One of the most common mental health and emotional issues that arise in today’s society are anxiety and stress.
Due to the habits associated with society (constant stimuli, excess work, chores, rushing… ) anxiety is something that will affect most people during their life.
But, do you know what anxiety is, or how to reduce it?
What is Anxiety?
Anxiety is our body’s natural response when confronted with a situation considered dangerous.
Of itself, anxiety isn’t a bad thing, in fact it is necessary, as it’s a biological response that keeps us alive. For example, imagine you’re walking through the woods and you see a bear; your body will activate various mechanisms at this point; your heartbeat may begin to speed up, you may begin to breathe heavily, and you’ll feel like you’re in danger and that you need to act fast to survive.
The problem arises when these mechanisms are activated when there’s no direct threat around. The rhythm of modern society causes quite a lot of stress in individual people, and this constant tension over time can cause episodes of anxiety anxiety. Due to this, some people may even develop anxiety disorders that can become chronic.
What are the Symptoms of Anxiety?
Anxiety can appear in many different ways, including panic attacks, feelings of discomfort or being unwell in general, or recurring worries. It can also manifest itself via the compulsive consumption of substances and even food, or sleep disorders. The most common symptoms of anxiety are the following:
- An increase in heart rate
- Sensation of imminent danger, catastrophe etc.
- Hyperventilation: breathing accelerates, creating the sensation of a lack of oxygen
Can Cannabis Terpenes Reduce Anxiety?
As we were saying earlier, some cannabinoids can act as an anxiolytic, reducing anxiety and producing a relaxing effect. Some studies confirm that this effect is increased when cannabinoids are administered alongside terpenes, an effect known as the entourage effect.
However, today we’d like to go one step further, as some terpenes actually produce anxiolytic effects on their own and could be useful for treating anxiety and stress. Terpenes can be a great alternative to certain pharmaceutical products such as benzodiazepine, a type of medicine that has multiple negative side effects.
What Terpenes Reduce Anxiety?
Not all terpenes produced by cannabis plants are capable of reducing stress and anxiety levels. Each aromatic molecule has different properties, and when they’re combined they produce different effects. In the following section, we’re going to have a look at which terpenes produce anxiolytic effects according to science:
Although this terpene is known for producing mental clarity and having anti-depressant products, some studies also point towards it being apt for reducing anxiety too.
A study done with rats in 2013 concluded that Limonene has quite the potential to alleviate symptoms of anxiety using aromatherapy.
The same conclusion was obtained in another 2019 study in which this terpene was used to reduce stress (highly linked to anxiety) in a group of rats.
Caryophyllene is a terpene hat’s mainly known for its pain-reducing effects, producing quite a pleasing bodily relaxation.
This terpene interacts with our body’s endocannabinoid system’s CB2 receptors, which play quite an important part in the mechanisms that activate feelings of anxiety.
Via this interaction, this specific terpene could be effective as an anxiolytic, according to some studies.
Myrcene is one of the main terpenes in cannabis that can be found in most strains available. It produces a calming, sedating effect that many consumers report after consuming strains high in myrcene.
This is why it’s considered that this terpene could be a great way to combat symptoms of anxiety and to reduce stress, especially towards the end of the day; its narcotic effect may not be the best for experiencing during the day.
Various studies have confirmed that Linalool has calming and relaxing properties. This terpene, which is found in especially high amounts in lavender plants, has been studied for its multiple uses in aromatherapy.
Therefore it’s not that odd that there are many, many products on the market made using lavender for this exact purpose; cushions full of lavender for sleeping, essential oils etc.
Terpene Profiles or Strains for Reducing Anxiety
Generally speaking, cannabis strains are classified as Sativa and Indica, the first of which is usually known for its stimulating effects, with the second being classified as having relaxing effects.
While it’s true that cannabinoids produce psychoactive effects, which can be relaxing or stimulating, the terpene profile (aromatic profile or terpene proportion) of each strain also determines their particular effect.
This is why, generally speaking, we can say that terpene profiles that correspond with Indica strains, such as Holy Grail Kush, Truth or Blackberry Kush, tend to be more relaxing. This doesn’t mean that sativa strains can’t reduce anxiety, as some of them also contain terpenes with relaxing and anxiolytic properties.
Plus, keep in mind that we also have packs classified by their high proportion of determines terpenes, such as the Linalool 2 Pack, or the Myrcene 1 Pack, which contain strains high in these compounds that, as we were saying before, can help to reduce anxiety.
Cannabinoids and Terpenes for Fighting Anxiety
As we were saying before, thanks to the entourage effect, terpenes in strains classified as Indicas tend to have relaxing, anxiolytic or narcotic effects when combined with certain cannabinoids.
Although it’s true that there are some sativas such as AK 47 which, thanks to the presence of certain terpenes, can also alleviate anxiety.
Different Cannabinoid and Terpenes Proportions for Different Effects
The ratio of cannabinoids (the proportion of THC, CBD and other cannabinoids) present in a plant or cannabis product also influence the reduction of anxiety.
- If you have a product with 20% THC and less than 1% CBD, with an Indica terpene profile, this will most likely produce a strong, narcotic psychoactive effect.
These products or strains can reduce anxiety, but one thing is for certain: high amounts of THC can actually cause anxiety in some consumers.
- If you have a product that contains 10% THC and 10% CBD, as well as an Indica terpene profile, it will definitely produce a relaxing effect.
A ratio with CBD and THC proportions that are closer or even the same allows a larger amount of consumers to be able to reduce their anxiety.
- Products with more CBD than THC have a low or nonexistant psychoactive effect, so they’re an ideal method for those consumers that have adverse or unwanted effects from THC.
Plus, all of this combined with a relaxing terpene profile create the ideal effects for reducing anxiety. Our CBD e-liquids are one of these products, as they don’t contain any THC at all.
Consumers that tend to consume high amounts of THC, may consider these last two products to be too “light” psychoactively speaking, when compared to one that has a larger amount of THC. However, medicinally speaking, and specifically regarding reducing anxiety, these products are incredibly effective when it comes to balancing cannabinoids and/or reducing the proportion of THC.
So, what do you think? Are there any strains or terpenes that help you to effectively reduce anxiety? Let us know in the comments below.
Until next time!