Terpenes and Anxiety

Posted by Erin Hopper on

      Anxiety disorders are the most widespread mental illness in the world, affecting roughly 40 million Americans alone. That is approximately one in five people that are affected. According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, only 37 percent of those affected ever actually receive treatment. Although cannabis is not a replacement for professional therapy and medication - if necessary; many people have found that it can be a beneficial aid to help manage their anxiety.  

           If you are looking for a specific strain to assist in alleviating some of your anxiety, it is best to know that not all strains are created equally and to first know what to look for when you compare strains. You need to know the differences between CBD and THC as they relate to anxiety. Both have beneficial properties that can help manage some anxiety for many people. You also need to know how terpenes also relate to anxiety in both CBD and THC strains.

           What is CBD? CBD’s scientific name is Cannabidiol, which is a phytocannabinoid. It was discovered in 1940. It is one of 113 identified cannabinoids in cannabis plants, along with Tetrahydrocannabinol - THC, and accounts  for up to 40 percent of the plant's extract. Some people feel that the psychoactive effects of THC are counterproductive to managing anxiety and prefer CBD-dominant strains. CBD helps to offset the more intense psychoactive effects characteristic to cannabis that is more THC-dominant.  

           While CBD itself doesn’t actually contain terpenes, terpenes and CBD are commonly used together. Many broad-spectrum and full-spectrum CBD products contain a variety of terpenes in their formulas, which not only help by lending an original aroma but also by adding to the way of benefits. While not measurably, the entourage effect is almost certainly enriched by the addition of terpenes. But what is the entourage effect? It’s been long hypothesized that the effects of the whole cannabis plant are far more beneficial to us than the sum of the plant’s parts. CBD, THC, and the rest of the cannabinoids work together in synergy and produce a much more wholesome effect. With terpenes being a very important part of the chemical profile of cannabis, there is a high chance that they also add to this synergy.

            Terpenes or terps, play a vital role in plants. In some plants terpenes attract pollinators, while in other plants, their terpenes cause strong reactions to repel predators, such as insects or foraging animals. Cannabis has over 100 different terpenes, each one comes with its own characteristics, scent, and set of potential benefits. Each cannabis strain contains a diverse terpene profile - for example, strains with the name “Lemon” often contain large amounts of limonene alongside other terpenes.  

            There is good evidence suggesting that terpenes have direct physiological effects on the body. Linalool and limonene are both terpenes, especially known for their effects. Linalool-rich strains are likely to have a calming effect and to provide pain relief, while limonene-rich strains are likely to be mood elevating. 

          Limonene is responsible for increasing serotonin levels, influencing how cannabis affects our mood. That means terpenes can influence neurotransmitters in our brain which entails that different stains may have different effects on our mood. Phytochemicals like terpenes and flavonoids could be beneficial to brain health. Research from 2018 found that certain flavonoids and terpenes may provide neuroprotective and anti-inflammatory effects. Researchers proposed that these compounds could improve CBD’s therapeutic potential. 

        Be sure to talk to your budtender about how different strains affect you to determine if you prefer CBD,  THC or a balanced mix of both. Once you have a good idea of what works best for you, you can begin looking at different strains. Here are a few to help jump start your search now that you have all this knowledge!


A hybrid cannabis strain, purposefully bred to be low THC and high CBD content. The CBD content running as high as 17 percent, occasionally even higher. Its most notable effects are extreme relaxation and happy feelings, as well as a relatively low psychoactive impact. Cannatonic is renowned as one of the top medical strains for reducing anxiety and inflammation.


A sativa-dominant strain that is extremely effective at reducing anxiety It is one of the highest CBD strains available, with CBD levels at 19 percent and boasting a 20:1 CBD to THC ratio. Its most notable effects were relaxed and happy feelings.


A hybrid strain mixed with two high CBD strains - Cannatnic and Tsunami. While it features high levels of CBD like Cannatonic, it differs in that it has a 1:1 ratio of CBD to THC. Its most notable effects are deeper relaxation and increased focus. It is very effective for treating anxiety, pain, inflammation, and seizures.    

Jack Herer

A sativa-dominant strain that has won many awards for its quality and potency. It is relatively high in THC, usually coming in around 15 - 19 percent and having almost no CBD. Its most notable effects are happy and uplifting feelings. It additionally helps to ease anxiety, it is lauded for its ability to ease stress and depression.


An indica-dominant cannabis strain with dense buds that give off a fruity and floral smell. It typically features a 1:1 ratio of CBD and THC, with high levels of both. The most notable effects being increased relaxation and happy feelings. Haoma can be very beneficial to those with anxiety and because it is indica-dominant, it is also a very effective sleep-aid. 

We hope this information helps to educate and make medicating with cannabis easier. 

Thank you for reading and Stay Elevated!!

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