Stress is a common occurrence that we can’t escape so easily. Finances, relationships, professional life, and even sports can trigger stress. Although most of the people we know turn to traditional drug-based therapies for help with stress and stress-related symptoms, marijuana can offer a safer alternative for mitigating stress.
While studies on the effects of cannabis remain ongoing, the results continue to support the idea that tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) can help alleviate stress and induce relaxation. On this journey, some patients have found therapeutic success in using marijuana for stress. In fact, some even reported that smoking a particular strain of weed helped them reduce stress and anxiety while lifting their mood.
On Stress & Cannabis: What You Should Know
One study published in The Journal of Affective Disorders in April 2018 showed that cannabis products with high levels of THC and CBD led to a substantial reduction in stress symptoms. According to research, the most effective stress relief products were those with a THC level of 26.5% and CBD levels above 11%.
Further research showed that cannabis could mitigate stress symptoms, but only when consumed in low doses. When consuming high doses of marijuana, some users could experience the opposite effect, exacerbating rather than diminishing stress.
Researchers at the University at Buffalo’s Research Institute, in turn, found that cannabis fights depression specifically caused by chronic stress. In fact, they found that CBD and THC actually substitute those chemicals missing from our ECS (endocannabinoid system) and then act as a mood regulator, helping reduce stress-related depression. Again, low doses of cannabis were seen as the most efficient.
How to manage stress with cannabis:
A handful of studies hint that marijuana can help manage stress. Due to cannabinoids’ biphasic effects, compounds like THC can reduce anxiety in small doses and exacerbate it in higher doses.
CBD or cannabidiol is similarly successful in low-to-moderate amounts for anxiety, but there are reports that CBD can also boost energy. This wake-inducing effect of CBD may depend on physiology to some extent because other studies have shown that high doses of CBD can, in fact, promote sleepiness.
Speaking of sleep, insomnia and other sleep problems can be prevented in patients who microdose small amounts of THC. For example, in people suffering from PTSD, cannabis (specifically THC) can reduce the time spent in REM which helps them prevent nightmares.
Taking note of the terpenes
Different combinations of terpenes and dosages can affect the way cannabinoids behave. In fact, they may also determine the effect a particular cannabis product or strain can have. For example, when combined with other stress-busting terpenes like limonene and pinene, THC induces people to feel energetic.
While the same combination can beat anxiety and stress in some people, in others, too high a dose of THC, limonene and pinene, and beta-caryophyllene may induce an “edgy” feeling.
Since everyone is different, it may take a bit of experimentation to find the right terpene or strain that works best for you. Luckily, there are a lot of tried and tested cannabis strains to bust stress, including:
This is a popular strain among cannabis enthusiasts, and for a good reason. White widow is a white hybrid between the Brazilian Sativa and the resin-heavy South Indian Indica plants. This strain usually results in a potent sense of euphoria, and according to consumers, it can increase energy levels and improve creativity. Note that not all marijuana plants produce buds, only female ones. To remove all the guesswork and extra plants, you can purchase feminised seeds directly from reputable online marijuana strain breeders.
Widely popularised by long-time users, this “old school” cannabis strain is another hybrid created by breeding several Kush plants, which include the Hindu Kush. Some users would describe its unique aroma as spicy and earthy with a hint of lemon flavor.
You can enjoy OG Kush at the end of a hectic week or at the end of a stressful workday when you need to unwind and reduce your anxiety. What’s more, this strain can be used to ease moderate to severe pain and relieve feelings of physical tension. As a cautionary measure, choose your cannabis seeds wisely. But if you’re buying products directly from a cannabis store, pay attention to the different strains or ask the seller to recommend something that suits your needs. Also, make sure you stick to low doses because the strain’s THC amount can pack quite a cerebral punch.
CBG Relief Auto
CBG Relief Auto is a strain obtained from young cannabis plants that contain a higher amount of Cannabigerol than fully matured plans. This strain has generated a lot of interest regarding its medicinal potential, although research into this particular cannabinoid is ongoing, so no specific claim can be made yet. It’s a 60% Sativa strain that grows into medium size plants and can be harvested in 8-0 weeks from seeds.
The GBC Relief is also a fast-maturing strain with a completely non-psychoactive effect but does a great job as a physical relaxant.
Blue Dream is a Sativa-dominant hybrid well-known for its strong medicinal properties. The strain outranks top Indica-dominant hybrids when it comes to THC content while still providing the well-known energetic and uplifting high that Sativa consumers enjoy. That means that if you have a low tolerance to THC, you should probably think of other strain than this.
However, the Blue Dream strain has gained tremendous popularity due to its overall agreeableness with a wide range of users. For example, if you’re new to hybrid strains, Blue Dream can be an ideal entry point as it can offer additional benefits that you won’t encounter in usual Indica strains.
When you first open the canister, you will notice a distinctly fruity smell that is floral, sweet, and earthy at the same time. When you first hit the jar, you will notice that Blue Dream tastes even fruitier than it smells. In fact, Blue Dream is somewhat unique in the fact that it offers an extremely enjoyable taste.