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  • Drew Herb Lesser

The Potential Paradoxical effects of Sativa and Indica strains. What you need to know.

Updated: Dec 20, 2023


If you have ever experienced anxiety or drowsiness after the use of a Sativa strain medicine, or you have experienced anxiety and or an energetic, alert or even wired response from the use of an Indica strain, you may likely be experiencing a cannabis paradox

There are two main species of cannabis, namely Cannabis sativa and Cannabis indica, which differ in their physical and chemical properties, and the effects they produce can vary greatly. While many people use cannabis to alleviate anxiety symptoms, some individuals have reported paradoxical effects of sativa and indica strains, where they experience anxiety symptoms instead of the expected relief.

Sativa and Indica Strains

Sativa strains are known for their energizing and uplifting effects, and they are commonly used during the daytime to increase focus and productivity. They typically have higher levels of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the psychoactive compound that produces the "high" associated with cannabis use, and lower levels of cannabidiol (CBD), a non-psychoactive compound found in cannabis that has been shown to have anxiolytic properties (Cuttler et al., 2018). In contrast, Indica strains are known for their relaxing and sedative effects, and they are commonly used during the night time to promote sleep and relaxation.

Paradoxical Effects of Sativa and Indica Strains

While many people use cannabis to alleviate anxiety symptoms, some individuals have reported paradoxical effects of sativa and indica strains, where they experience anxiety symptoms instead of the expected relief. A study conducted by Cuttler et al. (2018) found that some individuals experienced increased anxiety symptoms after using sativa strains, while others experienced no change or even a decrease in anxiety symptoms. Similarly, some individuals experienced increased anxiety symptoms after using indica strains, while others experienced no change or even a decrease in anxiety symptoms.

The causes of paradoxical effects of sativa and indica strains are not fully understood, but some factors may contribute to this phenomenon. For example, individual differences in genetics, personality, and previous cannabis use may affect how individuals respond to cannabis (van Hell et al., 2020). Additionally, the dose and mode of administration of cannabis may also influence its effects, with higher doses and smoking producing stronger and faster effects (Volkow et al., 2014).

Implications and Recommendations

The paradoxical effects of sativa and indica strains for some individuals have important implications for the use of cannabis to alleviate anxiety symptoms. It suggests that cannabis may not be effective or even counterproductive for some individuals, and alternative treatments should be considered. Furthermore, it highlights the need for personalized medicine approaches that take into account individual differences in response to cannabis and other treatments.

If you are considering using cannabis to alleviate anxiety symptoms, it is important to speak with a healthcare professional who can provide guidance and monitor your progress. Additionally, it is recommended to start with a low dose and gradually increase it to avoid adverse effects, and to use cannabis in a safe and legal manner.

Conclusion

Many people use cannabis to alleviate anxiety symptoms, some individuals experience paradoxical effects of sativa and indica strains, where they experience anxiety symptoms instead of the expected relief. The causes of paradoxical effects of sativa and indica strains are not fully understood, but individual differences in genetics, personality, and previous cannabis use may contribute to this phenomenon. The paradoxical effects of sativa and indica strains highlight the need for personalised medicine approaches and alternative treatments for individuals who do not respond well to cannabis.



References:

  • Cuttler, C., Spradlin, A., & McLaughlin, R. J., (2018). A naturalistic examination of the perceived effects of cannabis on negative affect. Journal of affective disorders, 235, 198-205.

  • Van Hell, H. H., Jager, G., Bossong, M. G., Brouwer, A., Jansma, J. M., & Zuurman, L. (2020). Why do some people respond better to THC than others? A critical review. European Neuropsychopharmacology, 33, 1-24.

  • Volkow, N. D., Baler, R. D., Compton, W. M., & Weiss, S. R. (2014). Adverse health effects of marijuana use. New England Journal of Medicine, 370(23), 2219-2227.

Disclaimer:

This information is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice and is provided for educational purposes only. It should not be relied on as health or personal advice. The author is NOT a Doctor. Always seek the guidance of your doctor or other qualified health professional with any questions you may have regarding your health or a medical condition.





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