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Ever taken a hit and found yourself feeling a bit, well, paranoid? Us too. Sometimes, certain high-THC strains can create strong feelings of anxiety, making your heart rate rise, your hands shake, and your mind full of racing thoughts. 


Unfortunately, there are a handful of worst strains for anxiety that you should likely avoid if you’re prone to feeling a bit nervous in your daily life. But, we’re here to help you out. 


Along with listing some of the strongest, worst strains for anxiety, we’re also explaining why these strains may leave you feeling this way, as well as some of the best options for when you’re feeling on edge. 


Let’s figure out which strains are best for you—strains that don’t make your heart race; and which ones you want to avoid when it comes to your anxiety. 

Can Weed Increase Anxiety?


Turning to cannabis for anxiety is a delicate balance. While many consumers find that cannabis does help reduce stress and anxiety levels, others find that it actually does the opposite. 


First, it’s important to note that every person has a unique reaction to cannabis consumption.


Some people’s bodies simply don’t enjoy the effects that cannabinoids bring, and this can cause high levels of anxiety after just one puff. This doesn’t mean there’s anything wrong with you! This just means that cannabis for anxiety isn’t right for you. 


Thankfully, many people do find that the plant can help calm their nerves when consumed responsibly. The biggest element to keep in mind here has to do with the actual cannabinoids found within the plant.


Typically, CBD — the most abundant non-psychoactive cannabinoid in cannabis — tends to be the best compound for fighting anxiety levels.


CBD has natural calming properties, making it good for reducing stress and helping to reduce racing thoughts. Thus, high-CBD strains tend to be the best choice for those turning to cannabis for anxiety relief. 

Why Does Weed Make Me Paranoid?


Usually, when people experience high anxiety levels after consuming cannabis, the THC cannabinoid is what’s creating these effects


Because the THC cannabinoid works directly with the cannabinoid receptors in the brain, it causes feelings of euphoria and bliss. Unfortunately, this can also bring feelings of paranoia and nervousness if you’re not used to the way it makes you feel. 


When you consume THC, the cannabinoid helps the brain produce extra neurotransmitters like dopamine, GABA, and serotonin. For most people, this causes feelings of bliss and relaxation. But, not for everyone. 


Sometimes, this production causes adverse effects on the brain and body, creating increased cortisol production.


As the body’s main stress hormone, high cortisol levels will make you feel stressed, paranoid, and, well, pretty darn anxious.  


So, for those with naturally high anxiety levels, it’s best to avoid strains with high THC levels.


While this may be tempting if you’re looking for a stronger high, this can also be the best way to make you feel shaky, nervous, and have a high heart rate. 


High-THC options tend to be the worst strains for anxiety out there. These types of strains are likely to cause much more extreme reactions than strains with less THC levels.


Thus, beginners and anxious people beware: high-THC strains are not the best place to start. 


Speaking of, let’s take a look at some of the most popular yet worst strains for anxiety out there. 

10 Worst Strains for Anxiety 


Again, we want to stress that most strains with high THC levels are not going to be great for your anxiety. 


But, on the flip side, you may find that one of these strains helps you calm down: it’s different for everyone!


If you’re someone who is prone to nervousness and paranoia, though, definitely avoid these worst strains for anxiety. In no particular order:

1. Green Crack


If you’re someone prone to anxiety and nervousness, we’d highly suggest avoiding the Green Crack strain.

Green Crack is one of the worst strains for anxiety because of its ultra-stimulating properties. This sativa strain is known for being very energizing, and that can come with an accelerated heart rate and shakiness.


The mental buzz may be nice for those who tend to be quite relaxed normally, but this may be too overwhelming and cause anxiety in many.  

2. Jack the Ripper 


If you are trying to avoid strains that make you paranoid, another sativa strain to stay away from is  Jack the Ripper, which promotes high-energy properties and high THC levels that tend to make a lot of consumers paranoid and uncomfortable.


Some even report feeling dizzy and disoriented after smoking this intense sativa strain. 

3. Durban Poison 


Durban Poison produces very energizing effects that may raise your heart rate a bit too much after smoking, making you feel unsettled and probably a little shaky. 


For some, Durban Poison can be great for boosting creativity and bliss; however, those looking for strains that don’t make your heart race may not enjoy these over-stimulating feelings. 

4. Trainwreck 


Trainwreck is another one of the worst strains for anxiety out there. The strain tends to have high levels of THC, creating intense highs that can feel overwhelming, especially for beginners.


Trainwreck is a Sativa-dominant strain, and in high doses, it may create feelings of anxiety or paranoia

5. Girl Scout Cookies (GSC)


We know you don’t want to hear this, but many consumers find that the classic GSC strain is one of the worst weed strains for anxiety. 


Girl Scout Cookies may be one of the most well-known strains in the world, but this hybrid is also known for creating strong feelings of discomfort because of the head rushes it can bring. The higher the dose, the more intense of a head rush you’ll get with this potent strain. 

6. Tangerine Dream


People celebrate this Sativa-dominant blend for its distinct citrusy aroma and flavor, offering an invigorating and balanced high. It leaves users feeling relaxed yet alert. However, it can cause overactive thoughts and unease in those prone to anxiety.


To enjoy the Tangerine Dream without concerns, consider starting with a minimal microdose or avoid it altogether to dodge anxiety flare-ups.

