Anxiety is not something to be taken lightly. Not only does it fill the future with sorrows, but it also empties the present of its strength. Anxiety is among the most common mental health conditions among US adolescents, youth, and adults.
This mental health condition can become a genuine concern and source of anguish for some people since it can generate symptoms such as fear, worry, and even some physical symptoms such as sweating, rapid breathing, and increased heart rate.
And while programs to treat anxiety abound, there is no cure for this disorder. Understandably, people who suffer from anxiety often search for new and more effective methods to treat anxiety. Among all the existing approaches to deal with this condition, cannabis could represent an effective tool to help deal with and even mitigate some of the symptoms derived from anxiety.
But talking about cannabis is getting into a whole universe of possibilities, varieties, and different products. So, if you intend to find the right cannabis strain or product to help with your anxiety, it is best to take the time to research and be well informed about the different types of cannabis and what possible effects they could have on you.
It’s also a good idea to consult your doctor or mental health professional before trying new treatments. But if you’re wondering about the effects of cannabis on anxiety and what the best strains might be, we’re here to help you get started.
THC vs CBD Strains for Anxiety
Before deciding to start using cannabis to deal with anxiety, it is best to consult your doctor and familiarize yourself with the different types of cannabis available on the market to determine which one could be an ideal strain or product for you.
One of the main aspects that we must be clear about is that there are two main types of cannabis available on the market and from which most of the cannabis-infused products available out there are derived: hemp, or CBD-rich cannabis, and marijuana, or THC-rich cannabis.
CBD-rich cannabis may be less common as its popularity in the legal cannabis market is relatively new. However, the predominant cannabinoid in this cannabis strain, CBD, does carry some potential when it comes to helping with anxiety and its symptoms. CBD is a non-intoxicating cannabinoid. Therefore, it does not produce psychoactive effects and could also help reduce some anxiety symptoms without the need to experience the effects of the high commonly associated with cannabis in general.
On the other hand, THC-rich cannabis or marijuana produces the most common and popular strains out there, responsible for generating the euphoric and psychotropic high that cannabis is world-famous for. The predominant cannabinoid in this type of cannabis is THC. While some people find the psychoactive effects of THC relaxing, others may be sensitive to the effects of this cannabinoid, which could even increase existing anxiety.
In addition to cannabinoids, other organic compounds occur naturally in cannabis called terpenes that can also significantly influence the final effects we experience when consuming a cannabis variety or product. The terpenes, together with the indica or sativa nature of each strain, can have a lot to do with the effectiveness that each cannabis variety or product can have in reducing anxiety or helping to better deal with some of its symptoms. It is essential to consider all of these factors when choosing the best cannabis strain for you.
How Marijuana Helps to Relieve Anxiety?
The relationship between cannabis and anxiety can be a little complicated. There seems to be a relationship between low doses of THC and a reduction in anxiety and its symptoms.
In contrast, higher doses of this same cannabinoid could, in fact, increase anxiety or aggravate the symptoms it generates. Additionally, there are a large number of reports of users using marijuana to cope with social anxiety disorder effectively. Human clinical trials studying the use of cannabis to treat anxiety are very limited.
Nonetheless, there is growing evidence from animal studies and surveys of cannabis users to suggest that cannabis may be effective in helping with anxiety, especially when it comes to CBD-rich cannabis or hemp. In fact, it seems that CBD, precisely CBD oil, could reduce anxiety and its associated symptoms regardless of the dose administered. The combination of CBD and THC could also be effective in some cases.
But, this applies to the combination of CBD with low amounts of THC. While for some people, the THC in marijuana might provide short-term relief from anxiety, for others, even the slightest exposure to the psychoactive effects that this cannabinoid carries can pose a real risk of increased anxiety symptoms.
There are also well-controlled studies suggesting a link between chronic marijuana use and an increased tendency toward substance use disorder. Nevertheless, there is insufficient scientific evidence, and experts are still unsure if cannabis could trigger anxiety or if people with anxiety tend to use more cannabis. Why not give some CBD from our farm a try?
Indica vs Sativa
To determine whether Indica or Sativa strains are better at tackling anxiety, the first thing to do is understand the differences between these two strains. While Indica strains are great for inducing calm and serene effects, Sativa strains can put your mind in a more active state.
Depending on where your anxiety is coming from or how it operates, an increased mental activity could make your anxiety worse rather than better. But, many experts think that the ability of a cannabis strain to induce or improve anxiety has little to do with its Indica or Sativa nature and may be more related to the CBD/THC ratio that this strain contains.
CBD has shown more promise in helping with conditions such as depression and anxiety. At the same time, THC has psychoactive qualities that can sometimes induce some of the feelings that are associated with pronounced anxiety, such as paranoia.
