Stress is a normal part of life that everyone experiences now and again. Stress can motivate you to get tasks done, but sometimes high levels of stress can lead to anxiety and take a negative toll on your body. Fortunately, certain medical marijuana strains have become one of the go-to solutions to rapidly reduce elevated stress and anxiety levels.
What is Stress?
Stress is a physical and mental biological reaction to an external trigger, such as a significant life change, a traumatic event, or high academic or professional expectations. If your symptoms become persistent, overwhelming, or begin affecting your daily quality of life when no stressor is present, you may have an anxiety disorder.
Anxiety is an ongoing stress response that may feel like a consistent sensation of dread or apprehension. Both anxiety disorders and chronic stress can detriment your physical and mental health, leading to:
- Chest pain
- High blood pressure
- Loss of sleep
- Heart palpitations
- Shortness of breath
- Difficulty concentrating
- Excessive sweating
- Headaches or stomach pains
How Medical Marijuana Relieves Stress
The Medical Marijuana Treatment Clinics of Florida (MMTCFL) have found that high THC cannabis may relieve stress and anxiety at lower doses. However, it is important to note that high THC cannabis in large quantities can worsen stress and anxiety, while CBD products can reduce stress and anxiety in high doses.
Medical marijuana has emerged as an efficient way to relieve stress due to the endocannabinoid system, an intricate network of receptors in the body that runs parallel with our nervous and immune systems. Our endocannabinoid systems play a critical role in several physiological processes, including:
- Appetite regulation
When phytocannabinoids like THC and CBD enter our body through medical marijuana, they bind to our endocannabinoid receptors, resulting in a biological response that regulates our behavioral response to stressful stimuli.
Identifying Different Marijuana Strains
There are two different ways to identify and differentiate marijuana strains:
Strain-based identification is typically used for inhaled versions of cannabis, as it is more difficult to identify specific amounts of cannabinoids for the cannabis flower. The three primary types of strains include:
- Indica: provides a physical effect through the body, recommended for nighttime use
- Sativa: entails a more mental and energizing experience, giving the user a feeling of alertness and creativity
- Hybrid: a mix of Indica and Sativa strains, may be Indica-dominant, Sativa-dominant, or a balanced strain
Ratio-based products are displayed on product packaging as the percentage of THC to CBD. For example, equal amounts of THC and CBD will have a ratio of 1:1, which beginners should avoid until they have a better understanding of how THC affects them. Ratio-based products that beginners can try to limit the psychoactive effects of THC may have ratios such as 50:1, 20:1, or 10:1, with higher levels of CBD and low THC. Remember, finding your perfect ratio of CBD and THC may take some time.
6 Best Marijuana Strains for Stress
Girl Scout Cookies
GSC, originally known as the Girl Scout Cookies strain, is composed of OG Kush and Durban Poison. The THC-dominant strand is recognized for promoting relaxation and happiness. With THC levels from 25% to 28%, GSC used in low doses is one of the most effective strains to relieve stress and anxiety. This type of cannabis may also aid with physical pain and depression.
Granddaddy Purple, commonly known as GDP, is a mix between Purple Urkle and Big Bud, inheriting a complex grape and berry flavor. This strain is ideal for generating a peaceful calm throughout the entire body and can help with numerous conditions, including:
- Stress and anxiety
- Muscle spasms
- Chronic pain
- Appetite loss
Cottonmouth, a dryness of sticky sensation in your mouth, is a common side effect of this stain, so remember to drink plenty of water if you use GDP.
Jack Herer is a Sativa-dominant hybrid with an appealing orange-lemon scent and taste with undertones of pine. This strain provides an excellent balance between cerebral and physical effects, promoting deep relaxation.
Sour Diesel (“Sour D”) is another Sativa-dominant strain that primarily provides mental stimulation, making it one of the best marijuana strains for stress and anxiety. This strain has fast-acting effects that not only energize the body but also induce a “dreamy” feeling. Consumers say that Sour D has a lemon/lime taste, hence, where the term “sour” originates. Sensations associated with Sour D include:
- Mental stimulation
You may experience cottonmouth with this strain as well.
Blue Dream is one of the most common and popular strains available. Originating in California, this strain has a sweet, earthy, and berry aroma. Blue Dream is utilized to mitigate:
- Chronic pain
- Difficulties with concentration
OG Kush is a reliable strain for those looking for stress relief. This strain produces a euphoric feeling and may help decrease stress, anxiety, and depression. Some users have also reported relief from headaches and migraines when using this strain. OG Kush has a woody, earthy taste and a unique aroma with notes of pine and a hint of sour lemon.
CBD for Stress Relief
Some patients may prefer to use CBD as their primary cannabinoid to relieve stress. CBD or cannabidiol is the non-psychoactive ingredient in the cannabis plant that offers a variety of medicinal benefits, including:
- Relieves stress and anxiety
- Lowers inflammation
- Alleviates chronic pain
- Promotes sleep
- Helps symptoms of PTSD
Others prefer THC because it has its own unique therapeutic and mood-boosting properties. Try selecting a product that contains both THC and CBD to optimize the benefits of both cannabinoids and leave you feeling a little more balanced. Products containing both CBD and THC may be the most successful in relieving your stress and anxiety because of the entourage effect.
The entourage effect refers to the synergy of compounds found in cannabis, including its cannabinoids, terpenes, and flavonoids, leading them to work more efficiently when used together than alone.
Get Your Medical Marijuana Card for Stress Relief
Although MMTCFL does not sell medical marijuana products, our doctors can determine if you are eligible for treatment and help you get your medical marijuana registration card. Ask your local dispensary about these strains and others that may help reduce stress if you’re still unsure of what may be best for you.