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Medical Marijuana as a Natural Stress Reducer

It’s no secret that people are feeling the stress these days. But chemical cures to stress often come with loads of undesirable side effects. So if you’re looking for some natural stress relievers, there are ways to reduce stress. Of course, we finish with cannabis.

Meditation

Buddhist monks have trained themselves to calm their hearts and minds for years. In fact, some accomplished monks have been able to meditate their heart rates to a virtual standstill. You need not aim for that level of inner peace to reap the benefits of meditation. Anyone can learn to breathe properly and control the nagging thoughts in their mind. The glorious thing about meditation is that you can do it anytime, anywhere. Are work meetings particularly stressful? Take a few minutes in the break room or bathroom to breathe through the anxiety before tackling the next project.

Exercise

Stress can make us angry and frustrated, but don’t bottle it up. Take it out on a punching bag in boxing class or on the pavement by running like the wind. Exercising also increases circulation, which helps boost your immune system and release happy-hormones called endorphins. The harder your workout, the more you’re going to feel that afterglow. Talk about a win-win way to combat the negative effects of stress!

Petting an animal

You know that warm, fuzzy feeling you get when you hug someone you love? That’s caused by oxytocin, the so-called “love hormone.” You don’t need a human partner to get a hit of oxytocin, though. Snuggle up with your pet for a few minutes and just enjoy rubbing its belly or ears. Studies have shown that both you and your animal produce oxytocin during a petting session, strengthening your bond and decreasing stress.

A hot soak

Stress causes our muscles to tense up without us knowing, leading to neck, shoulder, and back injuries. But relieving these physical pains can also help relieve mental strain. Draw a hot bath to soak in. The water will relax you and release the tension from your sore muscles. This will help your brain relax. Also, consider lighting a few candles or using a bath bomb to fill your bathroom with soothing scents.

Sex

Biologically sex must be a fun activity to keep humanity going. During this necessary reproductive process, your brain floods your body with many hormones that help you relax and stop worrying about life. These happy-chemicals include serotonin, dopamine, oxytocin, and endorphins. Plus, your heart rate increases, and your blood vessels dilate, increasing circulation and adding to that warm, fuzzy feeling.

Medical Marijuana

Medical marijuana is a non-harmful, non-addictive alternative to find relief when you’re having a hard time. Adding in cannabis to an already established stress-relief routine can enhance self-care.

Cannabis only does so at low-THC doses, according to a recent study published in a journal called Drug and Alcohol Dependence conducted by researchers at the University of Chicago and the University of Illinois at Chicago. The study supports the claim of cannabis relieves tension, stress, and anxiety. Study participants who received higher doses of THC reported some increase in negative mood and anxiety.

How much to dose?

Think small. Consuming small amounts of cannabis, less than 5mg, will relieve the stress of the day without being impaired. Small doses, or microdose, are best taken in edible form or in tinctures so you can be sure of the concentration you’re getting.

Alternatively, consuming larger doses of cannabis at the end of a long day might be the key to unwinding and relaxing without being distracted by or worrying about your day.

Dosing is different for every person. Start with a microdose, taking notes, then possibly upping your intake.

The strain does matter. These five strains help reduce stress and other symptoms effectively.

  1. Sour Diesel (Sativa) is a Sativa-dominant strain with quick-acting effects. It will energize you, but also induces a cerebral “dreamy” feeling. It tackles stress, anxiety, pain, insomnia, and lack of appetite.
  2. Royal Jack (Sativa-dominant) users experience clear-headedness and blissful feelings, encouraging them to be more creative. It’s a great stress-relieving strain.
  3. OG Kush (Indica) can come in the form of heavy Indica or potent Sativa. If you’re struggling with anxiety and stress, OG Kush will provide you with an uplifted and happy sensation. It is used as a nighttime medication, too, since it promotes sleep.
  4. White Widow (hybrid) provides a carefree buzz.
  5. Royal Cookies (hybrid) is an Indica and Sativa. This hybrid creates an uplifted, happy and relaxed feeling.

It is the CBD that promotes stress relief. There are over 60 other cannabinoid compounds found in cannabis, and all of them have some effect on your endocannabinoid system. Sometimes they complement one another, increasing the effects of one another. One of the more well-known phytocannabinoids (cannabinoids from plants) is CBD or cannabidiol. Adding CBD won’t get you high, but it’ll bolster the anti-stress properties, which is exactly what you want!

Shoot for strains high in THC and/or CBD, according to a Washington State University study that tracked nearly 12,000 cannabis sessions, found strains high in THC and/or CBD are most effective with stress. The study also found that Indica strains or Indica-dominant hybrids — as opposed to Sativas, are best. Known for being more relaxing, Indicas are more effective than Sativas.

The terpenes found in cannabis make some strains good for certain effects. For a more calming high, look for strains that contain linalool or myrcene. Myrcene has a sedative effect that may leave you relaxed but also stuck to the couch.

Edibles and tinctures are a great option for stress relief. With edibles and tinctures, the concentration is predictable. It takes the guesswork out of accurate dosing.

The article is informational only and not intended to be advice. Consult your family doctor to determine what solution is best for you. 

 

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