Anxiety often is a difficult medical condition to completely get rid of, let alone understand. Many people use the term “anxiety” to explain a general feeling of unease or even a difficult situation. However, many people who have anxiety are under a lot of stress. Some people might talk about their worries and stress and that they are sure they have anxiety.
With today’s fast-paced world, it is hard to not feel anxiety at some time or another. Just because you are under pressure, have a lot of stress, or feel worried does not mean that you have the medical condition. However, it also does not mean that you don’t have the condition. The right way to determine if you have anxiety or if you just worry about a lot of things is to consult with a doctor.
Whether you suffer from the medical condition of anxiety or feel anxious from time to time, you can get treatment for it. Many people believe that marijuana may help them combat anxiety. To learn more about treating anxiety, it is important to first learn a bit more about the condition itself.
What Is Anxiety?
According to some studies, anxiety is one of the top mental health conditions around North America. According to the ADAA (Anxiety and Depression Association of America), about 40 million North American adults suffer from the condition. According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), about a third of teens between the ages of 13 and 18 will have some type of anxiety problem.
Many people suffer from stress related to work. College students seem to be especially vulnerable to the condition.
There are many types of anxiety conditions. They include:
- Social Anxiety Disorder
- Panic Disorder
- Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
- Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD)
- Separation Anxiety
- Phobic Disorder
- Major Depressive Disorder
- General Anxiety Disorder (GAD)
These are just a few of the many types of anxiety. However, it seems as though GAD is one of the most common types. About 5 percent of North Americans will have it at some point during their lifetime.
With all of these disorders except for PTSD, women are more likely to have them. Usually, women near the age of 50 tend to suffer from the condition. This is usually because menopause happens around this time. However, it is not a condition that comes and goes like the flu does. It can hit people hard, and there are other mental health issues, such as depression, that can come with it.
Symptoms of Anxiety
People who have anxiety might suffer from many symptoms. The symptoms might not always look like anxiety, however. Sometimes, people might have problems managing anger or feel like they are not in control. This can lead to unhealthy relationships. They may also feel depressed. Other health problems, such as being sick more often, can also come with it.
Often, patients who have anxiety have high stress levels. Some might have lost a job because of the stress. Even pressure at home might be too much for them. They can feel anxious or nervous in social situations, and they might not have good self-esteem. This causes anxiety patients to feel overwhelmed and unsettled all the time. There are other effects, as well, including:
- Physical Effects: This can include sweating, a churning stomach, an increased heartbeat, feeling dizzy, dry mouth, and tension in the muscles.
- Cognitive Effects: People who have anxiety often have negative thoughts. They might feel like they will embarrass themselves or even that they will die.
- Behavioural Problems: In general, people who have anxiety change their behaviours because they feel they might have an attack. They will want to avoid situations that cause them to feel anxious, which can negatively affect their quality of life.
Anxiety and Cannabis
The topic of using cannabis for anxiety is controversial in certain circles. Sometimes, marijuana can cause paranoia or distress. People who take high doses over shorter periods of time may find this out for themselves. Some people might also experience panic attacks when they use marijuana. However, when it is taken properly, it might have a calming effect. It has the potential to treat conditions such as anxiety.
It is important to understand the difference between strains with higher levels of THC or CBD. These may have different effects on users. A strain that is higher in CBD might help reduce anxiety. This is because CBD works with serotonin receptors in your body. Serotonin is also known as the “happy chemical.”
However, that doesn’t mean you need to entirely rule out THC. For some patients, THC might reduce anxiety by producing a psychoactive effect. This might help improve anxiety and reduce stress.
There have been many studies looking at the effects of CBD on both anxiety and sleep. One 2019 study published in The Permanente Journal looked at 72 adults who had anxiety. Within the first month of using CBD, their anxiety scores had decreased by 79 percent. During the entire study, their levels of anxiety remained low.
Another 2018 study published in the Journal of Affective Disorders looked at how marijuana use affected depression, stress, and anxiety. The researchers found out that people who used cannabis had both stress and anxiety reduced by around 58 percent. People who had depression cut that down by half.
If you decide to use marijuana for your anxiety, it will come down to keeping the right dosing and balance. This means that it is important for you to talk to your health care provider before starting to use cannabis for your anxiety.
Best Strains to Combat Anxiety
Whether you are an experienced cannabis user, or you are just considering it, you should begin slowly. Every type of weed strain has different levels of CBD and THC in it. These can have vastly different effects on both your body and your mind.
