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Best Weed Strains for Anxiety

Not all weed strains are equally efficient against anxiety. Find out how to choose the right variety to stop worrying.
14 October 2022
14 min read
Best Weed Strains for Anxiety

Contents:
  • 1. What is anxiety?
  • 2. Anxiety symptoms
  • 3. Anxiety and weed
  • 4. Best marijuana strains for anxiety management
  • 4. a. Ac/dc
  • 4. b. Cannatonic
  • 4. c. Grandaddy purple
  • 4. d. White widow
  • 4. e. Pennywise
  • 4. f. Jack herer
  • 4. g. Sour og
  • 4. h. Skywalker og
  • 4. i. Remedy
  • 4. j. Trident
  • 4. k. Master kush
  • 4. l. Canna-tsu
  • 4. m. Jillybean
  • 4. n. Northern lights
  • 4. o. Purple urkle
  • 5. How to choose the best weed strains for anxiety
  • 5. a. Try strains with higher levels of cbd
  • 5. b. Read testing labels
  • 5. c. Dose carefully
  • 6. Conclusion
  • 7. Faq
  • 7. a. Can cbd treat anxiety?
  • 7. b. Do certain strains of weed cause anxiety?

Human society has changed a lot from the way we originally evolved in the African jungle and savanna, but biologically we’re exactly the same kind of animal. Our brains are hardwired to be constantly on the alert and watching out for danger. We behave as if we can become a predator’s dinner any day. Yet we live in an environment where the worst thing that could happen to us is that we’ll fail an exam, get laughed at by our peers, or be reprimanded by our boss. It all can hurt like hell, but is it really worth being anxious about? Or maybe we should just smoke a bowl and take it easy?

Using marijuana for anxiety is a controversial topic, though. While the right kind of weed may make you less anxious, others can actually make things worse. Of course, all people react differently to cannabis in general, yet there are some guidelines for choosing the best weed strains for anxiety, and this is the topic of our post. 

What is Anxiety?

We can define anxiety as feelings of unease about a situation we’re in, apprehension about some future event, or just being overwhelmed by our responsibilities, chores, jobs, and studies. The sensation can be fleeting or persistent. Many people – when they say that they’re anxious – simply mean that they’re constantly stressed. Anxiety, as a symptom, is part of many medical conditions, and a large percentage of the population suffers from them. Moreover, they’re probably grossly underdiagnosed.

Out of all syndromes in which anxiety plays a major part, GAD, or General Anxiety Disorder, is the most common. Many patients also suffer from social anxiety, obsessive-compulsive disorder, depression, and PTSD. The most acute form of anxiety is panic attacks. The best weed strains for anxiety can arguably help with them all.

Anxiety Symptoms

Not all of us pay enough attention to what’s happening inside our minds to know anxiety when we have one. So, it’s important to know its main symptoms. At the very least, they’ll help us identify it before it becomes a major problem and start taking measures including medical marijuana. You may be anxious if:

  • You experience high levels of stress
  • Are constantly under pressure at work and at home
  • Feel irritable or angry
  • Change jobs too often
  • Feel sad and depressed
  • Wind up in unhealthy relationships
  • Get nervous in social situations
  • Are sick too often
  • Suffer from other mental or physical conditions
  • Feel like you’re not in control

Anxiety and Weed

When choosing the best weed for anxiety, it’s important to understand if there’s any science behind the guess that cannabis can help make us less anxious. There’s not much scientific research done on cannabis smokers with anxiety issues and even fewer clinical trials, but preliminary observational studies and experiments on animal models show that the effect is dose-dependent. It means that if you want weed to calm you down, you better start low and slow as too much THC will have the opposite effects – it may hurtle you head-first into a fit of paranoia or a full-blown panic attack.

Needless to say, countless anecdotal reports – that you may have seen online or heard firsthand from your friends – tell pretty much the same story: marijuana makes you less nervous when consumed in moderation but smoke too much and it’ll make you cold with fear.

There’s also one particular chemical compound in cannabis that has well-documented anxiolytic properties, and it’s CBD. Evidence has demonstrated that CBD, or cannabidiol, can moderate the effects of THC and when taken alone, can relieve your anxiety to the point that you can relax and stop thinking of bad things or sleep like a baby.

