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The Best Cannabis Strains For Treating Depression

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The Best Cannabis Strains For Treating Depression

This article is by Bailey Rahn and originally appeared on Leafly.com.

Whether or not you agree with it, a lot of people choose to self-medicate depression symptoms with cannabis. Recent studies even suggest a link between depression and the body’s endocannabinoid system, which would help explain why so many favor cannabis over legal pharmaceutical alternatives.

You may be of the mindset that any ol’ strain will do and that its genetic background doesn’t matter. For people without legal access to cannabis, this mentality may not even be a choice (for right now, at least). But if you have access to choices that span the spectrum between pure indica and sativa, you may have noticed that some strains are in fact better-suited for depression symptoms than others. Why is that?

The answer lies in a strain’s chemical profile. Look beyond the THC content of a strain and you’ll see a rich composition of cannabinoids and terpenes, compounds that offer a myriad of therapeutic properties. Depending on the nature of your symptoms, different strains offer different solutions (be sure to check out all strains in our database rated highly for depression for more options).

The Best Cannabis Strains for Treating Depression

Cannabis Strains to Help Improve Your Mood

Strains high in the terpene limonene are typically great choices for mood elevation. Limonene has a sweet citrus smell, so try following your nose if your dispensary doesn’t offer chemical profiles.

Jack Herer is a sativa strain cherished for its uplifting qualities that inspire happiness and creativity. A look at Jack Herer’s chemical profile shows high levels of limonene and pinene, terpenes that boost mood and focus respectively.

Pineapple Express takes you on a one-way trip to your happy place where energy and bliss are simultaneously awakened by its generally high limonene content.

Harlequin, with its 1:1 ratio of THC and CBD, is the perfect solution for anyone needing a clear head alongside their depression relief. CBD helps counteract the sometimes anxiety-inducing effects of THC, so if you’re prone to nerves, Harlequin is for you.

Cannabis Strains to Combat Fatigue and Disinterest

Sativas have lighter, more energetic effects than indicas, but be mindful of the fact that some sativa strains can induce anxiety. Strains rich in pinene can help promote focus, and this terpene is usually more concentrated in pine-scented strains.

Cannatonic is another high-CBD strain that delivers you to bliss without the anxiety often associated with high-THC strains. Its interplay of CBD and THC allow you through your day with a heightened mood and mental clarity.

Known for its creative stimulation and lightweight effects, Cinex can rekindle interest in the hobbies you love (and maybe in the ones you didn’t know you loved!).

With its uplifting citrusy aroma, the sativa-dominant XJ-13 can reintroduce a bright lining to even the simplest things, and is typically clear-headed enough to be used any time of the day.

Cannabis Strains to Help Curb Anxiety

THC is a common culprit of anxiety, so if you’re dealing with a high-THC strain, be sure to dose modestly. A relaxing indica high in the flowery-scented terpene linalool may be a good solution to anxiety, or try looking for a high-CBD strain.

Lavender balances cerebral bliss with physical relaxation with a sweet lavender aroma that hints at this indica’s high linalool potential.

Sour Tsunami and its high CBD content makes it a great choice for anxiety-prone individuals, particularly those sensitive to THC’s psychoactivity.

Cannabis Strains to Help Address Appetite Loss

On the one hand, THC is an adept appetite stimulant, but can also exacerbate anxiety. Indica genetics tend to be the best choice here, but there are plenty of low-anxiety hybrids to choose from as well.

Granddaddy Purple is an indica strain that awakens appetite without worsening anxiety, but this strain is best saved for the evening if chronic fatigue is a problem for you.

Lemon Kush stimulates hunger with the added bonus of light, uplifted effects. With its sweet lemony aroma, Lemon Kush staves off stress while leaving your senses sharp.

Cannabis Strains to Help Battle Insomnia

Indicas are the best combatant of insomnia, as they tend to be high in the sedating, musky-smelling terpene myrcene.

Blackberry Kush is a perfect late-night indica that brings a heavy, peaceful calm to both mind and body.

Led by indica genetics, Tahoe OG Kush quickly crushes sleeplessness while keeping floating thoughts anchored in a relaxed mindset.

What are your favorite strains for treating depression, anxiety, appetite loss, and insomnia? Comment below to help other patients.

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Five Ways Cannabis Affects Sleep

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Five Ways Cannabis Affects Sleep

Medical patients often suffer from not sleeping well. We dug into recent studies to see if cannabis improves sleep. Here are five things you should know:

THC boosts melatonin

The psychoactive ingredient in cannabis, THC has been shown to dramatically increase melatonin production, causing a spike up to four thousand times that of baseline levels. Melatonin is a naturally occurring hormone that regulates circadian rhythm and sleep.

Increase slow-wave sleep

According to the Department of Psychiatry at the University of San Diego, THC increases the third and fourth stages of the sleep cycle, also known as ‘slow-wave sleep’ (SWS). Increased SWS has been linked to an increased reduction of beta-amyloid, the harmful neural protein associated with Alzheimer’s Disease, dementia, and other memory loss conditions.

Reduce REM

While cannabis is known for increasing SWS, it also reduces the fifth phase of sleep, commonly known as rapid eye movement (REM). Less REM means having less dreams, but there is yet to be any evidence of negative effects.

Treat sleep apnea

Cannabis’ sleep-inducing properties are an excellent natural remedy for those suffering from sleep apnea. This helps them to fall and stay asleep easier and with less interruption.

