Anxiety and cannabis have a unique relationship. Some use weed to reduce their anxious feels, while others swear it increases their anxiety. Of course, cannabis is unique all on its own with a wide-range of varied effects. Which explains the two different outcomes.
When using cannabis to manage anxiety, it’s important to know more about what’s inside rather than just choosing your favourite flavour, strain name, or type of product. That’s because the balance of managing feeling anxious comes from the combination of cannabinoids and terpenes that cannabis contains. Are you using cannabis to manage anxiety and need a few tips?
Or looking for a source of natural relief for the condition? Then this guide is for you. Here we’ll discuss why and how cannabis works to relieve anxiety, and the specific traits to look for when using the plant for healing that uneasy feeling.
Does Cannabis Raise Anxiety?
For those who have felt their anxiety increase after consuming marijuana, you weren’t imagining things. THC, CBD, and other cannabinoids interact with the parts of the brain that are responsible for maintaining mood, and balancing levels of feeling anxious. Fortunately for those who suffer from anxiety or anxiety-related disorders, it’s just certain strengths of THC or potency levels that can cause this negative feeling to occur.
Some studies have concluded that high levels THC induces anxiety, while CBD reduces it. Shown by one trial where THC induced anxiety amongst rats who were studied. In the same trial, CBD was able to reduce anxiety naturally present, and reduce THC induced anxiety too. Which could prove the myth that CBD is good to take when overdoing THC, too. This same effect was later confirmed in a small trial of 15 men.
How Cannabis Can Reduce Anxiety
Since high levels of THC are noted for elevating levels of anxiety, what’s responsible for cannabis reducing anxiety? THC at certain dosages can help, but even more effective is CBD and a few specific terpenes. CBD is a natural anxiolytic agent, and is proving to be able to reduce the symptoms in many anxiety disorders. Including –
- Generalized anxiety disorder
- Panic disorder
- Social anxiety disorder
- Obsessive–compulsive disorder
- Post-traumatic stress disorder
Meaning, that strains or cannabis goods that are high in levels of CBD and lower in THC are ideal for maintaining a levelled mood.
In other strains, your nose can lead the way. The scent centres of cannabis, AKA terpenes, are showing to be anxiety and stress reducing in effect, too. Here’s a breakdown of which terps to seek for feeling less anxious –
- Myrcene – Myrcene has hints of a musky and earthy scent, similar to cloves. The terpene is noted for reducing anxiety, due to its sedating effects. It’s also one of the most common terpenes found in cannabis.
- Linalool – Linalool produces floral and herbal aromas, and is also found in lavender. The terpene is known for reducing anxiety to help issues with sleeping, and has proven to reduce stress in rats in one clinical trial.
- Limonene – The terpene that smells like refreshing citrus, and lemon has been studied for its ability to reduce stress. This trait allows Limonene to reduce anxiety, effectively.
- Caryophyllene – Caryophyllene is spicy and peppery in scent, and has also been clinically studies for its anxiety reducing effects. A 2014 study on rodents concluded that the terpene was successful at reducing anxiety levels, when the rats attempted to get through a maze.
- Pinene – Pinene as you can guess, smells of woody pine aromas. It’s most helpful for addressing anxiety since it’s able to counteract the effects of THC. With one study proving that the terpene successfully worked as an anti-anxiety agent.
The Research Behind Anxiety and Cannabis
Beyond what we’ve learned so far, 2020 did deliver some good news in regard to cannabis and anxiety. This year, a study published that cannabis’ influence on the endocannabinoid system was effective at reducing connections that natural induced anxiety in the brain. The breakthrough information, notes that there is still much to research when exploring the way cannabinoids interact with the brain’s prefrontal cortex where feelings of anxiety often arise.
Another study notes the levels of cannabinoid receptors found in the hippocampus and amygdala parts of the brain may help cannabis combat anxiety. Researchers in this trial found that a natural endocannabinoid, 2-AG activates the same receptors as THC. Specifically between the amygdala and the brain’s prefrontal cortex. This is leading experts to believe that at ideal doses, cannabis can work internally to reduce feeling anxious
This comes years after a 2012 study determined that low doses of cannabis versus high doses were more effective at relieving anxiety. Showing the progress and speed that the medical community is working at, to definitively determine how the two connect for ideal treatment. Speaking of doses, next we’ll explore the best strains that have ideal combinations to relieve anxiety, and those that work best for anxious consumers as noted by real-time use.
Best Strains for Anxiety
If you’re more interested in the power of CBD for anxiety, a wide variety of ideal ratios can be found in extracts or oils. If you’re old-school and prefer to consume traditional flower, here are the best strains to turn to for relieving anxiety, and avoiding inducing it.
Configuring Cannabis to Work For You
Sometimes with cannabis, it takes a little exploration to find out what works for you. Which is why many on the medical side of things, recommend journaling your results as you try product to product, and strain to strain. As you can see, depending on the exact makeup of cannabinoids and terpenes, you’ll receive varied effects for treating or elevating anxiety.
So, it’s a careful line to walk and one that requires additional knowledge to dose or do so correctly. Use this guide as a starter to choosing the right products and strains for helping anxiety, and not raising it. As always, select premium goods for premium results, always available at Greenz.