Holiday season stressing you out? You are definitely not alone. Finding meaningful gifts that are also in your budget, sending out that picture-perfect family card, handling the drama of family get-togethers and playing Santa like a pro—and doing it all with a heavy dose of holiday cheer—can make even the most level-headed humans go a little crazy. If you anticipate losing your cool amid this year’s festivities (or you already have!), we have a tip: try using cannabis for a sense of calm in your life.
We’re all dealing with a range of experiences in our lives that make this time of year challenging in different ways. These are a handful of the less-cheerful side effects of the season that cannabis might help you cope with.
First, we’ll state the obvious. You know, the general stress of all the little things that add up during the Season of Giving, like taking the family card photo (and sending out said card on time); finding and wrapping The Perfect Gifts; watching your bank account diminish in just a few weeks; and simply spending too much time with the whole family.
If you anticipate all of it being overwhelming, it’s not a bad idea to start incorporating cannabis into your daily routine. For example, find a strain to consume regularly at a time that works best for you (like to start your day in the morning or to decompress at the end of your day). Alternatively, if your stress is more situational, you may decide to use it for quick stress relief in the moment or prior to events that are stress or anxiety-inducing, like last-minute trips to the mall or that family gathering you’ve been dreading. Tip: vape pens and tinctures are more discreet ways to use cannabis during stressful moments, if necessary.
If you do have anxiety, studies have shown that cannabis can help, particularly strains containing high amounts of cannabidiol, or CBD. As quoted in our blog on using marijuana for anxiety and depression, “According to a 2017 review of the potential benefits of CBD for panic disorder, people who took 300 milligrams of CBD after a simulated public speaking test experienced a notable decrease in anxiety levels. Additionally, a 2019 study found that 300–600 mg of CBD significantly decreased anxiety in 57 adult males.” If you are receiving treatment for anxiety, it’s recommended to consult your doctor before using cannabis, and not to use it to replace any existing medications.
It’s tough to get through the holidays when you’re battling the dreaded “winter blues,” otherwise known as seasonal depression. If you have major depressive disorder year-round, your symptoms may peak this time of year. It’s no surprise why—expectations of joy, love and gratitude are high during the “most wonderful time of the year,” leaving little room for those who are feeling down. When you fail to meet expectations of holiday cheer, it can lead to feelings of guilt or a worsening of depressive symptoms.
Some people find it helpful to use cannabis to supplement their existing depression treatment. As with anxiety, it shouldn’t be used as a replacement for medications you’re currently taking, and you should consult your doctor before using cannabis. Higher doses of THC have been found to worsen depressive symptoms, so it may be best to find a strain that’s high in CBD, and start with a low dose to see how you feel.
It’s understandable if holiday stress is keeping you up at night. You’re constantly running through your lengthy to-do list, which makes falling asleep nearly impossible. Lack of sleep can contribute to stress, creating a never-ending cycle of unhealthy routines. Many people use cannabis to relax before bed, and say it helps them fall asleep at night. If you struggle with insomnia, it might be worth giving cannabis a try.
Timing is important, and it’s recommended to consume cannabis about an hour before bedtime. For this reason, you might want to avoid edibles for sleep, since they sometimes take two hours or more to take effect.
If you’ve lost someone you love in the past year and have never celebrated without them, or if you’re grieving a loss from any time in your life, especially someone who died during the holidays—yes, this month is especially hard. While nothing will erase the pain, cannabis might help curb the worst of your grief symptoms.
It’s important to remember that it’s not a cure-all. If you are feeling down and missing your person, you might try a mild form of cannabis (like a 1:1 strain containing about half THC, half CBD) to calm your emotions in conjunction with your own self-care routines, like calling a friend, journaling or taking a walk in nature.
If you think medical cannabis could be beneficial for you, we’re happy to help you get started. First, review your state regulations to see if your symptoms are among the qualifying conditions for a medical cannabis card (Leafly has a helpful state-by-state guide). When you’re ready to apply for a card, contact us. We’ll answer any questions you have and help you take the next step!
*Can’t meet us in person? That’s OK! Most of our locations are still offering telemedicine services, so you can meet us from the comfort of your home.