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Anxious Minds Exploring CBD And THC For Anxiety Management

Anxious Minds: Exploring CBD and THC for Anxiety Management (2024 Study)

Many of us are using cannabis products to help relieve anxiety and stress in our daily lives – but what should we be looking for to maximize our relief and better manage our anxiety? With over 31% of US citizens experiencing anxiety at some point in their lives, many of us are looking for an answer to this question…
Hayley Smith
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New studies on anxiety and cannabis

Luckily for us, a brand new study by The National Library of Medicine compares whether cannabis strains which are CBD-dominant, THC-dominant or a more level combination of both are more beneficial in the treatment of anxiety.

Let’s take a look at what they found. 

CBD VS THC for anxiety

Within this clinical trial, the team of researchers assigned one of three legal market cannabis flower strains to each of the 300 study participants over the duration of 4 weeks. The trial was completed with,

  • CBD-dominant products (<1% THC, 24% CBD)
  • THC-dominant (24% THC, <1% CBD)
  • Equal parts of THC+CBD (12% THC, 12% CBD)

Many of the participants in the study were already cannabis-users who smoke on average 3-4 times a week. Those who were not cannabis smokers formed a separate control group. Participants could smoke their allocated cannabis flower as frequently as they wanted to. 

Various scales were used to measure outcomes in the study – both immediately after consuming cannabis and over the duration of the study. These scales monitor levels of depression, stress, anxiety, subjective mood, elation, tension and paranoia.

The results – reduced anxiety across the board, but CBD comes out on top for anxiety relief

All those who participated in the study reported a reduction in their anxiety and improved mood over the four week period. 

But CBD-dominant strains had the most positive results of all – with the largest reduction in anxiety and a brighter mood reported across all of the scales used. 

Acute tension reduction induced by CBD-dominant strains contributed to an overall reduction in anxiety over a longer time period.

An earlier study in 2018 also found that cannabis high in CBD and low in THC content was best for reducing the symptoms of depression, further evidence that we should be seeking out high-CBD strains to help manage our wellbeing.

Which strains are best for managing anxiety? 

If you’re suffering from anxiety, research shows that you’re likely to find relief by vaping or smoking CBD-rich strains, also known as CBD flower or smokable hemp flower. CBD flower is readily available online from hundreds of different brands, but you should make sure you’re buying from a reputable vendor to ensure you receive the best quality and experience possible.

Some strains may work better for you than others, depending on the type of anxiety-relief you’re after, as well as the time of day you’ll be smoking it (in the evening or during the day). 

You can learn more Check out our full list of the best CBD strains for managing anxiety. I recommend that you experiment with a few different ones until you find your personal favorites.

Best CBD flower right now

Evening CBD strains

Anxiety can often affect our ability to nod off and remain asleep as we are faced with a racing mind and, for some of us, physical symptoms like a racing heart, feeling nauseous, and/or tense muscles. 

If you’re looking to reduce your anxiety levels in the evening, get an overall sense of relaxation, and a restful nights sleep, look for strains that are rich in the terpenes beta-caryophyllene, linalool, myrcene and terpineol. 

Bubba Kush CBD is highly recommended as this Indica-dominant strain is high in CBD content and perfect for settling into a relaxing evening.

Daytime CBD strains

Social anxiety and the inability to go about our daily lives in a calm manner is also very common. If you’re looking for a strain that can relieve symptoms during the day, you want to ensure it is not going to make you too drowsy, potentially boosting your energy and focus whilst relieving tension and stress. 

Therefore, the strains that tend to work best in the daytime often include more energizing terpenes such as limonene, pinene, and ocimene.

Hawaiian Haze is a great daytime strain that will help you feel more comfortable in your own skin and a personal daytime fave for us at CBD Incubator. The CBD-dominant version of Sour Space Candy is also a highly popular and tasty strain recommended for daytime anxiety management.

Other options: Microdose for mega relief

Many of us are also choosing to microdose THC as a way to reduce anxiety and stress levels because it has been shown to bind to receptors in the brain that control mood and emotions. Microdosing THC is a great way to enjoy the benefits to our wellbeing, without any worries over side effects which can be associated with higher doses. It is worth bearing in mind that THC at too high doses can actually increase anxiety levels or result in paranoia. 

Reduced anxiety, enhanced creativity, improved mood, better sleep, and increased productivity are just some of the reported benefits associated with microdosing.

Microdosing THC

The evidence for using CBD for anxiety is stacking up

This study is another positive step forward for all of us who are trying to find natural and holistic ways to manage our anxiety, and for the progression of cannabis within the medical arena more generally.

The results show that products high in CBD are most effective at providing anxiety relief, although both THC and CBD can be useful in managing stress in general.

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