What’s the best strain for anxiety?
For as long as humans have known about weed, they’ve been smoking it to unwind. But with the rapidly multiplying strains and hybrids of marijuana out there, it’s best to know which can alleviate your anxiety — and which could actually make it worse.
Although it’s obvious that regular pot users can be relaxed to a fault — but it’s important to note that the jury’s still out on scientific evidence concerning weed’s efficacy in treating anxiety disorders.
So get informed: If you want to take the edge off without sinking all the way into your couch, here are some popular types of weed to try.
Marijuana for Anxiety: Why it Works
Here’s the science behind why weed relaxes us — or, at least, what we know so far.
Throughout the human body, there are cannabinoid receptors that help to regulate everything from our appetites to our moods to our sense of pain. Marijuana’s main pair of cannabinoid chemicals, tetrahydrocannabinol and cannabidiol (THC and CBD), exert significant influence on this network, also called the endocannabinoid system.
We’re still figuring out how these receptors respond to the active ingredients in weed, and where they can be found. But a study published in 2014 by Vanderbilt University researchers looking at mice brains confirmed their presence in the amygdala, a part of the brain that helps regulate anxiety and that fight-or-flight feeling.
Previous studies, the authors said, have hinted that stress or anxiety causes a reduction in the body’s natural endocannabinoids and dampens the receptors, which can lead to panic. Presumably, marijuana floods the amygdala with its own cannabinoids, thereby keeping us calm.
Of course, the long-term effect may be to make us more dependent on these outside chemicals because we’re not producing as much of our own anymore. And it’s possible that some people become more anxious under the influence because their natural cannabinoids are being suppressed by the drug’s.
What does all this mean for you when you’re shopping at a dispensary? Well, things get a little oversimplified there.
If you’re looking to relax and take the edge off, budtenders will tend to describe the general differences between sativa and indica, the two major species of cannabis plants, noting that the former instills a high-energy buzz ideal for daytime activities, while the latter may leave you lethargic and rather sleepy.
In truth, these terms tell you more about a plant’s genetic ancestry than what effect they’ll have. What you should really look for is a strain’s THC-to-CBD ratio.
While THC is responsible for marijuana’s most familiar mind-altering effects, CBD, according to Project CBD, “has significant medical benefits, but does not make people feel ‘stoned’ and can actually counteract the psychoactivity of THC.”
So while you may think that the “sleepy” indica your budtender recommends is ideal for treating anxiety, it could turn out to be way too high in THC, causing your mind to race a mile a minute even as you struggle to get off the couch.
A high CBD sativa, meanwhile, could calm you mentally without making you feel stuck in slo-mo.
Harlequin is a hybrid cross between Colombian Gold, Thai and Swiss Landrace. It constitutes an indica/sativa ratio to be known as 25:75, meaning it is sativa dominant.
It has a unique CBD: THC ratio which is best described to be 5:2. In other words, its THC level is 7-15% and CBD level of 4-10%.
Its flavour and aromatic popularity is due to the essence of mango and earthy musk. It is best known to act as the most viable relaxing and calming agent. Also, the patient, after using it, can stay quite focused and alert, making the highlighting feature of this strain. In terms of its physical features, it is a dense looking strain with thick nugs all around it and dressed up heavily with trichrome.
Harlequin has few negative effects that may include dry mouth and eyes, slight nausea and headaches in most harsh cases. This specific medical marijuana strain yields to a sufficient quantity and most commonly grown indoors, with a flowering time of sixty to seventy days.
It is regarded as an excellent reliever of anxiety and pain, either associated with the body and muscles, or with the head. The low THC level makes it easier for patient to be mindful.
