If you’ve checked out our menu, you know there are many, many options when it comes to cannabis! You can choose by type (sativa or indica) by the cannabinoid ratio (THC to CBD) or any number of other characteristics.
But what about when you want a specific effect? Today, we’re going to tackle the tough topic of anxiety—one of the most common reasons people turn to cannabis—and how to choose the best strains for anxiety. It’s an especially tricky question because some people find that cannabis actually makes their anxiety worse, not better.
Stick with us as we run down some of the factors to consider. No matter your experience level, by the time we’re done, you should have a great grounding in the basics of strain selection.
Best Strains for Anxiety: Cannabinoid Ratio
You’re probably familiar with the terms “THC” and “CBD.” They’re the two most prevalent cannabinoids, or “active ingredients” in cannabis, and the ratio between them tells us a lot about what effect any given strain will have on our bodies and our minds.
Let’s start with THC. While some other cannabinoids are mildly psychoactive, THC is the only one that gets us “high.” THC brings a lot more to the table, helping us manage pain, fight insomnia, and soothing nausea or poor appetite.
But unfortunately, for some of us, an excess of THC can also lead to anxiety, or even paranoia. Fortunately, the other major cannabinoid—CBD—is generally regarded as anxiolytic, or having anti-anxiety qualities. In fact, research supports the observation that CBD tends to counteract an excess of THC. It’s almost like the plant doesn’t want us to get too high!
Although there are some strains with almost no THC, current research supports the notion that CBD and THC are most medically effective in conjunction. In that case, let’s tackle the indica / sativa question.
Best Strains for Anxiety: Indica vs. Sativa
Originally, these were classifications used by botanists to differentiate between wild cannabis and hemp varieties. Now, researchers know that whether a given plant is a sativa or an indica depends on its myrcene content. While some in the cannabis world think it’s an outdated way of looking at cannabis, we find it’s a useful way to help people understand any given strain’s effects. In general:
- Indica: Known for heavy, relaxing body effects but can trigger anxiety, especially in higher amounts
- Sativa: Associated with energizing, “buzzy” cerebral effects and a general reduction in anxiety
Best Strains to Try for Anxiety
Cannabis is a natural product, and so our stock is always changing based on availability. But here are some popular (and generally available) strains for you to begin with:
As the name suggests, this strain may inspire some deep forgetfulness! Known for a powerfully euphoric onset and a happy, uplifted but relaxed ride, it’s no surprise why this strain is a perennial favorite.
One of the most famous high-CBD strains, Harlequin actually contains a respectable THC content, around 5:2 CBD/THC ratio. You’ll feel the usual sativa-dominant uplift coupled with tame euphoric effect. It’s popular for daytime activities while providing lasting anxiety relief.
Averaging around a 2:1 CBD/THC ratio, this hybrid strain actually isn’t quite as sedative as the name suggests! It’s sometimes called “even-keeled,” offering many medical benefits without the anxiousness and paranoia sometimes associated with an excess of THC.