• March 24, 2022
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What Are the Best Cannabis Strains for Anxiety?

What Are the Best Cannabis Strains for Anxiety

Anxiety is one of the most common mental illnesses globally, affecting more than 40 million people in the United States alone. Some of these people turn to cannabis for its calming and euphoric effects. In fact, a 2017 survey revealed that 13 percent of medical marijuana patients prefer cannabis to benzodiazepine medications.

That said, not all cannabis is created equal. Some strains are more effective in alleviating anxiety than others. Some users even claim that certain strains give them anxiety. 

So, why do some strains work while others don’t, and what are the best cannabis strains for anxiety, anyways? Read on to find out.

How Does Cannabis Treat Anxiety?

The two active ingredients in cannabis (THC and CBD) have anxiety-relieving effects. But for some people, the psychoactive effects of THC are counterproductive in relieving anxiety.

Research shows that cannabis, especially when used in the form of CBD oil, can reduce anxiety in people with social anxiety disorder. This is because CBD activates CBD receptors in the brain. But if these receptors remain blocked, it can cause a significant increase in anxiety. It is also linked to heightened activity in the area of the brain responsible for emotional processing.

Numerous promising studies suggest that cannabis may lower anxiety levels and improve stress and depression. According to research conducted at the Primate Research Institute at Kyoto University, cannabinoids can reduce anxiety over a four-week period. 

However, it is important to note that strains with a high THC content can increase anxiety. Therefore, to harness the full benefits of cannabis in treating anxiety, you might want to use strains with a low THC content.

Best Cannabis Strains for Anxiety

Stephen Hawking Kush

Stephen Hawking Kush is a high CBD cultivar, often considered a calming indica cross. With a CBD:THC ratio of 1:1 or higher, the strain provides you with a mellow and pleasant experience.

This strain also comes loaded with substantial amounts of the terpenes limonene and musky myrcene. When combined, these terpenes offer a calming and tranquil experience. And since this is an indica-dominant strain, it produces energetic effects, making it safe to use during the day.

Stephen Hawking Kush

Skywalker OG

Although high-THC strains can sometimes overemphasize anxiety, some people find the psychoactive effects effective in decreasing anxiety and promoting a sense of peace and mindfulness. Moreover, not everyone suffering from anxiety is prone to THC-induced anxiety.

This indica-dominant strain has very high THC levels. It also comes loaded with lots of terpenes. These include limonene, bisabolol, and linalool, which provide energetic and clear-headed effects. 

However, due to its high THC concentration, you should start with a low dose, then work your way up.

Pennywise

Like the Stephen Hawking Kush, Pennywise has a 1:1 CBD:THC ratio. The high CBD content makes it suitable for anyone who’d like to explore the benefits of cannabis without an overly intoxicating experience.

Besides the high CBD content, this strain also contains relatively high levels of the terpene linalool, which has a sweet, floral scent. Clinical studies on terpene linalool have shown that it successfully reduces anxiety and aggressive behavior. When combined with CBD, experts speculate that linalool may increase the anticonvulsant and anti-anxiety effects of cannabis.

Master Kush

Master Kush is a high-THC indica-dominant strain with many calming terpene aroma molecules. The strain has tested positive for substantial amounts of limonene, bisabolol, linalool, and Beta-caryophyllene. The latter has similar effects as CBD on the body, making it an excellent companion to the psychoactive effects of THC.

The high THC levels, coupled with the terpenes in this strain, relieve both anxiety and depression. It can also provide an extra layer of relaxation to people who are not prone to THC-induced anxiety. 

AC/DC

If you are prone to THC-induced anxiety, this might just be the best strain for you. AC/DC is a low-THC cannabis strain that leaves you feeling focused and energized. It also makes an excellent wake-and-bake strain due to its uplifting effects.

AC/DC has high levels of pinene, which provides a clear-headed experience, and limonene and bisabolol, which provide inspirational and calming effects, respectively. Combined with CBD, these compounds provide unmatched mental stimulation and anxiety relief. This makes AC/DC an excellent substitute for anxiety disorder medications. This is because it provides the same benefits without the drowsiness that often comes with taking benzodiazepines.

Cannatonic

This hybrid cannabis strain was purposely bred for its low THC content and high CBD concentration, which runs upward of 17 percent. It induces extreme relaxation and euphoric feelings, with a relatively low psychoactive impact. 

This close relative of the AC/DC is mainly prescribed for medical marijuana patients for its anti-inflammatory and anti-anxiety effects.

Cannatonic

Sour OG

Sour OG is a mellow and relaxing cannabis strain that may be used to alleviate stress and anxiety. Its low THC and high CBD concentrations make it an excellent choice as an anxiety relief strain. It’s also less likely to cause THC-induced anxiety.

Sour OG is a cross between Sour Diesel and OG Kush. The unique properties it acquires from its parents induce relaxation without causing sleepiness. This makes it a perfect afternoon delight. 

Haoma

This indica-dominant cannabis strain is characterized by dense buds that give off a fruity, floral smell. It is also characterized by its high CBD content that induces feelings of relaxation and happiness and alleviates anxiety. Also, being indica-dominant, Haoma is a very effective sleep aid.

The Bottom Line

As society embraces the medical benefits of cannabis, more and more people are using it as an alternative or supplement to pharmaceuticals. One of the most notable uses of cannabis as a medicine is alleviating anxiety. That said, not all strains can help with anxiety, especially for people prone to THC-induced anxiety. Most of the strains above have very high CBD levels and comparatively lower THC levels, making them suitable for anyone with anxiety disorder.

However, you should consult your physician before changing from pharmaceuticals to cannabis. Your budtender can also give you some useful tips on the most suitable cannabis strain for anxiety based on your specific needs.

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