If you’re at the end of your rope with standard treatments for mental health challenges—like counseling and pharmaceutical medications—you might be considering alternative healing methods like medical cannabis. Can marijuana help with anxiety?
For many patients, marijuana is an immensely helpful tool for both everyday symptom management and long-term recovery from the root causes of anxiety. But where should newcomers start their journey to plant-based healing?
In this guide, we’re breaking down everything people living with anxiety need to know about strains—subtypes of the Cannabis sativa plant that are carefully cultivated to produce specific effects. While newcomers with anxiety might consider indica strains or high-CBD products, experimentation is key: Let’s dive into how you might respond to different strains of cannabis.
First, let’s define what a strain is:
Cannabis strains are divided into three categories: indica, sativa, and hybrid strains.
While everyone responds differently to cannabis products, indica strains are generally recognized for their mellowing effects. People using indicas typically report:
Some of the most popular indica strains on today’s cannabis market include:
People living with anxiety who have trouble sleeping or maintaining a healthy appetite may benefit from the calming, sleep-inducing, and appetite-enhancing effects associated with indica strains.
While some sativa strains can produce relaxing effects, sativas are most commonly associated with:
Some of the sativa strains you’re most likely to encounter on your next trip to the dispensary or pharmacy include:
Some sativas, unfortunately, can exacerbate symptoms of anxiety. Because they offer a somewhat stimulating effect, sativas aren’t always the best choice for people looking for anxiety symptom relief. However, experimentation is key, and you might find relief or support from a mellowing sativa strain.
Hybrid strains are some of today’s most popular options for medical cannabis users: they’re cultivated from a combination of indica and sativa plants to create a blend that offers the best of both.
Hybrids can be:
As a result, the effects across hybrid strains can vary widely. In general, hybrid strains seek to blend sativas’ creativity and complex thinking stimulation with indicas’ mellowing, calm-inducing effects.
Some of the most common hybrid strains on the market include:
As you might imagine, hybrid strains are a favorite among people living with anxiety: they offer versatile support for a variety of symptoms of anxiety.
With all of the above in mind, what should patients consider before trying medical cannabis for anxiety? Let’s dive into three key aspects to think about before your next dispensary visit.
No two cases of anxiety are the same. Anxiety can look like:
While some strains of marijuana may be well-suited to some of the symptoms on this (non-exhaustive) list, don’t rule out the possibility that you may need multiple strains to help manage different symptoms.
Simply put, there’s no need to limit yourself to just one product: you might find support across the cannabis strain spectrum.
Throughout this guide, we’ve touched on both symptom relief and long-term recovery from anxiety. What could the latter look like?
The difference between management and recovery is typically intentional use. Many patients leverage medical cannabis to:
While one experience using medical cannabis likely won’t solve your anxiety for good, recovery from anxiety is possible with the right approach and tools.
This is when mellowing sativa strains and sativa-heavy hybrids can be of immense usefulness for people looking to overcome anxiety for good. Since they can inspire critical thinking and creativity, sativas can help anxiety patients explore their innermost thoughts to work through roadblocks on the path to healing.
But it’s not always the right time for self-work: consider keeping a strain on hand that can support your self-reflective, recovery-focused activities and a supply of a more mellowing product for acute symptom relief. A multi-strain solution is often the most effective approach for people living with anxiety.
A strain that works for a friend with anxiety may not have the same effect on you: medical cannabis treatment requires experimentation. Here are some tips that can help newcomers experiment safely and efficiently to find their ideal strain:
Can you get a medical card for anxiety? In some states, yes. But if you’re not sure where to start managing anxiety with medical cannabis, TeleLeaf is your number one resource.
Our mission is simple: to connect patients with the all-natural, plant-based medicine they need to manage (or even recover from) debilitating medical challenges. Whether you’re struggling with the everyday realities of anxiety, recovering from a harrowing life experience, or working through a depressive episode, we’re confident that medical cannabis can revolutionize your healing. We’ve seen the results firsthand.
If you’re ready to start your journey with medical cannabis, schedule your first appointment with TeleLeaf today.
Healthline. Cannabis 101: A Guide to Indica Strains.
Santa Cruz Sentinel. The 15 Best Sativa Strains to Try in 2024 for Energy, Creativity, Focus, and More.
Mile High Dispensary. The Top 5 Hybrid Strains of 2022.
World Health Organization. Anxiety Disorders.