Did you know that almost 40% of American adults experience any anxiety disorder at some time or another? This is according to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America. Thankfully, a wide array of all-natural cannabis strains harbor the potential to transform the quality of life among anxiety patients.
“Anxiety” is a term that encompasses a broad spectrum of diagnosable disorders, including generalized anxiety disorder or “GAD,” panic disorder, phobia-related disorders, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
The ADAA claims that specific phobias are the most frequently occurring type of anxiety disorder, inflicting day-to-day difficulties upon more than 19 million adults in the U.S. On the plus side, growing acceptance of cannabis is leading to the plant’s global reputation as a potential anxiety-buster and mood enhancer.
Cannabis as a Treatment Option for Anxiety
Back in the 19th century, the cannabis plant was introduced into Western medicine. Although years of prohibition ensued, the recent growing acceptance of cannabis-based treatments and an ever-expanding forcefield of scientific research support the plant’s use in modern medicine. So much so, that annual cannabis sales revenue in the United States is expected to top $45.9 billion by 2025.
With the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) recently issuing a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA), several specially selected cultivators could soon be harvesting the plant for investigational purposes. The research that currently exists suggests that cannabis for anxiety can reduce self-reported levels of short-term anxiety, depression, and stress.
This study published in the Journal of Translational Medicine confirmed that cannabis possesses abundant anxiolytic properties. In contrast, another study featured in The Permanente Journal indicated that the non-psychotropic substance CBD might hold benefits for anxiety-related disorders.
Why is Strain Choice Important For Anxiety Sufferers?
Cannabis strains could cause anxiety if the wrong variety is chosen. There are two primary cannabinoids — of approximately 114 that have been identified so far — produced by most certified growers: CBD (cannabidiol) and THC (tetrahydrocannabinol). While CBD is non-psychoactive, THC is known for being a mind-altering substance.
Aside from cannabinoids, cannabis is also enriched with hundreds of active compounds, such as flavonoids and terpenes. With all of this in mind, it’s crucial that you carefully select a well-balanced strain to combat feelings of anxiety instead of stimulating them successfully.
Generally, cannabis classification is divided into the following strain categories:
- Euphoria: High-THC, low-CBD
- Clear-headedness: High-CBD, low-THC
- Mildly euphoric: Balanced CBD and THC
Each of the aforementioned “chemotypes” may provide consumers, depending on their unique biochemistry, genetics, weight, and tolerance, with relief from anxiety. You should experiment with various strains and potencies to determine what works best for you.
Top Cannabis Strains for Anxiety Relief
Varieties of the plant genus Cannabis are either Indica, Sativa, or Hybrid. Whereas indica is acknowledged for its couch-locking sedation, Sativa induces more cerebral and uplifting “high.” Mix them both, and you’ve got a hybrid.
As more cultivators tweak the genetics of cannabis and practice cross-breeding, the number of available strains continues to grow. With that being said, listing every single cannabis strain for anxiety could take all day!
However, the following five are sure-fire winners for relieving feelings of stress, worry, and agitation:
1. Granddaddy Purple: Hybrid (50% Sativa/50% Indica)
A fruity blend of Big Bud and Purple Urkle, Granddaddy Purple (or “GDP,” as many like to call it) merges berry and grape flavor notes. However, the strain is renowned for causing “cotton mouth,” the feelings produced by GDP more than makeup for it. Sink into a peaceful night’s sleep once you consume this full-bodied strain, which is believed to help ease muscle spasms, stress, and pain.
2. Jack Herer: Sativa Dominant Hybrid (80% Sativa/20% Indica)
Moving to the Sativa-dominant end of the hybrid spectrum is Jack Herer, named after the famous cannabis activist and author. Terpenes tickle your nose hair with the scent of orange and lemon before teasing your tastebuds with flavors of pine. Once the cerebral effects of this intense strain surface, the intensely relaxing physical effects will begin to creep in.
3. Blue Dream: Sativa Dominant Hybrid (60% Sativa/40% Indica)
Perhaps one of the easiest cannabis strains to purchase at licensed dispensaries is this California-originated strain. Blue Dream is commonly touted as a strain that can help relieve anxiety, chronic pain, depression, insomnia, and stress.
4. Lemon OG Kush: Indica Dominant Hybrid (40% Sativa/60% Indica)
Add some zest to your life with Lemon OG Kush. This indica-leaning strain merges sour lemon, pine, and woody/earthy flavors. Perfect for relieving stress and boosting appetite, this hybrid strain will deliver a dose of euphoria and long-lasting physical relaxation. Aside from anxiety, Lemon OG Kush is favored by people who have bipolar disorder, depression, and PTSD.
5. Girl Scout Cookies: Sativa Dominant Hybrid (60% Sativa/40% Indica)
Often abbreviated as “GSC,” this famous strain is a combination of OG Kush and Durban Poison. Strain experts consider this hybrid variety to be a powerful tool for anxiety. As a potent strain that intertwines sedative properties with creative and euphoric effects, it’s understandable why GSC has earned a reputation as a tool for improving mental health.
Gaining Professional Advice Before Consuming Cannabis for Anxiety
Venture to your local doctor’s office for a general checkup before using cannabis for anxiety or consult an experienced cannabis coach like Dr. Michele Ross. Informing a healthcare practitioner of your intentions is crucial since this will prevent the risk of alternative medications being inhibited or amplified once cannabis is consumed.