Does Weed Help With Stress? Relief & Benefits
This post is part of our Best Dispensary in Los Angeles series, sponsored by Project Cannabis.
Disclaimer: The content provided in this article is intended for informational purposes only and not as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always speak to your doctor about the risks of stress and benefits of any treatment.
Stress is the killer of joy. It can infiltrate all aspects of our being and make life all the more challenging to enjoy and appreciate. When we are in a state of stress, our cortisol levels spike, throwing our hormones out of whack and wreaking havoc on our physical bodies and mental space. With so much on our plates, it can seem impossible to find time to relax or stay in the present. Our to-do lists can become never-ending burdens that pile up, and the cycle perpetuates.
Thankfully, there are tons of ways to alleviate stress–though sometimes it can feel tough to find the time to squeeze stress-reducing activities in. Regular movement and physical exercise, practicing breathing techniques and meditation, a healthy dose of social interaction, attending a comedy show, journaling, and nourishing our bodies with healthy, nutrient-dense food can all provide relief from stress.
But that’s not all! Weed–a knight in shining armor–might come to the rescue to shield you from the stressors of everyday life and provide a way to release unwanted tension in the body and mind. It may help you muster up the energy and courage to stand up to stress, look it right in the eye, and say “not today!”
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How Does Weed Help With Stress?
Whoa, so does weed help with stress? This isn’t just a gimmick, is it?
Tons of studies support that consuming cannabis offers potent stress alleviation, due to the way cannabinoids–such as THC and CBD–bind to our body’s endocannabinoid receptors. This process of binding is thought to produce a biological response that controls our behavioral reaction to “stressful” stimuli. Be it a looming work deadline, a recent breakup, a death in the family, a health concern, an unforeseen substantial expense, car troubles–what have you–consuming cannabis just might help mitigate stress and offer a better solution to how you cope with anxiety-inducing situations.
In the same way that interacting with peers and exercising can help amplify your endocannabinoid levels and decrease levels of stress, so too can weed, some scientists believe. The euphoric properties in the psychoactive substance are thought to directly contribute to your mood and emotional state, assisting you in feeling heightened positive emotions. A potent form of stress relief at the snap of your fingers? Yes please!
Ok, sure, cannabis might help you relax and boost your happiness meter, but does weed reduce cortisol?
The Role of Cannabis in Alleviating Symptoms
If you have a tendency to get caught up in all the commotion happening in your work, life, or relationships, marijuana may be a viable option–potentially working as an anti-anxiety plant medicine to wipe your worries away and help you relax. In fact, research asserts that cannabis interacts with the body comparable to how anti-anxiety medications do–without the associated negative side effects that such medications might cause.
Because cannabinoids interact with receptors throughout the nervous system, consuming cannabis is thought to facilitate in regulating production of cortisol while producing calming effects. The psychoactive component of weed is the reason it is widely prescribed as a remedy for stress.
Stress can also be the culprit for poor sleep, forgetting to stay on track with a regular eating schedule, and tension build up in the body. Other potential benefits of cannabis for stress may include sleep aid, increased appetite, muscle relief, and increased capacity to relax.
The History of Weed Being Used to Relieve Stress
Did you know that historically, cannabis has been used as a stress reliever?
Evidence suggests that marijuana as a stress reliever was considered a medical treatment and prescribed to patients starting around the early 1900s. If you were to ask a doctor in that time period “Does weed help with stress?” they would likely tell you the same thing we are– “you betcha!” (Would be a lot cooler if they did, anyway.)
Interestingly enough, various other schedule 1 and schedule 2 drugs–such as morphine–were also distributed at that time to combat other undesirable negative symptoms such as nervousness and anxiety.
Is Smoking The Only Way To Use Weed To Treat Stress?
If you’re not a huge fan of smoking, you may still be able to experience the powerful effects of cannabis–as they relate to stress relief–through several methods. You can consume cannabis by way of a tasty gummy, edible, or THC or CBD infused beverage, or you can scope out body oils, creams, lotions, topicals, or even transdermal patches if you’re worried about the taste and would prefer not to ingest weed. There are also vapes that come with oil cartridges if you want something more portable and convenient to hit on the go for easy-access stress relief.