While Sativa strains usually contain more THC or a lower CBD/THC ratio, some believe that Indica strains might be better at tackling anxiety. Although this is just a belief, and no scientific evidence supports it. Nonetheless, we cannot completely eliminate Sativa strains as they could also play a significant role in the possible treatment of anxiety.
However, this role is not as influential as that of Indica strains. In fact, some data suggests that Sativa strains may have an effect similar to SSRIs or “Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors.” The SSRIs' action mechanism is to prevent the brain from reabsorbing serotonin too quickly, which makes them effective in treating moderate cases of depression. This means that if anxiety coexists with depression, Sativa strains could potentially help.
This same research shows that SSRIs can help with generalized anxiety disorder and OCD but also shows that they can take a couple of weeks to start working. Therefore, if Sativa strains operate under a similar mechanism, this may mean that they would not provide immediate relief.
On the other hand, Indica strains usually produce more bodily highs that are less mentally active, generating effects that could help alleviate symptoms that make anxiety feel more pronounced. For example, some people who suffer from anxiety may experience a rapid heartbeat or palpitations when they have an attack. This can also happen under panic attacks, so the presence of tachycardia or palpitations can make the anxiety feel even worse.
Suffering from anxiety and allowing palpitations or tachycardia to induce feelings of panic could easily lead to panic attacks. Therefore, to determine if an Indica or a Sativa strain is better for dealing with your anxiety, the first thing to consider is whether you need immediate relief or if you want a medium or long-term treatment.
If you want to use your medical cannabis the same way as a beta blocker, perhaps Indica is the one for you. But, if you don't need immediate relief, maybe a moderate dose of some Sativa or Hybrid strain could help. In short, it depends greatly on you and your needs, and consultation with mental health and medical professionals is highly recommended as results can vary.
Best Strains for Anxiety
Having clarified everything concerning the different types of cannabis and their possible effects on anxiety, we generated a list of the best strains available on the cannabis market to help with this condition. But as we suggested before, selecting the best strain of cannabis for anxiety largely depends on each patient's specific needs.
For some, marijuana may help anxiety, whereas hemp may be the answer for others, while some may not be helped by cannabis at all. Whatever the case may be, we've compiled a diverse list of the best THC-rich cannabis strains and best hemp flower for anxiety currently available on the market. Here is our selection:
We start this list with a delicious and electrifying variety of flavors of berries, red wine, chocolate, and pine with earthy tones resulting from the cross between the Early Resin Berry and ACDC strains, although some connoisseurs argue that more results from the cross between ACDC and the CBD variety of the infamous Gorilla Glue #4.
Elektra is a hemp strain that can contain up to 15% to 17% CBD, 1% CBG, and up to 1% THC, offering a unique combination of cannabinoids, which, together with its high myrcene content and natural Sativa-dominant hybrid, it can be excellent to help better manage anxiety and induce calming effects yet energizing enough not to leave you glued to the couch.
Sour Elektra Strain
This new sharper and tastier Sour phenotype of the classic Elektra also comes from the lineage of ACDC and Gorilla Glue #4 strains. This strain carries a citrusy berry-like flavor profile with a distinct Sour Diesel finish.
Sour Elektra can contain up to 17.4% CBD, and its Sativa bias makes it a perfect candidate for daytime use. Sour Elektra provides mental acuity and focus but could help you melt away anxiety and get through the day stress-free.
Kosher Kush Strain
Kosher Kush, also known as Kosher OG, is an Indica-dominant cannabis strain that carries a high THC content of up to 21%, 1% CBG, and a terpene profile led by myrcene. This Los Angeles girl started out as a clone-only strain, but now you can find seeds of this variety available online.
This fragrant member of the OG Kush family exudes rich aromas of rich earth and fruit and may be one of the most exquisite strains out there. Kosher Kush is a heavy hitter known for generating strong sedative effects and pain relief thanks to its high THC content. So, if you intend to calm anxiety, perhaps the ideal is to try Kosher kush in low doses and increase later if necessary.
Delta-8 Bubba Kush
If you are one of those who are looking for a rich combination of cannabinoids that can help you relieve anxiety, Delta-8 Bubba Kush may be the one for you. Also known as the “Indica Queen,” “BK,” and “Bubba OG Kush,” Bubba Kush exudes zesty aromas of coffee, dark chocolate, and earth.
Bubba Kush CBD is born from the crossing of the Pre-98 Bubba Kush with a variety rich in CBD and is now undoubtedly one of the most popular Indica varieties of hemp flower in the cannabis market. On its own, it can reach up to 15% CBD content.
