As one of the most common mental health illnesses in the United States, Panic Attacks(Anxiety), affects millions of people. The most recent statistics suggest that 18.1% of people suffer from anxiety, although that doesn’t account for those who go without a diagnosis. Although talking therapies and beta blockers can help to treat the condition, some patients find they’re not quite enough. That’s why many are now looking into whether marijuana and anxiety are a good mix.
If you’re interested in the best marijuana strains for panic attacks(anxiety), you need to learn more about Indica and Sativa. Both have their place in treating the condition, but the type you use will depend on several factors. Fortunately, it only takes a little education to make the right decision.
Do marijuana and panic attacks mix?
Although the media is sometimes awash with reports that cannabis can have harmful psychoactive effects, this isn’t always the case. One study from Washington State University reveals that marijuana and anxiety have a positive relationship. Using a self-reported study, the research team found that anxious feelings reduce in the short-term, resulting in temporary relief for patients. This could prevent panic attacks, which are often the most disabling elements of anxiety.
At the same time, some forms of medical marijuana can make a few of the symptoms of anxiety worse. For example, Indica may cause orthostatic hypotension, which is a form of low blood pressure that’s worse when you stand up. For those who suffer from anxiety, the feeling of disconnect and wooziness that comes with orthostatic hypotension could worsen their anxiety symptoms.
Understanding Indica vs Sativa for Panic Attacks
Understanding the differences between Indica vs Sativa is the best way to choose the right type to tackle your anxiety. For now, it’s probably useful to learn more about the primary differences of Indica vs Sativa.
While Indica is excellent for generating a calm and serene effect, Sativa can cause your mind to become more active. Depending on how your anxiety operates, increased activity throughout your brain could make your anxiety worse rather than better. However, some believe that the differences between the two have little to do with the actual type and more to do with the CBD to THC ratio. While CBD is able to tackle conditions such as anxiety and depression, THC has more psychoactive properties. On occasion, THC’s psychoactive properties can induce some of the feelings that make anxiety more pronounced, such as paranoia.
As Sativa features more THC and has a lower CBD to THC ratio, there’s an argument to state that this means Indica is the better strain for anxiety. Although this is probably true in most cases, it’s important not to write Sativa off altogether. It still has a place in anxiety treatment, it’s just a bit more limited than that of Indica.
Can Marijuana Help with Panic Attacks?
There is a school of thought that suggests high-THC marijuana strains could worsen the symptoms of panic disorder. Ryan Vandrey of Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine spoke about the issue. He said that panic attacks from cannabis happen due to the direct effects of the drug in the brain or on the body.
Vandrey asserts that marijuana can modulate neurotransmitters in parts of the brain that control anxiety. It can also elevate the heart rate. This combination may result in a feeling of heightened panic.
What research on cannabis and panic attacks does suggest is that adverse symptoms are dose-related. Higher doses of potent cannabis are more likely to result in panic attacks than are low to moderate doses of medium-strength cultivars. Panic attacks related to cannabis are also more likely to happen in individuals who already suffer from panic attacks(anxiety).
The Best Cannabis Strains for Panic Attacks
While there is evidence suggesting that high-THC cannabis can promote the onset of panic and anxiety, there is also evidence that CBD, a prominent cannabinoid in hemp and some cannabis strains, can work to mollify it.
In a Current Neuropharmacology article titled “Evidences for the Anti-Panic Actions of Cannabidiol,” researchers conclude that CBD may be “a promising drug for the treatment of PD (Panic Disorder).” However, the authors of the study emphasize that clinical trials involving diagnosed PD patients will be needed to “clarify the specific mechanism of action of CBD … [as well as] the safe and ideal therapeutic doses of [the] compound [for PD].”
Fortunately, at the time of writing, there is an active clinical trial of 50 participants titled “Cannabidiol for the Treatment of Anxiety Disorders: An 8-Week Pilot Study.” Results of the randomized and placebo-controlled study, which are set to be published late in the coming year, aim to identify an efficient dose of cannabidiol (in the form of CBD oil capsules) for the treatment of anxiety disorders like PD.
That being said, it’s important for readers to remember that the following picks on the best cannabis strains for panic disorder are suggestions only based on their high CBD content. There is no clinical information suggesting that any of the following strains will treat or cure panic disorder, or any form of anxiety disorder.
As a genetic cross between Harle-Tsu (see below) and ACDC, Ringo’s Gift offers an extraordinary cannabinoid profile that often boasts CBD-to-THC levels in excess of 20:1. This means that users can expect a lot in terms of anxiety relief and very little in terms of mind-altering or intoxicating effects.
Stephen Hawking Kush
Given the strain’s relative obscurity, users may find it tough to come across a batch of authentic Stephen Hawking Kush. For those who do, however, the strain’s indica-dominant genetics can provide an immensely relaxing body high with very little (thanks to high CBD content) in the way of intoxicating effects.
SHK is a wonderful option for those that may have developed a tolerance to cannabis but may be trying to get away from high-THC phenotypes.
One of the most iconic high-CBD strains out there, Harle-Tsu, can be easily found in most any high-end marijuana dispensary in the western USA. The strain boasts genetics from Harlequin and Sour Tsunami, meaning users can expect profound levels of mental sedation with next to no THC-induced adverse side effects.
As a parent strain for several prominent high-CBD cultivars (including Harle-Tsu mentioned above), Sour Tsunami has become an industry staple when it comes to CBD-centric genetics.
This may be surprising, however, considering the strain is a genetic cross between NYC Diesel and Sour Diesel (a strain that is traditionally known for its potent high). With Sour Tsunami, users can expect a mild sativa-dominant high combined with calming yet controllable cerebral effects.
How to Treat Panic Attacks Without Marijuana?
However, if you choose to employ other means apart from the use of Marijuana to treat your anxiety, we’ve got you some pleasant alternatives. The treatment plans for combating anxiety disorder include:
Self Care: This aspect includes avoidance of alcohol, reduction of caffeinated drink, ensuring regular exercise, consumption of healthy meals, adopting relaxation techniques, and stress management.
Therapies: These are capable of modifying thoughts, improving mental health and help with relaxation. Examples of these are meditation, cognitive behavioral therapy, and physiotherapy.
Medications: Medications to ease symptoms and treat off include Anxiolytic, sedative, antidepressants, nerve pain medication, and Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRI).
Specialists: They may utilize various ways of solving your anxiety. Examples include clinical psychologist, psychiatrist, and primary care providers.