Depression is a complex mood disorder that often leaves one unable to work, eat, sleep or have fun due to inability to feel joy or pleasure. It affects more than 300 million people of all ages around the globe, and is the leading cause of disability worldwide.
Currently, there are many treatments available from oral medications to different therapies. Many people have also chosen medical marijuana as an additional treatment option and are using it to self-medicate depression symptoms. Still in its early stages, research is ongoing to determine the short- and long-term effects of medical marijuana use on depression.
Can Medical Marijuana Treat Depression Symptoms?
In 2015, neuroscientists from the University of Buffalo’s Research Institute on Addictions found that endocannabinoids may be helpful in treating depression that results from chronic stress. Endocannabinoids are naturally produced chemical compounds in the brain that activate the same receptors as THC, an active compound in marijuana. The scientists discovered that chronic stress may suppress the brain’s production of endocannabinoids, leading to depression-like behaviour. Cannabis may help restore normal levels and function and ease depression symptoms.
In addition, a 2014 study published by the Hawaii Journal of Medicine & Public Health found pain management as a potential benefit of medical marijuana. The study reported a 64% decrease in pain while using marijuana, with several participants experiencing decreased anxiety and better sleep.
More research will need to be done in order to definitively determine the benefits and side effects; however medical marijuana may be able to improve symptoms and make depression more tolerable for patients.
Medical Marijuana Strains for Depression Symptoms
Here are some popular strains of marijuana for depression patients seeking to elevate their mood, combat fatigue, fight insomnia or curb anxiety.
- Jack Herer
Jack Herer is a Sativa dominant hybrid named in memory of author and longtime marijuana activist. This strain will leave you feeling happy, energetic, creative and bubbly.
- Grand Daddy Purple
This shatter strain is highly recommended for patients that suffer from stress, pain, insomnia, and muscle spasms. Great for after dinner before bed as it hits pretty heavy.
- Lemon Hashplant
At first smoke, you will notice a rush of creativity followed by a sense of euphoria. This strain is ideal for medical users suffering from stress, depression, chronic pain, lack of appetite and insomnia.
- Pineapple Express
This strain is a heavy hitting hybrid which gives a long lasting energetic buzz, ideal for days you need to be highly creative and productive.
- Alien OG
Users have noted initial sensations of euphoria and happiness, followed by extreme creativity and finally a lethargic laziness as you finish off. Medical users with the following ailments will find this ideal: chronic pain, stress, depression, anxiety and insomnia.
Nebula starts off with a great uplifted happy high, perfect those suffering from lack of motivation or creativity, insomnia, depression and stress. The comedown of Nebula may leave you sedated, so its ideal smoke time is in the evening before bed.
- Bruce Banner
Bruce Banner is sometimes called the Holy Grail for those seeking a strong high. Users have noted an intense mood boost, happy, creative high with this strain which is also an effective painkiller and antidepressant.
- Girl Scout Cookies
Girl Scout Cookies is one of the top ranked strains when it comes to treating depression and anxiety. It is also used in managing severe pain, treating low appetite and as a solution for nausea.
- Shark OG
For the medical users, Shark OG is a definite go-to for chronic pain, nausea, insomnia, headaches/migraines, appetite loss, and depression.
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