Depression and Cannabis: Unraveling the Mood-Boosting Science

Depressed man

Modern life has been linked to a rise in depression rates. It affects over 17 million people in the United States and concerns unhealthy habits. People in the modern world are notoriously bad at getting enough exercise, fresh air, sunshine, social interaction, and sleep, all of which have detrimental effects on health, productivity, and longevity. There are many cannabis strains for depression you can choose from, and many of them work very well for treating and relieving depression. Finding the right one for you is essential; everyone has different tastes.

How Cannabis Affects Depression

Evidence from multiple studies of cannabis’ effects on depressive symptoms suggests the plant may increase key brain hormone levels. The “happy hormone,” serotonin, may be stimulated by cannabidiol (CBD), for instance. Decreased levels of serotonin are often linked to prolonged bouts of sadness. So can a cannabis strain be used to treat depression? In some cases, yes. 

Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the other prominent cannabinoid in cannabis, has been shown to help people whose depression is related to pain. THC’s analgesic properties may reduce even intractable pain, which in turn may reduce depressive symptoms.

Factors To Consider When Using Cannabis For Depression

Millions of people use cannabis and cannabinoids such as CBD for reasons other than treating clinical depression. Consequently, some cannabis strains may alleviate symptoms of depression even in those without a clinical diagnosis.

Things to keep in mind when selecting a cannabis strain to fight depression:

Every Strain Sample Is Different

While the featured strains of marijuana in this piece did show evidence of the presence of certain terpenes, not all strain samples will yield the same results. Environmental and growing factors significantly affect each sample, even though genetics affect the terpenes a plant can produce.

Therefore, test results from a plant grown in Jamaica may vary from those obtained from a plant grown in Colorado. Finding the uplifting terpenes, like Limonene, is more important than THC content. I tell patients “If you get happy smelling a certain cultivar, that is what you should get. Your nose knows what your body needs.” THC is the gas pedal, terpenes are the steering wheel.

Experiment With Different Cannabis Strains for Depression

While preclinical studies have shed light on which cannabis strains might be helpful for depression, the reality is that the causes of depression and the chemical makeup of each individual’s brain are unique.

Furthermore, everyone’s chemical makeup and response to cannabis’s terpenes and cannabinoids are different. Thus, it takes some experimentation to find the best cannabis strains for depression.

It can be helpful to keep track of the cannabis strains for depression you try and how you feel after using them. Moreover, it’s a practical way to monitor your intake and observe its effects on your state of mind.

Dosage is Important

For cannabis to be effective in the long term for treating depression, you must determine the correct dosage. The best and safest cannabis dosage depends on the individual user, so it’s best to consult a trained professional.

Low-to-moderate doses of cannabis with high THC or CBD content may be ideal for some people. Some people may require a lot more to keep the benefits going.

Because no two people are identical, it may take trial and error. A good rule of thumb is “Start low & go slow.”  You can take a choline supplement to dampen the psychoactive effects of THC while you are figuring things out. 

How To Use Different Cannabis Strains for Depression Relief

You can use marijuana in many ways to complement or even replace standard treatments for anxiety and depression. Please find the best products, whether they are smokeless or topical, that suit your requirements first. Here are some commonly used techniques:


Marijuana smoking typically entails inhaling smoke from a bowl, pipe, or joint stuffed with dried marijuana flowers, as suggested by the term’s name. 

Vaping marijuana

In this method, you can inhale the active ingredients in marijuana as a vapor after heating the plant’s oil, wax, or flower. You inhale the vapor like smoke, and the resulting sensation lasts about 45 minutes.


This method entails eating marijuana-laced treats like gummies, brownies or cookies. THC-tolerant users looking for long-lasting effects will find edibles an excellent choice. They do make FAST ACTING gummies now. 

Skin Patches 

Transdermal patches deliver a steady dose of THC through direct skin contact. The effects of transdermal patches can be felt within 15 minutes of application and last for as long as 24 hours.

Cannabis Concentrates

A high cannabinoid content results in a more potent strain. You vape dab the concentrate such as shatter, budder, sugar, wax. The effects of using a concentrate are rapid, and its half-life short..

Oil tinctures

Oil tinctures are an excellent option for people who have trouble smoking weed but still want to reap the benefits of marijuana’s anti-depressant effects. Although the impact of oral products takes longer to kick in, they have a longer half-life (around 4-6 hours. 

