What Are The Best Marijuana Strains For Anxiety?

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Photo Credit: NicePik (https://bit.ly/2kp1Df4)

Treating anxiety with medical marijuana can be a complex process, and it comes down to the composition of a strain’s cannabinoids and terpenes that determine whether or not the plant will ease or exacerbate symptoms. While there isn’t a ton of research on medical marijuana for anxiety, the research that does exist has been positive. One study from 2017 found 40% of patients who used medical marijuana were able to ween off of their benzodiazepine anxiety medications.

Many suggest Indica strains, which tend to be more calming, are better at relieving anxiety symptoms, but to better understand which strains provide the best relief it is helpful to understand the precise cannabinoid and terpenoid makeup of the strain. When you understand the makeup of a strain, look for high-CBD strains for anxiety relief and avoid THC, which can actually produce feelings of anxiety and paranoia. CBD has been shown to counteract social anxiety disorder. Additionally, CBD can buffer against the side effects of THC, so that users can experience the relaxation and sedation that THC offers without experiencing the paranoia or anxiety it might induce. On the terpenoid end of the spectrum, researchers point to Myrcene as having the most powerful sedative anti-anxiety properties, but other terpenes that could help include linalool, beta-caryophyllene, and terpinolene.

When you begin to titrate your medical marijuana dosing regimen in the search for better relief, our app can guide the way. Document your regimen daily, and you’ll discover which changes are beneficial to your routine and which should be avoided. In turn, this information can be collected anonymously to help others determine a starting place in their own search for symptom relief. This information has been provided partially by Leaf Science. This post does not represent an endorsement on behalf of Leaf Science for CannaBest Medical.

Part 2: What You Need to Known About Cannabis Terpenes

Photo Credit: MassRoots

Photo Credit: MassRoots

In our previous post, we provided a brief overview about the benefits of terpenes that can be found in various plants like cannabis, and that contribute to the overall symptom relief of a cannabis dosing regimen. Today, we will go through the most popular terpenes found in cannabis and discuss how they contribute to the efficacy of one's regimen. 

One of the most common terpenes found in cannabis is myrcene. It's recognized for it's musky, mango-like aroma, and it is responsible for providing sedative and sleepy effects. Strains high in myrcene are expected to be quite potent, and they help THC enter the brain faster. Another terpene, known for its lemon citrus scent, is limonene. Limonene is thought to relieve anxiety and may have anti-tumor properties when it comes to treating breast cancer. It may also fight acne-causing bacteria, fungal infections, and help those who suffer from gastrointestinal disorders. Another terpene known for its sharp and acidic pine-like scent is known as alpha-pinene. Alpha-pinene acts as a bronchodilator and may have anti-inflammatory properties. Some research suggests is may also improve memory.

Beta-caryophyllene is a special terpene that can also bind with cannabinoid receptors like cannabinoids do. Beta-caryophyllene is able to bind to the same locations as CBD, which allows it to produce anti-inflammatory properties, ease anxiety, and fight depression. This terpene can be recognized by its sharp, black pepper scent. It also buffers against some of the psychoactive effects of THC. Lastly, the terpene linalool produces a lavender scent, and acts as an anticonvulsant and muscle relaxant. Its effects are further enhanced alongside CBD. This terpene is also an anxiolytic that can quell stress and promote a sense of calm in a much more mild way than the sedative myrcene. 

This concludes our short series on terpenes. This information has been provided by MassRoots and approved by our Chief Medical Officer. 

Terpenes Series: Myrcene and Limonene

Photo Credit: Leafly

Photo Credit: Leafly

Myrcene is the most common terpene found in cannabis, with some cannabis strains containing up to 60% of its essential oils. You can recognize strains high in myrcene by smelling earthy, musky, and herbal aromas similar to cloves. Myrcene is known for its sedative, analgesic, anti-inflammatory, antibiotic, and antimutagenic effects. The terpene also lowers resistance across the blood to brain barrier, reduces the time it takes for cannabinoids like THC to take effect, and increases the saturation level of CB1 receptors. One study found myrcene may prevent peptic ulcer disease by inhibiting gastric and duodoenal ulcers. It may also help with the symptoms of insomnia and pain because of its sedative and analgesic effects.

