Life can be tough. (Like, global pandemic-type tough.) So, feeling stressed occasionally is perfectly normal. But, when you find yourself overly stressed out over the smallest things, this may be a sign of something bigger. Even though a bit of stress is okay, too much can cause some serious health conditions you may not even realize. With this in mind, Elevate Holistics explores the relationship between marijuana and stress and whether the cannabis plant can help with these tense emotions. 

marijuana and stress

What Is Stress and What Causes It? 

Before we talk about whether or not medical marijuana for stress is helpful, let’s quickly go over what stress is in general. 

Stress occurs when the body feels overwhelmed and unable to cope with the situation it's in. As a result, the body produces both physical and emotional responses that can be unique to every person. 

What causes stress depends on the person entirely. Typically, stress is a response to our bodies adjusting to change or uncertain situations. This can be a positive thing, as stress can protect us and even motivate us during difficult times. (Think about how many times your stress kept you productive, like in school.) However, other people experience stress in situations that most people wouldn’t. This may indicate a stress-related disorder or underlying condition that you shouldn’t ignore. 

The specific causes of stress are vast. Here are just a few of some of the most common triggers, though: 

  • Loss of a loved one
  • Surviving major accident or natural disaster
  • Military deployment
  • Breakup/Divorce
  • Loss of career
  • Moving
  • Chronic illness
  • Injury
  • Traumatic events 

Physical and Emotional Symptoms of Stress 

Unfortunately, when stress hits, it can hit hard. It doesn’t just affect your emotional state, but it impacts your physical being, as well. It’s often easy to pick up on the emotional turmoil of stress; however, the physical impacts are often overlooked or unnoticed until too late. Here, we’ll break down the physical and emotional symptoms of stress, so you know what to look out for. 

Physical Symptoms: 

  • Body aches and pains
  • Tremors, typically in the hands or feet
  • Racing heart
  • Chest pain
  • High blood pressure
  • Digestive problems
  • Teeth clenching
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Fatigue
  • Headaches
  • Dizziness 

Emotional Symptoms:

  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Problems with memory/concentration
  • Low sex drive
  • Irritability
  • Mood swings
  • Compulsive behavior/thoughts

Difference Between Stress and Anxiety

Before we connect marijuana and stress, we must establish the difference between stress and anxiety. Stress and anxiety are not the same things. While stress can lead to anxiety — and vice versa — the two are different complications. Let us explain.

Stress is brought on by a certain situation or circumstance. It is a response. Anxiety, however, is characterized as persistent worrying and panic even if the stressor itself is no longer there. So, let’s say you’re stuck in traffic on the way to work and you’re worried about being late. You start to get tense, and you feel your heart rate rise. This is stress. Once you’re out of the car and at work, you’re just fine and can focus on the tasks at hand. 

Anxiety, on the other hand, wouldn’t let you relax even after you were out of the car. If you had anxiety, you would worry before even getting in your vehicle about potential traffic — even after you’ve checked that there isn’t any. There isn’t a stressor around, yet, you’re still worried about the situation. That is anxiety.

LEARN MORE: Medical Marijuana and Anxiety

Different Types of Stress 

Stress is unique and appears in different forms. In fact, there are a few types of stress that you may be experiencing. Here, we’re talking about three of the most common types: acute stress, chronic stress, and episodic acute stress.

Acute Stress – This type of stress is the most common and non-damaging to the body. Acute stress happens as a reaction to strange, new, exciting, uncertain, or frightening situations. The response can be both positive and negative, and it shouldn’t cause any problems as it isn’t long-term. With acute stress, the responses will fade as the situation does. 

Chronic Stress – As the name suggests, these emotions aren’t occasional; they’re long-term. Having stress long-term and experiencing these reactions on a daily basis can be highly detrimental to your health. Chronic stress can lead to health complications like anxiety, heart disease, high blood pressure, and depression.

