7 Best High-CBD Strains for Anxiety
Article written by
Content reviewed by
Dr. Lewis JasseyMedical Director - Pediatric Medicine
Table of contents
When searching for the best CBD-rich strains (cultivars, chemotypes) to melt away stress and anxiety, the following should make the top of your list:
- Ringo’s Gift
- Harle Tsu
- Sour Tsunami
- Charlotte’s Web
Anecdotally, the best strains for anxiety are those containing elevated levels of cannabidiol (CBD) and low amounts of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC).
Research indicates that CBD may effectively treat certain anxiety disorders and facilitate an overall calming effect on both the mind and body. Unlike THC, CBD is non-intoxicating, but it can induce what many refer to as a “body high,” as well as sedation in high doses. The soothing properties of this cannabinoid are not only helpful in alleviating anxiety but provide relief for many ailments, including pain, inflammation, insomnia, and seizures.
Get Your Medical Card
Connect with a licensed physician online in minutes.
How CBD Relieves Anxiety
One of over 100 compounds found in the cannabis plant, CBD has solidified its place as a reliable source of relief from common conditions ranging from physical discomfort to anxiety. As the mystery of CBD’s effect on the human body unfolds, scientific evidence indicates that its therapeutic properties can treat various anxiety disorders such as general anxiety disorder (GAD) and social anxiety disorder (SAD).
One recent study illustrates CBD’s impact on two key receptors within the human endocannabinoid system that regulate fear and anxiety: serotonin and anandamide. Often associated with depression, serotonin is a neurotransmitter commonly known for regulating mood, but it also moderates vital functions such as digestion, sleep, and libido. Anandamide (also known as the “bliss molecule”) is another neurotransmitter known for its role in producing feelings of joy. Studies show that CBD indirectly increases levels of both serotonin and anandamide, resulting in decreased anxiety levels and a brighter mood.
How to Use CBD for Anxiety
CBD is an incredibly versatile substance that can be consumed in several ways. You can vape or smoke cannabis flower, but there are plenty of lung-friendly consumption methods, such as CBD oil tinctures, capsules, oral sprays, and edibles (like hard candies or gummies).
There’s no right — or wrong — way to medicate. It all depends on your personal preference.
The effects of sublingual consumption (tinctures), the most discreet method, can be felt 30 minutes to an hour after ingestion. Edibles can take one to two hours to take effect. Smoking or vaping CBD can produce effects within moments. While CBD can be used for rapid relief, adhering to a consistent CBD routine can be very helpful in relieving chronic anxiety.
When it comes to dosing, it’s hardly a one-size-fits-all approach. Most CBD products provide a suggested serving size, but it’s just that: a suggestion. Factors such as age, weight, metabolism, and tolerance help to determine the ultimate effect. For best results, start with the recommended serving size, wait an hour, and increase in small increments if necessary. We usually recommend increasing in 2-2.5 mg increments. This is especially true when it comes to THC, but the same applies to CBD, as it will give you a better idea of where your therapeutic window lies.
Best High-CBD Strains for Anxiety
With the sheer number of high-CBD strains on the market, the quest for “the best” can be a little overwhelming — but we’ve got you covered. The following list includes some of the top strains for treating anxiety. However, there may be one that is not on this list that is better for you, so take this list as more of a guide than a list of the definitive “best.”
This CBD-rich medical strain was created to help young Charlotte Figi, who suffered from life-threatening seizures as a result of Dravet Syndrome. Charlotte’s Web is produced from the hemp plant, which is naturally high in CBD and contains less than 0.3% THC. In addition to its life-saving properties, it’s perfect for improving mood, easing anxiety symptoms, and relieving muscle and joint pain.
A cross between G-13 Haze and MK Ultra, Cannatonic holds the distinction of being one of the first to offer a CBD-to-THC ratio of 1:1. As a 50/50 hybrid strain with CBD levels around 4%, it’s a go-to for more experienced cannabis users seeking relief from pain, inflammation, and chronic stress. Its medicinal properties are also reported to manage symptoms of neurological conditions like Parkinson’s disease and epilepsy.
An offspring of Columbian, Thai, and Swiss cultivars, Harlequin is a sativa-dominant strain with CBD levels ranging from 4%-15%. Known for its sweet aroma with vanilla notes, Harlequin delivers all the benefits CBD has to offer: clear-headed relief from pain, inflammation, anxiety, and depression.
As its name suggests, Harle Tsu is the product of Harlequin and Sour Tsunami. This CBD-rich strain contains up to 24% CBD and is virtually free of THC. With a flavor profile that includes sweet, tangy, citrus notes, it’s a favorite for those looking for the pure CBD experience. It’s described as one of the best high-CBD strains for full-body relaxation and pain management.
ACDC and Harle Tsu were combined to produce this well-balanced hybrid strain. Named in honor of grower/activist Lawrence Ringo, many people describe its aroma as earthy with hints of mint. With a CBD:THC ratio of 20:1, it’s the perfect daytime strain that enhances focus and supports deep relaxation and mental calmness.
Sour Tsunami is one of the first strains specially bred to have a high-CBD content — by none other than Lawrence Ringo. Legend has it that he developed this strain from NY Diesel and Sour Diesel to treat his back pain. Sour Tsunami has an earthy, diesel scent with floral undertones and contains a concentration of 13% CBD and 1% THC. It’s highly effective at targeting pain, inflammation, and anxiety without the psychoactive effects of THC.
Also known as CBD Queen, ACDC boasts a 22:1 CBD-to-THC ratio. An acronym for Alternative Cannabinoid Dietary Cannabis, it was bred from a phenotype of another CBD-all star: Cannatonic. ACDC gives off a sweet, woody aroma while offering considerable relief from muscle and joint aches, inflammation, and anxiety, while supporting an overall sense of well-being.
Get Your Medical Card
Connect with a licensed physician online in minutes.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can doctors prescribe CBD for anxiety?
Since cannabis isn’t legal under federal law (and therefore ineligible for FDA approval), doctors cannot prescribe CBD. While hemp containing less than 0.3% THC is legal, hemp-based products aren’t FDA-approved either. There is one caveat: While doctors cannot legally prescribe CBD, some states allow them to recommend the use of CBD and medical marijuana for certain conditions. Another exception is the prescription of the FDA-approved Epidiolex, a CBD-based oral that can be prescribed for the treatment of seizures associated with Dravet syndrome, Lennox-Gastaut syndrome, or tuberous sclerosis complex (TSC).
What is the best CBD ratio for anxiety?
The answer to this question depends on your past experience with cannabis. Beginners should consider products with robust CBD levels and low levels of THC, like strains with a CBD:THC ratio of 10:1 or greater. More experienced cannabis users, however, may benefit from strains with higher levels of THC.
What’s the strongest high-CBD strain for anxiety?
There are many high-CBD strains to choose from, but with a concentration of up to 24%, Harle Tsu is definitely one of the strongest.
What is the most effective form of CBD for anxiety?
There are three types of CBD: full-spectrum, broad-spectrum, and CBD isolate. Each has its benefits, but full-spectrum CBD contains the whole plant profile, including all natural compounds of the cannabis plant (terpenes, flavonoids, cannabinoids), making it the most ideal for treating anxiety.