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​Can Cannabis Alleviate Stress?


Can Cannabis Alleviate Stress?

Can Cannabis Alleviate Stress 1

The laws governing the use of marijuana for medicinal purposes have changed dramatically in recent years. However, because cannabis is a highly regulated substance, it isn't easy to obtain permission to research it.

A team of researchers from the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) and the University of Chicago, Illinois, jumped through the hoops of legislation to investigate tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) effects on stress.

They wanted to test the adage that cannabis can help people relax and relieve stress. While there is plenty of anecdotal evidence, there has been little scientific research into the matter.

As Emma Childs, associate professor of psychiatry at the UIC School of Medicine puts it, "There are very few published studies looking at the effect of THC on stress, or the effect of different levels of THC on stress."

Stress can affect your health.

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Stress can quickly get out of hand, and the effects on our health may be toxic.

Stress can affect our health in a variety of ways, leading to some significant problems, such as:



Heart disease


Stress has many other common effects on your body, mood, and behavior, from headaches to muscle tension and chest pain, fatigue, sleep problems, irritability, anxiety, lack of motivation, and more. 

All of these things can escalate out of control until our health goes entirely off the rails. Many of the health problems we face may be directly related to stress, and you may not even realize it.

In addition to the top stress-reducing measures like exercise, nutrition, laughter, friendships, family, adventure -- and getting yourself better organized -- there's something else that works very well when used in moderation: cannabis.

Cannabis can be a great helper that can change your state, divert your energy, trigger epiphanies and show self-correcting ways, just as it can help you relax after a long day.

For anyone who uses marijuana to relieve stress, here are some basic dos and don'ts you might want to keep in mind to get the most benefit from it.

The dose level cannabis

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Everyone has their own ideal range of cannabis doses. Some people appreciate very small amounts, while others like to consume as much as possible!

The Chicago team looked into the stress-relieving effects present with different doses of THC in 42 healthy volunteers aged 18 to 40. 

The volunteers were split into three groups. The low-dose group received 7.5mg of THC in a capsule form. The moderate-does group received 12.5mg of THC in a capsule form, and the placebo group had a capsule containing no THC. 

The participants who received the low dose of THC reported less stress after carried out the test than those given the placebo. And stress levels of those in the low-dose group dripped faster after the test. The moderate group reported a more negative mood before and during the test and paused more than those in the placebo group. 

The important thing to remember here is that cannabis has biphasic properties. In essence, it means that low and high doses of it can produce opposite effects.

For example, if you're taking marijuana for pain or nausea, a small amount can help relieve the symptoms, and an overdose can make them worse.

The same seems to be true if you use it for stress management.

In short: Overuse of marijuana can lead to reduced benefits and greater side effects (anxiety, paranoia, fatigue, social withdrawal).

This is where dosing is tried, so you can find what works best for you and what doesn't.

So, for example, if you find that marijuana makes you anxious, you might try to reduce your intake next time. If that doesn't help, then your next option is to find a different kind of marijuana entirely or try a different form (for example, edibles, vapes, etc.).

Experimenting with different dose levels and dosing patterns can also help people who have used marijuana for a long time but are no longer getting the same benefits.

Set and Settings

"Set and Settings" may be an unfamiliar term, but it is very important for any mental experience and well established in the field of hallucinogenic drug research. It encapsulates the psychological, social, and cultural parameters that shape and determine the response to psychedelic drugs.  

"Set" refers to the mindset you have when entering into an experience, and "Settings" refers to your environment.

Focusing on these two things will allow you to determine the best time or situation to relieve stress (and when you should wait).

The knowledge of Set and Settings can also allow you to better manage your cannabis experience in different ways. Just as important, it will help you identify the intent of using cannabis in the first place -- what you want from a psychoactive experience.

Your goal may be to identify specific challenges you face in your work or personal life. Or it might be to connect and get closer to friends or loved ones -- or just to have fun. 

Interesting Set and Settings Ideas for Marijuana:

Use noise-canceling headphones to listen to inspirational mystic music while hiking on the trail

Listen to some jazz or a podcast while cleaning the house.

Lying on the floor in a dark room (somewhere you're familiar with) listening to your heartbeat.

Hold your partner's hand and go on a walk through the park.


Consider the arrangement of the space, music, lighting, the availability of food, and other variables to ensure you have a positive time. 

The more thought and creativity you put into scenarios, the more benefits and stress relief you'll get from cannabis.

If you’re preparing to take some cannabis for the first time then you may benefit from reading our tips for your first time taking weed.

Avoid marijuana stigma

Many responsible adult marijuana consumers experience the stigma of marijuana every day. 

It's true that cannabis is becoming more socially acceptable, but many people still feel that their cannabis consumption is wrong, that it's the stuff of college students or drug addicts.

Recognize that stigma for what it is -- the result of decades of government propaganda and misinformation

It is very important that no one should be ashamed of using cannabis in a responsible way. Humans have been using cannabis for thousands of years. This is nothing new.

We don't feel this shame when we have a glass or two of wine or when we start our day with caffeine. Why would cannabis be different?

The desire to change your state of mind is very human and a right we all have. The main thing is to do your homework and deal with these altered states from an informed perspective. 

Fortunately, as the stigma fades, the shame of marijuana is becoming less important. 

Marijuana makes you high or not high.

More and more people are learning that they can try cannabis and avoid psychoactive effects.

Non-psychoactive use of cannabis can be achieved in several different ways.

One way is to use CBD-rich products, which won't give you a high and will certainly help some people deal with issues like stress and anxiety.

Another way to avoid the high is to simply use a very small dose that does not put you over the psychoactive threshold. These sub-psychoactive doses can significantly relieve stress while still serving as a preventive health measure.

At the same time, we want to encourage people not to be afraid of the cannabis high. 

Admittedly, it's not for everyone, but the occasional high can help bring some clarity and see things in a different way -- which is also important for relieving stress!