As more people have recognized the benefits of cannabis and set aside old, unfounded fears surrounding the drug, more people have come to appreciate cannabis for its ability to help users relax. Indeed, a number of cannabinoids and terpenes — compounds natural to the cannabis plant — facilitate relaxation in the mind and body, and using the drug in certain ways can drastically improve quality of life.
On the other hand, using cannabis the wrong way can result in higher stress levels and greater anxiety. Users need to be aware of their patterns of use and be careful to avoid negative habits that can disrupt their relaxation and cause other problems down the line.
If you are curious about how cannabis can help you relax, read on for a few suggestions of healthy methods of use.
The line between the right amount of THC for relaxation and too much THC to cause stress is a fine one — and it shifts from person to person. Still, to better understand marijuana’s effects, researchers have long sought to find the “Goldilocks” zone of relaxation. One particular study dosed volunteers with THC and subjected them to stressful tasks, like mock job interviews, difficult arithmetic, card games or stimulating conversation. Ultimately, studies have found that lower doses of THC are much more conducive to relaxation, whereas higher doses of THC exacerbate feelings of stress and can result in full panic. The zone of weed relaxation lies somewhere between 7.5 milligrams of THC and 12.5 milligrams of THC.
Your body is unique, composed of distinct genetics and altered by specific experiences, so your tolerance of THC is unlike anyone else’s. You can’t always follow someone else’s rules for using weed to relax because your system likely manages THC in a unique way; you will need to experiment on your own to find your own “Goldilocks” zone. You can use this helpful guide for calculating the THC of a joint, or you can talk to knowledgeable budtenders at DC dispensaries (or dispensaries close to you) to find cannabis products with more comprehensible THC content. Then, you should monitor every time you partake, to track how your effects correlate with your dose.
Shift to Relaxing Strains
Breeders have gone above and beyond to produce extremely high-THC strains — but these are not ideal for relaxation. Strains like Cookies Gelato, Royal Gorilla and Hulkberry have THC content upwards of 27 percent, which is much more likely to make the average user feel overwhelmed and anxious than calm and collected. As intriguing as high-THC strains might be, if you are looking for stress relief, you should opt for more balanced strains.
You should be searching for strains that have close to an equal ratio of THC to CBD, which are more likely to generate a tranquil feeling. Some famous strains with optimal THC/CBD content include Argyle, Sweet and Sour Widow and Cannatonic. However, again, it would be wise to consult with budtenders in your area to get to know the strains available on your dispensaries’ shelves.
Speaking of CBD content, you might consider dosing only with this cannabinoid. Though CBD won’t get you high, users the world over agree that CBD does have relaxing effects, from pain relief to muscle loosening to inflammation reduction to mood easing. Some cannabis experts believe that CBD helps to temper THC’s effects, perhaps inhibiting absorption of THC or limiting the compound’s lifespan. Though research regarding CBD is slim, it is possible that incorporating more CBD into your drug regimen could help keep you more relaxed.
Integrate Hemp Skincare
Finally, you might consider taking advantage of hemp skincare products to help you relax. Taking care of yourself is an important element of keeping stress levels in check; by giving yourself a weekly or nightly skincare ritual, you can set aside critical time for calming your mind and soothing your body. Hemp seed oil, present in hemp-based skincare products, is effective at providing hydration and managing oils, which can improve your complexion and tame skin conditions like acne. Though hemp skincare won’t get you high, it might be what you need to feel stress-free.
The last thing anyone needs is to heighten their anxiety. You can use weed products to relax — but you need to know how to use them properly before you cause more harm than good.