Sativa For Anxiety? Is it Any Good?
Sativa For Anxiety? Worth Trying?
Cannabis is widely known for its many therapeutic effects. While different strains of cannabis can be used to treat a variety of ailments, its most popular use is to treat anxiety disorders and panic attacks. Though it is very useful for sleep as well as reducing anxiety levels.
Some marijuana strains are sativas, which have an uplifting effect and can help you manage stress and anxiety. Other cannabis strains are indicas that have a calming effect and can induce sleep if needed. In this blog, we will discuss why sativa cannabis strains are ideal for treating anxiety, the difference between sativa and indica cannabis strains, THC and CBD content in cannabis, mental health benefits of cannabis, and how to select the ideal strain of marijuana for your needs.
How Medical Marijuana Relieves Stress
Medical marijuana has been shown to reduce stress and anxiety. A 2020 meta analysis published in the Journal of Translational Medicine pooling data from a number of clinical studies showed with little doubt that cannabis is a useful anxiety treatment.
Another way cannabis can help reduce anxiety is by providing pain relief. It can be effective for many people with chronic pain, nausea, and other medical conditions as it’s a safe alternative to prescription medications.
The Endocanniboid System.
We all naturally use an internal cannabis system to regulate levels of the calming and activating neurotransmitters. The endocannabinoid system (ECS) is a biological system that is found in all mammals, including humans. It is involved in many bodily processes, but one is to keep our anxiety system in balance.
It appears to be THC (one of the cannibinoids) that may spike anxiety while CBD (another cannibinoid) seems always to relax the person taking it.
Medical marijuana is made from the cannabis plant and can contain different types of cannabinoids, such as THC, CBD, and terpenes. These molecules have different effects on the body, and can help treat symptoms like pain, nausea, and anxiety.
Different strains of marijuana may be best for reducing anxiety based on factors like THC content and cannabinoid profile.
Front line standard medical treatment for anxiety and panic disorder currently relies on a class of antidepressant called a Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitor, but we know that SSRIs only help one in three people and some critics say they are barely better than placebo
As such, is cannabis better than standard medical treatment for calming anxiety?
Identifying Different Marijuana Strains
Though recreational cannabis users have know the effects of different marijuana strains for a long time, it is only now that the plant has been made legal for use, that there are such things as medical cannabis users.
The calming effects of cannabis have not been studied thoroughly until now because it was illegal to use it. But the first thing to know is that there are different types of cannabis plants.
The three main types of cannabis plant are Cannabis sativa, Cannabis indica, and Cannabis ruderalis. These three have been hydbridized and bred together to produce new strains with different ratios of THC and CBD.
In fact marijuana (hemp, cannabis, ganja) contain many chemical compounds, and there are over 100 cannibinoids in them.
The three cannibinoids that are getting the most attention are THC, CBD and Terpenes. (Actually terpenes are found in many plants and not strictly just cannibinoids, and they give your broccoli flavour).
THC has psychoactive properties, in that it can alter your perceptions and thinking, while CBD does not do this.
So what’s this indica vs sativa thing?
The cannabis sativa plants contain higher levels of THC than the cannabis indica plants.
Those who love higher THC weed strains (as they are known) say that THC gives a ‘body high’ and a ‘head high’ and creates an energizing effect and a euphoric feeling.
So sativa is claimed to be more relaxing because of the high, despite it having higher THC.
But we are also seeing that THC can activate anxiety and so if you have an existing general anxiety disorder, you might want to be cautious, or at least if you take it and you are anxious, you can calm yourself with the knowledge that it is just a reaction to the THC.
The indica plants contain higher levels of CBD and so you might find an indica dominant-strain more relaxing.
It is very rare that you will get a natural pure indica-dominant strain or a sativa-dominant strain unless you live somewhere where they grow by the side of the road.
Nearly every type of cannabis that you will come across is a hybrid, where different strains have been bred to contain higher doses or lower doses of either THC or CBD.
