Anxiety has finally met its match
Also known as SAD, social anxiety disorder has the potential to completely ruin a person’s life if it isn’t identified and treated as soon as possible. Imagine a situation where you constantly feel under the microscope, where every mistake you make is highlighted, and every move you make is judged? That is just a taste of what it feels like to have SAD.
In this article, we are going to discuss Social Anxiety Disorder and review 5 marijuana strains that could be perfect for dealing with this difficult condition.
What is Social Anxiety Disorder?
According to the Social Anxiety Institute1, social anxiety is a fear of interacting with people that bring on feelings of being judged negatively. Meeting other people makes you feel self-conscious and ultimately, you elect to avoid dealing with others. As a result, you become isolated and alone. You also feel inferior, inadequate and embarrassed.
The Anxiety and Depression Association of America2 (ADAA) believes that over 40 million American adults are affected by anxiety disorders which equates to over 18% of the adult population. Around 15 million people (of all ages) are affected by SAD which is almost 7% of the population. A survey from 2007 showed that 36% of people with social anxiety disorder wait over ten years before receiving help!
It is difficult to pin down an exact cause of SAD, but it is probably caused by a combination of genetic and environmental factors. For example, you’re more likely to have a social anxiety disorder if you are the victim of sexual abuse, bullying or family conflict. A serotonin imbalance may also be a reason as this chemical in the brain helps regulate mood.
It’s also possible that an overactive amygdala (one of the structures in your brain; it controls feelings of anxiety and fear response) could be responsible. While SAD can run in families, it is more likely because of environmental factors than genetic ones.
What Are the Symptoms of Social Anxiety Disorder?
If you have SAD, you may experience emotional distress when the following happens:
- Social encounters, especially with strangers.
- If you are teased, bullied or otherwise harassed
- If you become the center of attention
- When you’re introduced to people
- If you’re forced to speak to people, especially in a formal setting
- Interpersonal relationships; friendships or romances
People with social anxiety disorder may exhibit the following symptoms when any of the above happens:
- Shaking or trembling
- Difficulty speaking
- Lightheadedness or dizziness
- Increased heart rate
It is common for people with social anxiety disorders to deliberately miss appointments to avoid meeting anyone. They may even fake illnesses to stay at home from school or work and misuse alcohol when forced to deal with a social situation.
What is Life with Social Anxiety Like?
If you suffer from social anxiety disorder, you will do everything possible to isolate yourself from others. As well as shutting yourself off from the outside world, you’ll stay away from family and friends. You will steer clear of social events, group activities and won’t even eat or drink in front of others. You could experience symptoms such as diarrhea and nausea weeks before a dreaded social event arrives.
Conventional Remedies for Social Anxiety
There are different types of therapy for social anxiety including:
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy: You learn to control anxiety through breathing & relaxation and discover how to think positively rather than negatively.
Exposure Therapy: You learn to face social situations gradually.
Group Therapy: You learn social skills by interacting with others. By participating in therapy with people with a similar problem, you may feel less alone.
Medication: The most commonly used medications are selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) including Zoloft and Paxil. You may also receive SNRIs such as Effexor XR, benzodiazepines or beta blockers. Side effects include:
- Blurred vision
- Slurred speech
- Poor concentration
- Memory problems
Medical Research on Marijuana for Social Anxiety
Believe it or not, marijuana was first used as a treatment for anxiety back in 1563 when a Portuguese doctor wrote that cannabis could relieve patients of all worries!
A 2010 study by Crippa et al., published in the Journal of Psychopharmacology, looked at the effects of CBD on individuals with SAD. It was a small study with just 10 volunteers but found that cannabidiol helped reduce symptoms of social anxiety.
A study by Bergamaschi et al., published in Neuropsychopharmacology in February 2011, also found that CBD reduced the anxiety induced by public speaking. As some surveys have famously reported that people are more afraid of speaking in public than death, it was a significant finding!
A study by Purcell et al., published in Cannabis and Cannabinoid Research in January 2019, involved 146 medical marijuana patients who also used benzodiazepines. After a two-month course of medical marijuana, over 30% of the group had completely stopped using the prescription benzodiazepines. After four months, this percentage had increased to 44.5%!
For the record, benzodiazepines are used to treat various neurological conditions, including anxiety.
Now that we’ve seen some evidence that links marijuana with a potential reduction in anxiety let’s take a look at five of the best strains for SAD.
5 Best Marijuana Strains for Social Anxiety
1 – The Truth (The Intriguing Marijuana Strain)
The Truth is a marijuana strain with an interesting name that makes you think it can be effective in treating almost anything. In reality, it is said to be an excellent stress and anxiety reliever. It is a cross of SFV OG, Chemdawg, and Triangle Kush, developed by True Canna Genetics. The Truth is a slightly sativa-dominant hybrid and won second place in the High Times Cannabis Cup in 2014 in the Indica category in Amsterdam.
This is not a strain to be trifled with; it has a THC content of 18-22%, and some cuts only have up to 1% CBD. The Truth provides users with a mental high that keeps them motivated and energized. It seems to release feel-good endorphins that lead to a feeling of euphoria. Eventually, the high makes its way down through the body and provides a sensation of utter relaxation.
The Truth offers a wonderful musky earth scent, followed by a classic woody and earthy taste. It is a potent strain with side effects including dry eyes and a dry mouth. If you are looking for a strong cerebral high, your search ends with The Truth! It is widely used by individuals with chronic stress and depression, and it is said to have anti-inflammatory properties.
It isn’t easy to find information on cultivating this strain, but it is best if you have previous experience growing the herb. When grown outside, The Truth is ready for harvest by the middle of October and provides up to 12 ounces per plant. When grown indoors, flowering time is lengthy at 9-11 weeks, and yields are approximately 12 ounces per square meter.
