We all handle stress, anxiety, and depression differently. For some, exercising, spending quality alone time, or reading a book can be enough to help calm our nerves and elevate our moods. But others turn to prescription anti-anxiety medication, especially when their anxiety feels unmanageable.
Anxiety occurs when a person feels high levels of fear, worry, or distress over a specific emotional trigger. These types of triggers can be the result of environmental factors, genetics, or increased levels of regret or stress. A person’s history, life experiences, and brain chemistry can also play a factor. Regardless of the cause, anxiety can have a major negative impact on the quality of life. Terpenes for anxiety gives you a natural way to manage your anxiety and stress levels. While not every terpene will work for everyone there are several terpenes specifically used to treat anxiety that you can experiment with in order to find the right one that works the best for you. So, if terpenes can be used to help manage depression and stress, then what terpenes are good anxiety?
What terpenes are good for anxiety? Many of the terpenes commonly found in a variety of cannabis strains are said to help manage anxiety. These terpenes include:
When used correctly alone or in addition to your current prescribed medications, terpenes can help provide anxiety relief almost instantly. The key will be to experiment with different strains of cannabis or terpene isolates and profiles in order to find the terpenes that work best for you. You may need to experiment with a variety of different profiles before you find one that can provide the relief you are looking for. If you’re currently on medication for anxiety I recommend speaking to your doctor prior to use.
Read on to learn more about the effects of terpenes, how they can impact your current anxiety treatments and what you can expect regarding results.
Seeking Alternative Treatments for Relief
Fortunately, there are many treatments available today for anxiety. However, many of these treatments come in the form of prescription medications. Not all medications work the same for everyone because our brain chemistry is so unique. Because of this, many people will spend years trying different types of medications designed to treat anxiety, depression, chronic stress, and other forms of mental illness, with no relief in sight.
If you’re currently seeking treatment for chronic anxiety or anxiety disorders then terpenes may be the answer, especially if you’re tired of trying one medication after another. Unlike prescription anxiety medications terpenes will not cause any harmful side effects. With prescription anxiety medication common side effects include nausea, dizziness, insomnia, increased fatigue, increased anxiety, depression, digestive upset, and muscle aches.
So, if you’re ready to try a new way to treat and manage your anxiety then read on to learn more about the benefits and uses of the following terpenes that are said to help to naturally reduce anxiety and chronic stress.
The Most Effective Terpenes
I’ve compiled an extensive list of several terpenes that are commonly used to treat anxiety disorders. Not every terpene on my list will work for everyone. In fact, just like with prescription medications you may need to do a little experimenting in terms of the types of terpenes you try and the dosage, in addition to dosing frequency.
BCP it’s considered one of the most effective terpenes for anxiety treatment. Science Direct published a study that looked at the effects of this terpene in treating anxiety in lab mice. The study showed that this terpene is very effective when it came to reducing anxiousness and stress in the animals.
The study also found that BCP targeted CB2 receptors in order to effectively treat anxiety and depression. Studies concerning the effects of terpenes in people with anxiety disorders and depression are ongoing in order for us to learn more about the effects of BCP concerning long term use.
This terpene was tested on lab rats. One study found that it was very effective in the treatment of anxiety and as a treatment against high levels of stress. This terpene is commonly found in citrus fruit peels and can be found in many everyday foods, beverages, and even household cleaners.
When inhaled, this terpene decreases anxiety, aggressive behavior, and stress. With higher doses, it can also improve cognitive function. Because of these findings, this terpene is often used in aromatherapy treatments and can help to induce relaxation and minimize anxiety. The terpene’s floral scent definitely makes it appropriate for use in skincare products and beauty products.
This is one of the most prevalent terpenes and it’s been used for centuries in holistic medicine. Did you know that most essential oils consist of around 80% terpenes? Most essential oils will have a very high myrcene content. These oils have been commonly used to help relieve symptoms of stress and anxiety.
Terpenes in Marijuana
Some people will turn to cannabis use in order to help relieve chronic pain, stress, depression, and anxiety. Did you know that the type of strain you choose can have a major impact on how you feel and that some strains of marijuana can even make anxiety worse? Different strains of marijuana will contain different terpenes. As I mentioned, some strains can make anxiety worse, which is one reason that starting off slow and gradually increasing your terpene use is the best approach. Hybrid strains can be effective for both anxiety and depression. However, if you’re using cannabis to treat anxiety or depression then you may already be aware that it can cause negative effects such as increased anxiety, increased fatigue, depression, or sedation. Often, cannabis can be an effective treatment for anxiety, but you must be careful when you’re dealing with depression since this type of marijuana can exacerbate certain symptoms. The sedative effects of some strains will make it harder for you to get up out of bed and feel motivated for the day, especially if you feel drowsy.
Essentially, the types of terpenes used in cannabis have the biggest impact on how you feel after you smoke it. Every type of plant, including marijuana, contains terpenes and it’s the terpenes that create the unique effects of each strain.
