Top 10 Best Cannabis Strains for Depression You Can Choose From!
Millions of people worldwide suffer from depression, a prevalent and severe mental health disorder. Depression can cause persistent feelings of sadness, hopelessness, guilt, and loss of interest in activities that you once enjoyed. It can also interfere with your daily functioning, such as work, school, relationships, and self-care.
There are many factors that can contribute to depression, such as genetics, life events, stress, trauma, medical conditions, and medications. While there are effective treatments for depression, such as psychotherapy and antidepressants, some people may not respond well to them or experience unpleasant side effects.
Cannabis is a plant that contains hundreds of compounds called cannabinoids, which interact with your endocannabinoid system (ECS). The ECS is a network of receptors and molecules that regulate various functions in your body, such as mood, pain, appetite, sleep, and memory. Some studies suggest that cannabis may have antidepressant effects by modulating the ECS and enhancing the levels of neurotransmitters like serotonin and dopamine in your brain.
However, not all marijuana strains are created equal. Different strains have different ratios of cannabinoids, such as tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD), as well as terpenes, which are aromatic compounds that give cannabis its distinctive smell and flavor. These compounds can influence the effects of cannabis on your mood and mental state.
In this blog post, we will review the top 10 best cannabis strains for depression, based on their cannabinoid and terpene profiles, user reviews, and scientific evidence. We will also provide some tips on how to consume cannabis safely and effectively for your depression.
Which Are The Best Cannabis Strains for Treating Depression?
1. Jack Herer:
This is a Sativa-dominant strain named after the legendary cannabis activist and author. It has a high THC content (around 18-20%) and a low CBD content (around 0.03-0.2%). It also has a high concentration of terpinolene, a terpene that has antidepressant and anti-inflammatory properties.
Jack Herer is known for its uplifting, energizing, and creative effects that can help you combat fatigue, apathy, and low motivation.
2. Green Crack:
This is another Sativa-dominant strain with a high THC content (around 13-21%) and a low CBD content (around 0.1%). It has a citrusy and fruity aroma and flavor, and a high level of caryophyllene, a terpene that can modulate the effects of THC and reduce anxiety and depression.
This strain is known for its stimulating, euphoric, and mood-enhancing effects that can help you cope with stress, sadness, and pessimism.
3. Blue Dream:
This is a hybrid strain that combines the genetics of Blueberry (an indica) and Super Silver Haze (a sativa). It has a moderate to high THC content (around 17-24%) and a low CBD content (around 0.1-0.2%). It also has a high amount of β-pinene, a terpene with anti-inflammatory and bronchodilator effects.
Blue Dream is popular for its relaxing, euphoric, and cerebral effects that can help you cope with depression, insomnia, and chronic pain.
4. Sour Diesel:
This is a Sativa-dominant strain that derives from Chemdawg and Super Skunk. It has a high THC content (around 19-22%) and a low CBD content (around 0.1-0.2%). It also has a high level of limonene, a terpene that has antidepressant and anti-anxiety effects.
This strain is famous for its pungent, diesel-like aroma and stimulating, uplifting, and mood-enhancing effects that can help you overcome depression, stress, and fatigue.
5. OG Kush:
This is an Indica-dominant strain that originates from Old World Paki Kush and Chemdawg. It has a high THC content (around 19-26%) and a low CBD content (around 0.1-0.3%). It also has a high level of D-Limonene, a terpene that has sedative and anti-anxiety effects.
OG Kush is renowned for its potent, relaxing, and euphoric effects that can help you deal with depression, insomnia, and pain.
6. Pineapple Express:
This is a hybrid strain that combines the genetics of Trainwreck (a sativa) and Hawaiian (an indica). It has a moderate to high THC content (around 19-25%) and a low CBD content (around 0.1%). It also has a high amount of Caryophyllene, a terpene with anti-inflammatory and anti-depressant effects.
This strain is loved for its sweet, tropical aroma and its balanced, happy, and energetic effects that can help you fight depression, stress, and boredom.
7. Northern Lights:
This is an Indica-dominant strain that descends from Afghani and Thai landraces. It has a high THC content (around 16-18%) and a low CBD content (around 0.1%). It also has a high level of Caryophyllene, a terpene that has anti-inflammatory, analgesic, and anti-tumoral effects.
Northern Lights is famous for its spicy, earthy aroma and its calming, soothing, and sleep-inducing effects that can help you cope with depression, anxiety, and insomnia.
8. Super Lemon Haze:
This is a Sativa-dominant strain that crosses Lemon Skunk and Super Silver Haze. It has a high THC content (around 15-22%) and a low CBD content (around 0.1%). It also has a high amount of Limonene, a terpene with antidepressant and anti-anxiety effects.