Besides cannabinoids, of which THC and CBD are only the most well-known representatives, the cannabis plant produces dozens of terpenes, terpenoids, and flavonoids. These are aromatic substances that imbue weed with its characteristic smell and taste. They are found in other plants too and aren’t controlled by the DEA or anything, but it doesn't mean they don’t act on your mind.

In particular, the following terpenes help you overcome anxiety: linalool (also found in lavender), limonene, (part of essential oils in citrus fruit), and caryophyllene (found in black pepper). The latter is so efficient that some people swear you should chew some peppercorns if you’re feeling paranoid from too much THC.

Best Marijuana Strains for Anxiety Management

It’s hard to say why the following 15 strains are so effective at combating anxiety (in small doses, of course), but our guess is it’s something about their chemistry. Different THC-to-CBD ratios plus the presence of lesser cannabinoids plus a particular terpene profile all contribute to the so-called entourage effect that in this case, makes a strain of weed especially effective for anxiety.

1. AC/DC

Best Weed Strains for Anxiety: AC/DC

AC/DC – a CBD-rich classic.

 

Strain Type: Sativa

THC: 1%

CBD: 13%

Retail Price: $10 per gram

AC/DC is one of the oldest CBD-rich strains on the market. Its parent is the famous Cannatonic, also rich in CBD. AC/DC hasn't got enough THC to produce a noticeable intoxicating effect. This means that even a novice smoker will remain energetic and focused after ingesting this medicine. At the same time, the CBD content is high enough to provide relief for many symptoms, including pains of various origins, side effects of chemotherapy, epilepsy, and of course, anxiety. Healthy people can use these buds to improve their general well-being and become more content and calm long term.

2. Cannatonic

Best Weed Strains for Anxiety: Cannatonic

Cannatonic is one of the strains that started the CBD revolution.

 

Strain Type: Hybrid

THC: 4%

CBD: 9%

Retail Price: $8-9 per gram

Arguably, the best weed for anxiety and depression, Cannatonic is one of the pioneers of the modern CBD market. It has just enough THC to create a notable effect but even more CBD to make even this psychoactive influence mild and non-threatening. In short, it's exactly the combination that serves as the best treatment for anxiety. The high provides feelings of increased relaxation and happiness and as such has a certain recreational value. However, the main reason to buy these buds is that they can make such symptoms as migraines, nausea, muscle spasms, and pain go away.

3. Grandaddy Purple

Best Weed Strains for Anxiety: Grandaddy Purple

The calming effects make Grandaddy Purple a potent anxiolytic.

 

Strain Type: Indica

THC: 20-27%

CBD: 1%

Retail Price: $8 per gram

On the face of it, Grandaddy Purple is an unlikely candidate for anxiolytic medicine. Its THC-to-CBD ratio could rather be interpreted as a warning for those smokers who are prone to fits of paranoia from too much THC. But numbers aren't everything. The unique character of this 70% Indica is calculated to calm you down and forget your worries. The effects start with a rush of euphoria, and then waves of relaxation wash over your body, slightly numbing your pain, relaxing stiff muscles, and making you drowsy and ready for bed. A Holy Grail for insomniacs, this marijuana improves your sleep partly through its anxiety-relieving properties.

4. White Widow

Best Weed Strains for Anxiety: White Widow

With her balanced effects, White Widow is a strong remedy against anxiety.

 

Strain Type: Hybrid

THC: 15%

CBD:  1%

Retail Price: $6-8 per gram

White Widow is a balanced hybrid that works its magic by first creating a powerful surge of euphoria and putting you in a party mood and after a while, relaxing you to the point that you'll want to sit down and chill. In both stages of this experience, you're unlikely to feel paranoia, and the medium-high level of THC contributes to the mellowness of the effects. White Widow has been around on the cannabis scene for ages, and became famous not only thanks to her blissful high but also her recognizable and memorable floral taste. By moderating consumption, you can smoke WW throughout the day, staying active and keeping anxiety at bay.

5. Pennywise

Best Weed Strains for Anxiety: Pennywise

The 1:1 THC:CBD ratio makes the effects of Pennywise non-threatening and calming.

