We have a lot going on in our daily lives: school, work, finances, children, etc. Do you ever have days where you are so overwhelmed with what life throws at you? We all know that stress is unhealthy for our bodies. We are constantly searching for ways to alleviate stress: yoga, meditation, walking, aromatherapy, soft music, etc.
But what about using a marijuana for stress relief?
This article is not meant to promote the illegal use of marijuana. We suggest checking the laws in your state before using marijuana/cannabis for stress relief.
A Little Background on Marijuana
Weed, pot, mary jane, ganga, cannabis or whatever you want to call it, this herbal has been heavily debated for years. On the one hand, it has shown to help relieve a lot of serious health conditions. On the other hand, it's illegal in most of the U.S.
And while 52% of Americans admit to having tried marijuana, the reality is many of us do not know all of the facts behind it as a chemical.
According to drugabuse.gov, marijuana is dried leaves, stems, flowers, or seeds that derive from a plant called “Cannabis sativa forma indica”. It contains the chemical delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (most commonly known as THC) and other chemical compounds that affect the mind.
There are a variety of ways to consume marijuana. It can be smoked in hand-rolled cigarettes, pipes, water pipes, blunts, or vaporizers. It can also be ingested by being mixed into food such as brownies or THC-rich extracts such as gooey honey oil. Beware that ingesting marijuana can have potential side effects.
How Marijuana Relieves Stress
The University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) and the University of Chicago, IL conducted a study to test the effects of marijuana on stress.
There were 42 participants in the age range of 18-42 years-old. They were divided into three groups:
- Low dose (7.5 mg)
- Moderate (12.5 mg)
- Placebo (0 mg)
The participants took part in a simulated job interview, a speech about their favorite book or movie, and a game of solitaire after the marijuana fully entered their bloodstream.
The results of the study were the low-dose group reported feeling less stressed during the situational parts of the study than the placebo group. On the contrary, the high-dose group reported having more stressful attitudes before and during the situational parts of the study.
The conclusion of this study was marijuana taken in low-doses can alleviate stress.
The International Business Times states that the chemicals in THC are similar to endocannabinoids, which are natural brain chemicals that affect emotions and behavior. Here's a video that explains it in more detail.
According to senior researcher Samir Haj-Dahmane stated that marijuana can help stabilize your mood and even ease depression.
Chronic stress is one of the major causes of depression. Using compounds derived from marijuana to restore normal endocannabinoid function could potentially help stabilize moods and ease depression.
Haj-Dahmane now wants to do further research with animals to see if CBD alleviates the animals’ depression, without causing them to become addicted to CBD.
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What Are the Best Strains for Stress & Anxiety?
Here are six of the best marijuana strains for stress and anxiety:
Cannatonic has a 1:1 ratio of THUC to CBD, which allows you to feel calm rather than anxious or paranoid since CBD doesn't have any psychotic effects.
"Green Crack" has a reputation for boosting energy. And many people boast of its ability to create a "euphoric" and uplifting high, which helps boost your energy levels. It's a sativa strain that can give you some mental clarity without making you feel drowsy or tired.
Grape God is a hybrid strain made from "God Bud" and "Grape Fruit." It is a very potent strain that can give you a long lasting feeling of intense happiness or joy. Since stress can bring your mood down, Grape God counteracts this by lifting you up. Just be careful not to intake too much, particularly if you're not a regular marijuana user.
Blue dream is the counterpart to Blue Dream. It's a sativa-dominant hybrid that can give your entire body an intense feeling of relaxation and calm. The feeling has been compared to the soothing and relaxing feeling you get after receiving a massage when all body is free of tension. Be aware that Blue Dream has higher-than-average THC levels.
While the name might sound intimidating, AK-47 actually mellows you out and can even help you be more mindful and focused. This hybrid strain can be helpful when you're trying to focus on something besides your stress.
Super Silver Haze
Super Silver Haze is a hybrid of Skunk, Northern Lights and Haze. Af for stress relief, this strain is said to give you a full body high, while boosting your energy at the same time. It's much more of a mood booster than something to make you feel drowsy or super relaxed. And fun fact, Super Silver Haze won the Cannabis Cup 1997-1999.
If you choose to use marijuana for stress relief, keep in mind you should use it in low doses (7.5 mg), as shown in the Chicago Study.
Marijuana is currently legal in twenty-nine states. Each state has varying laws about use for recreation, medical use, legal age, etc. Please be mindful of the laws in your state.
Other Medical Benefits of Marijuana
In addition to stress relief, marijuana has several other health benefits. One of the most popular use cases is for cancer patients. However, it also has many other medical benefits for a various other ailments such as:
Diabetes - The American Journal of Medicine concluded in a study that marijuana use was linked to a smaller waist and lower levels of fasting insulin.
Chron’s Disease - Marijuana has been show to improve the symptoms of Chron’s Disease. In a study done of twenty-one patients, where eleven patients were given 11.5 mg of marijuana, five patients went into remission. Ten out of the eleven patients improved their score by 100 points on the Chron’s Disease Activity Index.
Migraines - Researchers from the University of California, San Francisco concluded from a study that stimulated cannabinoid receptors in the brain reduced feelings of pain.
Alzheimer’s Disease - A study published in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease showed that very low doses of THC reduced the number amyloid-β aggregations. This is beneficial for Alzheimer’s disease because amyloid-β aggregations forming in the brain play a significant role in the progression of Alzheimer’s disease.
Parkinson’ Disease - David Esparza, who has been living with Parkinson’s Disease for 13 years, shared a statement on Medicaljane.com about how marijuana has helped him with living with Parkinson’s Disease. He stated, “It helps me with my attitude, it helps me with my shaking, it helps me deal with my new life… I don’t know how I look to other people… but I know what I feel like… I feel good.”
As you can see, marijuana can relieve stress, as well as other health problems. Just remember to learn the laws in your state, and as with any drug or substance, use it responsibly.