March 16, 2020
Cannabis and Stress Relief – Isolation
While the risk of catching the virus in the country is still low, the Canadian government has detailed steps individuals and communities should take in order to avoid contracting and spreading the virus. If COVID-19 hits your community, Health Canada recommends considering how to change your routine and behaviour in order to stop it from spreading. It suggests avoiding large crowds by doing groceries during off hours, taking public transit outside of rush hour and exercising outside instead of at the gym. If you’re a caregiver, consider what help you would need should you contract the virus. Fill up on prescriptions sooner rather than later so you don’t visit a busy pharmacy.
Making a plan
You should also refill your supply of pet food, toilet paper, feminine hygiene products and diapers, if you have children who use them.
It’s also important to keep key hygiene supplies on hand, including hand soap and alcohol-based hand sanitizer, as well as every day cleaning items like disinfectant wipes, bleach, laundry detergent, dish soap, garbage bags, toilet cleaner, floor cleaner and nitrate or latex gloves.
For those who are unable to leave the house as a result of doctor’s orders, having food delivered is a convenient and increasingly popular option. Some grocery store chains, like Longos and Loblaws, have delivery services. In larger cities, meal kit companies will deliver portioned meals on a regular basis, straight to your door. Ian Brooks, CEO and founder of HelloFresh Canada, says while he can’t disclose whether there’s been a spike in orders since news of the coronavirus hit, the company is prepared.
“There haven’t been any changes to our service, and we’re taking the necessary precautions to maintain the safety and wellbeing of our team and customers, who are our highest priority,” he tells Yahoo Canada. “The team is preparing for all different kinds of situations, including fluctuations in demand.”
The company has also implemented a number of additional safety measures, to ensure everybody stays healthy. These include distributing health questionnaires, regular risk assessments, and providing guidance on illness prevention as per the direction the Public Health Agency of Canada. With regards to the company’s drivers, who distribute the food to customers, the company says it’s implemented a number of proactive measures.
Considering mental health and stress
Being forced to stay at home for two weeks can have an impact on wellbeing. Dr. Steven Taylor is a clinical psychologist and professor in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of British Columbia. He says people need to think beyond the preparedness of stocking up on necessities.
“People need to think of ways to deal with social isolation, loneliness, boredom and stress,” he says. “It could be as simple as finding things to do if they’re going to be inside for two weeks.”
He says people who were forced to be quarantined on cruise ships managed to successfully deal with the isolation by focusing on tasks like finishing a book or starting a knitting project.
As for people who aren’t under self-isolation, Taylor says it’s important to reach out to people who are more vulnerable, to make sure they’re prepared. This includes health care workers, who are at the front line of the issue.
“We need to consider things like stress and burnout in health care workers to help them deal with the effects of self-isolation,” he says.
With the constant news about the number of cases increasing around the world, it’s understandable that people will feel more anxious and stressed. Taylor says it’s important to keep things in perspective.
“Looking at the big picture is important,” he says. “This will likely be over in months. We’ll be getting on with our lives and putting this behind us.”
Cannabis is not the solution for stress in all its forms and origins.
Cannabis with THC levels above moderate. It can edge users to panic attacks and paranoia. And, since everyone responds differently, stress-prone individuals should be careful in their selection of strains.
Cannabis with THC levels above moderate, however, can induce experiences that facilitate escape from stressful situations and memories. Again, selecting the appropriate strain is important.
Here are five go-to cannabis strains for stress relief:
Cannatonic cannabis ranks on most lists. Its 1:1 ratio of CBD to THC offers a calming balance. That’s a tested THC: 7% – 15% and CBD: 12% for chemistry appreciated by medical practitioners because the CBD content is high enough to offset the THC.
For most consumers, Cannatonic provides no perceptible psychic high although it will likely take your mind off things. It’s known to reduce seizures and muscular cramps in many. There’s enough THC to boost your mood and enough CBD to relax you physically and emotionally. A more difficult to find Cannatonic #7 doesn’t present much difference.
2. Blue Dream
Blue Dream cannabis is a sativa-dominant hybrid providing gentle cerebral effects and full-body comfort. This one’s not for starters because its high THC content (17% to 24%) could push them towards panic and paranoia. It’s a commonly used strain among the experienced, a classic experience with a total melting away.
Blue Dream works quickly to lift your mood, motivate, and focus your work. But that evolves into the numbed, mellow, and pain-free rest. It’s the sort of strain long associated with the stoner caricature. Taken seriously, Blue Dream cannabis treats chronic stress, depression, and pain with the added benefit of a sweet blueberry taste and aroma.
3. Girl Scout Cookies
cannabis may remind you of the Girl Scout Thin Mints. But this is not for the kids. With THC reaching 28%, it has been a favorite tasty treat for decades. Indica-dominant, it provides another legendary experience.
The Girl Scout Cookies strain produces a euphoric, happy, silly high. Then, it slams your body into the couch for the night. Both experiences chase the stress away for hours. You may notice its many Cannabis Cup awards, but you’ll forget about them in fits of giggling. The easy-to-remember name moves it off the shelves at medical and recreational dispensaries.
4. Charlotte’s Web
Charlotte’s Web strain history has led to the only FDA approved cannabis-derived medication for recalcitrant epilepsy and Dravet’s Syndrome. It’s ability to reduce involuntary spasms and cramps puts Charlotte’s Web high on any list of go-to strains for stress relief. It has had a singularly strong influence on the push to legalize medical marijuana.
You don’t take Charlotte’s Web looking for a psychic high. After all, the THC is well under 1% while the CBD has scored 17% plus. It’s a great strain to start with for chronic pain, spasticity, chronic stress, PMS, and PSTD. Much coveted by parents with sick children, it is available as compassionate care in states that yet to legalize medicinal or recreational cannabis.
5. Jack Herer
Jack Herer remains a heroic figure for his work in advocating the new national interest in cannabis values. The Jack Herer strain is a pure Sativa package. At 23% THC, it offers a fabled punch: bubbly, creative, energetic, euphoric, and slap happy. The combination serves you well during the day and at work.
Jack Herer soothes while it “intoxicates.” It tastes and smells of forest soil, pine trees, and loam. But its long lasting and focused effects benefit patients with ADHD, anxiety, bipolar disorder, PMS, PTSD, and stress-related pain and migraines. Less sedating than other strains, it does trigger deployment and distribution of melatonin which does produce sleepiness.
Even more options
This short list does not include other go-to strains. There are AK-47, Sour Diesel, Tsunami, and a handful of others with low THC and high CBD. The go-to strains minimize the production of new cells to relieve the hippocampus of pressure. Allowing the brain to restore its resiliency, the strains modulate the release of the excitatory brain chemicals that damage brain cells. They reduce the oxidation that destroys cells and the inflammation that damage systems and cause pain.
A final caution reminds you that the dosage is important. First-time users must opt for mild strains before titrating the dosage to a pattern of use. This will vary from one person to another. But the wrong dose of the wrong strain risks response that counters the desired stress relief.