Super Lemon Haze is known for its citrusy, lemony aroma and its invigorating, uplifting, and creative effects that can help you combat depression, stress, and fatigue.
9. Blackberry Kush:
This strain is an Indica-dominant hybrid that combines Blackberry and Afghani. It has a moderate THC level (around 16-20%) and a low CBD level (around 0.1-0.4%). It also has a high amount of Myrcene, a terpene with sedative and anti-inflammatory effects.
This strain has a sweet, berry-like aroma and induces a relaxing, soothing, and pain-relieving effect that can help you deal with insomnia, chronic pain, and anxiety.
10. Granddaddy Purple:
This is an Indica-dominant strain that crosses Purple Urkle and Big Bud. It has a high THC content (around 17-23%) and a low CBD content (around 0.1-0.2%). It also has a high level of Myrcene, a terpene that has sedative and analgesic effects.
This strain is loved for its grape-like aroma and its relaxing, soothing, and sleep-inducing effects that can help you cope with depression, anxiety, and insomnia.
How Should I Consume Medical Marijuana Safely for My Depression?
Medical marijuana can be consumed in various ways, such as smoking, vaping, edibles, oils, tinctures, capsules, topicals, and more. Each method has its own advantages and disadvantages in terms of onset time, duration, potency, dosage control, and health risks.
The best way to consume it safely for your depression depends on your personal preferences, tolerance, and medical conditions. However, here are some general tips to follow:
- Start low and go slow: Begin with a low dose of cannabis and wait for the effects to kick in before taking more. This can help you avoid overconsumption, adverse reactions, and tolerance buildup.
- Use cannabis as an adjunct therapy: Cannabis is not a cure for depression. It can only provide temporary relief from some symptoms. You should also seek other forms of treatment, such as psychotherapy, medication, exercise, meditation, and social support.
- Choose the right strain: As we mentioned above, different strains have different effects on your mood and mental state. Try to choose a strain that suits your needs, goals, and symptoms.
- Avoid mixing cannabis with alcohol or other drugs: This can increase the risk of negative effects, such as impaired judgment, memory loss, anxiety, paranoia, and psychosis.
- Consult your doctor: If you are taking any medications or have any medical conditions, talk to your doctor before using cannabis. Some drugs may interact with cannabis and cause unwanted side effects or reduce their effectiveness.
- Monitor your mood: Keep track of how cannabis affects your mood, thoughts, and behaviors. If you notice any negative changes or worsening of your depression, stop using cannabis and seek professional help.
- Be mindful of the legal status of cannabis: Cannabis is still illegal in many parts of the world. Even in places where it is legal for medical or recreational use, there may be restrictions on the amount, possession, cultivation, and consumption of cannabis. Be aware of the laws and regulations in your area before using cannabis.
FAQs - Best Cannabis Strains for Depression
Cannabis plants are classified into two main types: indica and sativa. Indica tends to have higher levels of THC and lower levels of CBD, while sativa tends to have lower levels of THC and higher levels of CBD. Indica strains are also known for their relaxing, sedating, and pain-relieving effects, while sativas are known for their stimulating, energizing, and uplifting effects.
For people with depression, indica strains may help with insomnia, anxiety, and chronic pain, but they may also worsen symptoms of low mood, fatigue, and lack of motivation. Sativa strains may help with mood enhancement, creativity, and focus, but they may also cause paranoia, anxiety, and increased heart rate.
Therefore, the choice between indica and sativa depends on the individual’s preferences, symptoms, and goals. Some people may benefit from a balanced hybrid strain that contains both THC and CBD in moderate amounts. Others may prefer to use cannabis products that isolate specific cannabinoids or terpenes (the aromatic compounds that give cannabis its flavor and aroma).
THC and CBD have different effects on the brain and body. THC can activate the CB1 receptors in the brain, which are responsible for high feelings and can also modulate mood, memory, appetite, and pain perception. CBD can block the CB1 receptors and activate other receptors that can influence serotonin levels, inflammation, neurogenesis (the growth of new brain cells), and neuroplasticity (the ability of the brain to adapt and change).
For people with depression, THC may provide short-term relief from negative emotions and increase pleasure and reward. However, THC may also impair cognitive function, memory, and judgment. THC may also increase the risk of developing or worsening psychosis or schizophrenia in some individuals.
CBD may have more long-term benefits for depression by enhancing the natural production of serotonin and promoting brain health. CBD may also counteract some of the negative effects of THC by reducing anxiety, paranoia, and psychosis. CBD may also improve sleep quality and reduce pain.
Therefore, the choice between THC and CBD depends on the individual’s needs and tolerance level.
Medical cannabis is not the only natural remedy for depression. There are many other herbs, supplements, foods, and practices that can help you improve your mood naturally.
