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.