If you ask anyone who smokes weed about the plant’s effect on their mood, chances are you’ll get the same answer: weed is calming and helps them relax.
The anxiety-reducing properties of weed have been researched for a long time. The effect of cannabis on anxiety-related conditions are now well documented, and research into how different strains can help is still ongoing.
In this article we’ll answer some common questions about weed and anxiety and we’ll also explain everything you need to know about the top 15 best strains for reducing anxious moods.
> Quick jump to: Top 15 Best strains for anxiety
Does weed help with anxiety?
Anxiety is one of the most common mental health issues out there, as it’s believed it affects more than 25 million people in Europe alone.
Because anxiety is so widespread, a lot of attention has been given to ways of reducing or even eliminating its harmful effect on physical and mental health. Studies have confirmed that if used correctly, cannabis has medicinal properties, one of which is the ability to reduce anxiety. For example, in a 2018 study, participants reported a 58% reduction in depressive and anxious feelings after consuming weed.
However, anxiety is a complex problem. You should keep in mind that what works for one person doesn’t necessarily work for others. So before consuming cannabis, it’s important to understand that there are different types of anxiety, including:
- Anxiety triggered by phobias (extreme fear to certain things or situations). So far, research has found some differences in how THC and CBD act on this type of anxiety, and does not support the use of THC.
- Social anxiety. The impact of cannabis on social anxiety is still under research, but some studies suggest that CDB can reduce the anxious response some people have in social situations.
- Generalized anxiety disorder. The general agreement is that more research is needed to establish a link between this type of anxiety and cannabis use. Some people find some improvement when using weed, but researchers believe it’s due to their positive expectations.
- PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder). Some studies suggest that weed can be used to support PTSD treatment, and that some PTSD patients are more likely to recover if they use cannabis.
- Panic attacks. Some research suggests that cannabis could trigger panic attacks due to its physical effects, such as an elevated heart rate and other changes that may be concerning to some weed users. We talk more about this in the section “Anxiety after smoking weed?”
In the following section, we will compare different strains and their effects on anxiety.
* Please note: if you suffer from anxiety, we strongly recommend consulting a doctor first prior to using cannabis.
High THC vs High CBD strains for anxiety
Even though their structures are similar, THC and CBD strains have different effects on anxiety.
THC weed has strong psychoactive properties. Once the THC compound binds to receptors in the brain, it causes the euphoric high that many people associate with weed use. This can benefit people who have trouble getting through the day or who experience depressive symptoms. But for someone with certain types of anxiety (like panic attacks) this high can be difficult to manage and can make the anxious feeling worse.
On the other hand, CBD strains don’t cause this high, so they’re generally considered a safer option for managing general anxiety.
Indica vs Sativa
Indica and Sativa are two different species of the cannabis plant, and they can have different effects on anxiety.
Indica usually has a calming or even sedative effect, and has a higher CBD content than Sativa, which normally has a stimulating effect.
However, research on the effects of these species is still ongoing. So don’t take the above as a hard and fast rule, and remember that people can still react differently.
Anxiety after smoking weed?
Weed can be beneficial for people affected by different types of anxiety, but you should also know that it can also actually induce anxiety in some people.
Medical researchers believe that high THC strains could trigger anxiety, and the same goes for the excessive consumption of weed. Although researchers cannot establish a cause-effect relationship, we encourage everyone to make individual choices supported by solid knowledge.
So is there anything you can do to avoid having this anxious feeling during or after smoking? Yes, and here are some useful tips to help you do that.
- Recognize the symptoms, so you don’t think they’re a heart attack or other serious condition. Symptoms include quick heart beats, chills or sweating, feeling dizzy or nauseous, chest pain, problems breathing normally, and blurred or tunnel vision.
- If you start experiencing anxiety symptoms, remind yourself that you’re not in danger. The body can handle it, and it knows how much anxiety it can tolerate. Once it reaches its maximum level, the body will shut the symptoms off automatically. So remember that the symptoms are only a temporary response and in most cases they will go away within 10 minutes.
- While that happens, find somewhere quiet where you can sit or find a comfortable position and focus on your breathing, not on the symptoms.
- Have a cool or warm shower and concentrate on how the water runs down your skin.