 

Strain Type: Indica

THC: 8%

CBD:  8%

Retail Price: $5 per gram

Although Indica-dominant, Pennywise creates the type of high that you'd rather expect from a Sativa. It's a clear-headed cerebral buzz that feels mild and lets you function in the most demanding of situations. The perfectly balanced amounts of the two principal cannabinoids are a promise that nothing will trouble you and you'll sail through your day in absolute serenity. If you suffer from PTSD, this weed will probably give you peace of mind, and patients with cancer and arthritis also favor these buds because they effectively kill the pain. You'll also appreciate the strain's unusual flavor that combines the aroma of coffee with notes of sweet bubblegum and sour lemon.

6. Jack Herer

Best Weed Strains for Anxiety: Jack Herer

One of the most famous Sativas in the world, Jack Herer is calculated to relieve mood disorders.

 

Strain Type: Sativa

THC: 18%

CBD:  1%

Retail Price: $9-10 per gram

Named after a legend of cannabis activism, Jack Herer the strain is also famous in its own right. This weed has been around for ages, won many awards at international cannabis events, and there's a reason why this Sativa-leaning hybrid is still as popular today as in previous decades. The effect created by these buds is blissful, creative, and clear-headed. The latter is very important when you need to smoke weed without falling prey to anxiety because much of the anxiety comes from feeling 'dazed and confused' and not in control of your thoughts and your actions. The Jack doesn't do that to your brain but allows you to remain alert, focused, and functional.

7. Sour OG

Best Weed Strains for Anxiety: Sour OG

If you're a medical user, you can't go wrong with Sour OG.

 

Strain Type: Hybrid

THC: 21%

CBD:  0%

Retail Price: $5 per gram

Sour OG is a balanced Sativa-Indica hybrid, but don't expect a balanced effect from these buds. Rather, they act on you in two separate stages. At first, a rush of energy sets upon you, making you social, talkative, and energetic, then this 'up' effect subsides and gives way to deep relaxation of the body. Looking at the THC and CBD levels, you probably wouldn't think that this cannabis is especially anxiolytic, but in fact, it is and patients cite anxiety, stress, and depression as the main indications for its medical use. The reason may be the presence of large quantities of limonene inherited from the Sour Diesel parent. The high level of caryophyllene may also play a part.

8. Skywalker OG

Best Weed Strains for Anxiety: Skywalker OG

No list of anti-anxiety strains would be complete without some variant of OG Kush.

 

Strain Type: Indica

THC: 20-25%

CBD:  2%

Retail Price: $6-10 per gram

When we explore the world of anxiety-relieving marijuana, we can't seem to get rid of strains that have 'OG' or 'Kush' in their names. One reason is that OG Kush is such a popular variety in general, especially among medical users. The other is this weed's versatility both in terms of use and cultivation – that's why this genetic spawned so many hybrids and most of them are great. Skywalker OG is just one representative of this extensive family. These buds' effects are euphoric, but it's not the kind of euphoria that makes you jump up and down from limitless joy. Rather, you'll feel fulfilled, content, and very-very drowsy – the perfect state to put your troubles on hold and sleep like a baby till morning.

9. Remedy

Best Weed Strains for Anxiety: Remedy

This CBD-rich strain is a Remedy indeed, and anxiety is just one of the indications.

 

Strain Type: Indica

THC: 1%

CBD:  13%

Retail Price: $9 per gram

Remedy's buds are just as resinous and pungent-smelling as any other marijuana out there. Looking at them and sniffing them, you may suspect devastating potency, but nothing is farther from the truth. This cannabis only has about 1% THC – not enough to produce any high worth mentioning, but people smoke it for 13% CBD. It's enough to take care of your pain, spasticity, inflammation, and many other conditions. And, of course, anxiety. In fact, it's one of the main uses mentioned by medical patients. The other two are pain and depression. With a chemical composition and a name like this, Remedy is often sold not as flowers but as an ingredient in CBD oils and vape cartridges.

10. Trident

Best Weed Strains for Anxiety: Trident

This two- rather than three-pronged medicine is equally effective for mental and physical disorders.

