As one of the most common mental health illnesses in the United States, anxiety affects millions of people. The most recent statistics suggest that 18.1% of people suffer from anxiety, although that doesn’t account for those who go without a diagnosis. Although talking therapies and beta blockers can help to treat the condition, some patients find they’re not quite enough. That’s why many are now looking into whether marijuana and anxiety are a good mix.
If you’re interested in the best marijuana strains for anxiety, you need to learn more about Indica and Sativa. Both have their place in treating the condition, but the type you use will depend on several factors. Fortunately, it only takes a little education to make the right decision.
Do marijuana and anxiety mix?
Although the media is sometimes awash with reports that cannabis can have harmful psychoactive effects, this isn’t always the case. One study from Washington State University reveals that marijuana and anxiety have a positive relationship. Using a self-reported study, the research team found that anxious feelings reduce in the short-term, resulting in temporary relief for patients. This could prevent panic attacks, which are often the most disabling elements of anxiety.
At the same time, some forms of medical marijuana can make a few of the symptoms of anxiety worse. For example, Indica may cause orthostatic hypotension, which is a form of low blood pressure that’s worse when you stand up. For those who suffer from anxiety, the feeling of disconnect and wooziness that comes with orthostatic hypotension could worsen their anxiety symptoms.
Understanding Indica vs Sativa for anxiety
Understanding the differences between Indica vs Sativa is the best way to choose the right type to tackle your anxiety. For now, it’s probably useful to learn more about the primary differences of Indica vs Sativa.
While Indica is excellent for generating a calm and serene effect, Sativa can cause your mind to become more active. Depending on how your anxiety operates, increased activity throughout your brain could make your anxiety worse rather than better. However, some believe that the differences between the two have little to do with the actual type and more to do with the CBD to THC ratio. While CBD is able to tackle conditions such as anxiety and depression, THC has more psychoactive properties. On occasion, THC’s psychoactive properties can induce some of the feelings that make anxiety more pronounced, such as paranoia.
As Sativa features more THC and has a lower CBD to THC ratio, there’s an argument to state that this means Indica is the better strain for anxiety. Although this is probably true in most cases, it’s important not to write Sativa off altogether. It still has a place in anxiety treatment, it’s just a bit more limited than that of Indica.
Is Indica or Sativa better for anxiety?
When it comes to figuring out “Is Indica or Sativa better for anxiety?” the quick answer is that it depends. If you’re going to take a generalist approach, the lower THC content of Indica may make it a better universal treatment. As THC is the psychoactive component of medical marijuana, it’s the same component that can make your mind overly active. This means having a higher CBD to THC ratio means you’ll experience the soothing effects of your anxiety treatment, but with a decreased risk of paranoia.
There is research to suggest that Sativa has the same effects on depression as a Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitor (SSRI). SSRIs are used to treat mild to moderate forms of depression and their mechanism of action is preventing serotonin from being reabsorbed too quickly in the brain. Depending on the nature of your anxiety and whether it co-exists alongside depression, this could mean that Sativa is useful. As research from the pharmaceutical world shows, SSRIs can treat OCD and generalized anxiety disorder. However, they also take a few weeks to act. If Sativa is similar in terms of time to act, you may find that it doesn’t deliver immediate relief.
As Indica-dominant strains of cannabis can result in a less mentally active high, they could alleviate some of the symptoms that make anxiety so pronounced. For example, many people who suffer from anxiety experience palpitations. As palpitations also arise when someone is feeling a sense of panic, their presence can make the condition feel worse. If you suffer from anxiety and you allow your palpitations to further induce panicking sensations, this can lead to a panic attack.
Overall, when considering “Is Indica or Sativa best for anxiety?” you need to consider whether you want immediate relief or not. If immediate relief is necessary and you’re treating your medical marijuana in the same way you’d treat a beta blocker, try Indica. Otherwise, you may want to consider either Sativa or a hybrid.
The best Indica strains for anxiety
If you’ve decided this is the right type of medical cannabis for you, it’s time to learn more about the best Indica strains for anxiety. Discovering different types is empowering and will help you make effective decisions.
As a form of medical marijuana that stems from an Afghani parent plant, Blackberry Kush has an almost sweet flavor. It’s an Indica-dominant strain, making it an excellent form of immediate relief from anxiety symptoms. If your anxiety comes with a large dose of insomnia, consider using Blackberry Kush to make sleep easier.
As one of the best Indica strains for anxiety, Northern Lights has a rapid tranquilizing-type effect. Because of this, it’s best to only use it when you don’t need to go anywhere. You may find that it works well for overly anxious thoughts that are spiraling out of control.
Granddaddy Purple is a form of Indica marijuana that will promote relaxation throughout your mind and body. This means it could work well if your anxiety is coupled with a chronic pain condition.
The best Sativa strains for anxiety
Finding the best Sativa strains for anxiety isn’t difficult. You may find that Sativa works better during the day when you need your mind to remain more active.
Exercise caution when using Jack Herer as one of the best Sativa strains for anxiety. It does act as a mind stimulant, so it may not work well when your brain is flooded with anxious thoughts. However, if you’re having a good day that’s teetering on the edge and you need to boost concentration, it’s handy.
If you’re interested in marijuana and anxiety but you don’t want to lose your sense of energy, try Strawberry Cough. It’s energizing, without sending your mind racing.
Overall, doing a little research and seeking advice is always advisable when you’re trying to treat anxiety with medical marijuana. Although Indica proves to be the best when delivering calming effects, you may want to try Sativa for making sure your mind remains slightly alert. If you find that the strain you try isn’t helping, consider stopping it and opting for something else.
If you are experiencing symptoms of anxiety, always speak to a medical professional before self-medicating.