Anxiety is a tricky beast to combat and also a problematic medical condition to explain. People often use “anxiety” as an umbrella term to describe different feelings of unease or an uneasy situation. It is often related to stress. You might even hear people say, “I’m always so stressed and worried, I’m sure that I suffer from anxiety.”
In today’s fast-paced, high-pressure society, it’s almost impossible not to feel “anxious” at some point. But the fact that you are stressed, worried, or under pressure, doesn’t necessarily mean that you suffer from anxiety. It also doesn’t mean that you don’t. Do you suffer from anxiety, or are you simply a regular worrier? Your primary care provider can help make an accurate diagnosis.
Whether you fall into the category of people who suffer from anxiety or not, there are treatments available. An increasing number of people are drawn towards medical marijuana for anxiety. In this article, you’ll find out why. Today, we will answer, “What is anxiety?” We also discuss its symptoms and show you four of the best strains for anxiety.
Need a highly effective solution for anxiety? Continue reading or explore your options by starting here.
What Anxiety Is (Explained)
According to recent data, anxiety has become the number one mental health issue in North America. Current data from the Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA) makes troubling reading. According to the ADAA, anxiety affects 40 million American Adults. The NIH claims that one-third of teenagers aged 13-18 will experience an anxiety disorder.
An incredible 83% of Americans suffer from work-related stress. Yet another report showed that half of college students suffered from anxiety and were seeking medical treatment.
Anxiety is a general term that people use to describe a variety of different feelings. It is defined as a feeling of worry, nervousness, apprehension, or unease. It is also recognized by several more specific diagnoses, like:
- General anxiety disorder (GAD)
- Major depressive disorder
- Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD)
- Panic disorder
- Phobic disorders
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
- Separation anxiety disorder
- Social anxiety disorder
Of all of the anxiety disorders stated above, GAD is the most common one, affecting 5% of Americans at some point in their life.
Women are more likely to suffer from all of the anxiety disorders except for PTSD. Anxiety tends to hit women around the age of 50. It often occurs around the age when menopause sets in. It isn’t a stand-alone illness like the flu. When it hits, it hits hard, and related disorders such as depression often accompany it.
Anxiety Symptoms – What to Look Out for
People who suffer from anxiety often experience the following:
- Regularly feeling out of control
- Experiencing higher levels of stress
- Struggling with low self-esteem issues
- Feeling nervous and anxious in social situations
- Having extreme difficulty managing pressure at work or home
- Being sick more often than usual
- Experiencing unhealthy relationships
- Suffering from health problems apart from anxiety
- Feeling depressed
- Having anger management issues
- Constantly feeling unsettled and overwhelmed
- Maybe bouncing from job to job due to higher levels of stress
According to Anxiety UK, you can see the condition in the following ways:
- Physical effects: Increased heartbeat, sweating, muscle tension, dry mouth, feeling dizzy, churning stomach.
- Cognitive effects: People who suffer from anxiety may experience negative thoughts. They could feel like they are going to make a fool of themselves or that they are going to die.
- Behavioral effects: Many people end up changing their behavior due to the fear of having an anxiety attack. They will avoid certain situations that make them uneasy.
How Anxiety Is Treated Without Marijuana
Anxiety is a hot topic in the medical research industry, leading to a variety of treatments. Researchers have found many of these therapies effective in treating anxiety disorders:
- Talk Therapy: Talk therapy isn’t just about talking. It’s about solving issues and finding a solution to your problem. It doesn’t matter if it’s work-related or if you get anxiety due to social activities. Many people find talk therapy to be effective in overcoming fears or coping with stress.
- Medication: According to recent data, 40% of Americans take at least one prescription medication. A staggering 17% have prescriptions for at least three medications.! Doctors often prescribe Paxil, Xanax, or Niravam to manage anxiety.
- Alternative Therapies: Examples include yoga, meditation, and acupuncture. Alternative therapies are popular as people try to change their lifestyle. The hope is that it will help them cope with day-to-day illnesses and medical conditions. These great solutions could effectively treat anxiety as they contribute to a healthy, happy, and productive lifestyle.
Marijuana and Anxiety
The use of marijuana for anxiety is a controversial topic. Marijuana could cause distress or paranoia, especially if you take it in large doses over a short period. It can lead to panic attacks, one of the main reasons why people stop using it. Nevertheless, when you use marijuana responsibly, it can have the opposite effect. There is potential for it to treat a variety of conditions, including anxiety.
THC and CBD can have very different effects and will also affect people in different ways.