Reduce RBD in Parkinson’s Disease

By using a high-CBD cannabis before bed, you can lessen REM Sleep Behavior Disorder (RBD) effects such as tremors, violent movements, and nightmares. High-CBD cannabis has been found to be more effective than Levodopa, a prescription drug commonly prescribed to patients with Parkinson’s and onset-RBD.

More Information

Melatonin and marijuana (Lissoni, P., Resentini, M., and Fraschini, F. “Effects of Tetrahydrocannabinol on Melatonin Secretion in Man.”)
Cannabinoids for medical use (Journal of American Medical Association)
Effect of drugs on sleep (National Center for Biotechnology Information)
THC effects on sleep & sleep during withdrawal (Europe PMC)
How Cannabis can help RBD in Parkinson’s (Vanwinkles.com)

Has cannabis had an affect on your quality of sleep? Let us know in the comments section below.

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Grow Medicinal Marijuana At Home With A Grow Box

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Grow Medicinal Marijuana At Home With A Grow Box

Growing your own medicinal marijuana is a liberating experience. You control all the variables. You know exactly what is in the bud you are smoking. grow box is a discreet and easy way to grow marijuana indoors at home, freeing yourself from dependence on both doctor and dispensary.

Gain independence with a grow box

A grow box is like a tiny, camouflaged green house. It is a self-contained unit with soil or hydroponic growing medium, lights, filters and pumps. Just add seeds, electricity and voila! You are growing your own medicinal marijuana.

Choose the right marijuana strain for you

There are two important considerations when choosing a strain of medicinal marijuana to grow yourself:

Your Medical Requirements – Are you looking for a powerful sedative effect to help with your insomnia or a functional day-time smoke to relieve pain and lighten anxiety?

Your Growing Space – Choose small, bushy strains like Indica or hybrid seeds instead of a tall, leggy Sativa. For your first grow an auto-flowering marijuana variety is the best choice because they require very little care or expertise.

Grow enough marijuana to meet your needs

Grow boxes are available in all sizes. Several surveys in the UK, Canada and the US suggest that most medicinal marijuana patients use 1-3 grams per day, or about 2 ½ pounds per year.

Even the tiny PC Grow Box, which holds just two small plants, can produce two pounds of dried bud per year. The compact SuperBox allows you to grow 8 plants at once with annual yields of 7 pounds or more.

Grow your medicinal marijuana under lights

Marijuana grows best under lights that mimic natural sunlight. There are three common types of grow lights used in the cultivation of marijuana:

  • Compact Fluorescent Lights (CFLs)
  • High Intensity Discharge Lights (HIDs)
  • Light Emitting Diodes (LEDs)

Most grow boxes use either CFL or full spectrum LED grow lights. HIDs don’t work well in the enclosed space of a grow box because they get too hot.

While you can grow small amounts of marijuana successfully using CFLs, high quality LED grow lights save electricity and produce the highest yields.

Obtain higher yields using hydroponics

A hydroponic system doesn’t use soil. Growing hydroponic marijuana is not as complex as it may sound.

Many grow boxes come with a simple hydroponic system already set-up. You simply add nutrients, which often come with the grow box, and water. You can even choose to grow marijuana with organic nutrients.

Grow marijuana naturally in soil

Some people prefer to grow marijuana as naturally as possible. The Earth Cab grow box series is one style of grow box designed for soil.

Grow a continuous supply of medicinal marijuana

Once you get started you don’t need new seeds for each growing cycle. You can propagate new marijuana plants by taking cuttings, called clones, of your favorite existing plant.

A dual chamber grow box has a special space for making clones. These grow boxes allow you to produce a constant supply of fresh buds.

Find the perfect grow box for your situation

For the many medicinal growers discretion is essential. Look for a specially designed stealth grow box.

You can also choose a fully automated grow box that allows you to leave town for two weeks and come home to healthy plants.

Use this detailed review of the best grow boxes of 2015 to find the perfect set-up for you.

Grow medicinal marijuana at home with a grow box

Are you considering growing at home? Let us know why in the comments below!

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How Edibles Are Made

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How Edibles Are Made

Since there are so many manufacturers throughout the US, cannabis-infused foods are produced in a variety of different ways. Read up on how your favorite edibles are made and learn how to make your own medicinal treats:

They’re usually made with trim

Trim contains the leftover leaf matter from the cannabis flower that growers usually throw away. It’s less potent than bud, but it’s full of trichomes and can be used in large quantities to produce a stronger effect.

Cannabis is decarboxylated

Decarboxylation activates THC and other cannabinoids to result in a more potent product. To achieve this, cannabis needs to be heated either through smoking, vaping, or baking. The flower is typically cooked for a long time over low heat before it’s used to make edibles. Eating raw cannabis won’t have a very strong effect, and it won’t taste good.

Cannabinoids are extracted

Edibles are infused with highly concentrated cannabis extracts. Depending on the extraction method, edibles can contain either tinctures, canna oil, or cannabutter. If you’re wondering how a specific edible was made, ask your budtender or contact the manufacturer.

Canna oil and cannabutter are common

THC is fat soluble, so cannabis is often cooked with oil or butter. When heated, the activated cannabinoids absorb into these ingredients. Check out this recipe for cannabis cooking oil and this one for cannabis-infused butter. Or try making cannabis coconut oil.

Tinctures are used in hard candies

Some edibles don’t go through a baking or cooking process, so tinctures are added instead of flower. Tinctures are liquid cannabis extracts made from a solvent like alcohol, vinegar, or glycerol. Rather than passing through the digestive system like cannabinoids in most edibles, these are absorbed by the body and can result in a quicker effect.

Have you ever made your own edibles? Tell us in the comments below.

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