If you want to try to treat your anxiety by using cannabis, it is important to talk to a professional first. And if you think that a certain strain is not working out, you should quickly stop using it. There is no right or wrong answer, but these strains could be a good starting point for you.
1. White Widow
This strain is dominant in sativa and is a hybrid. It is a mix between a sativa from South America and an indica from South India. It is popular in North America for many people. However, it was first released in the 1990s in Amsterdam, and it was a huge hit back then. This was one of the earliest well-known European strains to come to North America.
The THC content in this strain is around 18 percent to 25 percent. You will want to start out small because of the THC content. There is only around 0.2 percent of CBD in it, which does not counteract the THC’s effects.
When you use this herb, you will feel a sort of “spacey” high. If you have PTSD, then this might be a good option for you. Many users have found that the White Widow strain has a good mix of stimulation and euphoria. Some people claim that it can relieve different mood disorders.
2. Sour OG
If you are looking for a hybrid marijuana strain, you might want to try Sour OG. This is a fairly relaxing and mellow strain of cannabis, and it might help with anxiety or stress. It has slightly lower levels of THC, which are around 13 percent to 17 percent. This means that you are less likely to get side effects than if you used strains with more THC. The hybrid is well-balanced and is a mix between Sour Diesel and OG Kush.
Both recreational and medicinal users like this strain. Some people use it in the afternoons to have a good time because it can make them feel a bit more relaxed and not cause tiredness. In 2011, it won first place in the High Times Medical Cannabis Cup.
3. Cherry Pie
If you want a hybrid that is dominant in indica, then you can try the Cherry Pie strain. It can give you a clear mind and make you feel creative during your high. It is a mix between Granddaddy Purple and Durban Poison. You might expect quite a bit from it because of its two popular parent strains. The THC levels can range quite a bit depending on what type of herb you get. You might get anywhere from 13 percent to 23 percent of THC in it.
Unlike with some other indica strains, you can get deep relaxation from Cherry Pie. However, it still keeps you both alert and active. Many people find that this strain is great for when you have to deal with a stressful situation. Some people might find that it helps them become creative and inspired. Even though this can be a good choice for helping you unwind a bit, you will likely not feel like you are being overwhelmed by it.
4. Granddaddy Purple
One of the parent strains of Cherry Pie is also considered great for anxiety by many users. This hybrid is dominant in indica, and it was created by a San Francisco lab. This strain is often known as GDP, and it is a cross between Purple Urkle and Big Bud. This is a popular strain among people who want to get rid of stress after having a busy day.
This hybrid can give you a pretty potent psychoactive effect. You will experience both relaxation and cerebral euphoria. The THC content is around 23 percent, so if you are newer to using cannabis, it might be a better idea for you to wait before trying this strain until you are more experienced. However, if you have been using weed for a while, then you can use this strain to get a strong high and relaxation.
You might not always want to use a strain that is so high in THC. If this is the case, then you may want to try Harlequin. This is about 75 percent dominant in sativa, and it is known for having high levels of CBD compared to THC. The ratio is about 5 to 2.
Typically, you can find around 8 percent to 16 percent CBD in this strain with 4 percent to 7 percent THC. The Harlequin strain can give you a clear head, and some patients have reported that they feel more “with it” after using this strain. The higher levels of CBD might help to promote relaxation and help users avoid feeling sedated.
6. CBD Shark
You might be looking for a strain that is more indica dominant, and CBD Shark is about 80 percent indica. Despite its name, the ratio of THC to CBD is about equal. Many users find that this strain works well at reducing anxiety. Although it has THC in it, it is unlikely to make you feel intoxicated.
Because of the balance between CBD and THC, you might feel relaxed, feel happy, and have a clear mind. You could try to use this strain during the evening or to help relieve pain with your anxiety. The THC might help you sleep better and not feel your pain as much. However, the strain does have some borderline psychoactive effects, so this is important for you to keep in mind.
The way that marijuana may help anxiety is complex, and more research is still needed. If you overdo it, you may make things a bit worse. However, if you use it in moderation after consulting with your doctor, then you might be able to reduce both anxiety and stress. These strains are just a couple of the many types that might help relieve your anxiety. Once you have tried these strains, you may want to experiment with other types, as well, to find the ones that you like the best.