CBD-dominant marijuana strains tend to reduce levels of anxiety as they act on serotonin receptors. However, for some, THC could decrease anxiety as it produces psychoactive effects that relieve people’s stress and improve anxiety.
A significant case series looked at whether CBD helped improve sleep and anxiety. Shannon et al. published their study in The Permanente Journal in January 2019. Of the 72 adults in the research, anxiety scores decreased by 79% in the first month. More importantly, their anxiety remained low for the duration of the study.
A study by Cuttler et al. looked at the effect of cannabis on anxiety, stress, and depression symptoms. Published in the Journal of Affective Disorders in August 2018, the team made an exciting discovery. They found that cannabis users perceived a 58% reduction in anxiety and stress. They also enjoyed a 50% reduction in depression.
In the end, it all comes down to the right balance and dosing. Therefore, it is essential to consult with a doctor before considering marijuana for anxiety.
4 Best Marijuana Strains for Anxiety
Whether you are just starting or you’ve been smoking cannabis for years, it is always best to begin slowly. Every marijuana strain has different THC/CBD levels and will affect your mind and body differently.
If you are seeking treatment for anxiety, and decide to try cannabis, consult with a professional. If you feel that the strain you are consuming isn’t right, stop using it.
Here are four of the best strains for anxiety. As you will see, there is no definitive answer in the ‘indica vs. sativa for anxiety’ debate.
1) White Widow (Sativa Dominant Marijuana Hybrid)
White Widow is a sativa dominant hybrid. It is a cross of a South Indian indica and a South American sativa. While it is popular today in North America, it was a smash hit when unleashed on the Amsterdam coffee-shop scene back in the 1990s. White Widow was one of the first famous European imports to reach American shores.
With a THC content of between 18% and 25%, novices should opt for a less potent herb. Its minimal CBD level of 0.2% does nothing to counteract the effects. It promotes a full-bodied, ‘spacey’ high, which makes it a popular choice for patients with anxiety or PTSD. Users say White Widow provides the perfect blend of euphoria and stimulation and often take it to relieve mood disorders.
Read the full White Widow Review here.
2) Sour OG (Hybrid Marijuana Strain)
Sour OG is a mellow and relaxing marijuana strain that may help with stress and anxiety. It is an excellent choice for anxiety relief thanks to its conservative THC levels of 13-17%. As a result, it is less likely to cause side effects than other more potent strains. It is a balanced hybrid that’s a cross of OG Kush and Sour Diesel.
Sour OG remains a popular smoke for medicinal and recreational users. Some use it as an afternoon delight due to its capacity to induce relaxation without causing sleepiness. It is also an award-winner. Sour OG received first prize in the ‘hybrid’ category in the 2011 High Times Medical cannabis cup.
Read the full Sour OG Strain Review here.
3) Cherry Pie (Indica Dominant Marijuana Hybrid)
This indica dominant marijuana strain promotes a creative high with a clear mind. It is a cross of Durban Poison and Granddaddy Purple. With two legendary parents, you may expect a lot from Cherry Pie, and it doesn’t disappoint. Its THC level ranges significantly depending on the cut. You can get Cherry Pie with anywhere from 13% to 23% THC.
Unlike some indicas, it provides deep relaxation but allows you to remain active and alert. Many users consider this strain perfect for dealing with stressful situations. Some claim it helps them feel inspired and creative. While it is incredibly useful in helping you unwind, you never feel as if Cherry Pie overwhelms you.
Read the complete Cherry Pie Review here.
4) Grandaddy Purple (Indica Dominant Hybrid)
Ken Estes’ San Francisco lab is responsible for breeding one of the world’s most popular marijuana strains. Better known as GDP, Granddaddy Purple is a cross of Big Bud and Purple Urkle. The California native is wildly popular amongst those who need a useful stress-buster after a hard day.
This indica dominant hybrid delivers potent psychoactive effects with cerebral euphoria and physical relaxation. With a THC content of around 23%, this is not a strain for newbies. However, if you are looking for full-body relaxation and a powerful high, it could be the right choice for you.
Read the complete Granddaddy Purple Review here.
Best Cannabis Strains That’ll Melt Away Anxiety: Final Thoughts
The relationship between cannabis and anxiety is a complex one. There is no doubt that overdoing it could easily make matters worse. However, when you use it in moderation, medical marijuana for anxiety and stress could provide a valid, natural treatment.
The strains listed above are just a few of the many strains that could help with anxiety relief. If you have any other suggestions on how to treat anxiety with marijuana, let the community know! Post them in the comments section below or on our Facebook page.