Can indica strains of marijuana induce or promote anxiety, heart racing, adrenal glands?

"I have vaped for a while. My main strains I would take before bed with some melatonin. They were Lemon OG and Blueberry pie (THC dominant).
Lately, I’ve developed sleep anxiety. Taking anything weed related only seemed to make it worse. I incorporated a tincture to help me sleep, however today especially after sleeping 10hrs, I woke up and all day just little epinephrine rushes sometimes for no reason. I’ve been to doctors over the last week or so and they say I’m fine. I’ve been meditating, deep breathing, and putting my faith in myself, but this feels a little more than psychosomatic. Any help?"

Hello and thank you for the great question,

I believe you are referring to adrenal fatigue, which is not recognized as a legitimate diagnosis by allopathic medicine. However, I do believe that there is some merit to the theory.

There are no studies on humans which evaluate the long term effects of cannabis on the adrenal glands. However, cannabis has been shown to elevate cortisol levels, which of course, is central to the theory of adrenal fatigue. However, this effect is relatively short lived and I doubt cannabis, when used in moderation or sparingly, would cause long term adverse effects on adrenal glands. However, if used heavily, I would hypothesize that cannabis could have some negative effects on the adrenal glands – most likely not permanent though.

First and foremost, you should consult your primary care physician to discuss your symptoms so that he/she could evaluate you properly; I cannot offer you a valid opinion without asking you more questions, performing a pertinent physical exam and possibly running laboratory tests. I will say, however, that it sounds most likely a psychosomatic reaction.

It also sounds like you may be sensitive to THC, which has been shown to have cardiovascular effects like elevated heart rate and changes in blood pressure; THC is also the main culprit in elevated anxiety and even paranoia in some.

Considering the above and the choices you inquired about, lemon OG would be the better choice for sleep and would also be much less prone to causing elevated anxiety and heart rate.

However, I would recommend you try "high CBD strains" which have much lower THC concentrations than both lemon OG and especially blueberry pie.

Here are some of my recommended high CBD strains.

  • The INDICA would be the choice for sleep.

-Some recommended high CBD strains-
SATIVA – Harlequin is one of the most popular CBD strains available. Typically testing around the 5:2 CBD/THC ratio, it exhibits a sativa-dominant alertness with only mild euphoria. Harlequin has a happy bent that most will find enhances whatever activity they are engaged in.

HYBRD – ACDC is easily my favorite CBD strain. The cannabinoid content is usually heavily CBD-dominant, sitting on average at 20:1 in its CBD/THC ratio. An imperceptible amount of THC makes ACDC an outstanding companion for daily medicinal cannabis consumers seeking to relieve tension, pain, or anxiety.

INDICA – Stephen Hawking Kush offers mild, relaxing effects while doling out a healthy dose of CBD, too. This indica-dominant strain is one of the more unique CBD cuts out there, offering both heady and soothing effects.


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