The Efficacy of Cannabis for Stress Management

Jul 08, 2021

The year 2020 was challenging, with the economic and social effects of the pandemic putting a toll on the public’s emotional and mental well-being. It’s no surprise that during the pandemic, an estimated one out of four adults in North America reported symptoms of anxiety or depression, and the numbers continue to rise. 

Here at Smokey’s, we advocate the consumption of cannabis for stress management. In this post, we will discuss the studies conducted that prove the efficacy of cannabis for stress management and why it can be beneficial for you.

Studies Supporting Cannabis For Stress Management

Stress, depression, and anxiety manifest differently for each person, and the same goes for seeking ways to find relief. For some, it's meditation or physical activity, for others, it’s cannabis consumption.

Two different strains taken out of containers

Since the Canadian legalization of recreational cannabis use in 2018, a chunk of the population has slowly started to become aware of its benefits. However, many are still clueless about the advantages it can offer when it comes to stress management. When properly used, cannabis boasts a wide array of calming effects that can ease stress when the days become too overwhelming. 

Sure, it’s easy to take the advice of a concerned friend who wants you to try a certain strain that makes them feel relaxed. But what if we told you that there is scientific evidence to prove that cannabis is truly stress-reducing? 

In 2019, a group of scientists from Washington State University looked at how cannabis fights stress, depression, and anxiety by examining different strains and amounts inhaled by patients who use medicinal marijuana. This recent study suggests that consuming cannabis for stress management in the form of inhalation can lessen short-term levels of depression, stress, and anxiety.

The Purpose of the Study

The study aimed to provide guidance on the strains and quantities that people should be consuming to specifically reduce stress, anxiety, and depression. Before the study was conducted, cannabis consumers relied solely on the recommendations of budtenders and websites. While these recommendations are acceptable for recreational users, those who consume cannabis medically can benefit from scientific data that can accurately state which strains to buy and which ones can really ease symptoms. 

Researchers were able to uncover how strains with different levels of THC and CBD affect feelings of well-being. The subjects were medical marijuana patients who regularly consumed cannabis at home, and were asked to use an app to keep track of the different doses, effects, and types of strains. 

A rating system of one to 10 was put in place, wherein patients were asked to report how many puffs they did and rate their symptoms 20 minutes after consumption. 12,000 anonymous entries for depression, anxiety, and stress were recorded, with each mental health concern individually analyzed. 

Cannabis for Stress: The Ideal Strains and Products

Based on the results of the studies, ratings of stress were reduced the most after patients consumed strains with relatively high levels of THC and CBD. Sweet and Sour Widow, an offspring of the famous White Widow, has a perfect 1:1 ratio of sativa and indica, making it an ideal strain to toke if you’re looking to minimize symptoms of stress.

Ground dried flowers in a Smokey’s grinder

Another stellar choice is the Godfather OG, which boasts an intimidating amount of 24% to 38% THC. Super Glue, a cross between Afghan Kush and Northern Lights, is another strain revered for its stress-reducing properties with 20% THC content. Chemdawg is a nicely balanced hybrid strain, with THC levels ranging between 18 to 21% popularized for its taste and stress-relieving effects.

Cannabis for Stress: Consumption Methods

Based on the data submitted by the patients, the research team found out that 10 or more puffs of strains high in THC and high in CBD produced the largest decrease in stress. While the above mentioned study focused on smoking or inhaling, there are other ways to consume cannabis for stress management. 

Different consumption methods can also bear different effects. Edibles, including capsules, can have longer-lasting effects as it passes through the liver. Smoking, inhaling or vaping hits immediately, and tinctures take between 10 minutes to an hour. It is important to note that each individual has a unique set of endocannabinoid systems (ECS), which means each person reacts differently to the same set of terpenes and cannabinoids

A past study also revealed that microdosing magnifies the stress-squashing properties of cannabis because of the cannabinoids’ biphasic effects. To make it more understandable, compounds like THC can reduce anxiety in small doses but can promote anxiety in higher doses. The same study shows that CBD is effective in low-to-moderate doses when used to treat anxiety. 

Taking notes of the terpene profile is another way to make most of its stress-diminishing effects. Cannabis plants contain oils called terpenes, which are responsible for the aroma, flavour, and colour of the buds. Two terpenes that help reduce stress are caryophyllene and linalool. You can easily ask your local budtender about a strain’s terpene profile and if you see these two names, then you’re good to go. 

The next time someone questions your consumption of cannabis for stress management, just tell them that it has been scientifically proven to be effective!

Looking for Cannabis for Stress Management? We are Here to Help!

If the pandemic made you overly stressed out, we have your back. Smokey’s is all about helping you feel relaxed and at ease, and our offerings speak for themselves. Sit back, lift your feet up, and light up. Browse through our selection of fine dried flowers, quality vapes, delectable edibles, high-quality smoking essentials, accessories, and more. 

If you happen to be around, feel free to visit any of our locations. Our budtenders will gladly walk you through which strains are most effective for stress management.