Is Sativa or Indica Better Against Anxiety?

Hand holding weed leaves image
Hand holding green cannabis leaf in cannabis garden. Shallow depth of field and blurred background. Close-up

Anxiety is never a good feeling to experience. Unfortunately, sometimes anxiety can happen out of the blue – especially for those diagnosed with a generalized anxiety disorder (GAD). Yet, when it comes to marijuana and its relationship to anxiety, it’s rather complicated. For some, weed has been great for alleviating anxiety.

Meanwhile, others have experienced otherwise, finding it triggered anxiety in them. So, what exactly is the truth regarding anxiety and marijuana? Well, the answer might depend on the type of cannabis flowers. After all, weed comes in strains of sativa, indica, or even as a hybrid. Understand the links between marijuana and anxiety to see whether certain strains can be helpful or hindering. Learn everything here.

Understanding THC & CBD

Most are keen to dive into what strains of cannabis flowers work for or against anxiety. That might seem lucrative to know, but it’s best to understand how the components of cannabis interact with your body. Two active compounds, cannabidiol (CBD) and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), in cannabis interact with your endocannabinoid system.

Your endocannabinoid system (ECS) regulates various functions and processes. When cannabis interacts with your ECS, it can bind to two certain receptors. One is your CB1 receptors, which are found mainly in your central nervous system. Meanwhile, CB2 receptors are found in your peripheral nervous system – notably your immune cells.

THC & Your ECS

You know that high you get from marijuana? You can thank the compound THC for that. Since THC is psychoactive, it has a potent effect on your body. Why? When the THC interacts with your ECS, it binds to your CB1 and CB2 receptors. In turn, it results in affecting your body and mind.

Usually, it can lead to an increase in appetite as well as leave a euphoric, relaxed feeling. However, cannabis with high THC levels can trigger or worsen anxiety for some folks. That’s why anyone with a history of anxiety should refrain from cannabis with higher levels of THC.

CBD & Your ECS

Not into getting high but want the benefits of cannabis? Many cannabis users get this through CBD. Unlike THC, CBD is non-psychoactive and interacts with your ECS differently. There are different theories on why it doesn’t give you a high feeling. One assumes it works by preventing endocannabinoids from being broken down, which explains how it affects your body instead of your mind.

Another explanation assumes CBD binds to a receptor that hasn’t been discovered yet. Whatever the case, it has garnered a reputation for being a medicinal and therapeutic compound that keeps you clear of mind. Since CBD mainly affects the body and not the mind, many refer to choosing cannabis with high CBD for alleviating anxiety.

Anxiety is known for causing stress to the body that can manifest into physical symptoms like headaches, nausea, shortness of breath, shakiness, or stomach pain. With CBD, these symptoms are managed and won’t trigger or worsen anxiety.

So, What Cannabis Strain Helps Anxiety?

Walking into your local dispensary, most likely, you will be confronted with the question of whether you prefer sativas, indicas, or hybrids. For newbie cannabis users, it’s hard to know your preferences. And if you’re someone prone to anxiety, it’s important to understand what strains to go for and what to avoid.

What’s Sativa?

Sativa has a popular reputation for providing cannabis users with more of a ‘head high.” A head high is more of a cerebral effect than a body high, which can make you feel more happy, creative and energetic. However, it’s important to note that sativa strains typically have higher levels of THC. With that being said, it can potentially trigger anxiety.

In this case, it would be best to go for sativas that are low in THC or even avoid them. Yet, some people have found sativa strains that help with anxiety, such as Sour Diesel and Lemon OG Haze. Again, approach sativa strains with some caution if you suffer from anxiety more.

What’s Indica?

Indica has been known as the inverse of sativa. Instead of a head high, you can expect more of a body high with an indica. The reason being is that indica usually has higher levels of CBD. However, it doesn’t mean it doesn’t have some THC. It’s important to check for higher levels of CBD with lower levels of THC for an indica.

With that in mind, you can reduce the possibility of triggering anxiety while enjoying the relaxing effects it provides. Therefore, many assume indica is probably the better strain if you’re hoping not to trigger any anxiety and alleviate it. Grandaddy Purple is a good indica strain for anxiety if you’re willing to give it a shot.

Yet, if you’re not a fan of the sedating effects of indica, you might want to reconsider a hybrid strain. Just keep in mind the amount of CBD and THC to find one that might help and is less likely to trigger anxiety.

For the most part, it seems the best bet is to go for indica strains for anxiety. However, keeping in mind to ensure lower levels of THC, you can certainly enjoy hybrid strains. Again, everyone is different so you can give sativa strains a shot at your discretion. Hopefully, this was informative toward finding a strain that works against anxiety best.