Did you know anxiety disorder is the most common mental illness in the United States? And over 20 million Americans suffer from Seasonal Effective Disorder (SAD), PTSD, OCD, social anxiety, clinical anxiety, panic attacks, and extreme phobias (extreme fear). There are actually more people with anxiety disorders than there is people with arthritis! These numbers are only growing everyday. Why? You may ask. I believe in part it is very likely the high stress, always on the go, always connected to electronics, society we live in. These numbers climb and will continue to do so until we learn to unplug and give our mind and body the downtime and rest we need. As someone who suffers from anxiety disorders I tried several medications, but never found good relief until I began carrying a marijuana vape pen with me everywhere. How does marijuana help with anxiety? Keep reading….
Have you been told that marijuana won’t work for anxiety, because it causes heightened anxieties and paranoia? In some cases people do have those reactions to marijuana, but its most likely the strain they used. These extreme reactions can usually be attributed to a strain’s THC level. Fortunately for anxiety sufferers and others there has been so much progress made in the medical marijuana industry that new strains and hybrids are being created everyday. Many farmers are experimenting with this magical plant to make specific strains to treat specific illnesses and disorders. Leafly ( https://www.leafly.com ) advises a two-step process for finding a marijuana strain that suits your anxiety needs. Start by determining your tolerance and sensitivity. Then it’s time to experiment with new strains and see which ones work for you.
Indica strains seem to be best for treating anxiety, because they typically contain more CBD, which is believed to be more effective than THC for these conditions. Many people treat with pharmaceuticals that often result in addiction, including withdrawal symptoms when abruptly discontinued. Most of these pharmaceutical drugs can lead to overdose, something that’s impossible with marijuana (even with concentrates like kief, hash oil, and wax). Harris Stratyner, co-chairman of the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence, states that many cases of patients using dangerous pharmaceuticals as prescribed, with no signs of abuse. He said: “Dependence on benzodiazepines like Xanax is a serious problem, especially among young women. Frequently, it’s not because they’ve been abusing the drugs; it can be caused by following the prescription their doctor gave them.”
THC has been shown to fight anxiety disorders, however it can be a double-edged sword. At low doses THC has been shown to lower anxiety, but at higher doses it can actually cause greater anxiety, panic, and worry. CBD, on the other hand, which is typically more abundant in indica strains, has been shown to be more effective at dealing with anxiety disorders. Because of it’s lower THC levels and higher CBD it doesn’t have as much of a psychological effect and therefore a “milder” high and a more calming effect. Indica strains are famous for causing so much relaxation that many users experience couch-lock and are unable to get up and be productive. When dosed correctly cannabis, especially strains low in THC and high in CBD, can be an effective and much safer alternative to the pharmaceutical drugs commonly prescribed for anxiety.
Strains that are Best for Anxiety Disorders
Several strains of cannabis have been proven to effectively combat anxiety.
- Strawberry Cough: Is a sativa strain that works well for anxiety. It gives a strong head high that makes you feel very happy. You will experience a positive mood and desire to be around other people.
- Northern Lights: This indica strain helps to relax the mind and body and often gives a sleepy, drowsy feeling. This is one of the best known strains.
- Blue Dream: Is a hybrid and offers an initial energizing effect from its sativa side, followed by total body relaxation.
- Girl Scout Cookies: This cross of sativa Durban Poison and OG Kush helps combat stress, nausea, and pain. However, it is somewhat high in THC and may not be best for those who easily suffer anxiety. *This is my favorite and is the strain that works best for my Pain and anxiety.
- Harlequin: This hybrid, which is generally sativa-dominant (not typically known to be good for stress reduction), also offers a relatively large amount of CBD, making it a good choice for many people to help combat stress and anxiety while remaining active, productive, and not couch-locked.
- Grandaddy Purple: This indica dominant strain helps with anxiety, stress, pain, and insomnia. It does a great job of calming the body and the mind.
- Gorilla Glue #4: This hybrid, which is an ideal strain for pain relief, is also famous for causing couch-lock and extreme relaxation.
- Cannatonic: This is a high-CBD hybrid strain. It typically has equal amounts of THC and CBD, which make it perfect for dealing with anxiety. CBD is well-known to treat anxiety and does not contribute to feeling high.
- Critical Mass: This indica strain is characterized by high amounts of both THC and CBD. It typically produces strong relaxation and may even cause the body to tingle.
- Afghan Kush: This strain is pure indica and is known to induce intense relaxation, that may hinder functioning and make you extremely sleepy (this is typical of pure indica strains).
- Jack Herer: This sativa strain is well-known for it’s ability to calm anxiety. It has a high THC content. This strain makes some people feel very talkative and puts them in a positive mood. This is a great strain for dealing with social anxiety.