- Find something to hold, hug, or stroke. Again, the key is to take your attention away from symptoms, and focus on something else, like the texture of an object.
- ACDC - best high CBD strain for anxiety
- Jack Herer auto - best for anxiety and energy
- Harlequin - best for social anxiety
- Trainwreck - best for anxiety and focus
- Northern Lights - best daytime strain for anxiety
- Girl Scout Cookies auto - best indica strain for anxiety
- Sour Diesel - best for anxiety and ADHD
- OG Kush - best for anxiety and panic attacks
- Granddaddy Purple - best for anxiety and depression
- Purple Urkle
- Green Crack auto
- Blue Dream auto
- Gorilla Glue 4
- Skywalker OG
Let’s look at these top 15 strains in detail.
ACDC gets consistently rated as the best overall high CBD strain for anxiety. This strain consists of 40-60 Indica/Sativa.
This is a hybrid strain suitable for both indoor and outdoor growing, and it takes approximately 10 weeks to flower. ACDC is best cultivated by a moderate grower profile.
This strain has almost no intoxicating effect and enjoys a widespread use against anxiety, since it has an uplifting effect. ACDC has a higher CBD content (around 20%) vs approx 3% THC, which help with anxiety, especially if it’s caused by stress, sleep disorders, or chronic pain.
Jack Herer was developed in the Netherlands in the 1990s as a hybrid of 2 Indica, 1 Sativa and 1 Ruderalis varieties. This combination makes it great for those seeking both an energy boost and anxiety reduction.
Jack Herer auto-flowering seeds and can be grown by beginners indoor, outdoor, or in a greenhouse. Harvest time is standard at 10 weeks or less.
This strain mainly contains THC at 19% plus 0.1% CBD and small CBG levels, which together take the edge off anxiety and have an energizing effect.
As a Sativa-dominant strain, Harlequin seeds are known for their high CBD content, which makes them ideal to minimize the effects of social anxiety.
Harlequin is a great option for first-time growers as it has high resistance to fungus, grows quickly, and is suited to all growing conditions (indoor, outdoor, and in greenhouses), as long as humidity is kept in check.
Harlequin is 75% Sativa and 25% Indica, with a 15% CBD and only 6% THC. This means it has a calming and slightly uplifting effect, so you feel comfortable in social situations.
With its citrusy notes and high THC content, Trainwreck is the result of an exotic Mexican, Thai, and Afghan heritage.
Trainwreck is a common choice among hobby growers or those who prefer growing Sativa-dominant strains. Growing conditions can be both indoors and outdoors, but if you grow it indoors, be sure to give it ample vertical space – this plant grows tall quickly!
Due to its high THC content of approximately 20% and 0.4% CBD, Trainwreck will be a hit for anyone looking to feel energized, creative, and focused.
As its name suggests, this high-THC strain can bring the feeling of awe and inspiration that you would get when seeing the famous aurora borealis lights.
This strain has a shorter than average flowering period, so it will suit growers who just can’t wait to harvest the buds – you can have them in your hands in as little as 65 days. Northern Lights grows in indoor and outdoor settings with relatively low maintenance.
This strain contains 18% THC and 1.5% CBD. As a result, it will give you the relaxed edge you need to accomplish things during the day without letting anxiety get in the way.
If you’re ready to experiment with Indica strains and see what they can do to improve anxiety symptoms, you can’t go wrong with this Californian strain.
Girl Scout Cookies is an auto-flowering variety that does well indoor, in sunny outdoor settings, and in greenhouses. Moreover, it doesn’t require any special skills, so it’s great for beginner growers.
High THC levels of more than 22% and a 0.5% touch of CBD result in a euphoric and creative feeling that will take over any anxiety.
A classic Sativa-dominant strain with powerful medicinal properties that is popular to reduce the effects of anxiety-related disorders.
Sour Diesel has a fantastic harvest potential, grow big in just 10 weeks and the yields are substantial. Beginners can grow Sour Diesel indoors, outdoors, and in greenhouses – just beware of the strong odor.
This is a potent strain with 19% THC and 0.4% CBD, which give you the pick-me-up you need to face the day with confidence and without anxiety.