Episodic Acute Stress – Finally, episodic acute stress occurs when you have frequent episodes of acute stress. These episodes aren’t necessarily long-lasting, but they do happen often enough for you to worry about them in advance. This can cause a feeling of consistent stress, and it can cause harm physically and emotionally. Typically, those in high-stress jobs experience this. 

Is Marijuana Good for Stress?

marijuana and stress

Ah, yes, the million-dollar question: is marijuana good for stress? Yes! Marijuana and stress have a positive relationship that many people benefit from. 

In general, the cannabis plant is known for its relaxing, calming properties that help with both physical and mental discomfort. For those who are stressed out and unable to regulate their emotions, medical marijuana can be that helping hand. 

When you consume cannabis, the cannabinoids work alongside the body’s endocannabinoid system to find any imbalances or complications. If the body produces too much cortisol — our primary stress hormone — the plant compounds work to regulate this production, slowing absorption and letting the body calm down. If you’ve ever taken a hit and then felt an intense sense of relief after, this was likely a result of re-regulation. 

Smoking weed relieves stress in so many different ways, too. Not only does it work with actual stress hormones, but its anti-anxiety properties function to give your state of mind a break, providing some much-needed euphoria. Not to mention, its anti-inflammatory properties can help deal with any residual chronic aches and pains that may be attributed to your stress levels. 

Marijuana for stress relief is an excellent option for those looking for a more natural route to combating these on-edge feelings. Especially when your stress is only circumstantial, it can be wonderful to have an organic product on hand to provide an immediate deep breath. 

Best Strain for Stress Relief 

If you’re hoping to try medical marijuana for stress relief, then you’ve got a few (okay, a lot) strains to choose from. While most cannabis strains are great for providing bliss and relaxation, some are ideal for combatting those high-stress moments. Here are three of the best strains for stress relief. 

Runtz

Runtz only recently became available to the general public, but, boy, has it made a name for itself. This incredibly tasty strain is a slightly indica-leaning hybrid that produces intense feelings of relaxation. But, alongside the body-heavy results are waves of bliss that make being stressed feel nearly impossible. Compared to other strains on the market, Runtz’s effects tend to be more long-lasting, making it one of the best strains for stress relief out there. 

Wedding Cake

If you’re looking to experience the benefits of marijuana and stress, Wedding Cake is a great strain to try. This is another hybrid strain, and it produces both uplifting and calming effects. People flock to the Wedding Cake strain for stress because of its ability to relax the mind and body, all while giving you a great dose of euphoria to remind you that everything’s okay. Not to mention, the sweet yet tangy flavors of this strain are something you’ve never tried before — and you’ll absolutely love. 

GG4

GG4, Gorilla Glue, Original Glue — whatever you want to call it. This strain is one of the best of the best when it comes to reducing your stress levels. GG4 is one of the few strains that masters describe as having “heavy-handed euphoria,” which is precisely what you need during those stressful days. With the heavy euphoria comes intense relaxation. So, don’t be surprised if you’re left glued to the couch after a few hits of this strain. But, hey, at least you won’t be worried about a thing. 

LEARN MORE: Medical Marijuana and Stress: Indica or Sativa Strains?

How to Get a Medical Card for Stress

Medical marijuana and stress have such a positive, beneficial relationship. Unfortunately, as it stands, you still cannot get a medical marijuana card for stress. However, Elevate Holistics is here to give you some solutions.

Even though you cannot technically get your medical card for stress, some states allow cannabis for anxiety. Here’s where you’ll qualify for MMJ with an anxiety-related condition:

Other states across the US will allow you to get your MMJ card based on a case-by-case evaluation. If they think your condition hinders your everyday life and that cannabis could help, then they can give you a recommendation for a card. Those states are: 

If your state isn’t listed here and you’re plagued with stress, don’t worry. Here at Elevate Holistics, our job is to help our patients get MMJ cards when they truly need them. We will work with you one-on-one to see what kind of conditions or symptoms you have that may be eligible for medical marijuana. This way, once you have an MMJ card, you experience the relief that a relationship like marijuana and stress have. 

Ready to get your medical marijuana card for yourself? Just click the button below to get started.