Flavours: Sweet, Earthy, Citrus
Effects: Happy, Uplifted, Euphoric, Energetic, Relaxed
Medical Uses: Anxiety, Stress, Depression, Pain, Fatigue, Headaches
Grand Daddy Purple
Introduced in 2003 by Ken Estes, Grand Daddy Purple (or GDP) is a famous indica cross between Purple Urkle and Big Bud. This California staple inherits a complex grape and berry aroma from its Purple Urkle parent, while Big Bud passes on its oversized, compact bud structure.
GDP flowers bloom in shades of deep purple, a contrastive backdrop for its snow-like dusting of white crystal resin.
Its potent psychoactive effects are clearly detectable in both mind and body, delivering a fusion of cerebral euphoria and physical relaxation.
While your thoughts may float in a dreamy buzz, your body is more likely to find itself fixed in one spot for the duration of GDP’s effects.
Like most heavy indica varieties, Grand Daddy Purple is typically pulled off the shelf to treat anxiety pain, stress, insomnia, appetite loss, and muscle spasms. GDP blesses growers with massive commercial yields which are ready for harvest following a 60 day flowering time indoors.
Flavours: Berry, Sweet, Grape
Effects: Relaxed, Sleepy, Happy, Euphoric, Hungry
Medical Uses: Stress, Insomnia, Pain, Depression, Lack of Appetite
The Cherry Pie Strain is a indica dominant hybrid of Grand Daddy Purp and Durban Poison. Although it is hard to find the authentic version of this particular medical marijuana strain, it definitely will not be hard to believe that this is the best type of strain.
In structural composition, it has dense buds with orange hair all over and displays a slight tint of purple. Inspiring the name of this medical marijuana strain, the aroma is that of cherry pies.
The Cherry Pie Strain is most commonly used by patients who are suffering from evident symptoms of PTSD, anxiety, bipolar disorder, migraines and other stress-oriented syndromes.
Although it may cause dry eyes and mouth upon use by the patient, it definitely helps in elevating the level of euphoria, relaxing body and mind, uplifting moods and focusing the conscience.
For patients who are specially looking for something that would ease muscle stiffness and related ailments, this can definitely prove its rescuing ability.
Conclusively, this is the best kind of medically favorable marijuana strain that patients prefer above all others; it diminishes the above mentioned syndromes in the most relaxing order and even though sedation may cause irritation, but its value is still undeniable.
The Pineapple Express Strain combines the potent and flavorful forces of parent strains Trainwreck and Hawaiian. The smell is likened to fresh apple and mango, with a taste of pineapple, pine, and cedar.
This hard-hitting sativa provides a long-lasting energetic buzz perfect for productive afternoons and creative escapes.
The Pineapple Express Strain is a Sativa dominant strain with a 60:40 sativa/indica ratio. The strain is quite popular and has achieved recognition thanks to the stoner film of the same name.
However, you have to keep in mind that the strain is not as intense as the movie has made it out to be. But Pineapple Express still manages to offer a mild and nice body-numbing buzz, which is something to look forward to.
The strain is offered in the form of well-weighed nuggets that look like Styrofoam popcorn. It does not taste sweet, but it does smell funky with its citrus overtones. The taste is quite extraordinary with a hint of pineapple while you inhale.
Pineapple Express is chosen to treat a lot of medical problems including anxiety and stress. However, it is even more effective at curing the symptoms of chronic depression at the same time.
If you are suffering from mild pains and aches, you should look no further. After a smoke, you will realize Pineapple Express is calming and stimulating at the same time.
Not only will it heighten all your senses but you will feel energized all the while observing an increase in focus, awareness and creativity.
Flavours: Pineapple, Sweet, Tropical
Effects: Relaxed, Uplifted, Euphoric, Happy, Energetic
Medical Uses: Pain, Insomnia, Stress, Lack of Appetite, Nausea
Although there many strains available to help with anxiety, I chose these four due to the fact that they are easy to acquire, they are popular among those who suffer from anxiety and are affordably priced to fit any budget.
Feel free to leave a comment below if you know of another strain that fits into this genre, or if you use any of the above and your thoughts on how it helps you.