It's no secret that anxiety sucks. It can be even more debilitating when you're used to being the life of the party. When anxiety hits, sometimes just the idea of being the center of attention can make your skin crawl. But have no fear! There are a variety of cannabis strains that can squash that anxiety and have you feeling like your old self again.
Kelly Pieklo, who works in the cannabis industry in Colorado, says that while there doesn't appear to be a single strain that is best for folks experiencing anxiety, there are few different ones that have shown to be very helpful. "A safe and responsible way to start managing anxiety would be with a high-CBD/low-THC strain of cannabis," Pieklo tells MERRY JANE.
While there are times that a high THC content can be welcome, for many people with anxiety, those types of strains can actually amplify panic, paranoia or exacerbate anxiety, which you would obviously want to avoid. According to Pieklo, CBD (Cannabidiol), is one of many non-psychoactive components of the cannabis plant. Although it has a variety of benefits, CBD interacts with our endocannabinoid systems primarily as an anti-anxiety and an anti-inflammatory, making it a favorite among folks looking to find relief from anxiety.
As someone who has been prescribed medical marijuana for an anxiety disorder, I can attest to the fact that a high CBD strain is the way to go. For me, using a high CBD strain is akin to taking a benzodiazepines (Ativan, Xanax, Valium, etc…), only instead of taking a pill that has been shown to play a part in early onset dementia with extended use (um, NO THANKS!), I can instead use a plant that has a host of benefits and very little—if any—negative effects.
While some strains are known for their anxiety-relieving qualities, there also might be a bit of a trial period as you find the right one(s) for you. Pieklo recommends sitting down and speaking with a knowledgeable cannabis specialist, who can help guide you through all the various options available. And, when it comes to those just trying out the THC-laden forms of relief, always start low and slow. "Starting with a low-THC (or low-psychoactive) strain allows those looking for relief, but who might be relatively new to cannabis, to responsibly increase psychoactivity (THC) to find that magic ratio of CBD to THC that alleviates, or significantly decreases, his or her anxiety," he explains.
Strains to check out:
Sativa: Harlequin. With a 5:2 CBD/THC ratio, Harlequin is one of the best when it comes to treating anxiety. A particularly great aspect of Harlequin is that it provides anxiety relief without leaving you feeling heavily sedated. Perfect for the extrovert who wants to go out and be social, but wants to leave the stress and worries behind!
Indica: Gumbi. This fruity strain also has a higher CBD to THC ratio, so it works well to reduce anxiety while also allowing you a clear head to go actively about your day (or night!). This is also a great choice for folks who find they are sensitive to psychoactive effects of certain strains.
Hybrid: OG Kush. Many Kush hybrids (Lemon Kush, Mango Kush, Tahoe OG Kush) have shown promise when it comes to treating anxiety, and OG Kush is no exception. This piney-lemony strain will make you feel happy, relaxed and able to socialize without stress.