Of course, this breeding has gone on for many years and its main purpose was to meet the needs of recreational use. That is to say people were chasing the euphoric effects of the plant that comes from higher amounts of THC. That isn’t to say that some people didn’t prefer the relaxation effect of a cbd-dominant strain.
Different Strains? Best Strains?
Fortunately, there is now a lot of information available on the different strains of cannabis and you can read up about Northern Lights or Sour Diesel, Jack Herer, Skywalker OG, any of the other fancy and quite sweet names, though you’d probably better steer clear of Durban Poison, even if you find yourself in South Africa.
The bottom line is that before choosing a strain for your anxiety relief, it’s important to familiarize yourself with the different varieties and their effects.
The Importance of Terpenes and the Entourage Effect
Terpenes are the aroma and flavor compounds found in the cannabis plant. They are responsible for contributing a unique flavor and aroma to the end product. Terpenes can also have a variety of effects on the body, including some that can influence anxiety.
Understanding the effects of terpenes on anxiety is key to effectively incorporating terpenes into your cannabis experience. Terpenes interact with cannabinoids to produce unique effects on the body, such as relaxation or focus. Research has shown that terpenes can contribute to the overall effect of marijuana by influencing its psychoactive or non-psychoactive effects.
Terpenes are present in different strains of cannabis and are important for producing certain effects. For example, sativa strains often have high levels of terpene thc-carboxylic acid, which can be beneficial for treating anxiety. A good indica strain can help people fall asleep, while a hybrid strain can help people deal with stress better. The entourage effect is an important aspect to consider when choosing a sativa strain for managing anxiety symptoms.
Choosing the Best Marijuana Strain for You
If you’re looking for a marijuana strain to treat your anxiety, it’s important to consider the different types of effects the strain can have on you. Research the different cannabis strains and their effects before making a decision. This will help you decide which strain best suits your needs.
Also, speak to an experienced budtender or doctor about your symptoms and needs. This will allow them to recommend the strain that best suits your treatment goals.
Additionally, start with a low dosage to determine how the strain affects you. This will help ensure that you are comfortable with the effects of the strain before increasing the dosage. By taking these steps, you can find a marijuana strain that can effectively treat your anxiety without causing any side effects.
Get Your Medical Marijuana Card for Stress Relief
If you’d like to try marijuana for anxiety, but don’t have a medical marijuana card, you can get one online or at a dispensary in the United States.
Once you have a medical marijuana card, you can purchase cannabis products that may help with anxiety, such as tinctures, edibles, and topical creams. This is not the case in other countries. Check legality first.
Some people prefer to use marijuana as a form of treatment for anxiety because it’s easy and convenient. However, the effects of cannabis are variable and can be inconsistent from person to person. Additionally, marijuana has the potential to cause dependence and withdrawal symptoms if used regularly. If you’re interested in trying sativa for anxiety, consider speaking with a medical professional about your options first.
Conclusion: What About Sativa for Anxiety?
While all marijuana strains have different effects, sativa-dominant strains are known to produce a more energizing high. They’re also said to be better for daytime use and can boost your mood and help you focus.
If you want to try sativa strains for anxiety, start with hybrid variations like Blue Dream or OG Kush, which are popular among medical marijuana users. If you’re considering indica strains, choose ones that have a higher CBD content (like Granddaddy Purple or Girl Scout Cookies).
Indica strains tend to produce a more intoxicating effect and are better suited for nighttime use.
Always start with small doses when trying marijuana for the first time and ensure you’re consuming it in a safe environment. Be aware of the CBD ratio and look out at first for high CBD strains which probably means sativa.
Be aware of the legality of cannabis use in your jurisdiction as use of high THC strains is not legal everywhere. But the good news is that research is showing that cannabis may prove very useful for anxiety disorders including social phobia (also known as social anxiety disorder) and post-traumatic stress disorder as well as general anxiety.
Ultimately, the advocates of Sativa say it is most relaxing, but the advocates of Indica say the opposite.
Research tends to find that high CBD (that is Indica dominant) strains produce more anxiolytic effects (ant-anxiety).
But I suspect you will try them both, and then you’ll know for yourself!