7. Alaskan Thunderfuck (ATF)


ATF offers a profound, mind-expanding high reminiscent of psychedelic experiences, thanks to its roots in the Matanuska Valley of Alaska.


This renowned sativa variety is linked with increased mental sharpness and awareness. However, those navigating anxiety issues should exercise caution with ATF, as its intense and contemplative high can lead to feelings of paranoia, especially at higher doses.

8. Grandaddy Purple


A top-seller across North America, Grandaddy Purple stands out as a potent Indica-dominant hybrid, offering deep relaxation, pain alleviation, joy, and sleep induction. Yet, its powerful effects can also lead to discomfort for anxiety sufferers, with the potential for inducing paranoia and panic.


Known for its strong sedative qualities, GDP’s couch-lock effect can significantly hinder attempts to shake off an overwhelming high.

9. White Widow


Famed globally, White Widow is a balanced hybrid born in the Netherlands, notable for its high THC levels and potent psychoactive properties.


These characteristics may amplify anxiety, panic, and fear for those already battling such issues, making it a less-than-ideal choice for relaxation and stress relief. Individuals seeking to unwind might find that White Widow does more to heighten their anxiety than ease it.

10. Willie Nelson


Willie Nelson, a strain with a reputation for its potent sativa-driven effects, packs a punch with an uplifting and creativity-spurring high, boasting a THC content of approximately 22%. It’s also recognized for its ability to mitigate nausea.


However, those sensitive to THC should approach Willie Nelson with caution, as its high potency can aggravate anxiety symptoms when consumed in large doses.

Best Strains for Anxiety


Now, we can’t talk about the worst strains for anxiety without talking about some of the best weed strains for anxiety. These strains that don’t make your heart race are not high in THC; in fact, most of them have significant levels of CBD, instead. 


Here are some great strains to puff on when you want to feel the extra chill. 

Sunset Sherbert


If you want to sit back, relax, and let stress roll off your shoulders — all while enjoying some great dessert-like flavors — Sunset Sherbert is the strain for you. 


Interestingly enough, this strain comes from mixing GSC with Pink Panties, but the result is ultra-calming and great for lowering stress and anxiety levels. But, we will warn you, it might be a bit hard to find these days — it’s a popular one! 

Northern Lights


Northern Lights is another great strain to puff on when you’re hoping to reduce your levels of anxiety and just chill out.

This Indica strain is well-known for its full-body highs, relaxing the muscles and joints and bringing a lot of comfort throughout. This can be great for those who hold a lot of tension in their body from their anxiety or stress levels.  



Finally, if you want to feel relaxed but not very intoxicated. This is because Harlequin is a CBD-dominant strain, which makes it easy for consumers to feel relaxed, focused, and comfortable.

Again, you can’t expect to get very high from this strain, if at all, but it’s a great sativa option to turn to help you feel motivated without feeling overly anxious, paranoid, or stressed. 


LEARN MORE: Terpenes for Anxiety, Depression, and Overall Zen

How to Safely Use Cannabis for Anxiety


Always begin with low doses, especially if you are new to cannabis or have experienced heightened anxiety with cannabis use in the past. Starting low allows your body to adjust gradually and helps you identify the minimum effective dose that provides relief without unwanted side effects. 


Opt for strains known for their high CBD and low THC content, as CBD is renowned for its anxiety-reducing properties without the psychoactive effects associated with THC.


Ensure you are in a comfortable, safe environment where you feel relaxed and at ease—being in a familiar place can significantly reduce the likelihood of anxiety or paranoia. You may have a trusted friend with you, especially if trying cannabis for the first time, to provide reassurance and support if needed. 


Remember, everyone’s response to cannabis is unique, and what works for one person may not work for another. Simply put, patience and careful observation are keys to finding the right balance for your anxiety management.

Find What Makes You Feel Best With Elevate Holistics


At the end of the day, cannabis is all about what makes you feel your best. Sadly, not every strain out there — out of the thousands and thousands — will make you feel how you want them to. However, it’s all about a little trial and error and finding out what you enjoy most. 


A great way to determine which strains help you most is to track the terpenes and cannabinoids in the strain itself. While THC may make you anxious, a certain terpene may also be the cause of this nervousness.


Pay attention to the terpenes in your strains to see if you can establish some sort of a connection. This will help you determine whether or not a strain might be bad for you before you even try it. 


Regardless, it’s important to remember that cannabis for anxiety isn’t for everyone. And that’s perfectly fine! What’s most important is finding out what makes you feel good and going from there — and Elevate Holistics is always here to help. 


Ready to try medical cannabis with more benefits than ever? Elevate Holistics can help you get your MMJ card online, right from the comfort of your home.


With a medical card, you save time and money, get access to more cannabis, and have exclusive benefits that adult-use consumers simply don’t get. 


So, what’re you waiting for? Stray from the worst strains for anxiety easier than ever before and get your medical card online through Elevate Holistics

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Elevate Holistics’ process is quick, affordable, and done entirely online. It’s never been so easy.

About the author

Ally Hilbert is the Content and SEO Manager here at Elevate Holistics, working to publish and run Elevate’s blogs and landing pages, as well as conduct keyword research, competitor analysis, and more. After having brain surgery at the age of 17, Ally became fascinated with medical cannabis and its benefits, and, at 18, had her first CBD-related piece published. Today, she’s been writing about cannabis for the past six years, and simply can’t think of a better company to get to do it for. When she’s not writing or editing, Ally’s side-by-side with her pup Sadie in Seattle.
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