If you’re into cannabis classics and want to expand your experience of Indica-dominant varieties, OG Kush is a great option to continue your journey.
Growing OG Kush does require some previous experience, but once you get the hang of it you’ll be rewarded with solid growth and an impressive harvest. You have better chances of success when growing it in a controlled environment.
This is a 75% Indica strain with 20% THC and 0.4% CBD, which work together to give you a cerebral high that brings uplifting feelings of euphoria and keep you away from panic attacks.
This eye-catching variety is originally from California, but is now highly-sought after in Europe due to its bold flavor profile and attractive looks.
Granddaddy Purple delivers fantastic yields, so it’s very rewarding to grow even for beginners. It can be grown indoors, outdoors, and in greenhouses as it’s a tough little plant with great resistance to pests and fungus.
80% Indica with an impressive 23% THC levels makes Granddaddy Purple a great choice if you’re ready to try a high Indica strain that gives you that feel-good and bold effect.
A delight for Indica lovers who are drawn to its pretty purple shade, aromatic power, and low maintenance requirements.
Purple Urkle is a good choice for growers with some previous Indica experience, as it takes some work to get the soil composition right. Once that happens, Purple Urkle grows fast indoors and outdoors, and you can expect to see the first flowers in about 60 days.
Due to its high THC levels of around 20%, Purple Urkle delivers feelings of contentment and relaxation and set you in the right mood for creative tasks.
This is an 80% Indica and 20% Sativa strain with great medicinal potential to fight stress and anxiety that appeals to both beginner and experienced growers.
Pennywise is characterized by its small to medium-sized buds and grows easily in indoor and outdoor conditions, given the plant’s sturdiness in arid, temperate, and Mediterranean weather.
Pennywise is a fabulous variety that balances THC and CBD levels at approximately 15% each. This means Pennywise takes the edge off anxiety, bringing deep relaxation and even a sleep-inducing effect.
This is a great auto-flowering hybrid strain known for its generous yields and potent uplifting effect thanks to its high THC levels.
Green Crack is ready to harvest in about 50 days from planting date and while it can grow outdoors, it’s popular among indoor or greenhouse growers due to its compact size.
Green Crack packs 21% THC and 0.7% CBD, coming from 50% Sativa and 30% Indica plants. This strain is perfect for daytime use whenever you need to keep anxiety at bay and maintain stable energy levels that boost your mood and creativity.
An attractive-looking auto-flowering strain loved by growers in Europe and North America. This Sativa-dominant variety is popular due to its potent medicinal effect.
Blue Dream flowers in under 2 months and does not require previous growing experience. This strain loves Mediterranean-style sunny and dry weather, but it also does well indoors or in greenhouses as long as it gets enough light.
Blue Dream contains 19% THC and 0.8% CBD. The result is an energy boost and a euphoric mood that together can keep you motivated while you go about your day.
This is a hybrid strain appreciated for its potency and often used in concentrated cannabis products. Gorilla Glue 4 is suitable for nighttime consumption.
Gorilla Glue #4 is a sturdy and fast-growing variety that will deliver high yields even in the hands of beginner growers. It grows outdoors, indoors, and in sheltered greenhouses.
This strain is high in THC at 25%, accompanied by 1.5% CBD. This combination can have a deeply relaxing and numbing effect, so you may want to try it if you struggle with anxious thoughts that interfere with your sleep.
This Indica-dominant hybrid brings you the best of Kush OG and Skywalker varieties, known for their therapeutic effects on anxiety symptoms.
Growing Skywalker can present some challenges to beginner growers, so it does best in the hands of moderate cultivators, irrespective of the growing setting (indoors, outdoors, or hydroponic set-ups).
20% THC and 0.5% CBD combine to deliver powerful feelings of calm and a relaxed state that will make you forget about anxiety.
Grow the best strains for anxiety yourself!
As you can see, there is a weed strain for every situation and time of the day. Medicinal cannabis can help reduce anxiety-related symptoms and give you the confidence to go ahead with your daily routine.
If you want to get started growing one or more of the anxiety-reducing strains listed in this article, at Weedseedsexpress you’ll find everything you need. Start looking for your favorite seeds here.