Cannabis Terpenes That Are Good For Depression

Terpenes, naturally occurring molecules, are responsible for the varied aroma, flavor, and physiological effects of marijuana strains. Moreover, depressed people can gain from various services, each tailored to their specific needs.

The use of terpenes has been linked to numerous health benefits, including better sleep, less pain, and reduced stress. These are helpful hints if you’re looking for the best way to cope with sadness.

Terpenes that may be helpful for depression include:


Limonene is the most potent terpene in marijuana and may help with depression management more than any other terpene. Studies have shown that regular use reduces symptoms of depression and anxiety.


You can find Pinene in rosemary, pine needles, and black pepper. Many people who suffer from depression or attention issues find that this supplement helps them become more attentive and focused on their objectives.


Linalool, a terpene, can be found in essential oils like lavender and rosewood. It is commonly accepted that its calming effect on the brain and body can mitigate stress and emotional distress.


The terpene caryophyllene is found in black pepper, cloves, oregano, cinnamon, and parsley. It targets the CB2 cannabinoid receptor, as its interaction appears to help with mood regulation in animal studies.

Different Cannabis Strains For Depression To Try

Your mild to moderate depression may respond well to a variety of strains. You shouldn’t try medical marijuana without first talking to a doctor and a licensed cannabis consultant, and those who suffer from major depression or psychiatric disorders should never try it without first getting clearance from their doctor. 

Remember that these nine strains aren’t a “one size fits all,” and you might find relief from depression with a strain that we didn’t include. A licensed Cannabis consultant can help you decide which of these strains may be best for you. The best way to figure out which strain of cannabis is most effective for you is to try a few and see how they affect your body and mind.

Jack Herer

This THC-rich strain has anti-depressant properties due partly to the uplifting terpenes caryophyllene and pinene. The aroma of Jack Herer is energizing, reminiscent of a northern pine forest and freshly chopped firewood. Some find that this particular strain helps them feel more at ease and secure.


People trying to alleviate depression will often turn to this CBD-rich strain. Low levels of THC aid in reducing anxiety that commonly accompanies depression, and the combination of calming myrcene and energizing pinene counteracts myrcene’s sedative effects.


Compared to Cannatonic, Harlequin strikes a good balance between CBD and THC cannabinoids. Some users of Harlequin have reported feeling focused and alert after using it, which may be attributable to the balanced or nearly balanced CBD: THC content.


Cinex’s uplifting citrus aroma of limonene can do more than just wake you up. Some people find that high levels of THC restore their passion for life and encourage them to pursue their creative interests, both of which depression may stifle.

Charlotte’s Web

Patients seeking relief from depression consistently recommend this CBD-rich strain. Charlotte’s Web is a good option for people prone to anxiety and panic attacks due to its low THC content.

Laughing Buddha

Laughing Buddha, as its moniker suggests, has the potential to induce feelings of euphoria and even hilarity. People who use this strain frequently report feeling relaxed, productive, and social.

Northern Lights

Some people find that the pure Indica strain Northern Lights induces a deep state of relaxation. Some claim that exposure to the Northern Lights improves their sleep quality, which is especially useful considering the correlation between insomnia and mental health issues like depression.

Girl Scout Cookies (GSC)

Some people who use cannabis report feeling better after consuming Girl Scout Cookies, a baked treat with the same name. GSC is a versatile strain that has shown promise in treating pain, nausea, and loss of appetite.

Cherry Punch

Cherry Punch is an effective strain because it contains a high concentration of therapeutic terpenes like myrcene, humulene, and linalool. The cherry vanilla flavor of this AK 47 x Purple Punch hybrid gives it a reputation for uplifting effects.


Can a cannabis strain be used to treat depression? The available literature suggests a complex relationship between cannabis and depression. Depending on the dose, the type of cannabinoids present, and the user’s habits, cannabis may either alleviate or exacerbate depression, according to emerging research.

There is some evidence that both the Indica and Sativa strains of cannabis can treat depression and can help people with anxiety. If you’re interested in experimenting with the strains, you should make an appointment with your doctor and a cannabis licensing consultant to do so safely and effectively.

Do you have any inquiries regarding cannabis? You can ask questions and get responses from an informed community member or cannabis licensing consultant by visiting the Green Hope Wellness website.


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