Highs and lows are normal in life, and we all experience anxiety and depression from time to time. But when anxiety and depression don’t go away, these issues can start to seriously disrupt your daily life. Feeling anxious or depressed can hurt your ability to feel happy and be productive, and it can stop you from reaching your important goals.
If you’re struggling with your mental health, you may be wondering: Can cannabis be used for depression or anxiety? And, in short, the answer to this query is that its possible marijuana use could help with depression or anxiety.
At the moment, there isn’t much scientific research surrounding using marijuana for depression and anxiety. But there have been some scientific studies that suggest using cannabis can have a positive effect on your mood. Then, of course, anecdotal reports of people using cannabis for depression and anxiety are fairly widespread. Many cannabis users say that marijuana use has greatly helped to ease their depression and anxiety symptoms.
If you do want to try cannabis for your depression or anxiety, there’s one very important thing to remember: it’s all about picking the right strain! Different strains of cannabis can have very different effects on the mind and body. So, if you want a strain that will help ease your mind and help you feel some happy feelings, it’s all about finding the right strain for you.
Wondering which cannabis strains are the best for anxiety and depression? We’re here to help! Below, we’re sharing some helpful tips on what you may want to look for in a strain for anxiety or depression. Then, we’ll talk a bit about how people use cannabis for these mental health issues. And at the end of this post, we’ll also share some specific recommendations by listing 9 of our customer’s favorite strains for anxiety and depression!
What to Look for in a Strain: Understanding THC, CBD, and Terpenes
Many cannabis users say that smoking a little ganja or taking an edible can provide a much-needed respite from the symptoms of their depression or anxiety. But it is important to note that the results you get from using cannabis will vary greatly depending on the strain you choose. Different strains of cannabis can have different effects depending on their cannabinoid ratios and terpene profile. So, it’s important to understand this so you can gauge how different strains may or may not work for your unique health problems.
First, let’s talk about cannabinoids. There are two major cannabinoids in cannabis: tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD). THC is well-known for its psychoactive properties— this cannabinoid is what causes the “high” you may feel when you use cannabis. Then, CBD is a non-psychoactive cannabinoid that does not come with a “high” of any kind but may have other beneficial effects, such as easing anxiety.
Any given strain of cannabis can have a different ratio of THC to CBD. There are high THC strains, medium THC strains, and low THC strains. Then, cannabis products will also have their own unique ratio. They can be high, medium, or low THC, or they may contain little to no THC if they are a CBD-focused product.
It’s important to understand these different ratios as you look for a strain with your desired effect. Many people like higher THC strains, since THC is associated with feeling euphoria. But because THC activates the amygdala (the part of the brain that’s responsible for fear), it can also sometimes cause anxiety or paranoia. So as you search for your perfect strain, consider what level of THC may be best for you. Everyone is different and how individual people react to certain strains can vary.
While a strain’s THC to CBD ratio is important, this ratio is not the only thing that can affect how a strain performs and interacts with the endocannabinoid system and the endocannabinoid receptors. Another thing that impacts cannabis is its terpene profile. Terpenes are aromatic compounds found in many types of plants, including cannabis. Terpenes do more than just affect how a strain of cannabis smells, however. They can also help cannabinoids enter the endocannabinoid system and provide therapeutic benefits of their own. For example, some cannabis strains contain terpenes that are relaxing or stress-relieving. As we go through our strain recommendations below, we’ll be calling out the terpene profiles of certain strains and talking more about how that may affect how they work for you.
Using Cannabis to Treat Anxiety and Depressive Disorders
People are sometimes surprised to hear that many people use cannabis to ease depression or anxiety. But cannabis has actually been used for centuries to treat depression and other medical conditions in Eastern countries such as India. And now, new medical marijuana research that is focused on the effects of marijuana is finally starting to catch up.
Today, there are some studies that show cannabis use may hold significant benefits for people suffering from a variety of physical and mental health conditions.
But how does this work? Well, some studies show that the use of marijuana may have the ability to improve the mood while simultaneously addressing the primary anxious and depressive symptoms associated with anxiety disorders and depressive disorders.
To give you a specific example of how the effects of cannabis may impact someone trying cannabis for a mental health condition such as depression, we can look at anecdotal reports from individual cannabis users. To give one example, many marijuana users find that cannabis can help slow down the negative cyclical thought patterns that cause so much grief, pain, and chronic stress. Then, to give another example, many people who have tried cannabis also say that it helps them sleep (trouble sleeping is a common symptom of both anxiety and depression).
