Cannabinoids are compounds found in cannabis plants. Common examples include CBD and THC. But there are also lesser-known cannabinoids like CBN, CBG, CBC, and THCV.
Many cannabis products contain more than one cannabinoid. These products provide a full spectrum or a broad-spectrum effect. Full spectrum refers to products with various cannabinoids and no THC. Broad spectrum refers to products that contain THC as well as other cannabinoids.
The different cannabinoids work together to enhance one another’s effects contributing to more beneficial results.
There are many reasons a person may want to use cannabis, but stress relief is a common issue. This article will look at the cannabinoids that are most beneficial to stress so you know what to look out for the next time you’re shopping at your local dispensary.
CBD is a non-psychoactive cannabis compound known for its stress-relieving characteristics. A 2019 study showed that 78.1-79.2% of participants with anxiety and sleep problems experienced relief after taking CBD for two months. However, some participants reported worsening symptoms.
A 2022 New Zealand study showed CBD is beneficial to people with anxiety and is well tolerated by individuals with mental health issues. A 2020 systematic review showed it could be a natural alternative to anxiety drugs that cause unwanted side effects.
The jury’s out on whether THC is effective in reducing stress. Some say it calms them down. Others say it leads to paranoia which increases anxiety.
A UIC study shows that THC’s stress-relieving potential may be down to the dosage. Research revealed that low doses of THC reduced stress while higher doses had the opposite effect.
A 2020 NIH study reports that THC can worsen symptoms of depression and anxiety in some people. A 2021 study looked at THC use in the treatment of anxiety disorders and PTSD. The evidence came back inconclusive. Researchers suggested that it should not be professionally recommended until more studies are performed.
If you would like to try THC for relaxation, it is best to use a Sativa strain as opposed to an Indica strain. Sativa strains are said to have a sedentary effect while indica strains are energizing and boost alertness.
CBN is a byproduct of THC. It forms when THC breaks down over time. Older marijuana plants will have high levels of CBN. It is mildly psychoactive.
The compound is known for its sedative and anticonvulsant effects. It is even more effective when combined with THC. It may counter the effects of THC by reducing B cell concentration which is directly related to stress.
CBG is called the “mother of all cannabinoids” as it is the compound from which THC and CBD are derived. When CBGA reaches maturity in the cannabis plant, it produces THCA and CBDA. These acidic cannabinoids go through decarboxylation to become CBD, THC, and CBG.
There are limited studies on CBG, but one survey abstract shows it is effective in treating anxiety. It may aid with muscle relaxation. It also triggers the release of serotonin which reduces feelings of anxiety and depression.
Like CBD and THC, CBC is also a breakdown product of CBGA. It converts CBGA into CBCA which becomes CBC after decarboxylation. It is non-psychoactive.
CBC is known for providing several benefits. It is best known for its anti-inflammatory effects. It has also been shown to have anti-depressant characteristics which may be beneficial to anxiety.
THCV rounds out the ‘Big 6’ of cannabis compounds. Don’t let the ‘THC’ in its name fool you. It does not have psychoactive effects.
The compound is best known for its ability to decrease appetite and regulate energy and glucose metabolism. Several articles have stated it to be effective in relieving stress and anxiety, but there is little clinical evidence to back this up.
What to Look for in a Cannabis Product That Relieves Stress
Here are some things to be aware of when shopping for cannabis products that relieve stress:
- Cannabinoid Content: Read the label carefully to ensure the product contains stress-relieving cannabinoids.
- Third-Party Lab Testing: A reliable cannabis company will provide third-party lab testing for its products that will indicate their potency and purity.
- THC Content: Small amounts of THC may not cause psychoactive effects, but it could become an issue if you are drug tested regularly.
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