There’s a growing acceptance within the U.S. that the cannabis plant is medically beneficial for many purposes.
In Colorado, for example, the following conditions are state-approved for medical marijuana treatment:
- Cachexia (a condition typically caused by a disease like cancer or AIDS that causes significant weight loss, including muscle loss)
- HIV or AIDS
- Persistent muscle spasms
- Severe pain
- Post Traumatic Stress Disorder
Notice anything about that list? Except for PTSD, all of those conditions are primarily physical.
The relationship between mental health and cannabis use is less clear. The U.S. drug war and decades of misinformation have biased the perception of cannabis use in mainstream medicine and culture.
Is Cannabis an Effective Treatment for Depression?
Study after study shows a correlation between cannabis use and depression, though prohibitionists or federal organizations sometimes use them to discourage cannabis use.
However, as more scientific studies are released and peer-reviewed by unbiased sources, it’s becoming increasingly clear that cannabis may be an effective treatment for the 280 million people in the world who suffer from depression.
Anecdotally, you can look at a longstanding cannabis review site like Leafly.com to see their database includes thousands of strains that users say positively affect depression and anxiety. Scientifically, recent studies released in The Journal of Biology and Medicine and Journal of Affective Disorders found that cannabis use provided great relief to those suffering from depression.
There’s still plenty of work needed to get to the bottom of marijuana’s actual effects. But based on what we know now, here are five cannabis strains likely to help with symptoms associated with depression—like sadness, insomnia, a lack of energy, low concentration, and appetite loss.
Cannabis enthusiasts prize the Gelato strain for its THC rate of 17% and uplifting effects. More than 2,000 people have ranked the strain at Leafly.com’s strain database—with “euphoric,” “aroused,” and “happy” being the top three good feelings they associate with it.
About a quarter of Leafly’s reviewers said it aids in their depression (24%) and anxiety (26%), while 27% told the site that it’s a good destresser.
Photo: MmeEmil via gettyimages.com
If feeling relaxed, happy, and giggly sounds like a good alternative to your current mood, you’ll want to hit up your nearest dispensary for the Sherbert strain.
“This strain exhibits powerful, full-body effects that are elevated by a jolt of cerebral energy and carefree state of mind,” Leafly’s in-house strain reviewers say. Its 18% THC rate “makes it an ideal choice for medical marijuana patients seeking relief from symptoms associated with stress, tension and mood disorders.”
Twenty-seven percent of users told Leafly that it helped with their anxiety and depression, respectively, while a whopping 35% said it’s a good stress reliever.
Thirty percent of Leafly’s users told the company that the Thin Mint strain aids their depression, while 35% said it is a good destresser and 26% said it helps with pain—that’s a medical trifecta. It’s also a trifecta in a different sense, as the strain itself is a cross between sativa Durban Poison, indica OG Kush, and hybrid strain GSC (“Girl Scout Cookie”).
“Uplifted,” “euphoric,” and “relaxed” were users’ three highest-ranked feelings.
If you think you’re noticing a food theme here when it comes to strain names, welcome to the world of cannabis! And let’s talk about eating. Of course, cannabis is famous for its “munchy” effects, but some strains are more potent than others when creating an appetite.
And being that a lack of appetite can be a sign of depression, what better solution than a strain known for making people hungry? And when “sleepy” and “relaxed” are the other two highest-ranking feelings in the Leafly database, it must be time to grab yourself an eighth of Dosidos.
No mood-altering list of cannabis strains would be complete without a skunk on it. Yes, the skunk strains are known for smelling like, well, a skunk. They’re also famous for their euphoric and simultaneously pain-relieving high.
At Leafly’s database, “relaxed,” “euphoric,” and “happy” were the highest-ranked feelings for the Skunkberry strain. About a third of reviewers told the website that Skunkberry helps with pain, stress, and depression.
The next time you’re feeling a bit down, you might find some relief in alleviating your depression symptoms with one of these top-rated strains.