Ask Old Hippie: What’s The Best Strain For Me?

Old Hippie Kenobi

Dear Old Hippie: First off, thank you for all the great information you give. After two years of taking every pill on the pharmaceutical market, my doctor finally signed my paperwork to get my Medical Marijuana recommendation. I used to smoke in the past, but have not smoked any weed for at least two years now.

Now that I am starting again I have a question about anxiety. I suffer from panic attacks, I deal with them pretty well now and can breathe through them and talk myself down. This is the first time I have ever had the chance to choose from different strains, I told the clinic my concerns and they told me to start on 100% indica Kush, and then I also bought some Strawberry Diesel for when I get my tolerance back up, which has indica and sativa in it. After I got home and researched it, it said the Strawberry Diesel was a strong high and not for beginners, but it had some anti-anxiety properties to it. Either way I am going to start tomorrow with the Kush, starting slow with a very small amount and waiting 10 minutes and continue until I get pain relief.

I was wondering if I gave you a list (deleted) of what is available to me, if you could help me pick out what might be best for me? I would like something that will help with pain relief, but also give me a sense of well being, a euphoric kind of feeling to help with the depression as well, but something that won’t send me over the top with panic attacks. I suffer from Type 1 diabetes, I have painful neuropathy, anxiety and depression as well. This is the only thing that has ever worked for me and I am so thankful I am finally able to use Medical Marijuana legally.

A: Well…first of all, I’m (obviously) not a doctor, and I can only reliably tell you about strains I personally know about and have used myself, and even then I can only tell you how they’ve affected me. Don’t forget that even the same strain grown by someone else can have totally different effects on different people (please read this article to get an idea of all the differences you can have). But you bring up some interesting and important concepts that I’d like to address.

I think your clinic has given you some great advice.  Any Kush is the first thing to try, in my opinion, when you have dual issues of pain and anxiety. The “ultimate” might be a high-CBD strain; those are hard to find and have varied effects on anxiety, but are amazing on pain.

Starting slowly and waiting 10 minutes between hits is a great strategy for any new strain (or even a new batch of a familiar strain, if you’re especially sensitive to adverse effects like getting too high or paranoia or panic). Now, especially because you’re concerned about panic/anxiety, what you want to do is only use enough of it until you’re seeing a positive effect on your symptoms, and then stop smoking. You may end up having to take your medicine again every two hours or so, but that’s preferable to getting too high. And when you’ve found the right strain, or mix of strains, you can then look into making capsules or edibles, which will last longer and help you get through the night.

Now, of all the strains you mentioned in your list, the only one I’ve personally used is White Widow (which is unsuitable for you, I think, because of its very high THC levels, THC/CBD ratio, and likelihood of inducing paranoia and/or getting you too high). I found the link you’re talking about where one guy says it “might be too intense for beginners”, but that’s why I prefer crowdsourced sites like which says it’s best on stress, anxiety, and pain. Perhaps the “one guy” was trying to warn people, because it does sound strong, but that’s why the “one hit and wait 10” technique is there. That should protect you from overdosing, which in this context means “getting too high too fast”. You’re a medical patient now, and your goal is to help yourself and your symptoms, not to get high.

I would start with the Kush and use it exclusively for a week, or unless you have some kind of adverse reaction. Once you’re familiar with that one, I would slowly try the Strawberry Diesel and get familiar with how that works on you. You may eventually find that your best tactic is actually a mix of strains, but you have to know each one well enough to figure out how to do that.

Hope that helps! Good luck and please write back and tell me how it’s going!

Got a question for Old Hippie? Send in your questions to him here or post a comment below.

Old Hippie is a father of two boys and thankfully living in California where all this kind of thing is legal. He started smoking marijuana in 1967 in high school, experimented with mind-expanding drugs of all kinds, and then straightened out 15 or so years later to become an airplane pilot. After being diagnosed with depression in 2000, he lost his job and most of the following decade to prescription medications (such as antidepressants) which sapped his energy and will. Finally, a chance conversation with a friend led to a doctor’s recommendation for medical marijuana (MMJ). This changed his entire life, health, and outlook for the better. is his continuing story. It’s also his way to provide experienced advice on using medical marijuana effectively and responsibly, as well as advocacy, activism, and support for others. Old Hippie teaches about safe use of cannabis edibles, Canna Caps, vaporizers, dosing, and even microdosing.

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