Medical marijuana has been a successful method for many people dealing with anxiety. Here are the nest marijuana strains to help calm an anxious mind.
If you're an anxiety sufferer, it can sometimes feel as though there's no relief in sight.
The crushing weight can make it difficult to accomplish everyday tasks or even leave the house. You can feel your life slipping out of your control while you sink deeper into feelings of panic, dread, and depression. Cannabis can help.
Due to its chemical makeup, marijuana is a natural alternative to addictive anxiety medications. If you're seeking to treat your anxiety with cannabis, you have options.
Here is a rundown of the science behind treating anxiety with marijuana, and our list of the best marijuana strains for anxiety.
How Does Cannabis Help Relieve Anxiety?
The human brain and nervous system contain receptors known as cannabinoid receptors. These work with chemicals called endocannabinoids that are naturally produced by our bodies.
This process is a function of the endocannabinoid system, which is involved in tasks like sleep, memory, and appetite. Some of these receptors are located in the amygdala, which is the part of the brain that regulates anxiety and panic.
Tetrahydrocannabinol and cannabidiol (THC and CBD) are the main chemical components of marijuana. These complexes attach to the receptors in the amygdala and mimic endocannabinoid functions. This results in lower feelings of stress, and a general sense of calm.
What Makes A Strain Effective Against Anxiety?
When considering the best marijuana strains for anxiety, the type that will work for you depends greatly on your individual needs. However, there are some general guidelines to know.
General knowledge tells us that each strain of marijuana falls under two basic species (or a hybrid of the two): sativa and indica. Sativa is known for its high-energy function, while indica is preferred for relaxation (“indica = in-da-couch”).
In practice, this classification has more to do with a plant's genetics than how it will affect your high. The real factor in what makes a certain kind of bud one of the best marijuana strains for anxiety is the ratio THC to CBD.
THC is the chemical marijuana is known for, and it's responsible for weed's psychoactive properties. THC is the reason pot makes us sleepy, hungry, and affects our senses.
CBD, however, is non-psychoactive and works on cannabinoid receptors differently than THC. It creates a relaxing body high that doesn't have the same mind-altering effects. Marijuana with a high CBD to low THC ratio won't get you high, but it will make you feel pleasantly mellow.
When shopping for the best marijuana strains for your anxiety, test out a few buds in a variety of THC to CBD ratios. Just keep in mind that it's the CBD that will knock your anxiety to a manageable level.
Our Picks For The Best Marijuana Strains For Anxiety
When it comes to the best marijuana strains for anxiety, not all buds are created equal. Try one of these varieties and watch your anxiety go up in smoke.
This popular strain from Amsterdam is sixty percent Brazilian sativa and forty percent indica from South India. White Widow is named for the shimmering white resin frosting each bud, and has been a favorite for the last twenty years. It has an earthy, pine scent, and creates a relaxing body high that's perfect for crushing anxiety.
Users of White Widow report feelings of energized euphoria and bursts of creativity. It's a great choice for sufferers of PTSD, general anxiety, and depression.
Though White Widow is traditionally a strain that's higher in THC, high CBD versions of the plant are available on the market. Just be careful not to overdo the traditional strain if you have anything to accomplish, or you could end up glued to the couch instead.
What do you get when you cross two particularly potent strains of indica? In the case of Big Bud and Purple Urkel, the result is a knock-down, ultra-relaxing indica called Granddaddy Purple.
Granddaddy Purple isn't one of the best marijuana strains if you need to accomplish anything with your day. However, the high THC content effectively gets the job done when it comes to squashing anxiety or insomnia.
This uber-potent strain will coax you into a state of body relaxation, melting away any pent-up stress and anxiety for the duration of your high. This also makes it a great choice for anyone suffering from anxiety related muscle spasms.
This super-sticky Granddaddy Purple derivative is sweet with a minty, nuanced aftertaste. Cherry Pie is a particularly sought-after strain, with round buds covered in soft orange fuzz and tinted a beautiful deep purple.
Cherry Pie is an indica-dominant hybrid, but its high-CBD sativa roots are potent enough to counter the Granddaddy Purple. This strain will give you a happy high with a clear, creative presence of mind — perfect for battling general anxiety, PTSD, or bipolar disorder.
Cannatonic is a tried and true favorite among those who prefer a high CBD content for medical purposes.
A hybrid with a pleasant, lemony scent, Cannatonic can leave its users feeling slightly sedated. However, the potent CBD content results in users reporting a focus that's great for cutting back on stress and getting tasks done.
High levels of the terpene myrcene result in a relaxing, calming feeling that sets Cannatonic apart when it comes to fighting anxiety. Bonus: for some medical users, myrcene has the added benefit of fighting cancer cells.
Cannatonic is a great choice for those looking for lessened psychoactive effects, and want to experience the benefits of CBD. It's one of the best marijuana strains for treating depression and bipolar disorder.
This chilled-out Cannatonic derivative boasts a whopping twenty to one ratio of CBD over THC, making it a CBD fan's dream. It has a distinctive mossy texture and an orangey-green hue, with a flavor that's part citrusy and part earthy.
ACDC's low THC content makes it one of the best marijuana strains for those seeking only the physiological benefits. It's known for instilling in its users an uplifting alertness that never falls into the familiar spiral of anxiety.
