More and more people are turning to cannabis to help them manage mental health conditions like anxiety and depression. While many people swear that cannabis helps to relieve their anxiety, many others believe that it actually makes their anxiety worse. Is using marijuana for anxiety actually a good idea?
Marijuana For Anxiety
The sedating and relaxing effects of certain cannabis strains may make them useful in alleviating stress and anxiety. However, not all strains are good candidates for lowering anxiety. In fact, some may even make it worse.
That’s because anxiety and paranoia are two of the most common side effects of THC, the dominant cannabinoid in marijuana. Consuming too much THC can result in intense bouts of anxiety, and even panic attacks.
However, while THC may worsen anxiety, CBD, the second most prominent cannabinoid in marijuana, has been found to lower it.
A 2016 study on people suffering from social anxiety disorder found that CBD was able to reduce their anxiety during public speaking situations. Another 2016 study found that CBD may be beneficial in the treatment of PTSD-related insomnia. Furthermore, a 2017 study found that CBD may be able to stop nervous behaviors by reducing learned fears and their impact in the moment.
Additionally, certain cannabis strains are well-known for their strong sedating and relaxing effects. Strong indica strains that produce heavy physical euphoria and stoney, spacey head highs are great for quieting both the mind and the body.
Cannabis certainly can’t cure anxiety. But existing evidence suggests that it may certainly be able to help people manage it better.
Using Marijuana For Anxiety
What does all of this mean when it comes to using marijuana for anxiety? There are a few things you should look out for when treating anxiety with cannabis.
First, remember to stay away from strains and products that contain a lot of THC. High-THC cannabis may actually make things worse. Instead, stick to lower doses of THC, or to products that contain a healthy ratio of THC and CBD.
High-CBD strains and products may be a better choice for anxiety. CBD has actually been found to cancel out some of the stimulating psychoactive effects of THC, resulting in a calmer and more relaxing buzz.
Lastly, remember that indica strains can relax you and reduce your anxiety, while sativa-dominant strains may stimulate you, making it worse. If a strain or a product is known for producing energizing or uplifting effects, it may be a good idea to avoid it.
Best Cannabis Strains For Anxiety
Some strains are better than others when it comes to calming your nerves and reducing your anxiety. Here are a few cannabis strains that are known to work well for alleviating anxiety and stress:
- Granddaddy Purple – Strong indica with slight cerebral euphoria.
- ACDC – CBD-dominant strain that is a favorite of medical marijuana patients.
- Hindu Kush – 100% indica strain known for sedating both the mind and body. Great for treating anxiety-related insomnia.
- Cannatonic – Usually a 1:1 or 1:2 CBD/THC strain that produces a mellow and relaxing buzz.
- Pennywise – 1:1 CBD/THC strain that produces mildly uplifting effects that relax you without distracting you. Perfect daytime strain.