Research has shown that cannabis may have the ability to help you relax, however taking too high of a dose containing THC can actually have the opposite effect and exacerbate paranoia, anxiety, and stress. Now, a team of researchers from the University of Chicago have found the optimal amount of THC to help stimulate relaxation. The team experimented with varying doses of THC and monitored how subjects responded to stressful situations. The 42 participants were first divided into three subgroups, of which one received an oral dose of 12.5mg THC, another received 7.5mg THC, and the last received placebo. It is important to note that even this higher dose of THC is less than what one might receive from a dispensary, with half a joint often containing between 33 - 39mg THC.
After receiving their dose, participants were placed in stressful situations, like giving speeches or taking oral math tests in front of interviewers while being recorded on camera and simultaneously watching this recording live. The subjects' performances were rated, and they were also asked to rate their levels of stress. Researchers determined that, in comparison to placebo, the lower dose of THC “reduced the duration of negative emotional responses to acute psychosocial stress, and participants’ post-task appraisals of how threatening and challenging they found the stressor.” The higher dose, on the other hand, “produced small but significant increases in anxiety, negative mood and subjective distress at baseline before the tasks began.” The anxiety and negative thoughts continued throughout the test. Researchers concluded low doses of THC are ideal for relaxation, which could have beneficial implications for those who suffer from various anxiety disorders.
Further research that isn't limited to oral THC and that includes a variety of cannabinoids combinations is desired for more accurate data that is applicable to what a patient would encounter in everyday life. This information has been provided by Merry Jane and approved by our Chief Medical Officer.