Cannabis and Anxiety

Cannabis and Anxiety

I’m prone to anxiety. How do I get high?

Since legalization and even before, let’s face it. Lots of people are getting high. Many people enjoy the effects of cannabis, and others do not. It’s very similar to alcohol this way, in that it is a very subjective experience.

I get anxious, so I don’t smoke

Many people who suffer from anxiety tend to stay away from cannabis because they’ve heard that they should, and that when they smoke they will get anxious and maybe even panic. Although this is true in some cases, some people who suffer from anxiety can benefit greatly from using cannabis. So how do we navigate the landscape?

The four steps of pharmacokinetics

First, let’s discuss how it actually works. Why do you get high at all? This process is called pharmacokinetics. There are four steps to this process: absorption, distribution, metabolism, and elimination.

  1. When you smoke weed, THCA is converted into THC and ‘activated’. THC is absorbed into your bloodstream within minutes of smoking at concentrations of 10-30%.
  2. 
After it enters the bloodstream, where does it go? THC is very lipophilic. This means it likes fatty tissues. With any chronic use of cannabis, THC is distributed among these tissues. This is how regular smokers test positive for THC in their body even after 4 weeks of non-use.
  3. People who take medications should consult their doctors before trying cannabis products. This is because THC is metabolized mainly within the liver, like most things. It recruits hepatic enzymes to help with the metabolism, but this can potentially leave your other medication with fewer enzymes to metabolize them. There has been cases where interaction between metabolizing Prozac and THC resulted in mania.
  4. THC remains in the blood for 6 minutes up to 22 hours, after which it is eliminated. You might wonder why your high lasts for so long after that 6 minute period. Here is a video that can help to explain.

Cannabis and Anxiety

The common question: I get anxious smoking weed sometimes. Other times I have an awesome time. Why?

Cannabis and Anxiety
Cannabis and Anxiety

It differs person to person

When it comes to smoking weed, one of the most common things people complain about is anxiety. Sometimes, the psychotropic effects of cannabis can really mess with your head. Some people can smoke endless amounts and still be as chill as a cucumber. Others take one toke and think their heart is going to beat itself out of their chests and they’re going to die. So, what’s the difference? Why do some people react this way and others don’t?

Not enough science behind it, yet

Unfortunately, because of limited studies on illegal substances, scientists have long been banned from studying the effects of cannabis on people. Hopefully with legalization in full swing more concrete research will emerge. In the meantime, there are endless accounts of anecdotal evidence in this budding industry (pun intended), so let’s take a look at those.

Cannabis and Science
Cannabis and Science

Look for CBD-rich strains

If you are prone to anxiety, remember that CBD tempers the psychoactive effects of THC. Strains that have a high CBD content are often described as relaxing, calm, mellow and chill.

Why aren’t there more CBD strains?

The black market has long cultivated THC-rich strains, always selected the more THC heavy phenotypes to breed with one another. It was simply a product of supply and demand. Usually, people buying weed are looking for the “strongest”, “heaviest” or “most potent” strains. When the medicinal cannabis market emerged, there became a need for CBD-rich or CBD-only strains. Patients didn’t always require the pulsing THC highs for their medicine. They were more interested in the therapeutic, calming effects of CBD. Since this time, cultivators have specifically attempted to grow strains rich in CBD.

Some famous CBD strains

Some famous CBD strains to look for are Cannatonic, Charlotte’s Web, Harlequin, Sour Tsunami and Pennywise.

High CBD Strains
High CBD Strains

If there are no CBD strain options, choose an indica over a sativa

If you have anxious tendencies, seek out indica strains if you can’t find any CBD strains. Indica strains generally tend to have a higher CBD content than sativas. Usually, indicas generate sedative and relaxing effects that are felt mostly in the body over the mind.


Stay away from hazes

People who suffer from anxiety should normally steer clear of any strain with the name “Haze” in it. Hazes tend to have very potent cerebral effects that can be disorientating or mildly psychedelic. Some examples are Super Lemon Haze, Super Silver Haze, Amnesia Haze, Original Haze, Neville’s Haze, Lemon Haze and Silver Haze.

Try low dose edibles

If all you can see on the shelf are hazes and sativa, first thing to do is find a new place to buy weed. In the meantime, you can try some low dose edibles. Edibles have effects felt mostly in the body, and not the mind. At higher doses edibles can be debilitating, but in small doses you will experience a happy full body buzz, while maintaining a clear and alert mind.

Low Dose Edibles
Low Dose Edibles

Now get out there!

Now you are equipped with more information to safely consume cannabis. If you suffer from anxiety, it doesn’t mean cannabis is completely off limits for you. Always remember, start low and go slow. Once you can understand how your body reacts to different strains and different doses, you will be able to consume cannabis safely, and maybe it will even help your anxiety!

5 Popular Weed Strains

5 Popular Weed Strains

Here at DashDub, we have compiled a list of 5 famous and popular cannabis strains to help you start to expand your strain knowledge.

Pay attention to the genetics!

