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. Can it help? More 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.

Man with his hands up in distress outdoors. Medical marijuana and stress.
Medical Marijuana and Stress

Understanding Medical Marijuana And Stress

First off, you should know that some levels of stress are 100% natural. It’s how your body reacts whenever it perceives 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.

So, what happens to you 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 isn't always the case.

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

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 aren't any 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.

Still have more questions about medical cannabis?

Marijuana and Stress: Are Indicas or Sativas Better?

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. So, in terms of indica or sativa strains, which are better for helping with stress?

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 b 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 talk.

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. Thanks, indica weed.

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 impact 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 boosts 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 result in an over-active 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!

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's one that can support your health and wellness tenfold. Have any questions? We're here.