The Leading Terpenes for Anxiety
Limonene and beta-caryophyllene are commonly used to treat depression as well as anxiety. Beta-caryophyllene is one of the most commonly found terpenes in cannabis but it can also be found in black pepper and hops. This terpene is known for its stimulating effects. As I mentioned earlier it’s commonly used as an isolate or in terpene profiles, for the treatment of anxiety. It’s used in isolate form by people who are smoking a particular strain of cannabis that has a low beta-caryophyllene content. This means that you can purchase the terpene separately and add more to your favorite strain, to make it more effective.
If you’re searching for a cannabis strain that can help to reduce anxiety, look for a strain that’s rich in beta-caryophyllene and CBD. Based on past studies, anxiety-reducing terpenes have a different way of working with CBD. Linalool, beta-caryophyllene, and alpha-pinene can have a type of additive effect when mixed with CBD. This means that the effects of CBD are enhanced with terpene use.
How to Use Terpenes for Anxiety Treatment
When vaping or smoking, cannabis tends to metabolize differently in the body as opposed to when you consume edibles. When you vape or smoke cannabis, the effects are instantly felt, including the effects of the terpenes. Edibles will not take effect instantly since they must first be digested. However, higher dosages of edibles can be a problem especially considering the way we metabolize them. If you prefer to use terpenes by adding them to your favorite strain of marijuana, then I recommend smoking or vaping and avoiding edibles at this time.
Additionally, terpenes can also be added to your favorite essential oils and used during an aromatherapy session. However, you must also be careful in regards to the amount of terpenes you use during your first treatment.
How Terpenes Can Change How You Treat Anxiety
Using terpenes instead of prescribed medication can be life-changing. If you take prescription medication such as Ativan or Xanax you’ll find that you no longer have to rely on these addictive medications to provide relief from symptoms associated with anxiety. As terpene use becomes more common, people are discovering that they can take control of their anxiety and depression using natural medicine that lacks the harmful side effects of pharmaceuticals.
Terpenes and Prescribed Medication
Prescribed anti-anxiety medication may be slowly released in the body over a period of several hours, or it may be fast-acting and will begin to take effect immediately, hitting you all at once. If you’re currently taking prescribed anti-anxiety medication, then it’s important to speak with your doctor and your pharmacist to determine if terpenes will have a negative impact on your treatment. Your doctor may be able to recommend a specific type of terpene to try that won’t interfere with your current treatment, or they may suggest changing your prescription to one that’s more effective. Since everyone’s brain chemistry is unique, it can be difficult to say how or if terpene use can impact the effectiveness of your current treatment or you. Most physicians will recommend starting with a very low dose and gradually increasing the dosage until you experience the ideal results. This is a process that can take several days, weeks, or even months if you’re currently on other anti-anxiety meds.
Additionally, terpene use can also have an impact on other types of medications you’re taking, which is why it’s always important to discuss any changes to your routine medication, whether it’s an all-natural product or an over the counter product.
Do Terpenes Relax You?
Some can. There are hundreds of terpenes to choose from. Some may promote relaxation, which can help you relax in the workplace, or sleep better at night, while there are also terpenes that can boost your energy. Since there are so many terpenes to choose from, the first step is identifying a profile that’s designed to promote relaxation, such as Elevation Terpenes. Unlike certain strains of cannabis, terpenes that promote relaxation will not cause sedation, so they can be used any time of the day or night. To learn more about terpene use and which types of terpenes are perfect for a natural energy boost, read my guide on what terpenes give you energy?
What are Terpenes Good for?
Terpenes can be used to treat a wide range of ailments, such as pain, inflammation, congestion, and even insomnia. Terpenes are also used to help promote relaxation, reduce anxiety and chronic stress, and can be used to treat depression since some types of terpenes work to naturally elevate mood. There are hundreds of terpenes to choose from, which can make it difficult to find the type that you need. To learn more about terpenes, how they work, and what you can expect concerning results and any potential side effects, read my terpene buyer’s guide.
Is it Safe to Vape Terpenes?
Yes, if done correctly. In their pure form, terpenes are very potent and powerful. Because of this, you only need to use a drop or two at a time. Terpenes should always be diluted before use. This is often done with a common type of carrier oil. If you’re not sure how to dilute terpenes for vaping, you can also purchase terpene cartridges, which will take all of the guesswork out of dosing and dilution.
The use of terpenes for anxiety can be a total life-changing treatment option for many people, especially those who have taken prescription anxiety medication for years. Unlike certain medications, terpenes are not addictive and do not come with any harmful side effects. However, terpenes will not work for everyone and they should never be taken in place of prescribed anxiety medication unless cleared first by your doctor. If you’re interested in making the switch to terpenes to treat your anxiety disorder contact your doctor concerning product recommendations, dosing instructions, and to determine whether or not terpene use would have any type of negative impact on your current medication regimen.