Dear Miss Grass,
I am so f’ing stressed out these days I can’t take it. The the pandemic, the climate, the economy… this non-stop hellscape of bad news has me losing it. I meditate, exercise, and have a weekly therapy session and it all kinda helps but I’m still an anxious, crabby, unfocused wreck. A friend recommended taking a hit of a joint each day and I’m down to try anything at this point but I really don’t want it to make me MORE anxious. What's the best weed for stress? I’ve only smoked for fun at parties—back when we used to go to those, of course.
Super Stressed in San Francisco, CA
First off, you’re 100% not alone. Every single person—including the entire Miss Grass team and everyone we know—is feeling it these days. And why shouldn’t we? Not only is everything super intense, scary, and uncertain, but we’re constantly reminded of it every time we scroll through Instagram, turn on the TV, or cover our faces with a mask to go to the grocery store. And on top of that, many of the once-simple routines we historically relied on to re-center ourselves—going to a yoga class, meeting our buds for a drink, taking a vacation—have become nearly impossible to do. So, yeah: No wonder you’re feeling like a wreck.
But I don’t want to just tell you to roll up a fat one, sit back, and chill out. Not because I don’t think that could help. (I do. And it’s certainly been my own personal go-to for stress relief during this “non-stop hellscape” year.) But because weed—and any recreational substance—should never be used as an escape or as a means to zone out and forget all your problems. That isn’t healthy. And, worse, it could totally backfire. So let’s all get clear on our intentions before we just start lighting j’s willy-nilly.
You gotta be willing to face those feelings so you can move past them. As the Robert Frost saying goes, “The only way out is through.”
You mentioned not wanting weed to make you feel *more* anxious. To be honest, that could totally happen. Some strains, doses, and methods of ingesting can certainly contribute to a not-so-chill experience. But more often—and more likely—it’s not the actual weed that makes people feel panic-y; it’s the undealt-with thoughts and feelings that do it. Psychotropic substances (like THC) have the amazing ability to bring those thoughts and feelings to the surface. That's why people use 'em for PTSD therapy. But if you resist them and let your ego get in the way, you can definitely get more stressed instead of less. So, you gotta be willing to face those feelings so you can move past them—and first you have to be okay with the fact that this might happen. As the Robert Frost quote goes, “The only way out is through.”
So before you smoke anything, take some time to set some check in and set some intentions. How do you feel in your body at this moment? What thoughts are circling around inside your head? And most importantly, how do you want to feel after you smoke? Write this all down if it helps. The more inner exploration you do and the more present you are (use that meditation practice) before you smoke, the better your results will be. And ritualizing your sessions by setting intentions gives them more meaning and purpose—two factors that contribute to more happiness in general.
As for the actual best weed for stress, there are plenty of good options—the strains Granddaddy Purple, Sour Diesel, OG Kush, and Girl Scout Cookies are all beloved stress-relievers and happiness-inducers—but the best research suggests that any weed with a high CBD content could help you chill out, especially when terpenes like linalool and caryophyllene (known for their calming effects) are in the mix. Personally, I’d look for something with a 1:1 CBD:THC ratio—a really balanced, easy-going blend of cannabinoids that won’t get you too high. (Miss Grass Minis in All Times is my totally non-biased recommendation for that.)
And speaking of not getting too high, don’t underestimate the importance of dosing yourself with stress-reducing CBD on the regular. A daily dose of a tincture will help to regulate your endocannabinoid system and keep you whole body in balance. Under stress our body’s homemade supply of cannabinoids (yes, we make them too!) struggles to stay in check; taking CBD can help to replenish your stores and get everything else (mood, appetite, stress, sleep, and so much more) back in check. (Also, dosing yourself with CBD can be helpful if you do get too high and start to feel anxious.)
This has all been very serious talk, so just want to add one more thing. Never, ever underestimate the stress-relieving power of good laugh. That all-out, full-belly giggle fit that weed can give to us is really healing—and super under-rated when it comes to stress relief. Laughing is one of the biggest ways pent-up stress and energy get released from our nervous system—that’s why we sometimes laugh in non-funny situations. So after you’ve set your intentions, picked a high-CBD weed to smoke, and lit up, don’t forget to let yourself really laugh. Life is absurd, this shit is crazy, and we are all just here observing it all. And we could all use way more smiles right about now.
Here’s to consuming consciously—and some good ol' giggles to get you through this time.
Love + bud,