ACDC is an excellent choice for sufferers of chronic social anxiety. The effects will have you focused and relaxed in social situations that would otherwise be awkward and uncomfortable. It's also a popular choice for conditions like epilepsy, chronic pain, and multiple sclerosis.
Looking for delicious bud that will cut anxiety without compromising focus? Strawberry Cough is an award-winning choice that won't let you down.
This strain has a saccharine sweet flavor and aroma that's reminiscent of strawberry ice cream. Buds are covered with their trademark red hairs and coated with fuzzy trichomes.
Strawberry Cough is a hybrid that's three parts sativa and one part indica. Despite the higher THC count, it will leave you with a pleasant head high that isn't too much to use through the day. It manages to be both energizing and calming and eases any underlying social anxiety. It's also effective at managing some ADD symptoms.
When you're smoking Strawberry Cough, be careful! It's named for the usual effect of the thick, strawberry-scented smoke when inhaled.
When you're looking for a sweet smoke that won't leave you coughing, Blue Dream is a consistently excellent choice.
This is a sativa-dominant hybrid that's eighty percent Haze and twenty percent Blueberry. It's an easy-to-smoke strain that's great for newer users and cannabis veterans alike. Blue Dream has the sweet berry flavor of its Blueberry parent and dark green buds that are occasionally tinted blue or violet.
After enjoying a few puffs of Blue Dream, you'll feel your anxiety melt away as your energy picks up. This is one of the best marijuana strains if you're looking for a high that's calming yet uplifting (despite its heightened THC level). You'll enjoy the euphoria without any drowsy side effects.
Blue Dream is a terrific choice for treating depression, mood disorders, and general anxiety disorder.
Sour Tsunami was one of the first and best marijuana strains bred specifically for its high CBD levels. It is a relaxing sativa-dominant hybrid with almost no psychoactive properties to speak of.
Sour Tsunami inherited the trademark diesel smell of its parent Sour Diesel and grows dark green, purple-tinted leaves. Buds tend to be dense and may have a somewhat sour taste when smoked.
Since it was first developed, it's been a popular choice for users who want to enjoy a functional day without any looming anxiety. Some buds may possess a higher THC level than others, but the prevalent effect is that of the CBD content. It's a particularly effective strain for treating seizure disorders, as well as depression and anxiety.
If you've got nothing else to do for the day and want to melt away from your anxiety for a while, Northern Lights is the bud for you.
Northern Lights is an incredibly potent indica strain that will rob you of your ability to do anything active. This is one that is likely to become your go-to remedy for taking the edge off at bedtime.
Because of its high THC levels, Northern Lights is definitely not one of the best marijuana strains if you need to be productive in any way. However, nothing beats it when it's time to wind down for the day.
The sedating properties of Northern Lights make it an especially effective strain for combating OCD.
Girl Scout Cookies
With its green and purple buds sprinkled with light orange hairs, Girl Scout Cookies is one of the best marijuana strains on the market.
It's been venerated to an iconic status after receiving the praise of rappers and cannabis icons, and with good reason. Girl Scout Cookies has one of the highest THC levels available at most dispensaries.
If you're sensitive to THC, Girl Scout Cookies may not be the best choice for you. Otherwise, you'll likely enjoy the euphoric, numbing experience that comes with this strain. It's particularly effective in fighting depression, anxiety, and some appetite disorders.
This hybrid of Cannatonic and Sour Tsunami is a CBD lover's dream. Canna-Tsu has a deep woodsy aroma that dissipates into a pleasant citrus smell.
The low THC content of Canna-Tsu makes for a blissful state of total body relaxation that's super effective at combating anxiety. It promotes a sense of serenity without rendering you entirely unable to function (though some buds may produce a pleasant THC high as well).
Canna-Tsu is one of the best marijuana strains if you're seeking a middle ground between relaxation and focus.
Despite its classification as a sativa-dominant strain, the high CBD levels of the hybrid Harlequin make it a wise choice to treat anxiety.
A derivative of Colombian Gold, Harlequin's popularity is due to its non-compromising effectiveness. It has an earthy, sometimes fruity smell, and is a great choice for those with THC sensitivity.
This is one of the best marijuana strains if you're seeking a peaceful body high that leaves you clear-headed and able to focus. Harlequin is a great choice for handling social anxiety, general anxiety, and depression.
If you're looking for the head high of sativa while reducing anxiety, Cinex is worth a try on your next dispensary stop.
Often used to treat chronic migraines, Cinex is a great painkiller. These beautiful buds are sparkling with delicate white crystals that make this an especially potent choice. It's renowned for its creative high that doesn't dampen intellectual focus and is a popular choice for morning smokers.
Cinex creates a friendly, euphoric sensation in its users without dulling focus or motivation. Its uplifting effects make this a great choice for those dealing with mood disorders and depression.
Best Marijuana Strains For Anxiety Final Thoughts
Though your budtender will be able to guide you in the right direction, it's important to have an understanding of what to look for to treat your anxiety. Knowing the best marijuana for your needs can be a great place to start on the road to feeling like yourself again.
Check out our blog for more information about marijuana in your lifestyle.