The 101 On: Holiday Coping with Cannabis
The holidays are upon us, and so is the stress. Medical researchers say the patch of weeks running roughly from a few days prior to Thanksgiving through the New Year is by far the most taxing time of the year for most people in the United States. The labor-intensive meals. The entertaining and decorating. The gift buying (and budget maintenance), travel, relatives, awkward work parties. The expanding waistline. The 437th encounter with Jingle Bells during a one-month period. It adds up to about six weeks of high-voltage anxiety for many.
It doesn’t have to be so tough. For those of us in states with legal marijuana, we have access to one of the best stress-busters on the planet. And importantly, most of us in these states can pick from a wide variety of cannabis products — it’s not just about burning flower. Wholesale marijuana growers in California and other states are growing enough cannabis to make everybody happy — flower lovers, edibles nibblers, concentrates consumers, topicals touters and more.
DOES MARIJUANA HELP MANAGE STRESS?
Cannabis is one of the most effective stress-management substances on the planet. But the plant does not accomplish the same things for everybody, and different strains tend to interact with stress in varied ways. Some strains, and doses, have the potential to boost anxiety which could increase stress. Other approaches might achieve little. While there is no one-size-fits-all regarding the places where cannabis and stress intersect, some general principles are worth considering as we enter the world of turkey, packed stores and Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer.
4 STRAINS FOR STRESS
Strains run the gamut, from super-high THC bazookas to mild slingshots. Since part of the goal is to manage the stresses of daily holiday life while they are taking place — rather than just trying to melt them away at the end of the day — we aren’t looking for knock-out strains. Wholesale marijuana growers in California and other states raise thousands of different strains; cannabis market research firm BDS Analytics, for example, tracks more than 13,000 strains. But you don’t need to try them all (although there’s nothing wrong with that!) to find the best stress wranglers. We have made it easy for you.
Harlequin: This sativa-dominant hybrid comes with a 5:2 CBD to THC ratio, which means a few hits should not send you into the stratosphere. Instead, with the heavy hit of CBD — a compound found within the marijuana plant that is increasingly used for medical applications (including for anxiety disorders) — Harlequin should help those shoulders sink a bit, and coax away some of the stress.
Cannatonic: Another high-CBD strain, Cannatonic also is low in THC — sometimes as low as 7 percent (the average percentage of THC in Colorado right now, by comparison, is around 16 percent). This is high-functioning cannabis that normally contains more CBD than THC. Will you feel high? Of course. But this is not couch-lock pot — instead, it is the kind of strain that will let you shop for the perfect gift without hyperventilating about the crowds, the music, the lights, the thinning wallet.
Blue Dream: There is a reason Blue Dream is the most popular strain of marijuana in most states in the country — it delivers lots of euphoria, without sleepiness. And who doesn’t want euphoria while listening to the Pandora holiday station? The sativa-dominant hybrid tastes good, too. Get it delivered to your door now!
Sour Diesel: Part of the holiday experience revolves around repetitive tasks — wrapping gifts, baking cookies, decorating. Sour Diesel is famously great for helping people focus. Some people suffering from AD/HD, for example, champion the strain. Strains like Sour Diesel can help make repetitive tasks fun — people who cut lawns love it.
3 EDIBLES STRATEGIES FOR STRESS
Microdosing: It can be tough to microdose with flower — dialing-in precise doses is difficult — but it is becoming increasingly breezy with edibles as manufacturers introduce small-dose products to the market. Microdosing might not be the ideal accompaniment for watching A Charlie Brown Christmas — you might want to feel more high for that half-hour of lovely fun. But it might be perfect for just dealing with the bosses and the ladder-climbing colleagues at the after-work holiday party, or decorating the house with lights, pine boughs and ribbons. We're loving Beboe pastilles and Kiva Terra Bites for these occasions.
Planning: Edibles can be a superb option for holiday parties — as long as you plan things properly. If you know how different edibles affect you — that is, how much of that chocolate bar to take, and how long before you take off — then plot your nibbling to pair the high with the heart of the party. If you aren’t sure, experiment with that new bag of gummy bears before hitting the party. Either way, the world of THC-saturated mints, sodas, caramels and more works well for many holiday pursuits. Instead of sneaking out for aromatic (possibly too aromatic) hits on the pipe during the day’s activities, a well-planned edibles adventure might better meet your high holiday needs.
The Cozy Sink-Into-The-House Day: One of the beautiful things (most of the time) about edibles is the duration of the buzz — it can last for three hours and even more. This is not always ideal, but when you know you have hours of driving-free time at home, and something holiday-oriented is on tap (baking cheddar biscuits, trimming the tree, sitting before the fire and just savoring the decorations and ambience) an edible is a great way to go. The buzz mounts slowly, rather than arriving with a slap — perfect for a savor-the-home kind of day.