Just as with the article looking at cannabis as a cause of anxiety, I have found compelling evidence that marijuana can cure anxiety very difficult to find, although the anecdotal evidence that it does abounds.
So, even though anxiety can be a common side effect for some users, for many people the opposite is true. Joan Bello, author of the Benefits of Marijuana, says:
“With the expansiveness that occurs with marijuana, the subject may begin to notice infinite possibilities to raise the quality of his/her life that would otherwise have remained hidden from normal, defensive consciousness. And feelings of health and happiness naturally lead to hope, which of itself can be curative.” Ms Bello interviewed over 400 people for her book who suffered from all types of disease, including, MS, Glaucoma, Epilepsy, Migraines, Asthma, Depression, pain, Anxiety, Digestive Disorders, among many other stress-related diseases.
What Bello goes on to say is, I believe, the crux of the marijuana as cause or cure debate:
“When it first became popular in the West, marijuana was imported mainly from tropical zones, where the sativa strain of cannabis is indigenous. This type of marijuana is known for its “cerebral high,” having little noticeable body participation. No studies concerning the different effects of sativa vs. indica have been done, but from the lack of physical sensation, it is reasonable to assume more Sympathetic or stimulant qualities in sativa than indica (a cooler climate type). This is compatible with the notion that in hotter climates, less calming is desirable from a recreational substance, since hot climates in themselves cause lethargy. Many connoisseurs of marijuana prefer the sativa high, although in the last decade it has become very scarce due to domestic cultivation of strains that thrive in temperate zones (and indoors). “Cerebral highs” are experienced as lightness of thought beyond usual concern with self esteem. In relationships, a cerebral high attunes the participants to a less separate sense of themselves. Conversation is animated and a general feeling of camaraderie is in the air.”
My belief is that a person’s reaction to marijuana is dependent upon the interaction between his or her natural disposition and the strain of cannabis used. Surely, if a depressive character uses a calming indica strain the result would be even more lethargy and apathy, leading to a deeper depression. If that person, however, used stimulating sativa instead, doesn’t it follow that the depression would be lightened? Of course, the opposite would be true for a person suffering from anxiety.
There is so much anecdotal evidence supporting the anxiety relieving effects of cannabis that it has to be true! For that reason, we are suggesting that the following strains might help anxiety disorders: