In today’s world of constant stimulation from social media, email, text messages and phone calls, rising job insecurity, and both national and international tension, stress is at an all-time high. Feelings of stress or anxiety release cortisol – the stress hormone. Cortisol plays a significant role helping us deal with stress by shutting down unnecessary functions, like reproduction and the immune system, so that the body may direct all focus toward dealing with the stress. The functions of cortisol are beneficial in their natural state, believe it or not, but they are supposed to be temporary, lasting just long enough to narrow your focus on dealing with the stressor by fighting or fleeing. However, modern-day stressors are complicated and often resolution cannot be found with fight nor flight. So we live out lives on a constant supply of cortisol which leads to high blood pressure, less sleep, sickness and disease, loss of muscle and bone density, loss of hair, and neurodegeneration. It’s obvious then, that we should avoid stress as much as possible, but in those situations where it is inescapable, how do we go about reducing stress, how do we ensure we have down time, how do we ensure we relax? Well, one of the best ways we know of is to use medical marijuana.
But with an almost endless supply of strains, each producing its own unique set of effects inside the body, it can be a slow and arduous process of elimination trying to find the elixir of relaxation. That’s why we’ve written this article to help you find the best of the best medical marijuana strain for relaxing so you can get right to the smoking, eating, or drinking the potent plant.
Don’t Strain For a Strain!
In deciding on a strain, a knowledge of THC and CBD and the difference between the two is the most important thing, so that’s what we’ll go into first.
The strands available – indica, sativa, and hybrids – all contain a whole host of cannabinoids. In fact, there are at least 113 different cannabinoids isolated from cannabis, each responsible for distinct effects in the body. A cannabinoid is a class of chemical compounds that acts on cannabinoid receptors (involved in a variety of physiological processes including appetite, pain, mood, and memory) in cells that alter neurotransmitter release in the brain. THC is the primary psychoactive cannabinoid of cannabis – responsible for the high as well as being anti-inflammatory, neuroprotective, and antiemetic. However, those suffering from anxiety, paranoia or those with a propensity toward mental illness are likely to react poorly to the psychoactive THC. In fact, unless your particular ailment calls for it, we recommend finding a strain lower in THC and higher in CBD.
Cannabidiol (CBD) is another major component of the plant and the one accountable for many of the medicinal properties. Scientists say that CBD modulates electrical and chemical activity thereby quieting the excessive activity in the brain that causes seizures. Users of strains high in CBD describe a cerebral high and studies have shown that it is an anti-psychotic likely to help with stress, anxiety, mental illness, and behavioral issues.
As we just mentioned, there are two main species of marijuana: sativa and indica, as well as also hybrids of the two. Both come with a unique smell, taste, and strength profile. Sativa has a fruity, sweet aroma while indica tends to have an acrid, stinky odor. But the most important distinction between the plants is the amounts of THC and CBD in them. Plants with high levels of THC are typically considered indica; while plants with high levels of CBD are typically considered sativa.
Sativa increases creativity, energy, and serotonin (a neurotransmitter that is responsible for the maintenance of mood balance and plays a huge role in the prevention of depression) with its high concentration of CBD.
Note: Asking your local dispensary about specific strains for relaxation will help pinpoint your ideal strain, but nothing beats a bit of experimenting: each of us has a different composition and, as such, will react uniquely to each strain in ways that may differ from expectations garnered from the norm. But below are our two favorite strains for relieving anxiety.
White Widow (Hybrid)
A cross between a South American Sativa and an Indian indica, this strain creates a sense of euphoria and positivity making it ideal for those who suffer from generalized anxiety, PTSD, and depression.
OG Kush (Hybrid)
Possibly the most popular hybrid is OG Kush. It creates a gentle elation ideal for users with extreme anxiety and PTSD. Not so relaxing you are left bed-ridden: this is high-functioning stuff.
So now you know how to find yourself the ideal medical marijuana strain to leave you relaxed and happy. Make sure you have your medical marijuana card so you can start to benefit from the drug’s long list of health benefits.