Many people love cannabis for its ability to help them feel less anxious, but there are also times people feel even more anxiety while on cannabis. How could that be? It’s been one of the most interesting mysteries in cannabis lore, and Canadian researchers have set out to solve it. Their study, published in late 2018, has provided some insights about why some strains are better than others for people with anxiety.
The Neuroscience Behind Cannabis and Anxiety
The team of Canadian neuroscientists took an ambitious step toward explaining why some strains affect us differently than others. To start, they partnered with a single dispensary and surveyed over 400 of their patients about their experiences with different strains. In addition to their surveys, they conducted multiple lab experiments on the different strains to get a closer look at their chemical composition.
Survey participants rated the strains on a scale from one to ten, saying how effective each one was at making them feel less anxious. The researchers compiled all of this data, then compared it to the lab results for the different strains. They were able to identify some patterns involving terpenes found in some of the most and least effective strains.
What Are Terpenes?
Terpenes are some of the organic compounds found in plants (in this case, cannabis). Each is associated with its own flavor, smell, and helps give the plant its specific aroma. To put it simply, you might compare them to the essential oils of a plant. This is relevant to the cannabis industry because of a phenomenon some people call the entourage effect.
The entourage effect is a theory that the terpenes in cannabis change the way the body processes THC and CBD. That’s a possible explanation for how two strains with the same levels of THC and CBD can hit people differently. In other words, terpenes may play a key role in how the active ingredients in cannabis make a person feel.
Best Terpenes for Reducing Anxiety
According to the study, strains with high THC levels and lots of the terpene trans-nerolidol were best for addressing anxiety. Some of the best strains also had their roots in a Central Asian kush landrace, giving them high levels of caryophyllene and limonene. Trans-nerolidol is also found in lemongrass, jasmine, and tea tree, so look for strains with fruity, floral aromas.
This study also exposed some trends about which terpenes may not be quite as good for people with anxiety. The study doesn’t prove that these are necessarily the worst terpenes for anxiety, but they might be worth watching for:
- Sabinene Hydrate
How to Find the Best Strain for Anxiety
Though the study mentioned is a great advancement in the right direction for the cannabis community, the scientists themselves caution that more research is necessary. One of the original neuroscientists from this study has said that since everyone is different, people would be best suited to try different strains until they discover which one is best for them.
Best Reported Cannabis Strains for Anxiety in Boulder and Wheat Ridge
We at Options Cannabis Company have a full dispensary menu with diverse flower offerings, and our experienced budtenders have some of the best product knowledge in the industry. Stop in to chat with us about the specific terpene profiles of our different strains and learn more about which ones have been best for our customers with anxiety. In the meantime, you can also contact us online with any questions.