The Best Cannabis Strains for Anxiety and Depression
Now, it’s time for our product recommendations! Below, we’re featuring 9 of our customer’s favorite cannabis strains and edibles for easing the symptoms of depression and anxiety.
Desert Grown Cookies
Desert Grown Cookies is a fantastic Indica-dominant hybrid strain that is a cross between Chem’s Sis, Sour Dubb, and Chocolate Diesel. Desert Grown Cookies is a top recommendation for daytime use since users report that it’s energizing, yet not overwhelming. Users of this hybrid strain also report this strain helps to lower their anxiety levels, helping them tackle their day with a cool, calm, and collected kind of energy.
Platinum GSC (formerly known as Platinum Girl Scout Cookies) is a very popular strain among both recreational and medical cannabis users. And, in our opinion, it definitely lives up to the hype. Users of GSC report that this strain is excellent for reducing acute and chronic pain, anxiety, and stress. People who have tried GSC also say that this strain is supremely relaxing. So if you’re in the mood to just kick back and chill, GSC might be the perfect strain for you.
Okay, we promise we’re not obsessed with cookie-related strains. But we strongly feel that Cookie Face deserves a spot on this list!
Cookie Face tests at between 21% to 26% THC, depending on the batch. This higher THC level may be a concern for some users since, as a general rule, you may want to avoid high THC strains if you’re looking to quell anxiety (since one of the effects of THC can be anxiety). However, this strain also has a unique terpene profile that some find perfect for easing anxiety. Cookie Face contains limonene and caryophyllene, both of which have stress and anxiety-relieving properties. Then, it also contains myrcene, which is commonly found in Indica strains and acts as a sedative.
White Fire OG (WiFi OG)
WiFi OG, like Cookie Face, is a high THC strain with a terpene profile that makes a huge difference. WiFi OG contains myrcene, pinene, and linalool. Cannabis users generally report that myrcene is relaxing, while pinene and linalool can have antidepressant properties. Users of WiFi OG say that this strain is a powerful way to reduce their anxiety and improve overall well-being.
Our next strain is Granddaddy Purple, a much-celebrated hybrid strain created from Purple Urkle and Big Bud. Users of Grandaddy Purple report that it provides both mental euphoria and intense physical relaxation. Since this heavy Indica strain is so relaxing, this might be one you want to go easy on if you want to stay awake and you’re sensitive to the effects of cannabis. Otherwise, Granddaddy might just put you to bed for hours.
Bio-Jesus is an Indica-dominant strain that many say is a bit of a miracle worker. Users of this strain (which has a THC level of 26% to 30%) say that it rapidly releases both physical and mental tension. Users also report this strain is a favorite for helping with sleep, stress, anxiety, depression, and insomnia.
Helix Twist Sour Cherry Gummies
Helix Twist Sour Cherry Gummies, the first edible on our list, tastes like your favorite candy treat. Each of these convenient, tasty gummies comes packed with a microdose of cannabis (10 mg of THC per gummy). Cannabis users who have tried these Sour Cherry Gummies report that they’re great for easing symptoms of stress, anxiety, depression, and fatigue.
Need a way to consume cannabis that’s more discreet than vaping or smoking but doesn’t take nearly as long as a standard edible? That may sound like a tall order, but believe it or not, such a product exists CannaPunch!
Here are some highlights of this cannabis beverage:
- 100% organic and vegan
- Gluten-free, soy-free, and corn syrup-free
- Equipped with CannaPunch’s trademarked NXT extraction technology, which equals faster absorption (the faster absorption happens sublingually, so if you really want to get the most bang for your buck, hold the punch in your mouth for a little while, swish it around, etc.)
- Dosing cup that allows you to measure and control how much you consume
CannaPunch comes in different flavors and strains, so you may want to tailor your choice of flavor based on what you’re looking for. Users who have tried CannaPunch often tout the Sativa-based Pineapple Mango Delight is a good option for relieving depression. Then, users also say that the Indica-based Granddaddy Grape flavor is a favorite for relaxation and anxiety relief.
Descended from Chemdawg 4 and Tres Dawg, Stardawg is a hybrid strain that will expand your headspace to new heights.
Users report both feelings of upliftment and increased productivity, as well as a decrease in stress and anxiety. Sounds to us like Stardawg does what all good hybrids do: give you the best of both the Sativa and Indica worlds!