With hundreds of cannabis strains in existence today, each with its own unique fingerprint of effects, there is plenty of green out there to choose from. From sleepy AF to goofy and chill, there is likely a strain out there for everyone, especially if you have stress and anxiety.
One of the most common questions we get from both JARS recreational and medical patients is what strains are good for anxiety. While there are plenty of strains that will likely work for you there are also many that users say bring up anxious thoughts — but don’t worry. We’ll guide you through the basics of an anxiety-free smoke sesh and show you some of our favorite cannabis strains for anxiety.
The Ultimate Anxiety-Free Experience
The key to a relaxing cannabis experience is to get the right blend of THC, CBD, and anxiety-busting terpenes that work for your exact needs. On top of that, there are a few other things you’ll want to keep in mind to make sure your next adventure into the world of weed is chill, relaxed, and carefree.
Know Your Terpenes
If you want to take weed’s anxiety-fighting benefits to the next level, you want to be mindful of terpenes.
In basic terms, terpenes are naturally occurring fragrant oils that give each cannabis plant its signature scent. And just like cannabinoids, different terpenes produce different effects — including effects that can lower anxiety. We wrote a guide about cannabis derived terpines in our blog.
For example, if your anxiety has you feeling blue or depressed, look for a strain high in limonene, which can create a feeling of euphoria and put a little extra anxiety-reducing pep in your step. In nature, limonene is found in citrus peels like oranges, so chances are if your weed smells citrusy and bright, you’ve found a strain rich in this happy little terpene.
If you’re looking for a major stress reliever that may help you chill out and get a solid night of rest, try a strain heavy in linalool, a compound of lavender that has a more sedative, soothing vibe. When you think of linalool, think about the last time you lit a lavender-scented candle for a relaxing night at home — this floral terpene works in exactly the same way.
And if you’re searching for something in between the bliss of limonene and the stoned sleepiness of linalool, try beta-caryophyllene. This bold and spicy terpene is found in black pepper and cinnamon, and also has some pretty amazing anti-anxiety properties that some say is the sweet spot in between the extremes of limonene and linalool. Ever had a glass of red wine to unwind at the end of a long day? Beta-caryophyllene feels just like that.
Control Your Dosage
From gummies to concentrates, there are a ton of different ways to consume cannabis. If you’re new to cannabis or want to have the most control of your experience, try edibles or precisely dosed vapes. With these products, you know exactly how much you’re consuming and you’ll be able to get familiar with your limits — smoking flower makes this a little more difficult as you have no idea how much THC is in each puff.
Take It Low And Slow
Whether you’re going for tinctures, flower, or anything in between, make “take it low and slow” your motto — especially if you’re looking to treat anxiety with THC. One of the easiest ways to send yourself into a tailspin of despair is by consuming far too much THC. Start with a low dose and slowly build your way up until you understand how any given product is going to affect you.
Counteract THC-Induced Anxiety With CBD
If you find yourself feeling anxious from the effects THC, CBD to the rescue. Depending on your dose of THC, you may need to consume a hefty amount of CBD to get rid of the anxiety, but it will definitely help you feel better quickly. We suggest puffing on a pure CBD vape for the fastest relief but a tincture would work well too — just expect the effects to take 20 minutes or more to kick in.
Best Cannabis Strains for Anxiety
Now that you understand the rules of the game, there are a handful of strains that users consistently go to for their anxiety-busting properties. While everyone is different, let’s take a closer look at some of the most popular varieties that may be the cure you’ve been looking for.
A CBD-rich fan favorite, this strain gently guides you toward a calm and centered headspace without that strong THC-induced high. Find space to kick back and relax as you inhale and exhale the soothing gifts ACDC has to offer. If THC seems scary to you or you’re looking for clearheaded relief, this strain may be for you.
A traditional indica-dominant strain, Granddaddy Purple eases you into zen-like mindset while encouraging your body to release any stress and tension that you might be carrying. Sink into your couch and let a euphoric yet soothed mindset take over.
If you’re looking for some positive vibes, consider Jack Herer, a strain with warm, uplifting effects that can help guide you to your happy place. Many weed lovers find that this classic sativa-dominant strain provides a mood boost without derailing your entire day with a sedative body high, making it a worthy consideration if anxiety strikes early in the morning and you have a full to-do list.
With a balanced ratio of CBD to THC, Canna-Tsu offers a delicate tranquil high without the worry of overdoing it with too much THC. Reach for this strain when anxiety flares up but you don’t feel like being stoned to the bone.
If you’re plagued by racing thoughts, especially when you’re trying to catch some zzz’s, enter Purple Urkle: a deeply pacifying strain that can ease anxious thoughts while steering you straight into a restful sleep.
Weed can be a wellness wizard for many conditions, especially for those dealing with anxiety. With that being said, it may take a little experimentation to find the exact strain that works best for you. Feel free to use this guide as a starting point and ask your local JARS budtender for extra guidance — we always have your back!