Ever since the pandemic began, life has not been the same for the majority of people around the world. Due to economic instability, interrupted social life, and an unpredictable job market has caused stress levels to go through the roof. The number of people affected by anxiety and stress has increased considerably over the course of the year.
Since ancient times, cannabis has been used as a natural remedy for stress and other mental health ailments. Compared to pharmaceutical drugs, cannabis is non-addictive, safe, relatively inexpensive, and presents minimal side effects.
Indica or Sativa?
The question that is raised all the time is what strain is best for stress relief? Is it Indica or Sativa. Most people pick their stress-relieving strains based on genetics (Indica, Sativa, or Hybrid), and most cannabis users prefer Indica strains due to their perceived calming effects.
Indicas are known for their sedative qualities that keep users relaxed and mellow. Indicas are known to relieve tension and can induce slumber in some users. On the other hand, Sativas give users a cerebral high characterized by elevated levels of energy, clarity of mind, creativity, and increased focus.
However, there are Indicas with very high THC levels like Purple Kush and Sativas with High CBD levels like Fuji with over 20% CBD content. This means that basing your choice for a stress-relieving strain on whether it’s Sativa or Indica might be misguided.
Look at the strain’s profile.
The best way to find the ideal strain is to look deeply into a strain’s profile. Apart from cannabinoids, the cannabis plant contains other compounds like terpenes, flavonoids, and essential oils. Terpenes are found in high levels in the cannabis plant, and they are solely responsible for giving the plants their distinct aromatic characteristics and unique therapeutic effects.
Terpenes like limonene possess antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, and anxiolytic properties. It is characterized by a lemon-like scent. Other terpenes that help to relieve stress are linalool and caryophyllene.
When a strain has any of the above terpenes as its dominant terpene, low levels of THC, and high CBD content, it is the ideal strain to relieve stress, regardless of whether it is Indica or Sativa. Examples include Gelato AAAA and God’s Green Crack.
Additional stress management practices
While taking cannabis to alleviate stress, it is prudent to actively engage in activities that are aligned with this goal. Recommended activities include meditation, journaling, reading, and being in nature.
Sometimes lack of sleep can increase stress levels. You need to ensure that you get 7-9 hours of sleep daily. This helps to keep you relaxed and refreshed throughout the day.
Find a reliable support system. It could be your friends, family, or mental health practitioner. During this pandemic, they will help you combat stress and foster a positive outlook on life.
Do not depend on a strain’s genetics (Indica, Sativa, or Hybrid) to determine its potential as an anxiolytic. Instead, look at its compound profile and search for terpenes like limonene, linalool, and caryophyllene. Additionally, look for strains with low THC and high CBD content.