Sativa or Indica for Anxiety? Important Things To Consider
If you’re interested in using cannabis for anxiety, you’re at the beginning of what will likely become a very long journey. There’s a lot to unpack. Stress and tension affects different people in different ways, and everyone’s body reacts to cannabis in different ways. All these differences make for a lot of moving parts and variables that prevent a straightforward solution.
In nuanced situations like these, it’s not as simple as choosing one strain to rule them all. It’s a matter of learning how to find the best strain for your unique needs. Whether that strain happens to be Indica or Sativa is less important.
Can Cannabis Help with Anxiety?
While studies on CBD have suggested that it may play a role in relieving the symptoms of anxiety, studies on cannabis as a whole have mixed findings. The honest answer? Some people will find that cannabis can help to reduce the symptoms of their anxiety.
Other people may find that cannabis makes those symptoms worse. This reaction may be strain specific or in general.
While most states recognize anxiety as a condition eligible for a medical cannabis card, its addition to the list came mostly from anecdotal evidence and personal experience of patients.
It’s also worth noting that cannabis can’t technically cure or treat anxiety. Instead, it helps to deal with the temporary symptoms at the moment. If anxiety persistently arises in your life, consider speaking with a mental health expert.
You’re worth the time and effort, and you deserve to feel better.
What is The Difference Between Sativa and Indica?
The difference between Cannabis Indica and Cannabis Sativa is the shape of the plant. Sativa plants grow tall and thin with long and narrow leaves, often producing long and wispy flower. Indica plants grow short and wide with stubby and broad leaves, usually producing dense flower.
Are the Effects of Sativa and Indica Strains Different?
Things are about to get really interesting. If you ask any seasoned cannabis user what the difference between Sativa and Indica strains are, you’ll get a variety of answers.
Some say Sativa strains produce a head high, and Indica strains produce a body high. They’ll say Sativas are for daytime and Indicas are for nighttime. Sativa lifts you up, and Indica lays you down.
Here’s the really weird thing: out of all the cannabis research and science the world has, there’s nothing to suggest that any of this is true. In fact, there isn’t a remarkable difference in the cannabinoids or terpene balances of Sativa and Indica strains.
Purple Hindu Kush is a heavy Indica with limonene and caryophyllene as its dominant terpenes. It’s usually around 20% THC and 1% CBG. The exact same statement is true of Black Cherry Soda, which is a well-balanced hybrid strain. For some reason, people claim that Purple Hindu Kush makes them sleepy, but Black Cherry Soda makes them feel euphoric.
So, where does the difference in effects come from? We don’t really know. Enough people share the experience to make the odds greater than coincidence. Still, modern research has been unsuccessful in establishing where these perceptions came from or why people may experience particular strains in certain ways.
It’s important not to park yourself on one side of the line. You may have had a weird experience going to a 3D movie on Sativa, but that doesn’t mean all Sativas won’t agree with you. It could mean that the particular Sativa you used was akin to a bad Tinder match.
You should make a list of all the qualities you want in cannabis and begin the process of finding your strain soulmate, whether it be Indica, Hybrid, or Sativa.
What Kind of Anxiety Are You Dealing With?
Anxiety isn’t the same experience for everyone. Anxiety can be situational or persistent. It can make you feel stuck in your chair, or it can make you feel like your whole body is vibrating.
There is no one way to experience anxiety. Therefore, there is no one strain of cannabis with effects that can adequately modulate your feelings when you’re dealing with anxiety symptoms.
Sativa strains, Indica strains, and hybrid strains are all helpful. The effects they impart are far more important than the lineage of the strains.
Many people have occasional social anxiety, even if anxiety doesn’t usually affect them in other areas of their lives. You might feel a little tense about attending social gatherings after spending about two years in quarantine. It’s normal to need a little help to readjust.
Some people have frequent and recurring social anxiety and hope that the right cannabis will modulate their turmoil and help them socialize with their friend group.
In most cases, you’re looking for an uplifting strain of cannabis that will make you talkative.
