Unfortunately, one of the primary consequences of our fast-paced lifestyle and the high-octane modern world we live in is an epidemic of stress and anxiety. These days, a staggering 77% of people say they commonly experience stress that negatively impacts their physical health. 73% say they have stress that impacts their mental health, and 47% say their stress causes them to have trouble sleeping.
On top of this, high levels of sustained stress are linked to a variety of health concerns, such as a low immune system, heart disease, high blood pressure, abnormal heart rhythms, stroke, as well as exacerbating pre-existing health problems. So, what is the solution?
Well, other than trying to implement a healthier lifestyle and reduce stress-inducing situations, more people than ever are turning to cannabis products to help manage their stress levels and eliminate feelings of anxiety and depression. Please be sure to check the legality of cannabis in your area. With that in mind, let’s take a look at some of the main ways you can use cannabis to manage your stress and help bring you peace of mind.
Is microdosing the answer?
If you haven’t heard of microdosing before, it is the practice of taking tiny quantities of a substance in an attempt to improve your mood as well as a whole host of other mental benefits. While most people tend to think of psychedelics such as magic mushrooms and LSD when they hear the term microdosing, a growing body of research suggests that microdosing cannabis may help manage stress anxiety.
So why would someone microdose instead of smoking the whole plant? Well, the answer is simple. You get many of the benefits without the buzz. In other words, you can enjoy the anxiety-relieving effects and stress reduction benefits without getting “high” as the level of THC ingested will be too low to induce a psychoactive experience.
As you know, there are plenty of different strains to choose from, and each of them comes with differing levels of active compounds such as THC and CBD. For example, a tangie strain is high in THC and low in CBD, while Remedy is the opposite.
The one you choose is up to you, but there are several claims that people are now microdosing to relieve disorders like depression, fatigue, anxiety, and pain, as well as to increase concentration and encourage sleep.
It’s worth noting that there is still a lack of empirical evidence to support these claims. However, that is generally true for all cannabis studies due to the current legal status of the plant and the complexities that arise as a result.
Consider the terpene profile
Paying attention to the terpene profiles of your weed is also a good idea if you want to find a strain that works for you. For those of you who don’t know, terpenes are the compounds that give cannabis its diverse aroma; they also contribute to the overall influence of the cannabis experience, distinguishing one strain from the next. As they say, variety is the spice of life, and cannabis certainly has plenty of variety!
On that note, it’s believed that some terpenes have different medicinal effects, especially when it comes to stress. Some terpenes are known to help reduce feelings of anxiety, yet others may, in fact, induce anxiety and make people feel more panicked. Unfortunately, there is no real way of knowing which one works best for you. Just take it slow and experiment with a few different terpene profiles and see which one has the most benefit.
Is There An Ideal Starting Dose?
Good question. Once again, the answer is – it depends. You see, each person has a unique biological make-up, and thus, the way cannabis interacts with their system can vary wildly from person to person. This is because we all have a slightly different endocannabinoid system (ECS) that determines the way your body interacts with both THC and CBD.
With that said, it’s always recommended to start with a low dose and work your way up from there. A good starting point would be a 1:1 ratio of THC to CBD, with around 5mg of each taken per day, but of course, this is a generalization.
If you have ever smoked too much cannabis before, you will know just how much of an unpleasant experience that can be. It’s definitely not ideal if you’re trying to reduce stress.
Also, the dose you should take depends on your method of ingestion, which we will touch upon next.
Choose A Method
Nowadays, there is more than one way to consume cannabis, and each one comes with its own pros and cons. First of all, it’s important to understand how long each method takes to feel the effects so that you don’t consume too much and end up having a bad trip. Here are some rough guidelines:
- Smoking – 1-2 mins
- Eating – 45 mins – 2 hours
- Vaping – Instant
- Topicals – 2 hours
Which method you choose depends on the desired effect. For example, for sudden relief from stress or anxiety, smoking/vaping may be best. In contrast, a topical would be preferred to help release a build-up of stress and tension in muscles over a longer period.
Set And Setting
You should always be aware of your surroundings and your responsibilities when taking cannabis, even when microdosing. It is illegal to consume cannabis and drive a vehicle or operate machinery in most places, so definitely keep this in mind.
In general, it’s always best to consume cannabis in your home, where you are safe and relaxed.
Understand The Cannabis And Health Connection
Gone are the days where people believed cannabis to be a purely recreational drug without any medicinal benefits. We know now that cannabis has a huge role to play in the health, wellness, and pharmaceutical industry, with more people waking up to the wide range of potential benefits and use cases of this wonder plant.
While more research is needed, there are already plenty of studies that show cannabis to be an effective treatment for a variety of conditions, especially stress, anxiety, and depression, and it may just be the answer to the woes of our fast paced, modern lives.
Image Credits: David Gabrić