For many, cannabis is the ultimate relaxant. Many patients have found that it helps relieve stress by allowing them to focus on other things.
Unfortunately, current federal laws have severely limited scientific research on how cannabis interacts with the body’s endocannabinoid system and how cannabis may reduce stress. Meanwhile, scientists do seem to agree that it helps, though they aren’t necessarily sure why. One caveat researchers have found, however, is that while cannabis appears to reduce stress, the amount of cannabis plays a role in its effect. Because of its unique properties, more does not always mean better. Too much cannabis can actually cause anxiety and stress in some patients.
What Kind of Cannabis Can Help with Stress?
When seeking stress relieving strains, consider cannabinoid ratios and terpenes.
Though there are thought to be hundreds of cannabinoids, you’ll probably have two choices most of the time: CBD or THC. Since cannabinoids work better together —a synergistic phenomenon known as the entourage effect – you’ll probably want to experiment with using both of them.
Terpenes are especially influential. These oils not only give cannabis its distinct smell, but they also cause various effects. Myrcene (also in wild thyme and mangoes), caryophyllene (also found in black pepper), and limonene (can you guess this one?) are all great stress-reducing terpenes to look out for. So is linalool, which is found in lavender, one of the most relaxing essential oils.
As far as how much to use, start with a low dose and slowly increase your dosage as necessary, especially if you’re new to cannabis for stress.
If you’ve had a bad reaction to THC in the past and are afraid of this cannabinoid, don’t be! The adverse reaction could be a signal that your body needs very little THC to help with stress, and that more actually causes a negative effect. Seek out strains that are well balanced (where the THC and CBD ration is closer to 1:1) or high CBD strains to see whether those will help alleviate your symptoms.
Strains to Help You Destress
Whenever you’re out on the prowl for a specific strain, it’s a good idea to stay open to other strains that are loved for similar effects. Since we’re dealing with a crop in a very new industry, inventory at dispensaries can be a moving target. Please ask your friendly Sunburst Pharmacy budtender to hook you up with something comparable if we’re out of your request when you come in.
Querkle: This indica-dominant strain is lower in THC and is known for its relaxing effects. Because it can also have a euphoric effect, start slowly with this hybrid Space Queen/Purple Urkle blend.
Lemon Meringue: If you’re looking for a stress-relieving strain that will also help you get things done, this is the kind of strain you’re after. This sativa is known for its sweet-tart taste, passed on by its parents – Lemon Skunk and Cookies and Cream.
Vireo Vapes: To destress without lighting up, check out Vireo’s line of vape cartridges. Rather than focusing on strains, the company highlights the THC:CBD ratios of each “color” product. Green features a balanced THC:CBD ratio, while Blue and Indigo are CBD dominant.