Science Backs Cannabis for Stress Relief

Although marijuana laws have changed dramatically in recent years, one of the major roadblocks for more scientific studies of cannabis is the federal classification of cannabis as a Schedule I controlled substance. This drastically limits the research opportunities and funding available for cannabis studies.

However, a few major studies have gone a long way in changing attitudes about the medical applications of cannabis. A recent study from Washington State University (WSU)* offers more evidence to support cannabis as an effective treatment for short-term stress.

New Findings From Washington State University Study On Cannabis

Most cannabis research studies and clinical trials in recent years required researchers to administer THC doses orally in pill form. The new WSU study instead focused on more realistic forms of cannabis use; specifically, the study allowed participants to smoke or consume cannabis at home in a variety of quantities and strain types.

Laboratory studies can limit the accuracy of a study of this nature, and the average person who consumes cannabis does not do so in pill form. Taking a realistic approach to marijuana use allowed the WSU research team to develop a more accurate picture of the benefits of cannabis use and the effects of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD), the active compounds found in marijuana strains with psychoactive properties.

Different Strains Produce Different Levels Of Stress Relief

The WSU study found that a single puff of cannabis with high CBD content and low THC content could help reduce the symptoms of depression. Two puffs of any type of cannabis can reduce the symptoms of anxiety. Smoking ten puffs of cannabis with high CBD and THC content produced the most profound stress relief for participants in the study. Most people believe that high THC content in a strain equates to more effective treatment of the person’s medical issues, but CBD also plays an important role in relieving stress and pain.

Medical marijuana strains typically grow in two main types**: sativa strains with high THC content, and indica strains with high CBD content. It is also possible to grow hybrid strains with high THC and CBD content, essentially providing the “best of both worlds” to some medical marijuana patients. Kind Meds in Mesa, AZ offers a comprehensive marijuana strain guide for our customers to find the perfect strain for their medical concerns.

Related Reading: How to Get Your Arizona Medical Marijuana Card

Sativa Strains

Cannabis For Stress Relief Sativa strains generally have higher THC content than indica strains and can produce energizing effects. Sativa cannabis generally produces a more mental high than a physical sensation, making it more effective for treating psychological conditions like anxiety, depression, and mood disorders. Some of the symptoms sativa strains help treat include:

  • Physical pain
  • Stress relief
  • Fatigue
  • Nausea.
  • Mood swings
  • Poor concentration

Sativa varieties are generally the most popular marijuana strains for anxiety, depression, mood disorders, and ADHD. Individuals looking for medical cannabis that won’t keep them locked to the couch and enable them to enjoy symptom relief while going about their usual day, benefit from sativa strains. Sativa cannabis can be especially beneficial for depression because most types of prescription depression medication carry high risks of adverse side effects.

Indica Strains

While sativa strains generally address psychological issues, high THC indica strains are more effective at treating physical pain and other uncomfortable physical symptoms. Medical marijuana patients who want the calming and sedating effects of THC should explore indica varieties of cannabis. These strains contain higher cannabinoid levels than sativa varieties and generally produce more physically noticeable effects.

Indica strains are ideal for treating conditions including:

  • Seizure disorders
  • Headaches
  • Muscle and joint pain
  • Insomnia
  • Anxiety
  • Cancer treatment
  • Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD)
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
  • Bowel disorders like Crohn’s Disease

People who suffer from different types of arthritis and musculoskeletal conditions generally prefer indica strains. In particular, indica strains can help increase appetite and improve sleep quality. This is very beneficial to medical marijuana patients who may want a strain that creates deep relaxation and physical relief, but an indica strain may not be ideal to consume just before work or driving due to the euphoric and relaxing effects these strains produce.


Medical cannabis growers also produce hybrid strains that contain properties of both indica and sativa. These strains generally have THC and CBD content that falls within the spectrum of either type, allowing patients more personalized treatment for their unique medical issues. For example, some hybrid strains are high in both CBD and THC, ideal for a person struggling with both physical and psychological symptoms. It’s also possible to find strains that favor either CBD or THC. A patient may want intense physical relief without falling asleep on the couch, so a strain with high CBD content and moderate THC content may be ideal.

Delivery Method And Usage Patterns

The way people consume cannabis can also influence medical marijuana efficacy and usage patterns. For example, CBD oil products generally have very low THC content but offer an intense dose of CBD. This can help alleviate physical symptoms without causing the psychoactive effects typically associated with marijuana. CBD oil products could, therefore, be ideal for professionals who cannot be high at work or others who simply do not enjoy the psychoactive effects of cannabis.

The WSU study is unique because it analyzed more realistic cannabis use patterns. Instead of simply using laboratory-formulated THC medication, the WSU researchers wanted to see the effects of cannabis from typical use. The study concluded that marijuana can help alleviate the symptoms of anxiety, depression, and stress, but there is a risk of more severe depression later following prolonged cannabis use.

Finding The Right Strain For You

The budtenders at Kind Meds in Mesa, AZ are available to medical marijuana card holders looking for personalized relief from their adverse symptoms. There is a dizzying variety in the medical cannabis world, and finding the right strain can feel like a challenge. Kind Meds offers a wide range of medical cannabis products and responsibly sourced cannabis flowers, so our customers always have a vast selection. Working with an experienced, professional dispensary is a great way to make the medical marijuana purchasing experience much more comfortable, so visit us today and let us know what questions you have about medical cannabis.


Check Out Our Medicinal Weed Strains Guide