The Amazon Rainforest is ablaze, the ice caps are vanishing faster than a Sno Cone on a summer Sunday, the global economy has been hijacked by like 34 billionaires, rent certainly isn’t going down, and for some odd reason, anxiety is more rampant than in lived history.
At least we have weed.
Here’s some advice for smoking weed without the paranoia and anxiety some people experience
First, don’t knock CBD (at least until you’ve tried it)
Since CBD isn’t “psychoactive,” a lot of people think “CBD? Not for me!” But some of them are missing out… CBD pairs nicely with THC, and helps to mellow out those adverse side effects like anxiety, paranoia, racing heart, etc. It also adds to the “full-bodiedness” of the high and helps relax your muscles and soothe aches. CBD is non-toxic, so there is a negligible risk of consuming too much, and if you are used to smoking a lot of pot you might need a higher dose.
Second, check your terpenes!
Terpenes are those super dank aromatic compounds in cannabis that make it smell so strong. The reason some strains smell like skunk while others smell like oranges is because of the different terpenes you can find in each strain. Terpenes do more than just give your pot scent and flavor; terpenes can also affect your mood and influence the personality of the high. Think about your trip to the massage therapist where they might have lavender oil in a diffuser by the massage table. Aside from making the room smell nice, lavender is known to help ease tension and relax muscles. Linalool, the same terpene found in lavender, is also found in some cannabis strains like LA Confidential, and, unsurprisingly, Lavender OG. Terpenes such as Myrcene, Linalool, and Terpinolene are great anti-anxiety terpenes to seek. Websites like Leafly can help determine the terpenes common to the strains at your local dispensary.
Third, give hybrids a try
It’s true, generally speaking, indica strains are more relaxing than sativa strains, but the reality is a little more nuanced. Some sativas like Haze, Durban Poison, or Green Crack are known for feeling like coffee, sending users either into a productive frenzy or an anxious trainwreck. However, those sativa strains are mostly genetically pure, meaning they are non-hybridized, 100% sativas. On the hybrid side, strains like Blue Dream or Strawberry Cough can offer awake social alertness without the paranoid or anxious feeling that accompanies most true sativas. Certain hybrid strains are excellent low-anxiety options as well, notably Girl Scout Cookies and GG #4. Indicas are notoriously relaxing and low-anxiety, but some indicas can have surprisingly “sativa” qualities. “Purple” strains like Purple Chemdawg, Purple Trainwreck, or Purple Lemon Haze (not Granddaddy Purple, Purple Punch, or Purple Urkle) can carry those exhilarating anxiety-inducing sativa qualities.
Lastly, consider supplementing your usual cannabis intake with a tincture.
Some cannabis tinctures sold at your local dispensary are formulated to promote stress-relief, relaxation, or soothe anxiety. Aside from having a heavy-indica profile, tinctures will sometimes combine CBD or herbal remedies like valerian, chamomile, kava kava, or lavender to facilitate the relaxing effects of the “high.” Even if you don’t rely solely on a tincture for your cannabis fix, supplementing your normal smoke session with an appropriate tincture may help “take the edge off.”
Cannabis alone can’t fix or cure anxiety, and for some, it may not help at all. But for those of us who use pot for occasional stress-relief, it’s essential to know which qualities of which strains are going to promote the desired effect, and which aren’t.