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Cannabis for Anxiety and PTSD

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Recent research shows that cannabis can help with anxiety and PTSD, or post-traumatic stress disorder — especially strains that are high in CBD and low in THC.

Anxiety
Some people experience anxiety in social situations. For others, it’s a near-constant feeling of dread. It could be excessive worry over everyday things, like health, family, money or work, but it could also be a normal reaction to stress. Anxiety often involves physical symptoms, like sweating, tension, restlessness and rapid heartbeat. 

PTSD
Although not classified as an anxiety disorder, PTSD can cause anxiety and panic attacks as well as nightmares, flashbacks and intense emotions related to a traumatic event. PTSD develops after a person has been exposed to trauma, like a violent attack, a serious injury, or devastation from a natural disaster or war.  

If you’re experiencing any of these symptoms of anxiety or PTSD, talk to your healthcare provider about a treatment plan.  

 

Is Cannabis Good for Anxiety?

The answer to that question is a bit complicated (much like anxiety itself). When it comes to high-THC cannabis and anxiety, research shows that at lower doses, cannabis can help. At higher doses, it seems to make it worse. It’s important to note, however, that high doses of CBD can actually reduce anxiety. 

 

How Does Cannabis Help Anxiety and PTSD?

Cannabis primarily interacts with our endocannabinoid system, or ECS. This network in the body helps us to maintain balance, or homeostasis. In addition to sleep, memory, learning, immunity, digestion and inflammatory responses, the ECS has been shown to help regulate anxiety, fear and the reaction to stressful stimuli.  

When the body senses stress, it creates and sends endocannabinoids to trigger a response and bring the body back to homeostasis.  

Phytocannabinoids found in cannabis, like THC and CBD, act in a similar way to endocannabinoids in the body and can reduce activity in the part of the brain associated with fear responses. Cannabinoids can also play a role in extinguishing traumatic memories.  

 

Best Strains for Anxiety

When looking at individual strains of cannabis, it’s also important to look at specific terpenes. Terpenes are compounds that give plants their aromas and flavors. They’re also behind many of the specific effects provided by individual marijuana strains: 

Beta Myrcene is known for its calming and anti-inflammatory properties. Strains to try include: Smashfruit, Cake Crasher, Garlic Crusher, Mac & Cheese, Terpwin Station, Grandpa’s Stash, Hell’s OG, High Octane, Snowball. 

Elevate's Mac & Cheese bag on white background

Limonene has stress relief, anti-inflammatory and pain-blocking benefits. Strains to try: Appalape, Grapefruit Durban, Strawberry Cookies OG, Garlic Breath, Rotten Rozay, Sunset Sherbert and Grandpa’s Stash. 

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Linalool offers anti-inflammatory and anti-anxiety effects. Strains to try include: Fin Mintz, FatKids Cake and Mimosa. 

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Nerolidol is known for its sedating properties that can help combat anxiety. Strains high in this terpene include: Appalape, Grapefruit Durban, Headband Cookies, Fatkids Cake, Tropicana Cookies, White Poison, Cake Crasher, Garlic Breath, Grease Monkey, Sour Apple Sherbert #1, Sunset Sherbert, Terpwin Station, Cherry Diesel, Heaven’s Devil, High Octane, Snowball and Star Killer. 

What Type of Cannabis is Good for Anxiety?

Lemon G is a unique 1:1 CBD/THC strain that offers high levels of both THC and CBD, as well as beta myrcene, for a happy and relaxing effect. 

​​Mac & Cheese is a balanced hybrid with euphoric, uplifting effects, good for boosting creativity and achieving a balanced head and body high. 

​​Grease Monkey is an Indica-dominant hybrid, that can offer relaxation without putting you to sleep. This earthy, tasty strain is good for pain relief and anxiety. 

Wedding Cake is a top-rated Indica strain known for its mood-elevating properties, making it a go-to for stress and anxiety.  

Shop for Medical Cannabis at Elevate Today

At Elevate, our cannabis is carefully crafted to exceed your expectations. Talk to your healthcare provider and favorite budtender about strains that can help with anxiety and they’ll help you find the product that’s right for you.

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