At Botany Farms, we take Bubba Kush to the next level by infusing it with 9% Delta-8 THC to achieve powerful yet balanced effects that can delight even the most knowledgeable and veteran users.
Zombie Kush Strain
Relatively new to the market, Zombie Kush is an Indica hemp strain that can contain an impressive 25% CBD and a terpene and flavonoid profile that generates luscious pine tones followed by a tasty sweet berry aftertaste.
Zombie Kush's high CBD content and its Indica nature make it a perfect choice for relaxing at the end of the day or for use at night around bedtime. It can be an ideal strain to help manage anxiety since its effects are physical, and it does not contain any type of psychoactive effect.
Also known as Blue OG Kush, it is an Indica-dominant THC-rich cannabis strain that can contain up to 16% THC and carries citrus and berry aromas. Blue OG results from the cross between Blueberry F3, Blue Moonshine, and OG Kush strains and is capable of generating effects that can leave the user in a euphoric yet relaxed state. To help with anxiety, we recommend low doses of this strain. It can also be an ideal variety to relieve pain, relax muscles, and reduce nausea.
Lemon Garlic OG
This variety is not the result of crossing lemon plants with garlic plants but is the result of years of selecting the most desirable True OG cuts. The result is an Indica-leaning hybrid strain that can contain up to 18% THC. Lemon Garlic OG exudes spicy aromas of garlic with hints of citrus, lemon, and pine.
Lemon Garlic OG can be a great afternoon strain, and its hybrid effects are body-based but will leave the mind focused and in a good mood, which can be great for dealing with anxiety, especially when using small doses of this strain.
Granddaddy Purple Strain
This Indica-leaning THC-dominant cannabis strain can contain up to 17% THC and a rich terpene profile abundant in myrcene, caryophyllene, and pinene. Granddaddy Purple results from the cross between Mendo Purps, Skunk, and Afghanistan varieties and has a variety of nicknames.
Also known as "GDP," “Grand Daddy Purp," "Granddaddy Purps," and "Grandaddy Purple Kush, this strain calms its users by putting them in a relaxed state of mind while helping to release tension and stress from their bodies. This is an ideal option to get rid of anxiety and relax at the end of the day.
Amnesia Haze Strain
For Haze lovers, we bring you this candidate, which, although we recommend using it with caution to deal with anxiety, will undoubtedly generate a fantastic body buzz you won't soon forget.
As the name suggests, Amnesia Haze may be the ideal Sativa option to help you forget any sources of stress or tension in your mind and help you start the day with a smile on your face.
Amnesia Haze is the result of crossing a South Asian variety with a Jamaican landrace. With 19% THC content, 1% CBG, and energizing Sativa effects, we understand why this strain was awarded 1st place for Best Sativa Strain in 2004 and 2012 and why it is one of the most popular strains around coffee shops throughout Amsterdam.
Chocolate Chunk Strain
Considered by specialists as a "candy strain" for its deep flavors and aromas of sweet chocolate and coffee, the Chocolate Chunk variety is a 100% Indica strain, the erotic dream of purists. Chocolate Chunk comes from the Hindu Kush mountains, the original source from which all Kush strains derive.
Chocolate Chunk buds can get very sticky due to the thick layer of trichomes that cover them, and its THC content, which can reach up to 18%, can generate effects that can definitely leave you glued to the couch.
Jack Attack Strain
Suppose you are one of those medical cannabis users who has a particular penchant for Sativa strains, and you are looking for a strain with therapeutic power to help you with your anxiety. In that case, Jack Attack may be the ideal strain for you.
An urban legend says, “You shall not use the name of Jack Herer in vain,” and Jack Attack certainly lives up to his ancestry. This variety is the 4th generation of auto-flowering strains coming from Jack Herer after a refined selection process by the Venus Genetics team.
Jack Attack generates a dense smoke loaded with aromas and sweet flavors with hints of incense. This 90% Sativa strain can contain up to 22% THC and causes enjoyable cerebral effects that will put you in a light mood, perfect for socializing, sharing with friends, and having a good time. It can be an ideal strain to unwind and forget about any source of stress and anxiety.
Northern Lights Strain
Daughter of the cross between the Afghani and Thai varieties, Northern Lights, also called simply "NL," is currently a celebrity in the cannabis world. This THC-rich cannabis strain can contain up to 18% of this cannabinoid and 1% of CBG that together generate soothing synergistic full-body effects that relax any traces of muscle tension while calming the mind and maintaining anxiety at bay.
Northern Lights carries sweet and spicy aromas and flavors that are very subtle on the exhale, thanks to its rich terpene profile led by high myrcene content. This variety is one of the most predominant Indica strains in the cannabis world. It is part of the predecessor strains of other famous varieties, such as Shiva Skunk and Super Silver Haze.