Some strains have a reputation for making users quite chatty. Here’s a great starting point for your personal research.
- Runtz (Hybrid)
- AK-47 (Hybrid)
- Banana Kush (Hybrid)
- Berry White (Indica)
- Cherry Cheesecake (Indica)
- Fruity Chronic Juice (Indica)
- Silver Haze (Sativa)
- Guava (Sativa)
- Moby Dick (Sativa)
If you have performance anxiety, high THC cannabis may not be the best way to go. CBD is known to relieve the symptoms of anxiety without producing a high. If you’re doing something that requires heavy concentration and coordination, choose CBD flower. If you’re an experienced cannabis user who won’t be negatively impacted by psychoactive effects, choose a strain that promotes focus.
- Harlequin (Sativa CBD)
- Ringo’s Gift (Hybrid CBD)
- Stephen Hawking Kush (Indica CBD)
- Green Line OG (Hybrid)
- Thai (Sativa)
Anxiety That Makes You Feel Sedentary
For some people, anxiety feels like a heavy blanket. It keeps you planted in one place. The idea of getting up and going about your day feels overwhelming and daunting. You want to stay calm and cozy in your favorite chair.
In these cases, strains that are energizing or uplifting might inspire you to get up and move. You’ll feel less over-encumbered by your list of things to do and more interested in discovering innovative ways to approach your checklist.
- Jesus OG (Indica)
- Cherry Blossom (Indica)
- Sour Bubba (Indica)
- Blue Dream (Hybrid)
- Mimosa (Hybrid)
- Pineapple Express (Hybrid)
- Sour Diesel (Sativa)
- Jack Herer (Sativa)
- Durban Poison (Sativa)
Anxiety That Makes You Feel Tense
If you’re dealing with stress and tension that makes it difficult to relax, let alone sleep, you need a strain that’s going to swaddle you like a baby. You want to calm down, let your thoughts go, and just be. You want to get lost in a book, start doing watercolors or enjoy watching the sunset after a long day.
You aren’t going to find a lot of Sativa strains that will help you do that. For reasons currently unknown, these effects are reported almost exclusively for hybrid strains and Indica strains.
- Ice Cream Cake (Indica)
- Purple Punch (Indica)
- Granddaddy Purps (Indica)
- Do-Si-Dos (Indica)
- Papaya (Indica)
- Wedding Cake (Hybrid)
- Apple Fritter (Hybrid)
- Blue Cookies (Hybrid)
- Venom OG (Hybrid)
- Gorilla Cookies (Hybrid)
When Possible, Smell Your Cannabis
If you don’t know where to start, take any opportunity you can to smell a strain before you try it. Your nose can communicate a lot of information to your brain very quickly. Your sense of smell works with your limbic system to influence your emotions.
By simply smelling a strain, you’ll have a good idea of how it will make you feel.
Stay Organized, Test Strains, and Keep Notes
If you have anxiety, the last thing you want to do is start a project that will make you feel more wound up. The Stori Case and the Stori App make it as easy as humanly possible to stay organized and keep notes while you try new strains of cannabis.
The Stori case comes with six light-proof, air-tight, child-resistant travel pods suitable for long-term cannabis storage. It also comes with six tubes for pre-rolled joints.
Pick up a single joint of a strain you’d like to try or the smallest quantity your dispensary has to sell. The pods and tubes have color-coded lids, and you can use the app to record strain information about what you have in each, where you bought it from, and how much you paid for it.
As you try each strain, you can leave notes and ratings in the Stori app. You can keep track of what you’ve tried, learn what your preferences are, and find strains similar to the ones you know you like. Find what works for you and stick to it.
Use of Cannabidiol for the Treatment of Anxiety: A Short Synthesis of Pre-Clinical and Clinical Evidence | Cannabis and Cannabinoid Research
Anxiety Disorders: Types, Causes, Symptoms & Treatments | Cleveland Clinic
Effects of odor on emotion, with implications | National Institutes of Health