Best Strains For Stress
Now that you know the low down of using marijuana for stress management, it’s important to understand which strains provide the best results in treating stress. Ask yourself what you’re feeling and take note of any behavioral changes you may be experiencing as a side effect of stress. Are you stress eating? Or have you noticed you’ve lost your appetite as a result of being too stressed out? Try out a variety that helps with appetite loss, such as Girl Scout Cookie–the perfect strain to put you into a relaxed state while also increasing your desire for a little snack.
Have you noticed your sleep patterns are all over the place, or that you have not had a good night’s rest in quite some time? You may want to opt for an indica-dominant hybrid such as Wedding Cake to help promote a better night’s sleep, which can also be a source of stress. Northern Lights is another popular strain known for its terpene combination with myrcene. This is a great strain to help you relax, and go night-night, while still cultivating a state of contentment.
Perhaps stress has had you on edge lately. If you notice you’ve been a bit snappy to your peers and loved ones lately, Sour Diesel–a sativa–dominant hybrid–might provide mental stimulation, improve mood, and serve a divine cannabis strain for stress reduction.
Seeing as stress can cause not just emotional tension but also physical tension, you might want to scope out a weed that helps with muscle recovery and pain relief such as Granddaddy Purple–a hybrid believed to cultivate an internal peaceful state in the mind and body. It also contains Linalool–a terpene recognized for its calming properties–and Camphene–a natural stress reliever.
Blue Dream–a sativa-dominant hybrid–is a winner winner chicken dinner for managing stress. Not only will it potentially steer you back on track with concentration that might have been challenging while stressed out, but it could also ease anxiety and conquer insomnia.
Is Sativa or Indica Better For Stress?
When it boils down to it, sativa and indica are both thought to have advantages as they relate to stress relief. What route you decide to go depends on what you are trying to experience and how you are hoping to feel.
Sativa is a powerful and potent strain thought to help with stress relief for those who want to feel a new wave of energy, mental clarity, and creativity. Indica may also help with stress relief, but is recommended to be used when you are planning to wind down or relax, often better for end of day consumption. A hybrid might provide a healthy in between of these two states–where you are feeling soothed, less on edge, but still stimulated and enthusiastic.
It should be noted that in larger quantities, THC can actually heighten stress, paranoia, and anxiety, so always consult with your doctor and stick to the recommended dosage suggested to you for your individual tolerance and needs. CBD, on the other hand, when taken in larger quantities, can actually benefit those who experience stress.
How To Purchase Marijuana
A favorite Los Angeles Cannabis Dispensary of ours–Project Cannabis–offers loads of candies, creams, and fresh nuggets of weed that could potentially serve as the ideal, low risk treatment for stress. Their supply is off the chain, and their budtenders are more than ecstatic to help you boot stress out the door and invite in a healthier lifestyle where stress doesn’t consume you or impact your daily life.
Ready to kick stress to the curb? Check out Project Cannabis for some stress relievers and mood enhancers today!
Key Takeaways On Weed And Stress
So, does weed help with stress? One more time for the people in the back…heck yes! (At least, that’s what the research is showing!)
- Weed is thought to be an effective natural stress reliever
- Cannabis was prescribed in the early 1900s–by doctors–as a treatment for stress
- Social interaction and physical movement are also thought to be powerful stress relievers, offering the same positive behavioral response that happens when weed interacts with the body
- CBD as indica strains may help promote sleep, as well as reduce anxiety and stress-relief, great for those struggling with insomnia as a side effect of stress (or stress as a side effect of insomnia)
- Cannabis may act as an anxiety reliever and mood enhancer, which can counteract feelings of overwhelm and intense stress
It’s not difficult to deduce that weed may help mitigate stress levels. If you’ve been looking to try new ways to help balance your mood and calm your worries, without having to worry about a laundry list of negative side effects, you may want to see for yourself if cannabis can serve as a powerful remedy for stress reduction. With a little help from Mary Jane, you just might start to help manage your stress and watch your worries melt away.
As Timon and Pumbaa like to say, Hakuna Matata–no worries for the rest of your days!
Media credits: Images of concepts about weed helping with stress in this article are copyright of LaJolla.com.