2 – Jack Herer (The Emperor of Hemp’s Marijuana Strain)
This slightly sativa-dominant hybrid is a cross of Shiva Skunk, Northern Lights #5, and Haze. It is named after legendary marijuana activist, Jack Herer, who famously wrote The Emperor Wears No Clothes, a tome often cited by those wishing to legalize or at least decriminalize the herb.
It is a globally famous strain, first created in the Netherlands in the 1990s. It is a potent strain with 18-23% THC and minimal CBD. Once you try this strain, you’ll find yourself surrounded by happy thoughts as you feel relaxed… and very high! Jack Herer can provide you with a burst of energy, and the mellow body high never threatens to bring on a case of couch-lock.
The pine and spice scent is alluring, and it tastes a lot like it smells. You may get a slight tropical fruit taste, although the spice and earth are the dominant flavors. Make sure you have a glass of water handy because this strain can lead to dehydration. Jack Herer is used to treat individuals with chronic fatigue and is the smoke of choice for many people with depression.
Jack Herer is one of the world’s most popular strains to grow. It is easy to cultivate and provides a decent yield. When grown outdoors, it offers up to 18 ounces per plant and is ready for harvest by the end of September in most cases. Indoors, it flowers in 8-10 weeks and produces around 18 ounces per square meter.
3 – Critical Cure (The High CBD Marijuana Strain)
This strain was bred by Barney’s Farm and is a mild option for anxiety sufferers. It contains up to 8% CBD and around 5% THC. It is an indica-dominant hybrid and is believed to come from a cross of Critical Kush and a Ruderalis strain. This alone makes it a unique marijuana strain.
If you have anxiety and are a bit concerned about weed’s possible effect on you, Critical Cure is a great place to start. It offers a steady, mellow high that helps the body relax. It is an intensely satisfying experience, and you should feel the first effects around 25-30 minutes after the first puff. The high makes its way to the body after about two hours and works to relax the muscles and ease tension.
It has a potent, earthy aroma that makes it seems as if it will be stronger than it is. You may also get the scent of ripe berries. Its taste is a lovely combination of berries and wet soil, and the pine aftertaste is extremely pleasant. As the THC content is so low, side effects are generally limited to mild cases of dry eyes and dry mouth. Critical Cure is routinely used to treat depression and anxiety.
Barney’s Farm released a version with feminized seeds which makes the growing process that much easier. It is a hardy plant capable of growing in colder climates, and it stays strong against moderately strong winds. Grown indoors, Critical Cure offers a yield of up to 21 ounces per bud with a flowering time of 7-9 weeks. Outdoors, it is ready for harvest by mid-October and offers a whopping 25+ ounces per plant.
4 – ACDC (The Satisfying Marijuana Strain)
ACDC has won multiple Cannabis Cup awards and is widely regarded as one of the best marijuana strains for anxiety. It is a 50/50 balanced hybrid, and a phenotype of Ruderalis and Cannatonic. It was bred by Resin Seeds, who were keen to find yet another high-CBD, low THC strain for use as a medicine.
ACDC is not completely without THC and has between 2% and 6%. However, this is more than offset by the 16-24% CBD it contains! If you’re looking to get stoned, ACDC is not the right option. Rather than being hit with a potent cerebral high, this strain offers complete body relaxation. However, it doesn’t cause couch lock and can even help you be more productive!
ADDC has a sweet citrus scent and a sweet, peppery, and mildly pine/woody taste. The main side effect associated with this strain is dry mouth. The low THC content means it will probably be ignored by recreational users, but those looking for medical weed will find it hard to say no.
You can grow this strain inside or outside, but make sure you have a platform for the plant to brace itself with. ACDC takes more work to cultivate than other strains, but stick with it, and you’ll be rewarded with 14+ ounces per plant outdoors and 14 ounces per square meter indoors. It is ready for harvest in the middle of October outside and has a flowering time of 9-10 weeks.
5 – White Fire OG (A Modern Superstar Marijuana Strain)
In one way, it seems strange to include White Fire OG on this list. If you use too much of this strain, it could actually cause anxiety. However, those who use it sensibly say it is a fantastic way to cheer yourself up. With a THC content of up to 28%, you need to be very careful when using it.
White Fire OG, also known as WiFi OG, is a cross of Fire OG and The White. It hits you with a strong cerebral high, and users report feeling happy and virtually unable to contain their laughter. It eases your worries away and gives you an extra energy boost to boot. If you are feeling down, try a few tokes of White Fire OG and become inspired & uplifted.
This strain has a strong pepper and diesel aroma, coupled with a fresh pine scent. It tastes much like it smells and can be overwhelming if you’re a novice. Fortunately, the fresh pine should kick in to make it a more enjoyable smoking experience. We recommend using a small amount at first. If you overdo it, side effects include dizziness.
White Fire OG can grow indoors or outdoors, but it prefers a more acidic growing medium than other strains. Please note that this plant likes to stretch during flowering, so make sure it has enough room to grow. Indoors, the flowering time is 9-10 weeks with a yield of 21 ounces per square meter. Outdoors, it is ready for harvest in October with a yield of 18+ ounces per plant.
Final Thoughts about Marijuana and Social Anxiety
Social anxiety disorder is not something we can afford to ignore. It is a genuinely debilitating condition that negatively impacts the lives of sufferers. It is a terrible feeling to believe that the world is against you and it prevents you from living life to the full. Fortunately, there is a large number of marijuana strains capable of helping you fight back against social anxiety and perhaps help you make new friends as well as keeping old ones.
Related Article: 5 Best CBD Oils For Anxiety [2017 Update]