indica-dominant marijuana strain descended from Bid Bud and Purple Urkle strains.
GDP’s physically relaxing effects can ease pain and muscle tension while promoting a better mood and stress relief. Let GDP’s sweet berry and grape aroma take you into a state of deep relaxation.
11. Purple Urkle Strain
Purple Urkle strain effects touch the mind and body with deep muscle relaxation and a cerebral haze that can whisk you to a peaceful slumber.
With fresh notes of grapes, berries, and a hint of skunk, Purple Urkle is the perfect evening or nighttime strain to reduce anxiety. Purple Urkle has also been used to treat insomnia, pain, and depression.
12. Strawberry Cough Strain
Strawberry Cough’s energetic high allows those suffering from anxiety to feel better and more sociable.
Anxiety patients can feel uplifted and happy due to Strawberry Cough’s balanced and euphoric effects, as well as its sweet and piney aroma. Strawberry Cough is also helpful for fatigue and pain.
13. Harlequin Strain
Harlequin is a CBD-rich sativa-dominant hybrid with CBD levels reaching up to 16 percent. Harlequin’s THC content hovers between four and seven percent. For patients with anxiety, Harlequin produces clear-headed effects allowing users to feel more alert, productive, and relaxed.
14. Trident Strain
Trident is a high-CBD marijuana strain that elicits mental focus and a slight cerebral buzz. CBD levels are about 12 percent and THC levels are under six percent. Trident is effective at reducing anxiety and stress, especially with its mildly intoxicating effects. Trident is also effective at treating pain and epilepsy.
15. Valentine X Strain
Valentine X is a balanced strain with a very high CBD-to-THC ratio reaching up to 25:1 levels. Valentine X is a phenotype of ACDC, another popular strain meant to reduce anxiety and increase feelings of creativity. Valentine X has also proved helpful for patients suffering from seizures, inflammation, and fatigue.
While Jillybean is a THC-rich marijuana strain, it offers users a balanced blend of invigorating and relaxing effects. Jillybean has a hint of citrus aroma and flavor that makes the consumption experience that much more energizing.
17. Royal Highness
Royal Highness has a balanced 1:1 THC:CBD ratio that reduces the risk of worsening your anxiety symptoms. This strain elicits motivating and blissful effects, perfect for daytime use when you want to be productive or social. Its CBD and terpene content help reduce stress levels and balance the effects of THC.
Elektra, bred by crossing Early Resin Berry and ACDC strains, is a CBD-dominant strain with higher-than-average CBD concentrations compared to most hemp flowers.
Elektra has strong levels of beta-caryophyllene, myrcene, and limonene, all of which may help provide relaxing and anxiety-relieving effects. In terms of flavor and smell, Elektra has hints of dark chocolate, red wine, and citrus.
19. Kosher Kush
Kosher Kush is an indica-dominant strain that has medium-to-high levels of THC. Despite its high THC content, it has higher-than-average levels of the trans-nerolidol terpene. This terpene is commonly used in aromatherapy solutions to treat anxiety and feature jasmine and lemongrass.
Kosher Kush also has beta-caryophyllene, myrcene, and limonene terpenes.
20. Lemon Garlic OG
From Humboldt Seed Organization, Lemon Garlic OG is in a league of its own. It boasts a complete array of stress-relieving terpenes including limonene, beta-caryophyllene, and myrcene.
In addition, its relatively balanced ratio of CBD and THC provides anxiety relief without the paranoia. Best of all, its citrus, garlic, and pine undertones make for a one-of-a-kind smoking or vaping experience.
21. Blue OG
Blue OG, bred from OG Kush, Blueberry F3 and Blue Moonshine, features a good amount of terpenes that may relieve stress including limonene and beta-caryophyllene.
In terms of THC levels, they are usually not high enough to worsen anxiety. Users will experience feelings of euphoria and relaxation.
Become a Marijuana Strain Expert
As you can see, there are many marijuana strains that can reduce anxiety and stress levels. Experiment with various different high-CBD strains and slowly increase your THC tolerance if you are seeking more relaxing and euphoric feelings. Take it nice and slow and you’ll be on your way to feeling better and less anxious.
Become an expert on cannabis strains by enrolling in Cannabis Training University, the leading online cannabis college since 2009. Become a Master of Cannabis today.