We’ve all been stressed out at one point in our lives. Maybe we bite our nails, twirl our hair, or pull on the sleeves of a sweater. Sometimes they get even more extreme, like I experienced on a plane during awful turbulence. My heart rate soared, my palms became sweaty, and I needed a brown paper bag to control my breathing. It was that intense and frightening. During moments like this, there is some evidence that cannabis can help. In this article, we’ll discuss the best and worst cannabis strains for when you’re really stressed.

The Symptoms of Intense Stress

There are both internal and external signs. As mentioned earlier, the external ones might be fidgety behavior, sweaty palms, and bitten nails, as well as crying and heavy breathing. Unfortunately, there’s a lot going on inside your body as well, symptoms people can’t see with the naked eye.

  • Racing/unwanted thoughts
  • Elevated heart rate
  • Chest pain
  • Nausea/vomiting
  • Body numbness
  • Chills or hot flashes

How To Stop Stress (Without Cannabis)

For some, stress and anxiety are difficult or impossible to predict. It may come out of nowhere. But for others, there are tell-tale signs that panic is brewing. While it would be ideal to carry our treatment of choice around everywhere we go (just in case an attack is on its way), that’s simply not realistic. Thankfully, there are certain techniques that can stop or alleviate an anxiety attack without substances.

  1. Deep breathing
  2. Focus your eyes on a single object
  3. Close your eyes
  4. Picture a loved one or your happy place
  5. Acknowledge the anxiety attack

The Best Cannabis Strains For High-Stress Situations

Generally speaking, Kush strains are can take the edge off of symptoms caused by high stress. Kush strains lean on the indica side (though some may be hybrids) to make users feel relaxed, pain-free, and possibly sleepy. These strains can help slow things down, from your thinking to your moving to your breathing. The last thing you want when you’re already stressed is a strain that speeds up your thought process and heart rate. Growers Choice has many Kush strains to choose from! These are some of our favorites…

Side note: high-CBD strains can also be highly effective against stress.

The Worst Cannabis Strains For Stress

As a general rule of thumb, potent sativas with a high THC content are not so great for stressful times. The strongest sativas currently on the market are believed to be Strawberry, Jack Herer, Sour Diesel, and Blue Dream. The THC content in cannabis strains can reach up to 30%, which is strong enough to put even the most experienced users in a state of paranoia. Stick to strains with a 10-15% THC profile to get the most stress-relieving benefit. 

Also, take note that research around cannabis for stress and anxiety often cites dosage as the determinant. Some studies suggest low doses of THC can have anti-anxiety effects, while a high dose—of any strain—tends to have the opposite effect. Please take care.

CBD Products For Stress or Anxiety

CBD might be the better choice for treating stress or anxiety. Indeed, some studies support the idea that CBD does not have the anxiety-causing side effects that THC strains do. However, keep in mind that the high-CBD strains sold on many websites and in stores often still contain THC.

If you’d like to stay away from THC entirely, you can always opt for CBD products. CBD is technically legal in all 50 states, as it does not have psychoactive properties, which means you could find it at grocery stores, beauty salons, and buy it online. CBD products come in many forms, and you can add CBD oil to almost any beverage. CBD oil can either be ingested (swallowed) or applied topically to areas of pain (such as a tight chest).