Anxiety is a body and mind’s reaction to dangerous, stressful or unknown situations. It helps us stay alert.
Yet, an unbalanced level of anxiety can become debilitating. It is a sort of restlessness and an uncontrollable state of worry. A feeling of dizziness, sweating and an increased heart rate can appear too. Sounds like a bad trip on weed? That might be because certain cannabis strains seem to cause anxiety.
Some mammals have cannabinoid receptors throughout the body. These make up the endocannabinoid system. It plays an important role in processes including memory, perception of pain, mood, appetite, stress, fear and anxiety. Medical cannabis consumption could help when there is an imbalance in the endocannabinoid system.
Anxiety is a sort of restlessness and an uncontrollable state of worry.
The most studied compounds in cannabis are two cannabinoids: Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and Cannabidiol (CBD).
Studies have shown that low doses of THC can actually raise serotonin levels. That is the chemical that stimulates feelings of well-being and happiness.
Serotonin is the ally we need to prevent stress from turning into depression.
CBD, appears to have robust anxiolytic effects without anxiogenic effects at higher doses! It also seems to reverse the anxiogenic effects of THC.
Indica vs Sativa
Cannabis presents two main strains: Sativa and Indica (There is little evidence and consensus backing the following theories).
Indica is considered to have a higher CBD ratio than sativa. Indica is a good option for pain management, better sleep and general relaxation. It is your night time kind of marijuana and the best marijuana for anxiety.
Sativa would tend to contain a higher ratio of THC than CBD. This is your energizing strain, the one that boosts your mood and gives you a “head” high.
The marijuana to choose for a creative session and the one you might want to use during daytime. It is thought to be helpful for people with depression, headaches, nausea and appetite loss. It is also the one thought to prompt anxiety in some people.
An Indica cannabis strain is the best option to cope with anxiety.
Does CBD help with anxiety?
CBD is not psychoactive in the same way THC is as it does not cause a high. It interacts with pain receptors to apply pain-relieving and anti-inflammatory effects. It has been found to diminish the paranoia that THC can cause.
It has a way of calming the endocannabinoid system when it is overactive. It has been tested for reduction of depression, anxiety, stress and psychoses. It enhances serotonin receptor activation. The best weed for anxiety will be the strain with the most CBD content.
Does THC cause anxiety?
THC is the principal psychoactive compound in marijuana. It is the one that provokes an elevated state of mind. It activates the brain’s reward system and reduces pain levels.
THC resembles the cannabinoid chemicals that occur in the body. It stimulates the brain’s cannabinoid receptors.
THC also slows down communication between the brain and the rest of the body. This gives weed its calming effect. It seems then logical that in lower doses it decreases anxiety.
But, in some users, THC in higher doses can trigger anxiety symptoms.
THC in high doses can trigger anxiety in some users.
How come the same cannabinoid has two different effects?
There are many factors at play:
High THC/low CBD strains
History of previous anxiety reaction
Presence of anxiety disorders/symptoms
Basal anxiety state
Environment and context of use
CBD can help to revert some anxiety symptoms.
CBD appears to decrease anxiety at all doses. CBD cannabis oil eases short-term symptoms of anxiety. CBD can reverse the anxiogenic effects of THC, meaning that in case of a bad trip, CBD could be your best friend!
BONUS TIP: A couple of CBD cannabis oil drops under your tongue could stop a bad trip.