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Cannabis and Calm: How Does It Work?

Ever notice that wash of relief you feel when you smoke after a long day? You might notice your mind start to slow down as your body gently unclenches and relaxes. That calming effect is one of the most desirable aspects of smoking weed. But what exactly causes it, and which products are best for catching that mellow wave? Here's everything you need to know. 

a calm woman smoking a cannabis joint


If you look at any depiction of cannabis use in the media, you've probably noticed that the character who smokes the most is usually the most laid-back, giggly, happy, and hungry person in the room. While this is technically a stereotype, it's still a pretty good depiction of what certain weed strains can do. It might help you release your inhibitions and replace feelings of worry or stress with a deep sensation of calm and peace— both physically and mentally. 

As medicine, cannabis is frequently used to combat symptoms of stress, anxiety, and depression. The states that have medicinal cannabis programs consider cannabis a valuable medicine for depression and other mental ailments thanks to its ability to help you relax, breathe, unwind, and let go of things that bug you— and there's evidence to back it up. Cannabis connects our emotional selves to our rational thoughts, allowing the stresses to wash away and be replaced with a deep sensation of calm. 

However, not all cannabis is like this. While many strains can help you relax, many make you feel other ways— think about the focusing and energizing strains or those that make you feel sedated. The effects of cannabis are on a spectrum, and many factors are involved in how a strain will make you feel. So what should you look for in a strain if you're looking for a calming, soothing smoke sesh? Here's everything you need to know about cannabis, how to use it to calm down, and a list of our favorite calming products. 

What does the science say?

While the calming sensation of cannabis is well-documented by people who use it, there are a lot of factors that determine how a strain will make you feel. Most of them are chemical and involve the complex relationship between the cannabinoids and terpenes found in cannabis. 

Terpenes are chemical compounds in all plants that give them unique aroma and flavor. They work a lot like cannabinoids since they promote a handful of effects on their own. If you think of lavender or vanilla, for example, you've probably noticed that smelling them naturally makes you feel calmer and relaxed. That's because they're each rich in soothing terpenes like Linalool and Vanillin, which are well-known for their relaxing properties. 

When terpenes are introduced to cannabinoids (such as in a cannabis strain), they boost each other's effects. This is a documented phenomenon known as The Entourage Effect, which shows that cannabinoids work better with terpenes, and terpenes work better with cannabinoids. Calming terpenes like Linalool, b-caryophyllene, and Myrcene work with calming cannabinoids like THC or CBD to promote a strong calming effect. 

Each strain of cannabis contains various ratios of terpenes and cannabinoids, so they all produce slightly different effects. However, certain strains are better for calming effects than others. In fact, most Indica-dominant strains are naturally calming in nature because they contain a mix of THC, CBD, and terpenes like Myrcene, b-Caryophyllene, and Linalool. Indica-dominant strains are better for calming effects than others, thanks to their terpene content. 

Essentially, cannabis promotes calming effects because of the way the cannabinoids and terpenes interact with our brains. They stimulate the receptors in our brains and encourage us to release more calm, relaxing chemicals that allow us to feel better regardless of what we're experiencing on the outside. 

All in all, if you're exploring cannabis as a natural remedy for anxiety or as a way to make you feel calmer or more relaxed, be sure to check your strains for their genetics and their terpene content to get the best results. Remember to start with a small dose of calming cannabis and try different strains, products, and activities to see which conditions make for the best relaxing experience for you. 

a calm woman smoking a cannabis blunt

The Studies to Back it Up 

The uniquely calming properties of cannabis have been shown in a scientific sense to soothe and support you in other ways aside from the chemical stuff. For starters, one study found that cannabis was one of the only things that was potentially able to help soothe anxiety in patients with terminal illnesses. Many individuals find relief from symptoms of anxiety, depression, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) through the calming and anxiolytic effects of certain cannabis strains. 

To take it a step further, evidence suggests that THC helps to reduce pain and inflammation. THC binds to cannabinoid receptors in the brain and body, effectively modulating pain perception. This makes it an invaluable option for individuals suffering from conditions like arthritis, fibromyalgia, or chronic back pain. Further research indicates that THC's relaxing effects may also help with sleep disorders, such as insomnia. THC's sedative properties may promote relaxation, making it easier for individuals to fall asleep. 

All that is to say that cannabis touches on a few crucial points of our physical and mental health. Pain and muscle-relaxing properties coupled with stress and anxiety relief may make cannabis a considerable help for balancing sleep and managing your overall well-being. It's a compelling option for those seeking alternatives to traditional pharmaceutical treatments, which can often come with undesirable side effects.

That's not to say that weed should replace traditional medications, though— always talk to your doctor before making any decisions about your health. 

Best Products for feeling calm 

Sometimes, we all just need to take a deep breath and accept the things we cannot change. If you have a lot on your mind and on your plate, it can be beneficial and therapeutic to step back and enjoy a moment of calm to yourself. We at Flower Ave love weed for its ability to help us through the tough parts of our lives and keep our headspaces in a calm, collected, and comfortable place for whatever may come next. 

If you're exploring cannabis as a natural way to reduce anxiety, combat stress, or replace depressed feelings with an uplifted sense of calm, we suggest high-THC products with a good mix between sedative and focusing terpenes. Hybrid strains are your best friend when you're just trying to unwind from a stressful day and feel your best without slowing down. 

Just remember to start with a smaller dose and work your way up as you explore new products to help avoid any unwanted stress until you find the perfect calming product for you. 


What causes me to feel calm when I use cannabis? 

  • A combination of things! A calming sensation comes from a blend of calming terpenes found in cannabis strains as well as some notably soothing cannabinoids like THC and CBD. The most calming strains contain Linalool, Myrcene, b-Caryophyllene, and Terpinolene. If you prefer not to feel high while trying to get your chill on, you may enjoy strains higher in CBD than THC. 

How can I tell which strains will make me feel more calm? 

  • Most strains labeled indica or indica-dominant are more calming in nature. However, the terpenes found in the strain will also indicate how it will affect you. If it smells earthy, peppery, or floral, it might make you feel calm. You can also pick a strain higher in CBD for a good calming effect. 

Which strains are best for feeling calm?

  • The best stains for energy are usually indica-dominant. However, terpenes play a huge part in soothing, calming sensations, so choose strains high in caryophyllene, myrcene, or Linalool.

Which products are best for calm? 

  • Most cannabis products made from Indica-dominant strains are great for a soothing or calming effect. For long-lasting calming effects, use concentrates or edibles. For intermittent relief, use vape cartridges, flower, or pre-rolls

Are there other factors that can help cannabis make me feel more calm? 

  • Yes! You'll have a much harder time calming down if you're in the middle of a situation or activity that makes you feel stressed or anxious. However, cannabis affects us all differently, so be sure to experiment with different strains, products, dosages, activities, and environments to see what works best for you. Start with a small dose and work your way up until you find the perfect strain, product, and dose for all of your calming needs. 


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