If you want to become an informed cannabis user, one of the best ways is to pay attention to strain details. As you eventually make your way through different strains, you will start recognizing the ones you liked. Then you can start tracing the genetics to determine the likelihood of you enjoying a strain. For example, let’s say you’re a huge fan of Haze. There’s a high chance you will also like hybrid strains crossed with Haze. Blue Dream, Super Lemon Haze, Ghost Train Haze and Silver Haze might be your new favourite!

What’s up with the indica and sativa thing?

When you start really looking at strain genetics, you quickly realize that the indica | sativa dichotomy is outdated and false. Cannabis indica literally means “cannabis from India” and was a term created to describe squat, hardy, quick-flowering plants found in northern India. Cannabis sativa means “cultivated cannabis”. If taken literally, this term applies to all the cannabis you’ve ever smoked. Over the decades, these two terms started to represent a spectrum relating more to effects than to plant structure. Indica was connected to the sedative, relaxed body stone, while sativa referred to energetic, buzzing mental highs. We still tend to use the two terms because the public is still connected to the meanings.

The more that you learn about cannabis strains, the more you realize it’s all in the genetics. So chase them! Find your favourites, and track down the whole family!

Blue Dream

Blue Dream
Blue Dream

Genetics: Blueberry x Haze

Blue Dream has become one of the planets most popular strains. This bomb sativa dominant hybrid strain emerged out of America’s weed haven, the west coast of California. Ever since it hit the market, it’s been flying off shelves and blowing people away. It has won many cannabis awards in flower and extract form. The terpene profile and flavours of Blue Dream is what keeps people coming back, time and time again.

Sometimes when you cross breed two strains with opposite effects, you create a hybrid that displays the best of both worlds. Blue Dream is a perfect example of this. The effects are calm yet energizing, creative yet calculative, and just balanced in general. It’s a great strain for social engagement, or creative pursuits. Furthermore, Blue Dream is a super for daytime use and excellent as a wake and bake strain.

Super Lemon Haze

Super Lemon Haze
Super Lemon Haze

Genetics: Lemon Skunk x Super Silver Haze by Green House Seeds

Super Lemon Haze is one of the most famous sativa strains out there. Super Lemon Haze is a marriage of two heavyweights, Lemon Skunk and Super Silver Haze. It’s triangular buds exhibit bright orange hairs and are covered in blankets of trichomes. And yes, it really smells like lemons. However, it also carries pungent piney skunk undertones.

The terpene profile bursts with a terpene called limonene, providing Super Lemon Haze with its citrus scent. That presence of this terpene in high quantities seems to always prelude a giggly, euphoric, uplifting and happy experience.

This is a perfect day time strain. You may not want to smoke this too late at night, because its energizing and mentally charged effects may keep you up. This strain is excellent for creative pursuits like playing music, doing visual art or writing.

Gelato

Gelato
Gelato

Genetics: Thin Mint Girl Scout Cookies x Sunset Sherbet

Gelato is a herald of the new school of strains! As cannabis has become legal in more than half the states in the US and federally in Canada, there has been an explosion of new strain genetics. Most notably there has been some incredible breeding coming out of California. One of Cali’s most famous seed companies is called Cookie Fam Genetics, and Gelato is one of their most popular creations from the last few years.

Gelato is a genetic cross of a special Girl Scout Cookies phenotype called Thin Mint Cookies with Sunset Sherbet. The terpene profile is reminiscent of cake batter and cream, and the flowers are often a deep purple. Gelato tends to always be coated in a sparkling layer of trichomes.

The powerful yet even-handed effects of this strain are excellent for an afternoon or evening session. It’s certainly a dessert, and the lazy effects will have you stretched out on the nearest couch in no time.

Death Bubba

Death Bubba
Death Bubba

Genetics: Bubba Kush

Death Bubba seems to be uniquely famous among Canadians. Although it has certainly made its way across the globe, Death Bubba gets the most love here in Canada. This Vancouver born Bubba Kush phenotype made waves half a decade ago when it took the market by storm. This Bubba was different than others. It was extra sparkly, extra gooey and sticky, and a couple tokes sent you straight off into orbit. The Death Bubba had arrived.

The precursor Death was meant to herald its overpowering sleepy effects. Even advanced users were being sent headfirst into soft surfaces without delay. Death Bubba stinks of piney, lemony fuel, and represents a terpene profile now commonly referred to as “gas”.

RockStar Kush

RockStar Kush
RockStar Kush

Genetics: RockStar x Bubba Kush

The same way Death Bubba is famous, RockStar Kush and its sibling RockStar are also high on the popularity list. Also hailing from the west coast of Canada, this strain first became famous in it’s original form: RockStar. This was a combination of two other strains called Rock Bud and Sensi Star. After a massive run of popularity, someone had the excellent idea to cross the RockStar with a Bubba Kush. It may have been a Death Bubba or a Pink Kush, but regardless it certainly made RockStar even kushier.

RockStar Kush stinks of gas, fuel, pine, lemon and earth. This list of smells is enough to make any indica lover jump out of their seat. RockStar strains are potent and hard-hitting, usually with quick-acting effects. For frequent indica users this could be described as a functional high. However, if you don’t smoke often, or don’t indulge in potent indicas often, approach this one with caution.

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