 

Strain Type: Sativa

THC: 3-7%

CBD:  8-10%

Retail Price: $9 per gram

Trident is a perfect strain of weed when you want to stay medicated throughout the day but don't want the effects to interfere with your focus and clarity of mind. Though unobtrusive, the effects of 3-7% THC will definitely be there and, in conjunction with 8-10% CBD, they'll help you combat many symptoms.  This is medical marijuana at its finest, and it's equally effective against physical conditions, such as pain, and mental ones, such as anxiety and stress. The buds look great, are very frosty, and smell strong and fresh thanks to the abundant quantity of limonene.

11. Master Kush

Best Weed Strains for Anxiety: Master Kush

The mellowness itself, Master Kush is the perfect anxiolytic.

 

Strain Type: Indica

THC: 17-24%

CBD:  1%

Retail Price: $8 per gram

The name of Master Kush adequately captures the nature of this Indica as the pinnacle of breeding involving only the original genetics from the Hindukush region in Afghanistan. Afghan people have used hashish made from a very similar kind of cannabis for centuries, and they often did it to unwind from back-breaking labor and to get distracted from the hardships of their life. With Master Kush, you can get the same benefits – nip your anxiety in bud, forget the meaning of the word 'stress', and get rid of chronic pain too. Although strong by any metrics, these buds are a very mellow smoke.

12. Canna-Tsu

Best Weed Strains for Anxiety: Canna-Tsu

Canna-Tsu is the next generation of high-CBD strains, very effective for anything, including anxiety.

 

Strain Type: Hybrid

THC: 10%

CBD:  10%

Retail Price: $10-14 per gram

If you're looking for a perfectly balanced THC-CBD strain, Canna-Tsu should be your ultimate choice as it packs both cannabinoids in equal measure and together they reach an astounding 20%. Now, 10% THC is enough to produce a medium-strong effect on the head and body, while 10% CBD will counterbalance it, creating a sense of calm and contentment and a positive outlook on life. It's the ideal weed for 'lightweight' recreational smokers as well as those medical patients who don't need pronounced psychoactive effects but mostly derive the healing power of cannabis from cannabidiol.

13. Jillybean

Best Weed Strains for Anxiety: Jillybean

Ramp up your social skills and get rid of social anxiety with Jillybean.

 

Strain Type: Sativa

THC: 15-18%

CBD:  0%

Retail Price: $9-10 per gram

Smoke Jillybean before going out and it will make your social anxiety go away, turning you into a suave party animal – full of bright ideas and confident enough to say them out loud. It's the strong Sativa influence in these buds that puts you in a talkative mood. It also pumps you full of energy and motivation. But never forget about the dark side of any Sativa genetics – smoke too much and the same buds will cause a raging paranoia. Fortunately, the high but not too high level of THC is just enough for you to moderate the consumption the way you like. Medicinally, this orange- and mango-smelling marijuana is also used to relieve stress and paranoia.

14. Northern Lights

Best Weed Strains for Anxiety: Northern Lights

Northern Lights can shield you against any unpleasant feelings.

 

Strain Type: Indica

THC: 18%

CBD:  0%

Retail Price: $10-15 per gram

Northern Lights is a classical Indica with the type of high that right away settles in your body, relaxing muscles and creating a pleasant warm-blanket sensation. At the same time, it blissfully slows down your brain so that you basically stop thinking let alone worrying about anything. For people seeking cognitive distortions, it may be not the most interesting strain. Perhaps, that's why there are so many crosses of NL with Hazes and other Sativas. However, the same absence of strong cognitive effects is the promise that they'll remain non-threatening and won't cause anxiety or paranoia.

15. Purple Urkle

Best Weed Strains for Anxiety: Purple Urkle

Anxiety often leads to insomnia, and this is where Purple Urkle will come to the rescue.

 

Strain Type: Indica

THC: 12-24%

CBD:  0%

Retail Price: $7-8 per gram

Purple Urkle is perfect for those patients whose anxiety has gone out of hand and led to insomnia. This sleep-inducing Indica acts fast and should be a permanent fixture on your bedside table. It's also relaxing and body-numbing and can be used as a painkiller. Like many of the best weed strains on the market, Purple Urkle is also a masterpiece in terms of aroma and taste and thus enjoys a cult following among recreational and medical smokers alike. Besides skunky and berry-like notes (which are more common), these buds offer a unique flavor of fresh grapes that somehow seems like a perfect fit for their exotic color.

