Five Anti-Anxiety Cannabis Strains to Try

Stay Calm and...

By Janelle Albukhari

If given the choice between a dose of Prozac and a well-rolled joint, I'll pick the J every time.

When it's in full swing, my anxiety can prohibit me from doing even the most basic of tasks. I lose the ability to concentrate, and can't socialize, sleep or go outside.

Since I first became a medical marijuana patient back in California, I've been successfully using cannabis to combat my anxiety in lieu of traditional pharmaceuticals. It provides me with relief from things like panic attacks while also stimulating my creativity.

I've been keeping notes on the best strains for anxiety since I moved to Portland nearly two years ago. Here are my top five local strains for long-term anxiety management.

1. Chunky Crunch OG

21.61 percent THC, 0.7 percent CBD

Purchased at Happy Leaf, 1301 NE Broadway, 971-800-0420.

While I generally tend to be more of a sativa smoker, this Chunky Crunch is everything I want in an indica. It's an earthy strain with floral notes that has a profound calming effect, effectively subduing the chest pain that's a physical manifestation of my anxiety.

My notes on this strain include a drawing of a jar of peanut butter, with the words "smooth, so smooth" underlined beneath it. It's one of the smoothest strains I've ever smoked, with nice, thick clouds of smoke that seem to never end. As an indica-dominant hybrid, it's also a wonderful bedtime strain because it will effectively render you an oozy couch blob.

2. Blue Shark

11 percent THC, 14 percent CBD

Purchased at Terpene Station, 1436 SE Powell Blvd., 503-477-8380,

Blue Shark is a rare strain that has a nearly 1-to-1 ratio of THC to CBD. Since CBD is effective in treating a variety of medical ailments, it's no surprise that it works well at managing anxiety. Blue Shark does a fantastic job of putting you in a "wow, I can't believe how cheerful I am" state without getting you overly high, making it a great everyday strain for functional smokers.

3. UK Cheese

28.77 percent THC, 0.1 percent CBD

Purchased at Happy Leaf, 1301 NE Broadway, 971-800-0420.

This UK Cheese from Happy Leaf is as its name implies: pungent. At a whopping 28.77 percent THC, it's the strongest strain on this list. It's a sativa lover's dream: a very cerebral high that's light-headed, amply creative, and pleasant with a lingering body buzz.

I find myself bursting into random fits of laughter about half a bowl in. It's also much harder to get worked up about things, meaning that the endless racing thoughts in my head are blissfully dulled.

4. Bruce Banner

27.44 percent THC, 0.08 percent CBD

Purchased at Attis Trading Co., 2606 SE Gladstone St., 971-544-7685,

Have you ever smoked a strain that made you want to do chores? If not, then pack yourself a fresh bowl of Bruce Banner. This sativa-dominant hybrid is a potent, soothing strain that's ideal for those looking for mental clarity and focus. It doesn't leave my brain too foggy like some other strong sativas, meaning I can clean without worrying about accidentally setting my apartment on fire.

5. Death Star

24.3 percent THC, 0.2 percent CBD

Purchased at Farma, 916 SE Hawthorne Blvd., 503-206-4357,

Another intoxicating indica that had me dazzled, Death Star works wonders at relieving physical pains and aches. With a sweet, skunky aroma, it's got a nice body buzz that comes with a surprising note of mental clarity, leaving me happy and relieved without feeling too glued to my couch.

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