CULTURE
Weed Strains for Anxiety: Your Anxious Guide to Reducing Paranoia with Cannabis
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This past year has been one of the most stressful in recent history, so if worries have been wearing you down, here are five strains of weed that can help you cope.
Published on March 11, 2021

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We’re sure you’ve heard of people using specific weed strains for anxiety. Anxiety is one of the most common reasons people turn to cannabis. And, if used properly, the plant can be one of the most effective anti-anxiety remedies. 

Right now, an estimated 40 million Americans suffer from some form of anxiety, and the pandemic has made the ongoing mental health crisis even more serious. Psychiatrists have traditionally used benzodiazepines and other addictive pills to treat these issues, but a growing number of people are discovering that cannabis can treat anxiety more effectively than traditional pharmaceuticals.

There are lots of different cannabis strains on the market, which can make the task of finding the perfect strain for anxiety even more stressful — the irony! We know that cannabis professionals, such as budtenders and medical marijuana caregivers, often recommend indica or hybrid strains to help manage stress and anxiety. Most weed-savvy folk would also likely recommend to stay away from traditional sativa strains, as they can create a lot of mental energy, which can easily turn into racing thoughts. But, recent research suggests that each strain's balance of CBD to THC is even more important to consider when determining how to use cannabis for anxiety. 

Clinical research on cannabis and anxiety is still in its early stages, but several studies have found that CBD extracts or CBD-dominant weed strains can reduce anxiety. For some people, high-THC cannabis strains are great for mellowing out, but these strains can actually increase feelings of panic or paranoia for others.

These factors could make finding the perfect weed strain for anxiety a daunting task, but have no fear — we've compiled a list of five great strains that can help you find peace and feel good.

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Granddaddy Purple

If you need to unwind after a grueling, stressful day of tasks, managing, and deadlines, Granddaddy Purple might be the perfect strain for your anxiety. This indica-dominant hybrid generally contains THC levels of 20 to 23 percent, which can bring on a relaxing, euphoric high that can help with insomnia, chronic pain, and anxiety. GDP, as it is sometimes known, can help clear the mind and relax tense muscles, but anyone who finds that THC triggers their anxiety might want to look for a strain with higher CBD content.

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Cannatonic 

Speaking of high-CBD strains, Cannatonic is a great choice for anyone who has bad reactions to THC. This hybrid was bred to produce a balanced THC to CBD ratio of 1:1, or even 1:2 in some cases. The CBD levels in this strain can reach as high as 17 percent, inspiring a mellow, functional high with a relatively low psychoactive impact. And as a bonus, this strain can also help with migraines and stress-induced headaches. Bazinga!

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Northern Lights 

Northern Lights is regarded as one of the best indica strains for anxiety, thanks to its strong tranquilizing effects. Unlike some other high-THC strains, Northern Lights brings on a blissful high that can help sweep spiraling worries and racing thoughts away. This deep state of relaxation can definitely lead to a serious case of “couch lock,” though, so it's best for chilling at the end of a long, hard day.

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AC/DC 

Medical cannabis providers often recommend AC/DC to patients who are suffering from anxiety, chronic pain, or epilepsy. In addition to its well-known anti-inflammatory properties, this high-CBD hybrid can help clear the mind of racing thoughts and feeling detached from your body. Although AC/DC is actually a sativa-dominant strain, its 20:1 ratio of CBD to THC ensures that the strong psychoactive effects normally associated with sativas are offset by the calming effects of CBD, making it one of the best weed strains for anxiety.

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Jack Herer

Jack Herer is another sativa strain that helps bring anxiety under control. Fans of this strain report that it has a powerful mood-elevating effect that makes worries melt away. In fact, the positive vibes are so strong that it is often recommended for people suffering from depression. But because this strain has a relatively high THC content of around 15 to 19 percent, and very little CBD to balance it out, a beginner might want to start off with lower doses and work their way up from there. This is one of the special sativas that stands among great cannabis strains for anxiety.

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Chris Moore
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Chris Moore is a New York-based writer who has written for Mass Appeal while also mixing records and producing electronic music.
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