 

NameTypeTHC, %CBD, %Price, $
AC/DCSativa11310
CannatonicHybrid498-9
Granddaddy PurpleIndica20-2718
White WidowHybrid1516-8
PennywiseIndica885
Jack HererSativa1819-10
Sour OGHybrid2105
Skywalker OGIndica20-2526-10
RemedyIndica1139
TridentSativa3-78-109
Master KushIndica17-2418
Canna-TsuHybrid101010-14
JillybeanSativa15-1809-10
Northern LightsIndica18010-15
Purple UrkleIndica12-2407-8

Anxiety-relieving strains of weed and their characteristics.

How to Choose the Best Weed Strains for Anxiety

We’ve already briefly touched on the subject when we were discussing the science of using marijuana for anxiety. Now, let’s repeat it in the form of practical guidelines.

1. Try Strains with Higher Levels of CBD

The modern cannabis seed market offers a plethora of high-CBD strains. There are three main categories:

  • High-THC strains that also have something like 2% CBD. They aren’t the best weed strains for anxiety as many patients are overwhelmed by THC to really notice CBD effects. These varieties are the best for those smokers who use weed for recreational purposes or for certain medical conditions but are glad to have an above-average CBD content as a bonus healing component.
  • 1:1 THC:CBD strains. In such varieties, the levels of both cannabinoids are medium to high. They’ll be a perfect smoke for those recreational users or patients who want to mellow out the anxiety-inducing effects of too much THC. You’ll still feel high but never on the edge of panic or paranoia.
  • Low-THC high-CBD strains (such as FastBuds’ in-house CBD Auto 20:1). In such weed, THC can be close to zero or so low as to be classified as hemp (a legal cultivar in most countries). At the same time, the CBD level can reach 20% or more. It’s pure medicine without any psychoactive nonsense. You’ll probably feel calmer but not very noticeably so, and the effects will accumulate over time, making you a less anxious type of person. A high CBD content makes the best weed for stress and anxiety.

2. Read Testing Labels

If you buy your buds at a dispensary or rec shop, always pay attention to the specifications on the labels. Don’t look only at CBD and THC percentages. Terpenes are also important (see more above). A high content of linalool, limonene, and caryophyllene is a sign that the medicine is especially anxiety-relieving while myrcene will make the stoned feelings produced by THC even more profound.

3. Dose Carefully

The single most important thing that’ll make or break your experience with weed is the correct dosing. For beginner smokers, it’s the easiest to moderate use with medium-potent strains. More experienced smokers can learn to do the same with the most potent genetics. Just take a small hit and wait up to a half hour to see if your anxiety subsides or you get more anxious. Depending on the result, you can take even a lighter puff next time.

Conclusion

When you want to find the best strain of weed for anxiety, don’t look for a magic bullet. Everyone’s experience with weed is individual. Some people can’t tolerate THC at all and may only find benefit in a CBD-rich variety. Others fall in love with every strain they try and feel happy and fulfilled in every smoking session. These are extremes, and most people fall in between. So, use our guidelines and take a closer look at our Top 15. Chances are that one of them will become your favorite cannabis strain for anxiety and panic. We wish you all the luck in your experiments!

FAQ

Can CBD treat anxiety?

Out of all the cannabinoids found in marijuana, CBD is the prime candidate as an anxiolytic. Probably because it's been researched the most. CBD is not psychoactive, so it has been extensively used in clinical trials and they confirmed that the substance was useful in treating anxiety and alleviating its symptoms.

Do certain strains of weed cause anxiety?

Any strain of weed can cause anxiety in a predisposed person. Some strains have a chemical composition that is more likely to do so. If you're anxiety-prone, be cautious about varieties with an extremely high THC content and with CBD levels that are close to zero. Also, pure Sativas and Sativa-dominant hybrids may be more likely to make you anxious than Indicas.

Externals

  1. Cannabidiol as a Potential Treatment for Anxiety Disorders, Neurotherapeutics. 2015 Oct
  2. Cannabis, a cause for anxiety? A critical appraisal of the anxiogenic and anxiolytic properties, J Transl Med. 2020

 

14 October 2022