A few terpenes and at least two of the known cannabinoids are known to directly improve symptoms of anxiety. Limonene, caryophyllene, and myrcene each have effects on neurotransmitters that ultimately impact responses to stress, albeit in different ways. For example, caryophyllene can affect anxiety symptoms by regulating the activity of dopamine, while limonene and myrcene do so by increasing serotonin and GABA (respectively). It’s important to note that the symptoms of anxiety related to serotonin imbalance are different from those related to GABA or dopamine. With low serotonin, anxiety stems more from feeling withdrawn and unable to cope with stressful situations. Dopamine and GABA imbalances, however, tend to manifest as nervousness & impulsiveness.
Besides terpenes, the cannabinoids CBD and CBG can also support a healthy response to stress by impacting neurotransmitters. CBG is a natural uptake inhibitor of serotonin and GABA. CBD regulates dopamine activity while also being a serotonin uptake inhibitor. These effects, especially when combined with the benefits of terpenes, can have a significant impact on anxiety symptoms as well as the response to stress.
Knowing which neurotransmitters are involved in your anxiety symptoms is the key to choosing cannabis that will work for you. Refer to your scores from the assessment and the information provided for each result found in Cannabis for Anxiety.