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Marijuana and Stress

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As humans, several things cause us to feel stressed. From deadlines, finances, workloads to relationship problems or illnesses, we’ve got stressful situations all around us. While short-term stress might be acceptable and necessary for survival, long-term stress can be quite harmful to the body—especially if you do not have adequate coping mechanisms. With how pervasive chronic stress is, many people are starting to wonder about medical marijuana and stress.  


So, is weed good for stress? Specifically, are indica strains or sativa strains better for calming the nerves?


Don’t worry. We’re covering all of this and more down below. But, first, let’s cover the basic relationship between medical marijuana and stress.


Is Weed Good For Stress?


First, you should know that some stress levels are 100% natural. It’s how your body reacts whenever it perceives a threat or danger, and these responses are unique to you. Although humans are no longer faced with the extreme danger of being eaten by animals, we’ve got a lot more to worry about. Piling bills, constant workloads, and — most recently — a global pandemic can constitute stress that seems like a threat to your body.

Effects Of Stress On The Body


So what happens when you feel stressed? What is the body’s response? Typically, your body sends a signal to your brain to release hormones that help increase your heart rate, prepare your muscles to move, and increase your alertness. These hormones — cortisol, adrenaline, and noradrenaline — are secreted to help you deal with potential threats. Thus, you’re in fight or flight mode, full of stress hormones and adrenaline. Temporarily, this is easy to combat and may alleviate quickly. Unfortunately, this is not always true.


If you are constantly stressed, your body always feels the need to secrete stress hormones to fight back. This response then results in a repeated activation of the stress response system, which can negatively affect major organs and your overall health.


Additionally, long-term stress can affect your immune system, stomach, heart, and reproductive organs. It can also aggravate health conditions like asthma. In fact, stress is estimated to cause approximately 60% of all human illnesses and diseases, including heart disease, heart attacks, and stroke. Because of this, finding a way to calm down and relax whenever you feel stressed and overwhelmed is essential to your health and wellness.

How Cannabis Can Help


So, does weed relieve stress? Since cannabis contains cannabinoids, it can induce the release of endorphins and serve as a beneficial medicine to reduce stress. When you use cannabis for stress, these cannabinoids travel through your bloodstream and search for areas in need of support. During times of excess stress, the body will let these cannabinoids know that regulation needs to occur. So, the cannabis plant gets to work, absorbing molecules as required and slowing the production of cortisol.


With this, it becomes a whole lot easier to take a deep breath.


Cannabis, as a medicinal plant, can help manage stressful situations of all types. Of course, it isn’t ridding stressful situations entirely, but it makes your body’s response a lot more manageable. In general, the cannabis plant can help with symptoms of stress such as:


  • Low energy
  • Insomnia
  • Feelings of low self-esteem, worthlessness, loneliness, and depression
  • Pains aches and tense muscles,
  • Easy frustration, mood swings, and agitation

The Benefits of Using Marijuana for Stress


Using weed for stress offers a non-harmful and non-addictive alternative to prescription drugs (as long as you properly consume them). On the journey for stress relief, patients may opt for marijuana because it provides a natural option when having a difficult time. After all, there are no unnatural chemical additives! Medical cannabis comes straight from Mother Nature herself.


This is because the cannabinoids present in marijuana, like CBD, can provide a sense of calm that leads to improved relaxation and better sleeping habits. These chemical compounds are what make marijuana a suitable herbal remedy for reducing stress. Moreover, THC and CBD compounds found in marijuana may help you clear your mind and regulate irrational thoughts. With a few puffs of weed, your far-fetched worries often become a thing of the past. Instead, you’re focused wholly on how decompressed you feel.


Once again, you should note that cannabis can help manage stress and give you a better life, not cure your anxiety. Every person’s reaction to marijuana and stress is different, with some consumers finding incredible benefits and others not finding any at all. Medical cannabis is unique to you, so you just have to try it for yourself to see how your body reacts.

Marijuana and Stress: Are Indicas or Sativas Better?


In the ongoing discussion about the benefits of cannabis for mental health, a key question often arises: when it comes to managing anxiety, which is more effective, indica or sativa for anxiety and stress? Presently, several findings support the common claim that cannabis reduces stress, relieves tension, and helps manage anxiety and even related disorders like PTSD. We need more research to draw concrete conclusions, but what we have now is quite promising. But which is the better one?


Generally, indica strains are more commonly associated with giving a sedative and calming experience. Sativas tend to do the opposite, invigorating the mind and boosting creativity. This invigorating experience by sativa strains heightens thoughts and, although valuable, may not always be what a stressed person wants.


Nonetheless, it’s crucial to understand that everyone’s reaction to cannabis is not the same and that different strains produce unique effects. However, there are still various benefits to using both sativas and indicas for stress. Let’s take a look…

Benefits of Indica for Stress


Indicas are popular as a type of cannabis that helps with increasing deep relaxation and sleep. Using indica for stress can make you more laid back and calm, combating the racing thoughts you may have previously had. These gentle, soothing effects may help reduce overall stress levels.


Customers search for indica strains because of their strong sedative effects (typically due to their high CBD content), which can also counteract the stress that comes with pain. Indica weed is the best strain for inducing sleep when taken in large doses because its sedative effects can bring about drowsiness, making you want to drift off to bed. Reducing pain, helping with sleep, and alleviating anxious thoughts can do wonders for your overall stress levels.