Here are some examples of other natural remedies for depression:
1. St. John’s Wort: St. John’s Wort is a herb that has been used for centuries to treat various health conditions, such as depression, anxiety, and insomnia. It contains hypericin and hyperforin, which are compounds that inhibit the reuptake of serotonin, dopamine, and norepinephrine in the brain. These are neurotransmitters that regulate mood and emotions.
St. John’s Wort can help improve symptoms of mild to moderate depression by boosting mood, reducing stress, and enhancing cognitive function. However, it may not be effective for severe depression or bipolar disorder. It may also have side effects such as nausea, headache, dry mouth, dizziness, and photosensitivity.
The recommended dosage of St. John’s Wort for depression is 300 mg three times a day for at least six weeks. However, you should consult your doctor before using it, as it may interact with some medications such as antidepressants, birth control pills, blood thinners, and HIV drugs.
2. Omega-3 Fatty Acids: Omega-3 fatty acids are essential fats that are found in fish oil, flaxseed oil, walnuts, chia seeds, and other foods. They play an important role in brain health and function.
Omega-3 fatty acids can help reduce inflammation in the brain, which may contribute to depression. They can also increase the levels of serotonin and dopamine in the brain, which can improve mood and cognition. Some studies have shown that omega-3 fatty acids can enhance the effects of antidepressants or even act as an alternative treatment for depression.
The recommended dosage of omega-3 fatty acids for depression is 1 to 2 grams per day of EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) and DHA (docosahexaenoic acid), which are the two most important types of omega-3 fatty acids for mental health. You can get them from fish oil supplements or from eating fatty fish such as salmon, tuna, mackerel, or sardines at least twice a week.
3. Saffron: Saffron is a spice that comes from the stigma of a flower called Crocus sativus. It has been used for centuries in traditional medicine to treat various conditions such as digestive problems, menstrual disorders, and mood disorders.
Saffron contains crocin and safranal, which are antioxidants that protect the brain from oxidative stress and inflammation. They also modulate the activity of serotonin, dopamine, and norepinephrine in the brain, which can improve mood, anxiety, and cognition.
Saffron can help reduce symptoms of mild to moderate depression by enhancing mood, reducing stress, and improving sleep quality. However, it may not be effective for severe depression or bipolar disorder. It may also have side effects such as allergic reactions, bleeding problems, or low blood pressure.
The recommended dosage of saffron for depression is 30 mg per day for at least six weeks. However, you should consult your doctor before using it, as it may interact with some medications such as antidepressants, blood thinners, or blood pressure drugs.
Exercise is one of the best natural remedies for depression. Exercise can help improve physical and brain health by increasing blood flow to the brain, releasing endorphins and other neurotransmitters that boost mood and energy, reducing stress and inflammation, and improving self-esteem and confidence.
Exercise can help reduce symptoms of depression by enhancing mood, reducing anxiety, improving sleep quality, and increasing cognitive function. However, the type, intensity, duration, and frequency of exercise may vary depending on your individual needs and preferences.
The recommended amount of exercise for depression is at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic exercise or 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity aerobic exercise per week, plus two or more sessions of strength training per week. However, you should start slowly and gradually increase your activity level as you feel comfortable. You should also choose an exercise that you enjoy and that suits your lifestyle and goals.
5. Meditation: Meditation is a practice that involves focusing your attention on a single object, thought, or sensation, such as your breath, a mantra, or a sound. Meditation can help you achieve a state of relaxation and awareness that can benefit your brain health and mood.
Meditation can help reduce symptoms of depression by enhancing mood, reducing stress and anxiety, improving attention and concentration, and increasing mindfulness and compassion. However, the type, duration, and frequency of meditation may vary depending on your individual needs and preferences.
The recommended amount of meditation for depression is at least 10 to 20 minutes per day for at least eight weeks. However, you can start with shorter sessions and gradually increase your time as you feel comfortable. You can also choose a meditation technique that you like and that suits your personality and goals.
Yoga is a practice that combines physical poses, breathing exercises, and meditation to create a balance between body and mind. Yoga can help you improve your physical and mental health by increasing flexibility and strength, improving posture and balance, enhancing blood circulation and oxygen delivery, reducing stress and tension, and promoting relaxation and calmness.
Yoga can help reduce symptoms of depression by enhancing mood, reducing anxiety, improving sleep quality, and increasing mindfulness and self-awareness. However, the type, intensity, duration, and frequency of yoga may vary depending on your individual needs and preferences.
The recommended amount of yoga for depression is at least 20 to 40 minutes per day for at least eight weeks. However, you can start with shorter sessions and gradually increase your time as you feel comfortable. You can also choose a yoga style that you like and that suits your level of fitness and goals.
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