This is one of the most famous CBD strains in the world and comes from a Cannatonic phenotype. ACDC is a balanced hybrid hemp strain that can carry up to 13% CBD and 1% THC and produces effects that guide users to a centered, focused, and calm state of mind without producing psychoactive effects.
This variety presents a terpene profile rich in myrcene, pinene, and caryophyllene, generating a classic sweet, woody, and earthy aroma with certain herbal notes. The therapeutic qualities of ACDC make it a perfect strain to deal with conditions such as anxiety, pain, epilepsy, and the negative symptoms of chemotherapy.
Canna-Tsu is a hybrid strain of cannabis with a slight Indica lean and relatively balanced CBD/THC content. This characteristic of Canna-Tsu can be an ideal choice for those who like to manage their anxiety symptoms with some psychoactive effects but want to keep the high balanced and under control.
Canna-Tsu combines the genetics of two CBD-rich strains, the Cannatonic and Sour Tsunami strains; It can contain up to 10% CBD and present a THC content of up to 4%, generating gentle and easy-to-handle effects.
Its sweet and earthy aromas and flavors, high CBD-low THC cannabinoid content, and the mellow and mental clarity effects it produces make it one of the most demanded strains to treat conditions such as anxiety, pain, inflammation, and seizures.
With flavors of mango and tangy oranges, a THC content of 16%, and a hybrid nature with a slight Sativa bent, Jillybean combines the lineage of the Space Queen and Orange Velvet strains. Jillybean achieves genetics that manages to walk that fine line between the calming and energizing effects of some Sativa-dominant strains.
Jillybean's terpene profile is abundant in myrcene, caryophyllene, and pinene. These terpenes, together with the cannabinoid content of Jillybean, produce effects that promote creativity and generate an uplifting euphoria perfect for giving a twist of joy to your day or any anxiety flare-up.
Purple Urkle Strain
This supposed phenotype of the Mendocino Purps strain can leave you with your head resting on the pillow but with your thoughts active and your body in a peaceful state that will calm your anxiety and lull you into a comfortable, restful sleep.
Purple Urkle is an almost entirely Indica strain that can contain up to 18% THC. This strain has a complex aroma and flavor profile comprised of a mix of fresh grape, skunk, and berry aromas. Purple Urkle's onset of effects is short, and her full-bodied Indica effects make her an ideal choice for nighttime anxiety and insomnia.
From the cross between the Cannatonic and Afghan Skunk varieties, the Remedy strain is born, a variety of cannabis rich in CBD that produces very little or no psychoactive effect. Remedy can contain up to 13% CBD and 1% THC and generates effects that can calmly take you from high anxiety states to calmer states of mind.
Many users agree that this strain has a fairly accurate name as it only takes a couple of puffs of Remedy to start the characteristic state of lightness that this strain can generate. Remedy produces yellow-tinted buds that carry an intense smell of lemon, pine, and sweet, floral tones with every hit.
Critical Mass Strain
This THC-rich, Indica-dominant cannabis strain lives up to its name as its plants reach critical mass in terms of yield. Critical Mass results from the cross between Skunk #1 and Afghani. This cross generates a variety that usually contains 18% THC, 1% CBG, and a terpene profile rich in myrcene that generates spicy and herbal aromas.
If you want to use Critical Mass to calm your anxiety, we recommend using low doses to promote calmness and creativity. On the other hand, high doses of Critical Mass can very likely send you to bed or leave you glued to the couch.
Royal Highness Strain
Royal Highness, a name that suits this strain resulting from a cross of the Dancehall strain. Royal Highness is a hybrid strain with a slight Sativa bias that has the peculiarity of carrying an almost balanced THC/CBD ratio, containing 7% THC and 8% CBD. The balanced cannabinoid radium in this strain produces energizing effects that allow you to focus.
The smoke of this strain carries a spicy and subtle fruity flavor with slight notes of skunk, and the effects generated by this variety make it ideal for relieving symptoms associated with anxiety and chronic pain.
The harlequin cannabis strain contains a particularly characteristic combination of cannabinoids that combines 9% CBD with an amount of THC that can reach 5%.
This Sativa-dominant descendant of Colombian Gold, Nepali Indica, Thai and Swiss landrace strains is famous for generating clear-headed effects with the ability to relax its users in a way that makes it perfect for dealing with anxiety and anxiety and pain.
It generates balanced effects between the analgesic and calming qualities of CBD and the moderate psychoactivity of its 5% THC leveled with the dominant CBD content of this odd strain. Harlequin exudes aromas and flavors that range from sweet mango to earthy moisture.