These days, it's easy to feel like you're living in some kind of dystopian novel—or perhaps all of them at the same time (let's call it Fahrenheit Brave New 1984 Handmaid's Tale World). The alt-right is in the White House, the wall is being built, environmental and labor regulations are getting rolled back... let's face it, shit looks dark. On top of that, Attorney General Jeff Sessions has been sending mixed messages about legal recreational weed.
What's a mildly anxious, socially conscious stoner to do? The following are only personal recommendations—suggestions on how some ganja goodness can help heal Trump-related trauma. But different strains affect people differently, and just because something works for most people doesn't mean it will work that way for you.
Note: Do not consider any of this actual medical advice. If you're dealing with prolonged or intense feelings of anxiety and depression, take a break from the weed and seek professional help.
PROBLEM: You stay up late at night scrolling through your news feed, kept awake by the endless litany of horrific new executive orders and bizarre tweets. Every time you close your eyes, you see an orange-headed, hollow-eyed Cheeto monster. He haunts your nightmares.
You'll definitely want to lean toward indica strains—known for their deeply relaxed, glued-to-the-couch-type effects and a great salve for insomnia. Sara Fletcher, the procurement manager and "resident sleep doctor" for Dockside Cannabis, recommends what she calls "sleep-forward strains."
"Sleep-forward strains," she explains, "are products that are going to help you kick your feet up a little bit more and promote relaxation." Strains like Granddaddy Purple, Afghan Kush, and Purple Kush will blanket your senses with calming effects and, possibly, stop those racing Trump-train thoughts.
"Sometimes one of the greatest things that keeps us from falling asleep is us," she says. "Just our brain turning in circles and trying to figure things out—sleep-forward strains help stop your treadmill of thoughts."
It's all in the terpenes, you see—chemical compounds that provide the flavor and aroma of the plant, like in a bouquet. Terpenes attach themselves to various receptors in the brain, yielding various effects. Strains high in the terpene linalool, which occurs naturally in flowers and herbs like lavender and coriander, help promote serenity.
"It has a really similar effect," explains Fletcher, "to imbibing actual lavender by tea or even just smelling the essential oil." Grape Ape is also a great sleep-forward strain—"a classic," Fetcher says, that "smells like candy and tastes like an IPA."
For those times when you wake up in the middle of the night and can't get back to sleep, Fletcher recommends keeping a spray like the Enchantmint Breathspray on your nightstand. Spray it under your tongue—it will absorb sublingually and be in your bloodstream within 10 minutes.
Another option is a tincture called Deep Sleep, which has herbal extracts, a touch of sweet orange essential oils, and a high CBD-to-THC ratio. For a more sustained effect that will take longer to set in, eat some Swifts truffles an hour before bedtime.
And stay away from the news, Fletcher recommends. "Watch some Netflix," she says. "Or silly baby-animal videos."
PROBLEM: You need creative inspiration to make signs for yet another protest and you are running out of ideas. You also need motivation to march, stay vigilant, and not burn out. It's going to be a long four years.
When it's time to rally, sativa strains typically bring out an energetic, uplifting high. Strains like Girl Scout Cookies and Jillybean are great for bringing out your social side, too, so you can make new friends while writing postcards to your elected representatives. Amp it up even more with caffeinated cannabis products like Bulletproof coffee at Trichome and local cold-brew coffee from Mirth Provisions.
PROBLEM: All this intrigue about election hacking, fake news, wiretaps, mysterious deaths of Russian ambassadors, smartphone searches at the border... you want to relax, but you're just too paranoid!
If you feel like getting high would only make it worse, then a low-THC/high-CBD flower strain or concentrate is for you. CBD (sometimes referred to as "dad weed") is a type of cannabinoid like THC, but unlike THC, it's not psychoactive, which means it won't turn your brain into a rubber bouncy ball. It won't stimulate receptors that compel you to double check your microwave for recording devices. Some high-CBD/low-THC strains include Harlequin, Sweet and Sour Widow, and ACDC.
Or look for some purple weed, like the gorgeous stuff pictured here, grown by Seattle Green Buds. Purple usually indicates a sedating indica high.
PROBLEM: Anxiety about the country plummeting into impending fascist doom.
The solution depends on the time of day and how much anxiety you feel, says Ted Warren, a state-certified medical marijuana consultant and the medical coordinator for Have a Heart. If you're feeling the POTUS panic and are in a comfortable place, you may want to try a quick, intense solution.
"Evidence shows that doing a high dose of CBDs immediately through a vaporizer or through a dab is hands-down the best technique to get your anxiety knocked out," he says.
For a more long-term effect, taking a CBD capsule or edible soon after will help soften the comedown once the effects of the dab start to wear off. "It's very similar to when they tell you take a pain med every four to six hours," he explains.
Of course, Warren says, he wouldn't recommend dabbing for beginners—it's pretty heavy-duty stuff. So if you're new to marijuana, or if you feel like you just need a little on-the-spot anti-Trump bump, try Oakor Slips—they're vegan and gluten-free breath strips that take about 20 minutes to kick in.
Warren himself has a very specific (and unusual) method of delivering anxiety relief: First he takes a spoonful of turmeric, then smokes a high-CBD joint (his go-to strain is Cannatonic), and then bites down on a black peppercorn and downs a glass of water. "And what that has done for me is eliminated the need for cyclobenzaprine and any of the psych meds that people are on now," he says.
Why turmeric? It elevates serotonin levels while lowering stress hormones like cortisol, similar to what CBD does.
"Eat curry and smoke weed, and you'll get Trump off your mind!" he promises.