9 Best Weed Strains for Anxiety

recommendations are based on individual experiences and anecdotal evidence. 

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Anxiety is one of the most common uses for cannabis, and that trend is likely to continue. 

Even before Covid-19, mental health in the U.S. was on the decline, and the pandemic has only made matters worse. One silver lining is that cannabis legalization is on the rise. As of today, 47 states have legalized some variation of cannabis, from CBD-only products to whole cannabis adult-use industries. 

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While more research is needed before anyone can make conclusive claims, anecdotal evidence and preliminary research suggest that cannabis offers people a more natural and holistic way to treat mental illness. 

If you experience anxiety, chances are you live in a state where cannabis medicine is available. Keep reading to learn more about how cannabis’ anxiolytic effects work.  

How Does Cannabis Affect Anxiety?

We encourage you to speak with your doctor before incorporating cannabis into your wellness routine. That said, there is evidence that cannabis can have positive effects on mental health conditions, including anxiety

Chemical compounds in cannabis impact the way our bodies send messages to our brains. Some compounds interact with the endocannabinoid system in ways that promote physical and mental homeostasis. Other chemicals in weed engage different molecular pathways, usually producing medicinally effective results.

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The types of chemical compounds most associated with weed’s effects on anxiety are cannabinoids and terpenes. Here’s what you need to know about how these metabolites affect anxiety: 

Cannabinoids

Researchers estimate that there are over 100 cannabinoids housed in the cannabis plant. The plant forms these metabolites for its own survival, but when humans consume them, we can experience positive health impacts. 

The two most abundant cannabinoids are tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD). 

THC is the cannabinoid responsible for getting you high. THC’s behavior in the body is similar to 2-AG, an endocannabinoid that helps regulate stress by disrupting anxiety-promoting signaling. 

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However, there is evidence that THC is effective at relieving stress when consumed in low-doses. The higher the THC content, the more likely you will experience a negative mood. 

CBD does not have psychoactive effects but has been identified as a medically effective intervention for neuropsychiatric disorders including epilepsy, anxiety, and schizophrenia. 

Terpenes

Terpenes are different types of metabolites produced by plants, and they are responsible for giving cannabis strains their unique fragrances. The following terpenes have been identified in cannabis strains and are associated with reducing anxiety:

  • Linalool
  • Beta Caryophyllene
  • Limonene 
  • Nerolidol 
  • Myrcene 
  • Pinene
  • Phytol 

Talk to Your Doctor First

If you are experiencing the following symptoms, you may have anxiety:

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  • Excessive irritability 
  • Exhaustion 
  • Difficulty sleeping 
  • Constant worrying 
  • Inability to concentrate
  • Muscle tension 
  • Intense, irrational fears or phobias 

Get the right diagnosis from your doctor and ask about the benefits and risks of using cannabis to treat your anxiety. 

9 Weed Strains for Anxiety

Because cannabis has been federally illegal in the U.S. for so long, there is a paucity of peer-reviewed evidence explaining the impacts each of the following strains may have on anxiety. These recommendations are based on individual experiences and anecdotal evidence. 

Green Crack

  • THC Content: 24%
  • CBD Content: <1%
  • Primary and Secondary Terpenes: Myrcene, Beta Caryophyllene

While the name of this strain might suggest otherwise, Green Crack is commonly used to reduce anxiety and depression as well as promote creativity. Because of its high THC concentration, we recommend that you take it low and slow if you are using this strain to alleviate anxiety. 

Blue Dream

  • THC Content: 27%
  • CBD Content: 2%
  • Primary and Secondary Terpenes: Myrcene,  Pinene

Sometimes known as Azure Haze, Blue Dream’s terpene profile creates a robust aromatic experience. Rich in THC and energizing terpenes, consumers report improved mood and increased appreciation of the arts after consuming Blue Dream. 

Hindu Kush

  • THC Content: 20%
  • CBD Content: <1%
  • Primary and Secondary Terpenes: Beta caryophyllene, Limonene 

A landrace strain, Hindu Kush is a pure indica many consumers turn to for its physically and mentally sedating effects. If your anxiety manifests as muscle tension, restlessness, or insomnia, Hindu Kush may offer you some relief. 

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Gorilla Glue #4

  • THC Content: 32%
  • CBD Content: <1%
  • Primary and Secondary Terpenes: Beta caryophyllene, Limonene

The incredibly high THC concentration in Gorilla Glue #4 produces a relaxing and euphoric high for some consumers. One reviewer said, “This strain (and its children) give me my life back and make me feel like a normal person.” 

Skywalker OG

  • THC Content: 26%
  • CBD Content: <1%
  • Primary and Secondary Terpenes: Beta Caryophyllene, Limonene

Skywalker OG definitely uses the force to create medicinal effects that benefit people who deal with stress and anxiety. Skywalker OG consumers report a heavy body high that lends itself to relaxation and sleep, a welcome respite for anyone experiencing chronic pain or mood disorders. 

Jack Herer

  • THC Content: 24%
  • CBD Content: <1%
  • Primary and Secondary Terpenes: Nerolidol, Carene 

The combination of terpenes and THC in Jack Herer can create a relaxing, euphoric, and pain-relieving response in some users. This beneficial entourage effect may be the reason why the strain is commonly used to reduce anxiety even though it has such a high THC concentration. 

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Durban Poison

  • THC Content: 26% 
  • CBD Content: <1%
  • Primary and Secondary Terpenes: Terpinolene, Humulene

Another landrace strain, Durban Poison is a pure sativa famous for producing powerfully psychoactive—almost psychedelic—effects. If anxiety is holding you back from creative endeavors or eroding your energy stores, Durban Poison may help. 

Northern Lights

  • THC Content: 33%
  • CBD Content: <1%
  • Primary and Secondary Terpenes: Terpinolene, Beta Caryophyllene 

Northern Lights is beloved among recreational and medical marijuana users alike because of its potent effects. Consumers of this indica dominant strain report intense relaxation, pain relief, euphoria, and improved sleep. 

Wedding Cake

  • THC Content: 25%
  • CBD Content: < 1%
  • Primary and Secondary Terpenes: Beta Caryophyllene, Limonene 

Also known as Birthday Cake or Pink Cookies, Wedding Cake is certainly something to celebrate for the many patients who use it to relieve arthritic pain, depression, and anxiety. One reviewer said, “In 40 years this is the absolute FIRST that didn’t give me any panic or anxiety or munchies! It is absolutely the PERFECT strain for me [or] anyone dealing with fibromyalgia/depression/anxiety/panic attacks/sleep issues…”

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