Almost 20% of Americans experience anxiety on some level, making it one of the most common mental health struggles in the country. While cannabis isn’t a substitute for clinical mental healthcare and psychiatric medicine, it can be used as a complementary therapy. Managing anxiety is one of the many legitimate medical uses for cannabis, and RYOT has searched for the finest strains we can recommend for keeping anxiety at bay.
What makes a strain good for anxiety?
The general advice when choosing a strain for managing anxiety and inflammation is to find a strain that’s high in CBD. This is the active ingredient in cannabis that manifests feelings of relaxation, calm, and pain relief. While most associate cannabis with the psychoactive effects of THC, CBD is not psychoactive, so strains high in CBD and low in THC will result in less of a “stoned” feeling than others.
Cannatonic is a strain that’s well-known for its relaxing effects, as the name suggests. This strain is quite high in CBD and low in THC, so it should offer few psychoactive effects while promoting feelings of euphoria and relaxation.
Stephen Hawking Kush
This Indica-dominant strain is also high in CBD. Like Cannatonic, Stephen Hawking Kush promotes euphoria and an easy-going high. Some theorize that some of the dominant terpenes in this strain, limonene and myrcene, have pronounced anti-anxiety effects. This strain has notes of cherry and mint that aren’t just delicious to smoke but soothing aromatherapy as well. This is the perfect flower for our one-hitter right before hitting a party.
This is another high-CBD strain that we adore. Trident boasts CBD levels of up to 12%, making a great strain when you need to maintain focus. Pine and mint flavors will leave your mouth smelling as fresh as possible after a smoke session. While some CBD-heavy strains can leave you locked into the couch, this one seems to leave people feeling energized, so it’s a good strain for getting chores done.
This strain is a bit higher in THC than the others. While many users prefer CBD-dominant strains, some seem to experience better outcomes with higher THC strains. This Indica strain leaves users on Leafly feeling happy, relaxed, and stress-free. The high THC in this strain means it’s a more psychoactive high, so it might not be ideal for packing into a portable vaporizer and enjoying it on the go. This strain is better for enjoying at home, where you can relax and fully enjoy getting zooted on the couch.
This strain is a descendant of Cannatonic and produces similar effects. Large amounts of CBD create a focused high with almost no psychoactive effects. The strain is a favorite of patients with epilepsy, pain, and anxiety. Herby and earthy flavors make it an enjoyable strain to pack in bowls or throw into an herb vape. This strain is similar to more famous anti-epileptic strains like Charlotte’s Web, which contain almost no THC, so users looking to get stoned should look elsewhere.
This high-THC strain contains large amounts of myrcene, a terpene that produces anxiolytic effects. Some people call this strain “Grandmaster Kush,” which is apt because this flower has been masterfully cultivated into a delicious, pleasantly smokeable product. Its earthy, fruity aroma resembles incense and causes a relaxed body high that’s great for rest and meditation.
This strain contains equal parts THC and CBD, so it’s a great middle-of-the-road option for anyone who is unsure about what to choose. In addition to anxiety, Pennywise is a popular treatment for arthritis, PTSD, epilepsy, and side effects of chemotherapy. Pennywise offers users a strong herbal aroma with slight peppery notes. The delicate flavors of this strain are due to the terpenes present in the flower, some of which provide anti-anxiety support. A cannabis humidor can help protect these delicate compounds and keep your flower fresh as long as you need it.
Bonus Tips for Finding Anxiety Relief
While CBD is generally recognized as the most significant compound in cannabis for anxiety management, other terpenes can help. Terpenes like Linalool, Bisabolol, Limonene, and Myrcene can give high-CBD strains an extra boost when it comes to fighting anxiety. Some dispensaries track dominant terpenes in a strain and can help you find a strain that fits your needs.
This leads us to our best tip for finding a cannabis strain that meets your needs: Ask! Dispensary employees love to help customers and love to answer questions about strains and ways to smoke, eat, dab, or vape their products. If you find yourself feeling overwhelmed, discussing what you’re looking for with the person behind the desk will be the quickest way to find a strain that’s likely to fit your needs.
RYOT makes products designed by smokers for smokers. Our cannabis stash boxes, one hitters, and herb vapes can help you manage your anxiety by matching you with a way of storing and smoking cannabis that fits your lifestyle, needs, and preferences. Check us out at RYOT.com.