Indica vs. Sativa: What Type of Cannabis Is Best for Anxiety?

Indica vs. Sativa: What Type of Cannabis Is Best for Anxiety?

Cannabis can serve as a powerful tool when looking to ease feelings of anxiety and stress — but choosing the right strain type is essential for achieving the relief you seek. Rather than just a matter of indica vs. sativa, the best cannabis for anxiety depends on a number of factors, and it is very much an individual decision. 


Cannabis And Anxiety

According to a study published in the August 1, 2018, edition of the Journal of Affective Disorders, medical cannabis users reported a 58 percent reduction in anxiety, along with a 50 percent reduction in depression, after using cannabis. Strains with high amounts of cannabinol (CBD) and lower amounts of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), were best for alleviating depression. CBD does not include the psychoactive component found in THC.


For stress, the study found that optimum relief came from high CBD/high THC strains. 

Learn more about how cannabis impacts serotonin and anxiety.


Indica Vs Sativa For Anxiety

You may have heard that indica possesses better calming properties while sativa fuels energy and creativity, but it is not that simple.

Sativa varieties do have higher amounts of THC and lower amounts of CBD than indicas. However, the high associated with sativas can reduce anxiety in many users, along with boosting energy. Anxiety reduction is not necessarily synonymous with feeling lethargic. While the higher amount of CBD found in indica results in a relaxing rather than energizing experience for most, that may not prove an option when anxiety plagues you during the workday.


Indica varieties are often the better choice if anxiety is preventing you from getting a good night’s sleep. Sativas are more useful for daytime treatment, as they are not designed to produce sleepiness.


Strains For Anxiety Relief

Everyone experiences anxiety differently, so strains for anxiety relief are not one-size-fits-all. Much will also depend on whether the person wants to experience the high associated with THC-heavy strains, or prefers the CBD strains that can lessen anxiety without psychoactive effects. It may take some experimentation to determine which strain works best for you. Keep a record of the strains you try and whether the anxiety relief is effective.


Popular strains for anxiety relief include the following: 


  • Grandaddy Purple — This indica strain contains a higher amount of THC than most. Granddaddy Purple is the go-to strain for those seeking relief from anxiety, insomnia, pain and various gastrointestinal problems.
  • Chem Four  — This indica-dominant hybrid is often used for relief from stress and depression. 
  • Sour Diesel — A sativa strain, Sour Diesel is recommended not only for anxiety but for those suffering from PTSD, mental fog and acute pain.
  • Lemon OG Haze  — This cross between Super Lemon Haze and OG Kush lifts mood and dissipates anxiety. It can keep you calm but focused, without lethargy.
  • White Widow — Anxiety appears in various forms. Those affected by social anxiety may appreciate this well-known hybrid. White Widow provides euphoria along with energy, which can break the bounds of the socially anxious.


Best Consumption Methods For Anxiety

Cannabis consumption methods are a personal preference. The best consumption methods for anxiety may depend on how quickly you want relief. Smoking or vaping cannabis produces the fastest results. On the other hand, while you may have to wait 40 minutes or so for the effects of edibles to kick in, the relief should last longer.


Tinctures are another consideration. Applied in an easy dosing formula directly under the tongue, just leave the dose in your mouth for about one minute before swallowing. Tinctures produce effects more rapidly than edibles, with an average onset of 15-20 minutes. These effects should last for about two hours.



Contact Us 

At Garden Remedies, we are changing the conversation about cannabis. Our staff can answer your questions about the best strains for relief of particular ailments, including anxiety, depression and insomnia.


As the only physician-led and woman-led dispensary in Massachusetts, we are strongly committed to helping as many people as possible live their best lives by providing access to safe, legal and natural cannabis. Our flowers are all Massachusetts-grown. Visit one of our three dispensaries, located in Marlborough, Melrose and Newton, or call us at (844) 344-2420.  For all other inquiries, email


Jane Meggitt’s work has appeared in dozens of publications, including USA Today, Zack’s, Financial Advisor,, The Houston Chronicle and The Nest. She is a graduate of New York University.



Sativa vs. Indica vs. Hybrid: Chart, Different Uses, Side Effects, More (

The 10 best weed strains for anxiety | Leafly

Indica vs. sativa: What’s the difference? (

A naturalistic examination of the perceived effects of cannabis on negative affect – ScienceDirect

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