5 Indica Strains For Reducing Stress


  1. Granddaddy Purple: This potent indica strain has a sedative and stress-relieving effect, making it perfect for those seeking relief from stress. It is a cross between Purple Urkle and Big Bud, with an earthy, sweet berry aroma with a hint of grape. Its effects come on quickly, provide users with a heavy body sensation that helps relax the muscles and relieve tension.
  2. Northern Lights: This popular indica strain provides users with a deeply relaxing experience that can help alleviate anxiety, depression and stress in minutes. With its spicy yet sweet flavor and strong skunky aroma, Northern Lights helps create an uplifting mood while calming down the mind and body.
  3. Hindu Kush: Hindu Kush is an ancient indica strain known for its sedative properties that are perfect for relieving stress and tension in the body. It has pungent earthy aromas coupled with sweet floral notes, making it one of the best indica strains on the market for stress relief.
  4. Blueberry: Blueberry is another excellent indica strain for relieving stress due to its soothing effects on both the mind and body. It has an unmistakable blueberry aroma combined with subtle hints of pine and spice that make it both enjoyable to smell and smoke. Its effects are long-lasting, helping users drift off into a dreamy state while still keeping them alert enough to be productive throughout their day without feeling drowsy or lethargic later on.
  5. White Widow: White Widow is another classic indica strain that has become renowned worldwide as one of the best marijuana strains for alleviating stress thanks to its intense euphoric high combined with heavy relaxation properties that will help put your mind at ease after a stressful day or week at work or home life obligations

Benefits of Sativa for Stress


On the other hand, the canna-community knows sativa strains for their energizing effects. These uplifting, stimulating results can help reduce stress and increase creativity and focus. Since the main constituent of cannabis is THC, this kind of medical marijuana can stabilize your mood quite well.


A study on the effects of THC and CBD during emotional processing indicates that the combination of THC and CBD found in sativa species of cannabis can affect the neural and symptomatic response to fear. In addition, THC can help patients dealing with stress to feel more energetic and productive. Thus, sativas may work well to treat stress because they can give you the boost in mood you need to get back on track and tackle your day.


However, it’s crucial to note that some people find sativa strains counterproductive for stress and anxiety. Too much of these stimulating strains may cause an overactive mind, creating higher anxiety levels than before. If you’re someone prone to high anxiety and stress levels, we’d suggest avoiding sativa strains. For you, indicas are likely the way to go!

4 Sativa Strains For Reducing Stress


  1. Jack Herer: Jack Herer is a well-known sativa strain that is known for its ability to reduce stress and anxiety. It has an uplifting and energizing effect and a strong citrusy aroma. This strain has been used by medical marijuana patients to treat depression and PTSD symptoms.
  2. Sour Diesel: Sour Diesel is another popular sativa strain that is prized for its ability to reduce stress levels. It’s known for its pungent diesel smell, and it provides an energizing high that can help lift moods and relieve tension in the body.
  3. Green Crack: Green Crack is another great Sativa strain for reducing stress levels, combining a fruity flavor with an uplifting buzz that helps relax tense muscles and promote mental clarity. With its high THC content, it’s also great at treating common ailments like chronic pain, nausea, and insomnia.
  4. Super Silver Haze: Super Silver Haze is a classic Sativa strain that’s beloved by many due to its calming effects on the mind and body. Its sweet flavor pairs nicely with its calming effects which can help improve focus while reducing feelings of stress or anxiety in some users.

Indica vs. Sativa For Stress




General Effects

Promotes deep relaxation and sleep, makes you more laid back and calm

Energizing effects, uplifts mood and increases creativity and focus

Popular For

Strong sedative effects, often due to high CBD content, inducing sleep and reducing pain

Stabilizing mood with THC content, enhancing energy and productivity

Impact on Stress

Reduces racing thoughts, alleviates anxious thoughts, contributing to lower stress levels

Reduces stress by boosting mood, helps in tackling day-to-day challenges with increased focus

Best Used For

Combating insomnia and improving sleep quality, managing pain that contributes to stress

Managing mood swings and stress in day-time use, enhancing creative tasks and projects


Best for nighttime use due to sedative effects

May increase anxiety in some individuals due to its stimulating nature, recommended for those who respond well to energy boosts without heightened anxiety

Research Insights

Customers seek out indica strains for their ability to induce sleep and reduce pain, significantly impacting overall stress levels.

Studies indicate THC and CBD in sativa can affect emotional processing, making it useful for stress management by making patients feel more energetic and productive.


Ideal for individuals looking for a calming effect to counteract stress and anxiety.

While effective for stress reduction in some, individuals prone to high anxiety might find sativa strains to increase stress levels and are advised to proceed with caution.

Can You Get an MMJ Card for Stress?


At the moment, you cannot get a medical marijuana card for stress because stress isn’t a qualifying condition for a card. However, because long-term stress can lead to other serious health issues like anxiety, depression, heart disease, and several others, it’s likely that you will still qualify for an MMJ card. (And, if you’re not sure, Elevate will help you out.)


No matter what you’re interested in getting your MMJ card for, discuss your medical conditions with us at Elevate Holistics. Our expert telemedicine team will work with you one-on-one to discover just what your body needs. Leverage our hassle-free platform to fast-track and simplify your wellness journey! 


We promise even if medical marijuana for stress might not be the most conventional relationship; it can support your health and wellness tenfold. Have any questions? We’re here.

Get Your MMJ Card Right From Home

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

About the author

Michael Lawal is a seasoned content writer with specialized expertise in the medical cannabis industry. With a background that blends journalism and health sciences, Michael has a knack for translating complex medical cannabis research into accessible and engaging content. His writing portfolio showcases a range of work from informative articles and research summaries to patient education materials. Committed to raising awareness about the benefits and responsible use of medical cannabis, Michael's work is a valuable resource for both consumers and professionals in the field.
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