Another terpene, limonene, is known for its citrusy smells and ability to uplift mood and attitude. The terpene is best absorbed into the blood stream when inhaled. The terpene works synergistically to help absorb other terpenes. It also acts as an antifungal agent and promotes weight loss. Limonene is also undergoing investigation as a potential treatment option for breast cancer when administered orally. The terpene has low toxicity and only rarely exhibits adverse effects. 

This information has been provided by Medical Jane and approved by our Chief Medical Officer. 

Terpenes May Improve Effectiveness of Medical Marijuana

Photo Credit: Medical Jane

Photo Credit: Medical Jane

When it comes to understanding how medical marijuana relieves the symptoms of various conditions, many attribute the effects to cannabinoids, but some may overlook the fact that terpenes enhance these benefits. Terpenes are aromatic chemicals found in the essential oils of plants. Over 20,000 terpenes have been identified, of which 140 have been found in cannabis. Some terpenes are beneficial on their own, but they also work well supplementing other cannabinoids and terpenes. For example, the terpene caryophyllene can directly activate CB2 receptors in the body, allowing it to provide therapeutic benefits on its own. The terpene pinene is a bronchodilator, which has positive effects for asthma patients. Other terpenes, like linalool, can work as a buffer for cannabinoids, like counteracting the anxiety that THC might produce in some patients.

Medical marijuana researcher Ethan Russo believes that these synergistic effects could also be effective in combatting pain, inflammation, depression, addiction, epilepsy, cancer, and infections. For example, Russo believes whole-plant extracts that contain high amounts of the cannabinoid cannabigerol (CBG) and the terpene pinene provide anti-MRSA effects. Additionally, the terpenes pinene, linalool, and limonene in combination with CBD-rich cannabis produces a wide-range of benefits in the treatment of Alzheimer's. Cannabis containing the terpenes myrcene, pinene, and caryophyllene would have a powerful effect in the treatment of addiction. Terpenes can also influence the efficiency of medical marijuana ingestion, especially when it involves inhalation methods. Terpenes have been found to dilate capillaries in the lungs, which is beneficial in enabling cannabinoids to enter the bloodstream. Another terpene, nerolidol, can penetrate the skin, which could help with the absorption of cannabinoids through topical applications.

This information has adapted from Medical Jane and approved by our Chief Medical Officer.

Terpenes Found in Cannabis (Part 1)

Photo Credit: Leaf Science

Photo Credit: Leaf Science

Many are quick to give cannabis' cannabinoids the credit for providing therapeutic relief. What some don't know is that cannabis' terpenes are also partly responsible for the plant's medicinal value. There are over 120 different terpenes that can be found in the cannabis plant, and High Times Magazine discusses 10 of these terpenes that you might find in your cannabis strain. In Part 1 of this two part series, we will discuss half of this list. 

1) You may be able to smell Limonene's citrus scents, and the terpene can relieve stress as well as treat gallstones. It also has anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, and anti-carcinogenic properties.

2) Pinene produces a sort of pine needle flavor, and the terpene works excellently as an expectorant, topical antiseptic, and a bronchodilator.

3) Borneol, a terpene that smells of menthol, is known to be a stress reliever. Interestingly, the terpene also serves as an insect repellant.

4) Myrcene is also common in other plants, like bay, thyme, parsley, and hops. Its known for its sedative effects, but it also works as an antioxidant, anti-carcinogenic, anti-inflammatory, and analgesic.  

5) Another terpene with sedative properties is Linalool, but it also has anti-convulsant, anti-anxiety, anti-depressant, and anti-acne properties.

This information has been approved by our Chief Medical Officer.